Water Marbling Comb Review

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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Stroking left to right with the comb through stripes of Mai Tai by nailtini and Life Gave Me Lemons by OPI.

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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.

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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!

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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!

http://www.bornprettystore.com/nail-water-marbling-comb-practical-marbling-comb-nail-tools-p-20690.html

http://www.bornprettystore.com/

rsspx31

Flaming Nail Art

I just got a water marble comb from Born Pretty Store and wanted to experiment with it, so my tests inspired me to do some flaming nail art.  After all, summertime is hot, and campfires are pretty common this time of year, so why not have some matching nail art?

The look requires only 3 polishes but needs a lot of prep work.

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Left to right: chelsea by nails inc., Mai Tai by nailtini, and Life Gave Me Lemons by OPI.

So about that prep work…  I decided to make flame decals with a dry water marble technique.  Never made decals before?  It’s a pretty simple concept.  Just paint nail polish onto some plastic wrap or a Ziploc bag, apply topcoat to it, let it dry, and then you can simply peel the decals off from the plastic wrap and cut them into whatever shapes you want to use.  It’s a bit of a time consuming process, but it gives you more control over the final look.

Because the water marble comb was big and I wanted to make sure I had enough decals to fit my nails plus some room to experiment, I stretched a piece of plastic wrap over a binder and taped the loose ends to the other side to create a large canvas for my artwork.

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My binder has one layer of plastic wrap over it. Try to get all the wrinkles out and make the surface as smooth as possible, or simply use a Ziploc bag.

Next, I painted 2 stripes each of Mai Tai and Life Gave Me Lemons so that the edges of the colors touched each other or at least had very little space in between.  It’s important to paint thick coats of polish so that the comb will be able to more easily marble the colors in the next step.

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Stripes of polish waiting to be combed.

I used a water marble comb to create the marbled effect, but you can also use a toothpick or a dotting tool to drag through the colors of polish one line at a time.

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This water marble comb is available for purchase at Born Pretty Store. Use coupon code RSSPX31 to save 10% off your order.

The fun begins when you comb through the stripes.

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Comb through the polish from left to right to create this pattern.

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Comb back through the gaps of the previously combed parts from right to left to get this pattern.

After getting a design that I liked, I applied Seche Vite topcoat to the entire polished section and let it dry overnight.  This will make the coat thicker and easier to peel away from the plastic wrap.  It probably doesn’t take that long to dry, but I wanted to make sure that I didn’t have any problems for the next step.

The next day, I peeled my painted sections away from the plastic wrap.  The removal process was very easy.

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Dried nail polish should lift from the plastic wrap as easily as peeling away a Fruit Roll Up.

I had 5 sections from which to choose for my nail decals.  Experimenting is fun!

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A bounty of dried nail polish swatches.

To finish preparing my nail decals, I trimmed down a side and cut away slivers of polish with nail scissors to make the flame design.  This way I could make sure I used the part of the marbled design that I wanted.

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This nail polish is highly flammable!

To complete the decals, I cut my flames into nail sized sections for application.

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A set of fire decals waiting to be applied.

As for application, these decals need to be placed over wet nail polish in order to adhere properly.  I painted an opaque coat or two of plum black chelsea polish from nails, inc. onto one nail first.

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Still wet polish featuring chelsea from nails, inc.

I used tweezers to pick up a decal and set it where I wanted it to go.

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Laying a dried nail decal on top of wet polish.

Because the nail decals have to be thick in order to peel them away from the plastic, they don’t conform to the curve of the nail bed very easily at first.  Applying topcoat on top of the decal will make it more flexible, and then you can smooth it out evenly on the nail with an orange stick.

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Another coat of clear polish on top of the decal will help to melt it down to allow it to flex over your nail’s surface.

Repeat this process for each nail, then trim away any excess polish and clean up around the cuticles with cotton swabs and nail polish remover.  I used top coat one last time to even the polish out.

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The finished look.

In retrospect, I would have cut the decals a little shorter and made the bottom match the shape of my cuticle so that I didn’t have to do so much clean up afterwards.  It takes a lot of time to make this mani happen, but you can prepare the decals way in advance so that you have fire decals waiting at the ready for whenever you want them.  Experiment and have fun!  Happy polishing!