Marble Nails: A Disappointment

This week I took on a project, a pseudo-scientific experiment per say, which has not proven to be anything more than a hassle and complete waste of time.  Ladies (and gents, if you wish), this is a warning to all of you who do not have a team of professional makeup/aesthetic artists on hand : marbling your nails is not for the weak.

The reason I attempted this ludicrous fashion trend in the first place can be attributed to a 4 page spread that Glamour Magazine dedicated to marbling. The professionally painted nails looked lively and fresh – a perfect way to spice up your paws in the summer time. . . Or so I thought.

It took me THREE attempts to master  this technique, and in my opinion, the results were lack lustre, at best. details how you can achieve this look at home which (when to put to test) results in a recipe for disaster . . . DIY my a**. The first attempt landed me with a not-so-chic, slightly Charlize Theron ala Monster, swamp creature nails. I immediately took to the nail polish remover. My second attempt was no better and at that, I put the polish away for a few days.

A bridal shower this weekend inspired me to try once again as I met a woman who flaunted two perfectly marbled hands and shared a secret with me. “Vaseline,” she said,  “is the key to marbling. Lather your fingertips , all around your nail, in vaseline.” I tried this trick at home and it worked, I suppose. This is how I did it; however, I urge you to simply laugh at my miserable pampering session and put marbling out of your mind forevermore.

If you so desire, you will need:

1 cup of cold water

1 jar of vaseline

1 base coat of a light colour/clear polish

At least 2 contrasting colours of polish

5 Q-tips

Nail polish remover for the first few times you turn into a swamp mongrel


Begin by painting your nails with a base coat, preferably a light or clear polish.

Next, lather one finger with vaseline, surrounding the nail. Then take the first colour and let it drip onto the surface of the water. Follow with the second colour. Repeat to get a ripple effect of the two colours.

Follow by cutting a q-tip in half and using the sharp end to swirl the colours together, creating a marble effect.

Then, dip ONE finger in and out of the water. As you remove your finger use the q-tip to remove any excess paint around the nail. Repeat x 9 for a 10 fingered, full-fledged marble look. This process takes about 30 minutes for a nail painting rookie and for a seasoned vet. Best of luck to you, nuts. Unfortunately, this beauty trend ordeal is not something that can be performed or explained inanutshell.

SO not worth it.

This entry was posted in Beauty and tagged , , , , , , , by Kate Lalumiere. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kate Lalumiere

After studying wine and spending years in the food service industry, Kate is nutshell's designated food and wine aficionado. Her posts take on the foodie-sphere one restaurant at a time, exposing some of the hottest spots to satiate the ol' buds ! Her favourite restaurants usually include: innovative menus, sustainable & local produce and unparalleled hospitality. Although Kate has a keen ear for food buzz in the National Capital, you'll also find her weighing in on fashion, music and anything that peaks her interest! ** Favourite Restaurant (Ottawa) : Supply & Demand • Wine of Choice: Every wine • Favourite Band: The National • Bad Habit: Being a backseat driver• Favourite Song: Wild Horses • Fashion Icon: Olivia Palermo • Favourite Movie: The Sandlot • Favourite TV Series: Gossip Girl (sue me!) • Sport: Football (to watch and play) • Team: Arizona Cardinals • Blackberry or Iphone: Iphone • Favourite Book: The Sun Also Rises, The Cat's Table, The Bell Jar, On the Road... • ** To ask Kate a question about food, wine or anything else contact her at :

One thought on “Marble Nails: A Disappointment

  1. I can see why you are having trouble. I had trouble at first, too. Use room temperature water, not cold water. Cold water messes with the nail polish and makes it dry too quickly. I also found using a toothpick for swirling made a nicer swirl, and use the q-tip to remove excess nail polish *before* pulling your nail out. I’ve gotten loads of compliments on my nails, which aren’t actually very long. I managed to do both hands while my daughter napped for an hour one afternoon. :)

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