Nail art tutorial: Marbling with shaving cream

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

I had an idea today. I remembered when I used to make fancy paper with shaving cream and food coloring. Hmmm, how can I translate that to nail art? I obviously don't want to use food coloring. Would polish work? Well, I tried. And I am sorry to tell you that I couldn't get that to work. So then I tried acrylic paint. Woo Hoo! It worked! 

The great thing about using this technique is the fact that it only takes a few minutes and cleanup is oh-so-easy. Not to mention the fact that acrylic paint and shaving cream are relatively cheap. 

Let's take a look and then I will show you how I did it.

It isn't as precise or as intricate as water marbling, but I still love the way it looks. I used a black creme polish called Vincent from Colors by Llarowe for the base color. And I have no doubt that if I play with the marbling and the "rinsing" a little more that I can get more intricate designs.


Shaving Cream Marble Nail Art

Shaving Cream Marble Nail Art

Shaving Cream Marble Nail Art

Now, let's talk about how this was done.

You will need the following items:
  • One nail polish for a base color
  • Top coat
  • Shaving Cream
  • Acrylic paint
  • Toothpick or cuticle stick
  • Butter knife, ruler, or other flat utensil
  • Small paper plate (I think the one I used was 9 inches.)

Spray shaving cream on the paper plate. Don't be afraid to use to much. This will work for one entire hand. And if you use as much as I did, you can probably dunk both hands at once.


Smooth out the shaving cream using the knife or flat utensil.



Pour thin lines of acrylic paint on top of the shaving cream. I used three metallic colors. (Please note that this looks like a lot more than it is. This photo is taken extremely close up.)



Using the toothpick or cuticle stick, "marble" the paint into the design you want. Remember, it may not transfer precisely.


I used scotch tape around my nails before I started. But I really don't think you have to do this. It's up to you, but acrylic paint washes off with soap and water.

Then I dunked all my fingers and my thumb into the shaving cream. I left them in the mixture for about 30 seconds. 

Let the mixture dry for about three minutes. Be careful not to touch anything. And please, please make sure you don't get the shaving cream in your eyes. It will burn.


Head to the bathroom or kitchen sink and rinse the mixture off under a very slow stream of water. The pressure of the stream and the length of rinse time determine the end result.

Apply a quick dry top coat (I used HK Girl) and make sure it's completely dry before you head back to the sink to scrub off the remaining paint. 

Shaving Cream Marble Nail Art

What do you think? Is this something you would try? I am going to be experimenting more with this technique. I can't wait to see some other designs.

40 comments

  1. This is brilliant! I'll have to try it ASAP!

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  2. OMG brilliant! Now I must hunt for appropriate acrylic paint!

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    Replies
    1. It really is super easy and quick. Please share when you try it!

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  3. That looks amazing! Never would have imagined it. I'll have to try it sometime.

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    Replies
    1. Nope, Who would have thought. So easy and quick!

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  4. I will definitely be trying this. I have a bunch of acrylic paints already.

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    Replies
    1. I can't wait to see. I want to try it with different colors and designs now.

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  5. Thank u for sharing..will definitely try this new method ...

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! You are going to love it. The longer you leave it under the running water the more intricate the design.

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  6. Don't get it in your eye, eh? Personal experience? ;) This is GORGEOUS, I can't wait to try it out!

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  7. I know this is about nail polish buttttt it would be really awesome to hear admit the paper you used to make too!! :)

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    1. Same theory only you use food coloring and dip the paper. Squeegee it off and let it dry. So easy and very pretty!

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  8. This is such a cool idea!! I definitely want to try this out!

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  9. Absolutely brilliant!!! I am so excited to try this!! Thank you for sharing!! The result is stunning!

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  10. Well. Aren't YOU a genius!...and aren't I going to the craft store today for some acrylic PAINT!...LOL! ( my hubby will be wondering why his shaving cream will be disappearing soon too...hahahaha).

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  11. Love the effect, much more faded than a water marble, almost galaxy like. Will try!
    thanks!

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  12. OOOHHH. I just love trying new techniques. I can't wait to get some shaving cream and go to town. :) thanks for the awesome idea.

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  13. Could you do a video??? I searched all over YouTube and cant find 1 video. Yours would be the first.

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    Replies
    1. I will try. I usually don't do videos. But I just may for this one.

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  14. I went out and bought 8 metallic acrylic paints and cheapo shave cream. I will be trying this technique right after i'm done with my math homework. Its going to be my reward,lol. If ( IF ) it comes out good I'll post pics. Thanks for sharing this awesome new technique.

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    Replies
    1. Oh, I can't wait to hear how it turns out! Please share!

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  15. I just tried this without re-reading your tutorial. I didn't leave the paint on my nails for three min's,more like 30 secs. And of course it all came off in the rinse. Ok. time to try it, take two! lamo

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    Replies
    1. Maybe try rinsing from the bottom of your hand rather than putting the nails directly under the water stream. I didn't have to, but it may work better.
      Share when you are done please. I would love to see. :)

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  16. this is genius!! I will be trying this very soon :)

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  17. ♥ I love this effect, even more than the usual marble technique! Just got to remember to buy some shaving cream! :D

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  18. LOL This looks amazing ♥♥♥ How on earth did you came up this idea, hats off to you for your creativity :D

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    Replies
    1. PS I would love to repost this article on my blog, of course with proper credit. Would you be oke with that?

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