Milani Starburst Water Marble Nail Art Tutorial

by Lisa Heath
78 comments
Milani Starburst Water Marble Nail Art Tutorial

Press Sample

I got several requests to show how I did my Milani water marble this morning (and from sneak peeks last night) so I decided to give it picture tutorial a go.

It’s been awhile since I have done a tutorial, so hopefully this makes sense for everyone.  If you have any additional questions, feel free to ask them in the comment section!

What I Used

What you need

For this water marble I used my glass water marble cup (it’s well loved as you can see!), ROOM TEMPERATURE (this is important!) filtered water (I use bottled water, Crystal Geyser if you want to get technical, that has been left out on the counter), a toothpick, Milani Spotlight White as a base, Water Front, Imperial Purple & Mint Crush for the marble and Quick Dry Top Coat to seal it all up.

I do recommend using tape, Elmers glue or Vaseline to protect your skin and cuticles.  Since I was only doing 1 nail for this tutorial I pretty much forgot to.  This really helps for clean up after though and will save you time.

Step 1

White nails

First I applied 2 coats of Milani Spotlight White as a base to make the colors pop.  Once both coats were dry I added a coat of Milani Quick Dry Top Coat.  Wait for your nails to dry completely.

Step 2

4 rings

In your cup of room temp, filtered water start dripping your polish color by color, 1 drip at a time to form rings in the water.  For this design, the more rings you can get, the better.  8-10 is ideal.

If your polish isn’t spreading into rings, or at all, you can add a couple drops of polish remover to your water.  It is possible though that your polish isn’t water marble friendly, so it is a good idea to test each color before you really start by doing droplets in water as a test.

Step 3

all rings

I managed to get about 18 rings before I was ready to make the design.  The rings need to be made fairly quickly, otherwise the outer rings start to dry on the water and will pull.  If you aren’t careful, you may snag your toothpick on a drying ring and ruin the whole circle of rings.

Step 4

4 corners

Start dragging your clean toothpick (needles work too) from an outer ring (I usually start about 3 rings in) towards the center of the design.  I start at the top and move to the center, then bottom to center, then left to center and then right to center.  You want to alternate which direction you go from, otherwise the circle will become lopsided and you will get an entirely different design.

Make sure to have a paper towel handy and wipe the toothpick between each drag.  Each time you dip it into the design it should be as clean as possible.

Step 5

flower

Keep dragging from the outer circle to the center until you have the desired pattern.  At the end, dip the toothpick in the dead center of the design to “pull” the design together in the center.

Step 6

center

Position your nail over the desired area.  Usually I use the outer edge that looks more like petals to get the loopy look.  For this design though I want to use the center.

Step 7

dip nail in

Submerge your nail, face down, into the polish.

Using your toothpick, carefully dip it into the outer edge of the rings and gently swirl it into the water.  This will help to pick up and remove excess polish that you didn’t dip the nail into.  Once you have removed excess polish from the water, gently lift your nail out.

Step 8

done pre cleanup

You should have something like this once you lift out of the water.  I used another toothpick to gently outline my cuticle area and separate the polish design from the skin and nail.  If you applied tape, Vaseline or Elmer’s Glue, this part will be easier.

Done!

cleanup

Since I did not protect the skin, I simply used a pointed cotton swab and some remover and cleaned up the skin.  You can be really precise and keep at the skin and cuticle to clean it up, or do it my way and let it gently remove itself in the shower the following morning.

Milani Water Marble

As I showed in my last post, I added fun gems to the center of the starbursts for added flair.

photo 1 (9)

As I said earlier, if you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comment section.  I will be happy to answer to the best of my ability.

Milani Color Statement Nail Lacquer Price: $3.99 Each

Where To Buy: Milani Website

Connect with Milani on Social Media: Instagram | Facebook |Twitter

Hope you enjoyed this, and I do hope to brush up on tutorial skills and move back into trying to make some video tutorials.

In case you want to pin a photo with no discussion, here is a collage of steps you can save:

collage

Have a great night!

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78 comments

Deb Mariano July 29, 2014 - 3:54 am

They look great and you make it look so easy!!! Thanks for the picture tutorial

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Lisa Heath July 29, 2014 - 9:42 pm

Thanks Deb! Can’t wait to see you next month!

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Heather July 29, 2014 - 6:05 am

Thank you for posting! I can not wait to try this!

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Lisa Heath July 29, 2014 - 12:27 pm

I’d love to hear how it goes!

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BeautyJudy July 29, 2014 - 9:34 am

Thank you for the tutorial! When you posted this, I thought, there’s no way I could do that! But this breakdown makes it really easy! Thank you again!

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Lisa Heath July 29, 2014 - 12:28 pm

You’re welcome! It’s not as bad as it sounds, but can take a little practice :)

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Phyrra July 29, 2014 - 9:36 am

I need to be brave and try a water marble! Love this!

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Lisa Heath July 29, 2014 - 12:31 pm

It’s a little time consuming, but I always love the results!

