Artist Matt Moore recently spent a residency at Summit on Powder Mountain in Eden, Utah where he created these lovely mandalas from gathering objects from his surroundings. The resulting natural sculptures are breathtaking. See more below:
I mentioned that there’s another way to get the spotted look. Here (I think) is the original tutorial. It starts off much the same as water marbling. Cup of water, plop in a few drops of whatever color, AND THEN…
Long story short you spray the polish with something that has alcohol in it. In the tutorial, spray hand sanitizer is used. Other options have come up, though. So I decided to do some experimenting. I rounded up everything in my house that has alcohol in it, including some drinking alcohol, (someone out there probably thinks I’m nuts for wasting good liquor. It’s okay. I didn’t use much.) and put enough in a spray bottles to test them out.
Anyway, I’m both happy and sad to say that, for the most part, it didn’t matter what I used. With enough trial and error, you can get the effect with any of these things. Having said that, some things worked better than others, and in some cases created completely different, but still awesome effects. I’ll go through each of the things I used.
A quick note, the nails on top were sprayed close to the cup, and the bottom from farther away. I did each of these 10 times, but I didn’t think I should put that many nails in the picture.
Aerosol hairspray– Close up it usually created spots that were too big in the polish, but it worked pretty well from farther away. However, because it’s aerosol, it’s somewhat difficult to control. And no matter how hard you try, you’ll get hairspray everywhere. Everything will be sticky.
Flat iron spray– It usually created fairly large spots both close up and far away. Not the best, but it wasn’t completely useless.
Vodka– Close up it created a design that looked like a very fine marbling. Really cool. From far away it worked okay, but the spots were a bit sparse.
Polish remover– Close up it broke the polish up more than it created spots. (which isn’t terribly surprising I suppose) Kind of an interesting effect, though. From far away it was a mix of spots and a sort of swirling. Overall, this was the least consistent of the things I tried.
Mouthwash– This seemed to have a hard time getting through the polish to make the spots, but if you spray enough this worked pretty well both close and far.
Perfume– Worked beautifully both ways, although the spots are understandably bigger close up. Hands down the best, but even cheap perfume isn’t usually that cheap, and even I don’t want to use up my nice perfume on my nails. If you have a perfume you don’t really like, however, I’d definitely give this a try.
Mouthwash– This seemed to fluctuate between not making a dent in the polish and completely blasting it apart. It worked well a couple times, so if you’re willing to keep trying, it’s not the worst.
Rubbing alcohol– Up close this mostly broke the polish apart, but not with the same severity as the polish remover. It created an interesting distressed/ragged kind of effect that was kind of neat. From farther away it did a pretty good job at creating spots. Again, you have to work at it a bit, but this isn’t a bad option, and rubbing alcohol is certainly nice and cheap.
Hand sanitizer– Close up this usually created pretty nice spots, and from far away it was a mix of spots and swirling, but still pretty good results. Also, if you’re having a hard time tracking down spray hand sanitizer, you can get the gel kind and mix it with rubbing alcohol until it’s thin enough to spray.
Pump hairspray– This worked pretty well, and since it’s not aerosol, it’s much easier to control. It’ll still make everything sticky, though, which isn’t so nice. Also, with both types of hairspray, I had to change out the water between every couple of nails, which was a little irritating.
Toner (not pictured)– I later decided to try my toner, and it worked fabulously both ways. Like the perfume, however, my toner isn’t super cheap and I’d rather use it on my face than my nails. If all toner works this well, though, I may need to find a cheapy just for my nails.
There you have it! I hope my experimenting helps some of you out. I’m sure there are other things you could use, and if anyone has success with something else, please let me know. I think this is an awesome effect, and best of all, you can do it in any color you want!
Ugh thank you!!! I was hoping someone would do this