pastel marble watermarble nail art

Pastel marble nail art design

Watermarbling without the water?

tropical pastel marble nail art BYS pink purple white green nail polish

I’m going to show you how to create beautiful marble nail art without the mess, without special “compatible” nail polish, and without the hassle. Or should I say, watermarble without the water!

If you’ve ever tried watermarbling nail art, or even seen anyone doing watermarble nail art then you will know how messy and difficult it can be. Some nail polishes are suitable for watermarbling and some are not. And how do you find this out? Trial and error, of course.

Don’t Be Afraid Of The Marble

If you’ve attempted making your own decals before, you’ll know it’s not always easy. You will need a bit of time set aside. But keep reading because I will show you a way without decals (the trade off is that it’s more messy).

What You’ll Need

The things you’ll need for this easy marble nail art are:

  • nail polishes – as many shades as you’d like, as long as you think the colours are compatible together (I’ve used pastel colors)
  • a plastic mat (I like to use this one from Dixie Plates) or any smooth plastic surface that you’re prepared to possibly have stained
  • a cuticle pusher or any tool with a somewhat sharp edge
  • cling wrap or a nail stamping tool (stamper)
  • top coat

Products I Used

For this tropical pastel marble manicure I used the Tropics Nail Polish Trio, kindly gifted to me by BYS, as well as their White shade as a base which you can find here. You can locate this nail polish pack here.

Start Off With A Base

Start off with a base coat of colour. This is going to serve as your background. Paint your nail with that color and then paint it onto your mat/plastic. Next step is to start dropping your nail polish in drops onto the base colour on your mat or plastic. See an example in the video below.

Watch Me Marble

Do this step quickly, you don’t want the base to dry too much or the dots to dry in dots. Once you’re happy with that, smoosh it!

You can do this several ways:

  • fold the mat over in half onto itself
  • smoosh it with a stamper
  • smoosh it with clingwrap

Let Your Decal Dry

The next step is to let the decal dry. I would give this an hour or so, depending on the temperature in your room. My room tends to be hot & humid, so in an hour it’s good enough that the polish doesn’t become brittle, and it’s able to be folded. My advice would be not to let the polish dry overnight because the polish becomes brittle and it just breaks off.

Apply The Decal To Your Nail

Once you can lift the decal without it sticking or ripping, apply it to your nail. Use a cuticle pusher to push around the edges of your nail. It doesn’t matter if the decal breaks or rips a little bit – once you apply the top coat it will blend in with the base.

Don’t Want A Decal?

If you don’t want a decal, you can use a stamper to pick up the smoosh and apply it straight onto the nail. You might have to do this a few times though – depending on how long your base coat has been drying for, it might not have any tack left. You could mitigate this by applying a base coat first and then stamping once the base coat is tacky, but this isn’t guaranteed to work.

tropical pastel marble nail art BYS pink purple white green nail polish

Complete The Look

Once you have applied all the marbling to your nail, add a top coat and you’re done!

Tag Me

Did you try this technique? I’d love to see your results. You can tag me on Instagram or TikTok.

Looking for something a little more retro? Try this easy 90’s neon nail art here.

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