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Water Spotted Nails

Water Spotted Nails

Don't you just love how these water spotted nails look? When I first ran across this new nail art technique online I was overjoyed with it. I will have to admit that after trying the technique out I was a little frustrated at first. Why can water spotted nails be a little frustrated? Because, just like water marble nail art, water spotting can be both time consuming and messy but it really is worth it. The final spotted nails look is absolutely amazing!

Is this your first time hearing or learning about this new nail art technique? This technique is just weeks old so please do share with us your experience with trying it out or what your first reaction was to it. You can share through the comment form below.

How To Do Water Spotted Nails

Your first basic guide should be the video above. It walks you through each step by showing you how it is done and if you are already experienced with water marbling, then you should have no problem with this design. But below I will give you some tips on how to do water spotted manicures. These tips are things that I learned as I tried them for the first time, second time, and third time! I wanted to make sure I had it down perfectly before doing a video on them.

1st: Just like water marbling, when you go to add the nail polish to the water you need to make sure that the water is room temperature. If it is not, then the polish will not spread out.

2nd: You need new polish or relatively new polish to make the polish spread across the water. The polish also needs to be a high quality polish or else it will not spread.

3rd: I couldn't find a hand sanitation solution in a spray bottle at the stores I visited. What stores did I visit? I went to walgreens. I guess I could have tried Walmart...I bet they had it but I came up with another idea instead when I saw a small spray bottle. I had a huge bottle of gel hand sanitizer at home and I figured that I could just put it into the bottle. I went ahead and spent $2 on a small empty spray bottle.

When I got home I put the gel hand sanitizer in the bottle and tested it out. I quickly found out that the gel did not mist like I needed so I mixed water in it to make the solution mistable. It worked! If you don't want to mix it with water like I did, then you can mix it with alcohol to make it more viscous. In fact, mixing it with alcohol will probably give you better results.

* I also tried to do this same thing with a big spray bottle but it didn't work well because the mist droplets were to big and made to big of spots in the nail polish on top of the water.

4th: When you spray the hand sanitizer or substance containing alcohol into the bottle make sure you do it at a far enough distance. If you spray it too close, then the impact area will be too bunched up and you won't get the right results.

5th: I don't know why but I forgot to put tape on my fingers before tipping them into the polish/water. Maybe I subconsciously wanted this nail project to be more messy. :( I recommend using tap so the clean up process is much easier.

Share Your Water Spotted Nails With Us

I would love to see what colors you use for your water spotted manicure. Please do share your designs with us by sending an email to us at polishpedia (@) gmail (dot) com or by uploading an image to our facebook page. I can't wait to see your nails!


~Jocelyn (Nail Artist @ Polishpedia)

14 Responses to Water Spotted Nails

  1. Marsha on October 17, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    Looove this!! It’s pretty close to one I did that was supposed to look like Turquoise, but I sprayed straight rubbing alcohol….not watered down….out of a spray bottle into the black to get it to really break up and dipped my nails into it! I used a teal base, which was nice, but next time, I’d like to do a lighter, more turquoisey color! (I was going to post a pic, but I don’t see a button to include one!) And, when I try this one, I’ll prob try blues or greens underneath!! Can’t wait, but first….its Jason tiiiime!!! Muaahhahahahaa…! Lol! Thanks for the awwwesome ideas, I looove doing my nails, I almost wish I had a nail tech lic instead of a Cosmo one!! But, I’d prob get antsy just doing nails all the time, and pedis too. Nice to move around, and fill in down time!

  2. Kellie on February 11, 2013 at 6:53 am

    You could tape your nails up or apply Vaseline around your nail bed to save time with clean up. I didn’t have any hand sanitizer when I tried this technique. I knew that it is the alcohol in the hand sanitizer that does the trick so I tried some alcohol in a spray bottle…it didn’t ‘mist’ the way I wanted so I got to thinking…I have some of those body spray misters…and they have alcohol in them…I figured why not….it totally worked lol. So not only did I have cool looking nails, they smelled great too LOLOL.

