NAIL ART: Water Spotted Rose & Black Grunge Nails

by - March 19, 2021

I have to admit something... I absolutely hate the water spotting technique and I almost didn't participate in this prompt for the Whats Up Nails March Nail Art Challenge, but I really wanted to do at least one mani for each of the prompts even if I hate the technique - and in this case, I'm so glad I did. I still hate the technique in practice, it's just... something I really don't enjoy the process of, but I'm so beyond obsessed with how this mani turned out that I legitimately can not be mad at this. As I'm typing this, I keep stopping to look down at my nails and just... sort of swoon a little.

Keep reading for more!

Initially, I was going to go in a completely different direction with the base for this mani and try to do something in a traditional turquoise looking style, but in the end I scrapped that and decided to grab for a polish that I'm completely obsessed with but have really struggled with what do with nail art wise. One issue I have with these stunning, really intricate indie polishes as bases for nail art is that it can be hard to figure out how to do both the polish and the design justice when you pair them. I grabbed for this sort of on a lark, figuring that it was worth a shot and if it didn't work out, it didn't work out. For this mani, I applied two coats, which didn't quite give me full opacity in a traditional sense but with the density of the flakes in this polish did enough camouflaging that it really didn't matter.

Honestly, I wasn't really sure how the spotting was going to turn out, so I just kind of went with it. I grabbed a solo cup and filled it with room temperature tap water and then let it sit for several minutes for any bubbles from filling the cup to dissipate so that I had clear, still water. I actually tried a few different black polishes from my collection, but I settled on the one that broke up the coolest and gave me the densest black pigmentation. Also, I applied a liquid latex cuticle barrier to both the front and back of my finger all the way down the first knuckle and let that dry - this helps immensely with clean up. 

To make the water spots, just add a fairly large drop or a few drops of polish to the surface of the water (get your brush pretty close to the water but try not to touch it) and then let the polish spread over the surface of the water. Don't wait too long to grab your aerosol hairspray and give a couple of shots of it to the polish to break it up and create spots. Like with a water marble, I tried to dip my nail with specific placement to get the best parts of the spotting into the design.  Once I had dipped, I dragged a metal cuticle tool over the edges of my nail to push away any excess polish before peeling the cuticle barrier and cleaning up the edges using a cleanup brush dipped in acetone.

I let the design dry down for a few minutes and then very lightly tapped my fingertip onto the nail to make sure there weren't any water droplets left behind before going in with a water based top coat to seal in the design. To finish, I added a generous coat of quick dry glossy top coat and voila!

All Products Used
Polished For Days - Ruska
Ceramic Glaze - Little Black Dress
Maniology Smudge Free Top Coat
Quo Flash Dry Top Coat
Liquid Latex Cuticle Barrier
Aerosol Hairspray
Solo Cup
Clean Up Brush

So, do I still hate the technique? I mean, yeah, I do... But honestly, I'm so obsessed with how this mani turned out in the end that I might be a little bit more willing to do more water spotting in the future. I mean... obviously a huge part of the success of this mani is that stunning base polish, but I love, love, love the way that the actual water spotted part turned out.

If you want to keep up on all of my nail art and see video tutorials on how I do all of these designs, head over to @pblnails on Instagram and follow me there - I even occasionally post nail art there that never makes it to the blog!

Thanks for reading!

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