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XO, Noelle July 29, 2014 - 9:44 am

This is hands down, the most gorgeous marble I’ve ever seen!

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Lisa Heath July 29, 2014 - 12:31 pm

Aww thank you so much Noelle!

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Joelle July 29, 2014 - 10:47 am

This is so fun! I am so uncoordinated at this kind of stuff, but I could try it on just one nail and see how it goes. Thanks for the tutorial!

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Lisa Heath July 29, 2014 - 12:32 pm

A lot of times when I don’t feel like I have the patience for it, I will do a marble on JUST the accent nail to save time :)

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Nancy July 29, 2014 - 11:28 am

I honestly thought these were nail stickers at first – holy moly… amazing job! I love this.

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Lisa Heath July 29, 2014 - 12:33 pm

Thank you!

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Brittany July 29, 2014 - 11:42 am

This is just soooooo pretty. Not sure if I have the patience to do 18 drops for each nail but surely I can do an accent nail or two!

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Lisa Heath July 29, 2014 - 12:16 pm

Most of the time I do accent nails and they look amazing! When I have down time and am relaxing watching a movie though, I generally do full water marbles :)

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Kakers July 29, 2014 - 12:02 pm

Wow, what an amazing trick.

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Lisa Heath July 29, 2014 - 12:33 pm

It’s fun, but time consuming!

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Selbe July 29, 2014 - 12:38 pm

That is so pretty! I am always looking for new nail art and I absolutely love this one!

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Lisa Heath July 29, 2014 - 1:45 pm

Thank you so much!

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amber.m July 29, 2014 - 1:16 pm

Ohhhh this is so pretty!

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Lisa Heath July 29, 2014 - 1:45 pm

Thank you Amber!

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Cindy (Prime Beauty) July 29, 2014 - 2:18 pm

OMG, I love it! That really takes talent, I could NEVER do that and have it turn out so good!!

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Lisa Heath July 29, 2014 - 5:57 pm

Aww thank you!

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kendall July 29, 2014 - 2:43 pm

Seriously, wow. This is so cool! I can’t wait to try!

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Lisa Heath July 29, 2014 - 5:58 pm

Thank you! I’d love to see the results!

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Ange July 29, 2014 - 3:33 pm

Absolutely gorgeous!!

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Lisa Heath July 29, 2014 - 7:40 pm

Thank you!

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Brooke @ Blushing Noir July 29, 2014 - 4:13 pm

LOVE this!

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Lisa Heath July 29, 2014 - 7:39 pm

Thank you!

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Cat July 29, 2014 - 4:45 pm

Holy cow, these look incredible! I can only imagine the wild mess my nails would be if I tried to do this at home, haha.

Cat

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Lisa Heath July 29, 2014 - 7:39 pm

Thank you! And it can get messy lol

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Angela July 29, 2014 - 5:02 pm

I’ve seen a couple of photo tutorials on how to do this, yours by far is the best. but I’m having a hard time understanding the roll if the toothpick and how to use it exactly. Everyone describes how to use it differently so I’m kind of lost on that part. other than that bravo!! :-)

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Lisa Heath July 29, 2014 - 5:56 pm

The toothpick is used to lightly skim across top of the polish to create the design. You only want to use the very tip of the toothpick to do this!

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Honeygirlk July 29, 2014 - 5:39 pm

I love water marbling. I definitely love this color combination, it’s beautiful. I never heard of using elmer’s glue. Please do tell about that… do I wait for it dry around my nails first, I’m confused. Normally I try to use tape or I just clean up.

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Lisa Heath July 29, 2014 - 5:54 pm

You paint the Elmer’s glue on your skin around the nail and on the pad of your finger and let it dry, then marble as normal! When it’s time to clean up it basically just peels off :)

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Lisa Heath July 29, 2014 - 5:54 pm

You paint the Elmer’s glue on your skin around the nail and on the pad of your finger and let it dry, then marble as normal! When it’s time to clean up it basically just peels off :)

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Betsy July 29, 2014 - 6:20 pm

wow! that’s really awesome…i’ve never heard of this before at all! It actually is a lot easier than i expected!

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Lisa Heath July 29, 2014 - 7:38 pm

Thank you! And it is fairly easy. It can get tricky with the water temp and finding polishes that spread easy for it

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Lisa Misterek July 29, 2014 - 6:30 pm

Question by a rank amateur here, please: This uses 18 drops of nail polish for each nail? On one hand, it seems like quite the waste. On the other hand, however, it makes for a fabulous excuse to go shopping for more nail polish!

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Lisa Heath July 29, 2014 - 7:35 pm

I used 18 drops, but you can use 8-10 as well per nail. I have over 6,000 bottles of polish, so I guess I look at it more as “I’ll never use it all anyway”. You are right though, great excuse to go shopping for more ;)

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Miranda July 29, 2014 - 8:34 pm

I’m swooning over this design. Thank you for the thorough tutorial. So my understanding is that you’re going to have to create the rings over again for each finger, since you swirl the outer rings away after each nail?