    • polishpedia
      polishpedia on February 11, 2013 at 9:07 am

      Yea, I just forgot. That is neat that your nails smelt good! Do you have a picture up online anywhere?

      ~Jocelyn (Nail Artist @ Polishpedia)

      • Kellie on February 11, 2013 at 9:27 am

        I didn’t take any pics of that mani. I only did it to test it out. I will be doing it again when it gets closer to Spring/Summer and I will be using my neon colors like hot pink, yellow, orange, blue, and maybe purple too. It looks so cool when it is finished. i just posted my latest nail art on my blog which is a watercolor mani…it turned out really cute. If you would like to see it, my blog is at
        I am pretty new to blogging…just started in December. It’s fun but I don’t have any followers yet lol. Well you take care…thanks for sharing this post!

        • polishpedia
          polishpedia on February 11, 2013 at 9:33 am


          You have some great designs on your site. Garret and I have been getting extra busy lately and our fans are demanding even more designs from us and it got us thinking.

          Since we are trying to build an encyclopedia of everything nail art we could always use some friendly help from other nail artists.

          We would love to have you take up residence as a nail artist here at Let me know what you think?

          ~Jocelyn (Nail Artist @ Polishpedia)

          • Kellie on February 11, 2013 at 9:43 am

            Thanks so much for the compliment..that means a LOT to me. I am not really a ‘nail artist’ and I have no training at all. I just started copying what I have seen on different blogs in the past few months and I do it for fun. I am really not that good at it yet lol. Prior to about September or so all I ever did was just put a single color of polish on lol. I would be glad to help you out if you got into a really tight bind but otherwise I really am not very seasoned at this. I am greatly flattered. =)

    • polishpedia
      polishpedia on February 11, 2013 at 10:01 am

      Have you ever used wordpress?

      We see a lot of starting and seasoned nail artists or diy nail artist starting blogs and we would like to offer our site as the blog/the nail encyclopedia. It will make it so you don’t have to worry really about the technical stuff but just about doing fun nail designs and blogging about anything else related to nail art, nails, polish…

      • Kellie on February 11, 2013 at 10:06 am

        No, I haven’t used wordpress. This is my first time ever blogging. I had seen that a lot of bloggers use blogspot so I just figured it must be easy to use and went ahead and set up my blog there. I am completely green on this stuff….and totally not computer savvy.

  3. hailey on February 10, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    can you do like a planet…..?

    • polishpedia
      polishpedia on February 11, 2013 at 9:08 am

      Hmmmm….I have never thought about doing a planet before. Have you ever tried one?

      ~Jocelyn (Nail Artist @ Polishpedia)

  4. Erin on January 17, 2013 at 11:00 am

    That is super neat….I was thinking “Hey that’s not an animal!” lol….but I love this new thing, I’ve gotta try this!!! Thanks!

    • polishpedia
      polishpedia on January 18, 2013 at 9:49 am

      You are right, it is not an animal. When I learned about the new nail art technique I knew I had to try it out and share with everyone. Let me know when you try these water spotted nails! 🙂

      ~Jocelyn (Nail Artist @ Polishpedia)

  5. Donna on January 17, 2013 at 7:17 am

    It doesn’t have to be a “high quality” nail polish for water marbling. When I started it I bought pure ice nail polish because I didn’t want to waste money with expensive nail polish. And personally it seems the cheaper polishes work better for water marbling.

    • polishpedia
      polishpedia on January 18, 2013 at 9:51 am


      I guess high quality is a general term. I should have been more specific. The polish needs to be new. I have found that if the polish has started to thicken at all then it doesn’t really work. Thanks for sharing your advice about what polishes have worked for you with water marbling! 🙂

      ~Jocelyn (Nail Artist @ Polishpedia)

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