Marble nail designs are having a major moment. Spotted on the autumn/winter ’22 runway at Marissa Wilson, painterly strokes of bold color made a statement on the models’ hands. Elsewhere, on social media, #marblenails has racked up over 2.6 million posts on Instagram, showcasing the countless ways you can experiment with this trend. From bold and bright to soft and subtle, there’s a marble nail design out there to suit everyone.
“Marble nail designs involve using a thin brush to create beautiful, marbleized patterns,” says Juanita Huber-Millet (opens in new tab), founder of London nail salon Townhouse. “A nail tech's dream, they allow us to be creative with every set – creating unique designs and patterns,” adds Sophie Louise Martin (opens in new tab), Hertfordshire-based luxury gel manicurist. Martin’s favorite marble look? “Neutral, creamy, and milky marbles with little flecks of gold leaf.” At Townhouse, the most popular marble design is called Like Magic, a sheer neutral with white marbling.
Keen to give this nail trend a go? If you’re not sure how to paint your nails like a pro, save this look for your next nail appointment and share your favorite design from our roundup below with your manicurist. Or, if you're a skilled nail artist who's a dab hand at how to do ombre nails and wants to try this at home next, follow the experts' step-by-step guide.
How do you do marble nails?
"Despite looking complex, marble nail art can easily be replicated at home," assures Huber-Millet who has shared a simplified technique using water instead of a nail art brush. "It will give you the same impactful results, but with minimal effort."
- First, prep your nails as normal by filing them into shape and buffing the cuticles. Once prepped, apply a base coat.
- Next, fill a bowl with lukewarm water. Add a drop of the first nail polish into the water, then quickly add a second shade, layering them on top of each other.
- Swirl the colors around with a dotting tool. Once you have the desired marble effect, dip your nail into the bowl. I'd advise using a cotton bud If you need some help guiding the polish onto your nail.
- Remove your nail from the bowl and use polish remover for any excess polish on your skin.
- Apply a top coat to set your nails and get ready to show them off!
29 marble nail designs to inspire your next mani
1. White marble nails with gold accents
Love a white nail design? Ask your manicurist for milky marble nails with gold glitter accents. Ideal for weddings, birthdays, and big events – these nails are set to impress.
2. Very peri marble nails
Very peri is the color of the year, as declared by Pantone. Flattering and fun, pair a very peri base layer shade with white marble nail art on top.
3. Ocean blue marble nails
Mimic ocean waves with royal blue marble nails. Seriously chic, the trick here is to use an ultra-glossy topcoat to achieve that water-like sheen.
4. Tortoiseshell marble nails
Tortoiseshell nails are another top trend for 2022. Combine the two looks and opt for a coffee and rich brown marbled effect on squoval nails (this shape will really show off the design).
5. Pastel marble nails
Pastel nails are the perfect choice for spring and summer. Take inspiration from this lilac and pastel blue combination with just a hint of yellow. It's the ultimate mood-boosting mani.
6. Sage green marble nails
For a sophisticated nail shade that feels more exciting than neutral, try sage green. Super flattering, this trending hue goes with everything and makes for a lovely marbled manicure.
7. Marble French tips
For a modern twist on classic French tip nails, ask your nail artist for marbled points instead. Any shade will work but we recommend going bold with greens, blues and pinks.
8. Rainbow marble nails
This joyful manicure is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. To try this at home, mimic the marble look by painting a selection of bright colors onto a sponge before pressing it onto your nails.
9. Milky marble nails with gold flecks
The perfect bridal manicure, this beautiful milky marble design features flecks of gold foil on top. Save this one for your next salon appointment and ask for pointed stiletto or oval-shaped nails.
10. Black marble nails
Searching for fall nail designs and colors? Consider these inky black marble nails with white details. The contrast of black and white will really make that marble pattern pop.
11. Pink marble ombre
You can also create ombre nails using the marble nail technique by dipping just the tips of your nails into the paint. We adore this deep fuchsia shade.
12. Abstract marble nails
Turn your nails into a work of art with an abstract marble design in clashing colors. If this looks too intricate to do DIY, invest in Beauty Works by Amy Marble Press On Nails (opens in new tab) - they're totally foolproof and look like the real deal.
