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PinspiratioNAIL – Sea Glass Watercolor Nail Art with Sally Hansen

Since I work from home, daytime TV is my background noise and one of my can’t miss morning shows is the Today Show “Drunk Hour” (aka KLG & Hoda). I’m not gonna lie, Kathie Lee bugs the crap out of me some days and, when I first started watching, I thought for sure that Hoda would slap her someday. They’ve grown on me over the years and now I just roll my eyes at Kathie Lee like she’s a batty aunt.

Anyway, the point is, every day is something different on the show; Wine-sday (Wednesday), Thirsty Thursday, etc. and today happens to be Try-day Friday, when they try something new. This morning it was chocolate babka, yum!! It’s in honor of that concept that this PinspiratioNAIL was born.

PinspiratioNAIL - Sea Glass Watercolor Nail Art

Sea Glass Watercolor Nail Art

Affiliate Link|I Bought This

If you recall, PinspiratioNAIL is my riff on a look I find on Pinterest. Today I wanted to attempt a new-to-me technique, Watercolor Nail Art (or Marble Nails). The name is open to interpretation. Anyway, I’ve seen a few different tutorials on how to create the watercolor look but, given my amateur skills, I wanted the simplest possible method. For my sake and yours. Check it out!

The Pinspiration: Like I said, I’ve seen watercolor nails done multiple ways. You may remember how I feel about water marbling (click if you don’t). My friend Steff from Short N Chic did the brush dipped in acetone method, and it’s beautiful, but anything that involves a nail art brush makes me leery. It wasn’t until I saw the plastic bag technique on Pearls and Polish that I felt confident to give the look a try.

While I was in Sandusky for  my birthday weekend, I stopped at Meijer (oh how I wish we had them in Cleveland) and saw a couple Sally Hansen displays that weren’t in my usual drugstore haunts back home. I picked up a few blues and greens and when I looked at them together, they had a very beach-y, sea glass feel so they became the color palette for today’s look.

Watercolor Marble Nail Art Pinspiration

images via Polish and Pearls and Tears From The Deep

I started with a base of Sally Hansen Jaded from the Complete Salon Manicure line. The CSM polishes have been a fave of mine since they launched in 2010 and the new formula adds gel-like shine and increased chip resistance to the already phenom formula.

Jaded is a bit sheer and jelly-like. An ideal candidate for a syrup manicure. It’s a blue-green creme, heavy on the blue, that lives up to its jade green name. I used three coats and I can see my tips a bit in real life but not to the point that I’d need a solid base (aka underwear).

Sally Hansen Jaded nail polish swatch

Sally Hansen Jaded


1. Make sure base color is completely dry. 2. Add splotches of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Blue-ming Fast (cyan creme) and Sally Hansen CSM Resurrection (smokey navy) in random patterns with a few dots of Jaded to make sure it doesn’t get lost in the mix. 3. Press a plastic sandwich bag (plastic wrap works as well) on the nail to squish the colors together. 4. Clean up any polish on the cuticle and seal with a top coat.

Application Tips: 1. Apply balm or tape to the surrounding skin to make cleanup easier. 2. In most tutorials, the splotches are shown rather large but I wanted a more mixed result so I used multiple, tiny drops of polish, even overlapping the colors some.

Watercolor Marble Nail Art featuring Sally Hansen Resurrection

Watercolor Marble Nail Art

Watercolor Marble nail art with Sally Hansen Blue-ming Fast

Watercolor Marble Nail Art

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Jaded is a core color and available at drugstores nationwide and online at and Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Blue-ming Fast is part of a LE spring launch as is Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Resurrection which is from the Runway Designer series. Availability will vary. Sally Hansen CSM polishes retail for $7.99/ea and Insta-Dri polishes are $4.99/ea.

What do you think of my watercolor nails? Is this a technique you have or will try? Of all the Sally Hansen polish lines (CSM, Insta-Dri, Diamond Strength, etc), which one is your favorite?

Also, follow my PinspiratioNAIL board on Pinterest and leave a comment on the look you would like to see me try next.

Disclosure: I purchased all the nail polishes shown. Affiliate links may appear via a third party link service. For more info view my Disclosure Policy.

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There Are 17 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Ker says:

    This is a fun look, and seems SO much easier than the acid wash technique that I tried a while back. It looks like it gives a similarly fun and interesting look, but much more reasonable effort required! Thank you for sharing, Michelle.

  2. sara says:

    I LOVE that blue. Actually, I love all of those colors. To the Meijer! (I remember being SUPER excited when I found out that Columbus had Meijer because when I lived in Cincinnati they were few and far between).

  3. Lam says:

    I think my daughter would love these, looks like a fun project for summer.

  4. Oh wow! These are like my favorite colors ever — cool effects you’ve achieved here!

  5. Kripa says:

    I totally miss Meijer too. I try to make a visit any time I visit my parents. I really like this look! I bet it looks amazing at a distance as well!

  6. Stephanie says:

    Oh! I watched that tutorial a while ago and meant to try it but got distracted by “watercolor nails.” Yours looks lovely.

  7. Mary says:

    I like it and it seems like I could do this. I do miss Meijer. None out here on the east coast.

  8. Florasol says:

    Wow, amazing! I’ll try something similar… like… tomorrow… well, no, tonight… ok, I go and do it NOW! :)

  9. Laurel says:

    Love this look! Are you going to do a post about (or have your purchased) the new Essie Naughty Nautical collection? I’m contemplating on buying some and I would love some swatches! Thanks :)

  10. Shaina says:

    That’s really pretty!

  11. Elaine says:

    I’ve found that if I put the polish on the sandwich baggie, then press it on the nails, the effect is even better.

  12. Cathy M says:

    So pretty! I love this color combo.

  13. Wow!!!
    So beautiful!
    Great color choices!

  14. Jenn says:

    LOVE this color blend. I saw the swatch itself and thought “sea glass” myself! Will try this one soon. Looks faster than water marbeling that was a HOT MESS for me both times I tried it!