Nail Art Tutorial: Dry Marble

Posted on Nov 6, 2015 in Polish, Tutorials

This is a really short and sweet tutorial for the basic dry marbling technique. These are the polishes and technique I used for my Autumn Fire nail art. I’m awful at water marbling and I find that this method is a lot easier to get right and to clean up, plus you can do a lot of cool designs with it.


  • plastic bag (like a sandwich bag, not a grocery bag)
  • paintbrush or toothpick
  • tape
  • nail file
  • tweezers or an exacto blade
  • 2 or more polishes that will look good together and a top coat


The polishes I’m using are Revlon’s Autumn Spice, Covergirl’s Flamed Out, and Orly’s Buried Alive.

Before you get started you need to take the plastic bag and tape it to your workspace rather tightly so it doesn’t move around and it lays perfectly flat.


After you have everything laid out and your polish bottles open you can start. Glop on the polish in shapes and sizes that will roughly fit your nails. Making them bigger is better than smaller because you can always file them off when you’re done. I like to make 15 or more just in case some rip when I’m removing them from the bag. Be sure to make some big enough for your thumbs. autumnfire_tutorial_03

Soon after you glop the polish on you need to use the paintbrush or toothpick to swirl it around to mix the colors. But don’t completely mix them or it’s look like a muddy mess. Be sure to start swirling before the polish starts to dry or else you won’t have a perfectly smooth finished product. Once you have the 15 or so done you need to wait a few hours. Go watch Netflix or do homework or something. You don’t want to leave them overnight because they become to brittle to conform to your nail. They need to be dry enough to peel off but still wet enough to bend without breaking. Make more than you need so you can test to see if they’re done. autumnfire_tutorial_04 Once they’re dry you can use the tweezers or a small sharp blade to peel them off of the plastic bag. I like to go ahead and peel off all of them and lay them upside down on the bag so they don’t stick before I move on to the next step.autumnfire_tutorial_05Have all of your nails prepped with a base coat and then when you’re ready put one coat of a polish you used (I used Buried Alive for this step) to act as a glue. Then carefully place the dried polish onto you nail. Start from the middle and smooth it over your nail to make sure there are no bubbles or wrinkles Pay close attention to make sure the edges are attached.

Once you get them onto all of your nails the glue layer should be dry enough that they won’t slide around. You can use the nail file to clean up the tip and the edges. Once you’re sure they’re completely dry use a top coat and BE SURE TO WRAP THE TIPS. One thing about this method is the layer of polish can separate from your nail if you don’t wrap them. Here is a good guide to tip wrapping if you don’t know what that is.


Finished product!!! Have fun using this technique!