13. Marble accents
New to nail art? Ease your way into marble territory with accents of swirly blue nail art. This look can be dialed up with gold foil details which look especially great next to deep blue.
14. Cloud marble nails
Tie two trends together with these ethereal cloud-inspired marble nails. So pretty. Ask your nail artist to add silver shimmer on top so your nails really catch the light.
15. Galaxy marble nails
For an out-of-this-world manicure, take your cue from this galaxy-inspired look that combines deep purple, midnight blue, and pink glitter to create a striking design. We’re obsessed.
16. Crystal marble nails
"Marble nails are a stunning way of replicating precious stones right on the end of your fingertips," says Martin. Draw inspiration from rose quartz, amethyst, or fluorite.
17. Neon marble nails
Fancy giving these fluoro tips a whirl? Pick a selection of three to four bright, neon polishes before following Huber-Millet's step-by-step guide above. Finish with a little gold glitter, painted on randomly.
18. Sunset marble nails
To recreate this mani, follow Martin's advice: "apply a layer of base color onto your nails and while the polish is wet, grab a liner brush and apply your first color on top - swirl it through the wet polish and repeat this with all your chosen colors."
19. Midnight marble nails
Challenge your manicurist to this starry sky scene with a midnight blue marble base, topped off with gold star and moon nail art. It's so striking, you won't be able to stop staring at your nails.
20. Rose gold marble nails
A less literal take on Christmas nail designs, consider this rose gold and white marble look that's perennially chic and ideal for the festive period. Almond or oval-shaped nails work best with this design.
21. Classic marble nails
Take inspiration from your kitchen worktops with this classic marble nail design. You'll need an opaque white polish as well as a deep grey or black polish to recreate this look. For a quick and easy classic marble mani, opt for a set of the press on nails instead.
22. Rose quartz marble manicure
How romantic are these rose quartz nails? Perfect valentine’s day nails, this marble manicure combines sheer pinks and soft nudes to mimic the love-attracting stone. Opt for a soft, rounded shape to complete the look.
23. Short marble nails
Marble nail art isn't solely reserved for long nails - it works equally well on short nails, too. Just look to these short square talons for proof. Black, grey, and rose gold glitter look sophisticated and chic.
24. OTT Marble nails
Proof that sometimes more is more. Ask your manicurist for splashes of purple, blue, green, and brown on long, pointed nails. Finish with a sprinkling of gold glitter and an accent glitter ombre nail for good measure. Who says you can’t have it all?
25. Holiday marble nails
Off on holiday to catch some winter sun? Get your nails in vacation mode with some blue marble nail art. Designed to mimic ocean waves, follow Martin’s step-by-step to achieve this look at home – only painting the colors onto the mid-section of your nails.
26. Pink and blue marble blend
Why stick to one colorway when you can experiment with two? Our favorite duo is this pale pink and cobalt blue fade that features a subtle marbled effect with gold glitter accents. Fun and unique, match your lids to your nails with a bright eyeshadow look.
27. Celestial marble nails
Another one to save for your next nail appointment, this dreamy design combines midnight blue, indigo, and sheer pink to create a starry-night effect. Opt for a squoval or oval nail shape for best results.
28. Jelly pink marble nails
Jelly nails, otherwise known as glass nails, can be created using a sheer wash of color that almost looks like a shiny topcoat. Use this as your base (we recommend pink) before painting a white marble on top.
29. Sunset marble tips
For an easier take on marble nail art that will still make a statement, try these smudgy sunset tips. Instead of using a marbling technique, press pink, and orange polishes onto your tips using a soft sponge.
Emma Stoddart is a freelance beauty journalist and self-confessed skincare aficionado with over five years’ industry experience. Emma has worked for some of the UK’s top women’s titles including Net-A-Porter, Stylist and Grazia. Her experience spans online and print as well as producing editorial shoots with some of the industry’s biggest artists, including Val Garland. Asides from working with them behind the scenes, she’s also had the chance to interview the likes of Patrick Ta, Pat McGrath, and Sam McKnight for all their insider tips and tricks.
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