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Lisa Heath July 29, 2014 - 9:22 pm

Correct. It is very polish intensive which is why most people opt to use less expensive polishes to do water marbles. Some people do 3 fingers at a time too and have a different pattern on each nail

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Jenn @ hellorigby! July 29, 2014 - 9:14 pm

wow, this is gorgeous! pinning it to try later :)

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Lisa Heath July 29, 2014 - 9:23 pm

Thank you! I’d love to see it if you do try!

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Sheila (Painted Ladies) July 29, 2014 - 9:55 pm

Thank you for the toothpick tip!

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Christen July 29, 2014 - 10:07 pm

All I can say is WOW. They came out great.

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Chelsea July 29, 2014 - 10:08 pm

This is SO COOL. I don’t know if I could actually manage to do it properly but it’s pretty amazing!

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Nidia - Lit From Within July 29, 2014 - 10:12 pm

oh, I wish it were that easy for me! great job!

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Kath TheFabZilla July 29, 2014 - 11:38 pm

Hail the nail art guru! I so love this design, one of my faves from you

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Fidelis July 30, 2014 - 4:42 am

You are a saint for staying up late to do this! Someone buy this girl some Joe~STAT! Thank you, Lisa. So helpful to read the fine details so I know it’s done right. When I FINALLY get any free time, I will do this and let you know if I succeed in my efforts. XOXO

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Kim July 30, 2014 - 5:52 am

This is nice! I remember when my sister was in HS, back in the late 90’s, and would do her own water nail designs. It’s funny how trends come back.

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Kim July 30, 2014 - 5:53 am

This is nice! I remember when my sister was in HS, back in the late 90’s, and would do her own water nail designs. It’s funny how trends come back!

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Destany July 30, 2014 - 6:01 am

In awe. I suck at watermarbling, no matter how hard I try. It’s one I just cannot conquer!

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Kendra July 30, 2014 - 6:14 am

you make it look sooo easy!

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Laura July 30, 2014 - 6:26 am

I am forever envious of you – I have awful dexterity in painting my nails!

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Leelo R July 30, 2014 - 6:28 am

So pretty!

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Justina July 30, 2014 - 7:32 am

Thanks for the detailed instructions, this is so cool!

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Brooke @ You're In Brookelynn July 30, 2014 - 7:48 am

Wow, that looks amazing! I can’t wait to try this :)

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brita July 30, 2014 - 8:43 am

What!!? This is SO cool! I want to try this

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Shipra July 30, 2014 - 9:21 am

You did such a flawless job on this! It makes me crave starbursts LOL!

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Lauren July 30, 2014 - 10:03 am

I am just afraid this would be incredibly messy! Do you feel like there is a lot of wasted nail polish after?

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Rochelle July 30, 2014 - 11:08 am

Wow, that looks super cool. I am horrible at nail design/art. All I can do is get a good base coat on and that’s about it. I’ll have to give this a whirl, I’m sure my daughter would think I’m the coolest mom if I did this with her. Then if I mess up it’s only on her tiny fingers. I don’t understand that last step — when your finger is in the polish and you use your toothpick to swirl in the water??

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Neely July 30, 2014 - 11:09 am

So fun!

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Cam | Bibs and Baubles July 30, 2014 - 1:52 pm

This is so cool and unique. I’d love to try this.

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Rebekah July 30, 2014 - 7:54 pm

Love this so much!! I have never been good at water marbling, definitely need to give it a try again!

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Miranda July 30, 2014 - 9:59 pm

I totally love this! I am sending it to my friend! I love the final product!

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Raewyn July 31, 2014 - 12:39 am

Ah! I will so have to try something like this

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Jessica July 31, 2014 - 6:56 am

I’ll have to try this again, the first time I tried it…. it was bad.

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Amby Felix July 31, 2014 - 8:46 am

I have always wanted to try this! One of my friends does tutorials online for marble art. It looks SO cool! Such pretty colors too!

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Ashley July 31, 2014 - 11:24 am

LOVE the design! Definitely trying this.

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Leanne Redding July 31, 2014 - 8:05 pm

This is seriously SO cool! I had no idea this was possible!

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Deidre July 31, 2014 - 10:20 pm

You make it look so easy. I know I would destroy it… ha

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Kimmi @ The Plastic Diaries August 1, 2014 - 12:00 am

You made it look soooo easy but I know from many failed attempts that it’s not as easy as it looks. I still don’t want to give up though. I want to nail this!

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Jessica Doll August 1, 2014 - 2:02 am

This looks SO cool! I definitely would not have the patience for it. I always mess my poor nails up.

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kristine foley August 1, 2014 - 9:05 am

Can’t wait to try this! Hopefully mine turns out!

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Lisa February 26, 2015 - 7:29 pm

Gorgeous project- great blog ♥

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Amina October 27, 2015 - 5:37 pm

Nice nail arts tutorial . i will must try this nail art thank you so much for share

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