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nail art: plastic wrap marble nails

July 23, 2012

(Cross-posted from my article for the Birchbox Blog – go check them out!)

Do you want fool-proof marble nails in just a few minutes? Get thee to the kitchen, because that roll of plastic wrap is about to become your new best friend. This mani is hard to mess up, and you probably have everything you need on hand so you can try it today!

What you’ll need:

-Two nail polishes. Try experimenting with similar shades, contrasting colors, or different finishes to see which look you like best. I’m using light grey Zoya Dove with a dark blue polish, China Glaze First Mate, on top.

-A glossy top coat. I’m using Sally Hansen Hard as Nails.

-Plastic wrap – the roll in your kitchen will be just fine! Cut 10 small pieces (one for each nail), and don’t worry if it crumples or sticks together. That’s the whole idea here!

Step 1: Paint your nails with your base color (in my case, the light grey). Make sure to let the polish dry completely before moving on.

Step 2: Working with one nail at a time, apply a coat of the second polish over one nail. Grab a piece of plastic wrap and move on to Step 3 while the polish is still wet!

Step 3: Immediately blot the top of your nail once or twice with a crumpled piece of plastic wrap. When the sticky wrap touches the wet polish, it will pull up a bit of the color, creating a marbled effect with the base color underneath. If you pull up too much of the wet polish, just add a little more color and dab at it with plastic wrap again. Continue until you’ve completed each nail.

Step 4: If you ended up with some polish smudges outside the lines, dip a Q-tip or a small brush in nail polish remover to clean up around the edges. The surface of your nails may be a bit bumpy, so finish your marbled mani with one or two layers of top coat to achieve a smooth and shiny surface.

I love the amazing results you can get from such a simple technique – no steady hands or artistic skills required for this nail art look!

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23 Comments leave one →
  1. Elaine L permalink
    July 23, 2012 3:15 PM

    So Love it! Definitely going to try at home this week (just did mani last night…) Keep up the great work, Anna!

  2. July 23, 2012 3:21 PM

    This was so my next mani! I was going to do tonight! :)

  3. July 23, 2012 8:30 PM

    this is sooo cool. i want to try it out this weekend when i change my polish! you always have the best nail tutorials!

  4. July 26, 2012 12:00 PM

    Very cool idea, will try it out. Thank you.

  5. Ruth permalink
    August 2, 2012 6:25 PM

    I’m so trying this! It looks so simple!

  6. August 9, 2012 5:07 AM

    Just tried this, and doesn’t look anywhere near as good as yours. lol Will keep practicing. :)

  7. gypsymoonsweb permalink
    August 9, 2012 5:09 AM

    Just tried this, and doesn’t look anywhere near as good as yours.. lol Will keep practicing. :)

  8. Koukla permalink
    August 12, 2012 4:05 PM

    This was awesome, and so easy!!

  9. M.A. permalink
    August 21, 2012 9:08 AM

    Oooh a relatively mess free marble. Yay!

  10. Lezerlie permalink
    August 26, 2012 9:10 PM

    How do you keep the bottom coat from getting lifted off when you dab off the second color?

    • September 4, 2012 10:54 AM

      As long as the bottom polish is completely 100% dry (think second day nails or at least a few hours of drying time), you should be good to go!

  11. September 20, 2012 3:14 PM

    Going to try this looks so cool

  12. Samantha permalink
    September 21, 2012 11:07 PM

    Tried it. Love it.

  13. deb paris permalink
    September 29, 2012 10:23 AM

    Did today with green and teal. Love it

  14. Jade permalink
    September 30, 2012 11:34 PM

    AMAZING! I used NYC Quick Dry Park Ave under OPI Boris & Natasha (which may be my all-time fav color). Its looks great!

  15. Lyssa F. permalink
    October 7, 2012 4:23 PM

    gonna try this with my little sister’s nails :)

  16. Desiray permalink
    November 3, 2012 4:55 PM

    Did this with a gold base and black top. Both glitter polishes, and it turned out pretty bangin. :) Thank you, it’s a great tutorial and idea!


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