When I saw that Born Pretty Store had a water marbling comb on their website, I was intrigued and wanted to try it out. I’ve always been frustrated with water marbling because of how inconsistent and time consuming the process can be, so the comb seemed like an interesting way to get a water marbled effect without having to use water.
The comb came packaged in a plastic resealable bag as shown below. There is no brand name associated with it, although it might be written in Chinese on the label. If anyone knows what the translation is, please feel free to comment the answer on this post.
Water marbling comb from Born Pretty Store.
The comb was bigger than I thought it would be. The metal spikes span the width of 2.25 inches and are 2.5 inches long, and the spikes are set apart from each other in a plastic handle at 0.5 cm intervals. The size makes the comb easy to hold and handle, although I think the spikes are too long for the way I’ll be using this. I’m guessing that if you use this in water for large scale real water marbling, the length will serve you well, but for nail art, there’s no way you would be using a container big enough to accommodate this comb.
Size perspective against US quarters.
It should be noted that the spikes have slightly tapered but blunt ends. You shouldn’t be in any danger of hurting yourself on the points, but I’m not going to say that it’s impossible!
I also noticed that the length of the spikes is fairly consistent but not 100% even with each other. Again, if you were to use this with water for water marbling, this would be of no importance, but for dry water marbling, it’s going to mean that the points won’t touch the surface of the polish evenly.
Look closely, and you’ll notice that the points don’t form a completely straight line. The 2nd spike from the bottom in particular is shorter compared to the spikes above and below it.
So how do you use this thing? There aren’t any instructions that come with it, so I decided to wing it.
It’s possible to make nail decals on your own by painting polish on top of plastic wrap, so I took a piece of plastic (Saran) wrap and stretched it over a binder. You can also use a Ziploc bag or other similar smooth surface.
Not just any old binder- it’s a binder with a piece of plastic wrap taped over its surface.
Next comes the fun part: experimenting with polish and combing through it. 🙂
I painted generous stripes of polish next to each other on the plastic wrap. You don’t want to have space in between the stripes, but you probably don’t want to contaminate your brushes with the color of the stripe that is next to it either. You can simply wipe your brush on a paper towel until the original color is the only one you see before dipping it back into the bottle.
About to comb through some stripes. Left to right the colors are Nellie from Julep, Mai Tai from nailtini, Life Gave Me Lemons from OPI, Hot Fun in the Summer-Lime from OPI, Zing from Formula X for Sephora, and Haphazard from Formula X for Sephora.
After stroking through the polish from left to right, this is what the pattern looked like:
Dry water marble stroking the comb from left to right.
It’s a pretty effect, but it should be noted that because of the unevenness of the spikes, the polish completely scraped away in some areas while that short spike I mentioned before hardly touched the surface of the polish.
After wiping the comb clean with a paper towel, I decided to comb through the polish going from right to left, fitting the spikes in between the pooled purple sections.
Polish combed through in both directions.
I love the effect, but you also have to remember that not too many people have nails that are big enough to fit the entire pattern on them! So from this I was inspired to use just 2 different colors to make a flame pattern.
Stroking left to right with the comb through stripes of Mai Tai by nailtini and Life Gave Me Lemons by OPI.
Stroking right to left to make flames.
I repeated this process a few different times on different areas of the plastic wrap so that I would have enough sections to cover my nails. I also painted clear topcoat over these patches in order to facilitate removal of the pieces. The thicker the coats of polish, the easier the sections will lift from the plastic wrap. I allowed everything to dry overnight so that the next day, I was able to lift up these marbled sections easily.
Lifting up the marbled pattern from the plastic wrap.
From here, I cut the pieces of dried polish into shapes that would fit my nails and adhered them by applying each decal one at a time. I painted a base color first, positioning the decal on top of the wet polish, and then applied more topcoat to the decal to make it pliable. I used an orange stick to push the decal down evenly across my nail bed. You can see more of this process in my Flaming Nail Art post.
The resulting mani was pretty cool, and I didn’t even need water to get the marbled effect!
These nails are on fire!
My overall impression is that the comb is pretty handy for making marbled nail decals in advance and that it is a fun tool to play with. It’s extremely easy to clean the comb with just a paper towel, but the unevenness of the spike lengths negate the usefulness of having a wide comb. Technically you could use a toothpick to create the same effect line by line, but it would be more time consuming. But if you like having relatively uniform looking marbled patterns, this is a great way to get a consistent look across your nails.
Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦◊ (4/5)
If you are interested in purchasing this water marbling comb (retail price is $6.99 USD), the link for the item is shown below. Using code RSSPX31 will get you 10% off your order, and Born Pretty Store offers free worldwide shipping. Happy polishing!