Nail Art: Caronia Nail Swirl

I haven't tried water marbling until recently when an opportunity knocked on my door. Caronia, the leading brand on nail, hand and foot care products here in the Philippines has launched a campaign that promotes a nail art technique that they called swirling. To fellow nail art enthusiasts, we know this as marbling.

Here's the result of my 1st attempt at nail marbling ... or swirling:

Caronia Nail Swirl

Caronia summarizes the technique with these steps:
  1. Pick the nail polish colors you would like to use.
  2. Drop the colors alternately in a bowl of water, creating a bull's eye image.
  3. Swirl the colors to your desired design.
  4. Dip your fingers into the bowl to transfer the design onto your nails.

You will need the following materials for nail swirling:
  • a small bowl to contain water
  • cotton buds
  • toothpick or marbling tool
  • nail polishes, white and other colors
  • nail polish remover
  • petroleum jelly or lotion
  • base coat
  • top coat

Caronia Nail Swirl
Materials for nail swirling / marbling.

Before swirling, it is important to apply white polish on your nails or any light colored lacquer to serve as your base color. White is the recommended background color because it will bring out the colors once you have transferred your design onto your nails.

Caronia Nail Swirl
Caronia White Satin

I used Caronia White Satin in 2 coats. I was surprised to have liked the consistency of this white polish. The only downside is the nail polish brush. I found it quite stiff in the sense that it doesn't really fan out when applying the polish. Consequently, it was relatively hard to use and manage.

Caronia Nail Swirl

I admire Caronia for launching this campaign. I know there are nail art enthusiasts who would love to decorate their nails and this technique is a good start for those who would like to experiment or try nail art at home.

What to love:
  • Doesn't require any painting skills! If you feel discouraged to try nail art painting because you feel you cannot draw, then swirling is for you. No drawing necessary to create this nail art and the result will make you look like a pro!
  • There is NO limit to the number of nail polishes that you would like to use.
  • It is relatively easy once you get the hang of it. It's possible that you might have a hard time at first because you're still learning the technique, but once you get it, it's easy as ABC.

Caronia Nail Swirl

What not to love:
  • It can be a mess. This technique inevitably requires you more clean-up as excess polish will also transfer to the skin surrounding your nails. This is the reason why you need to apply petroleum jelly or lotion prior to swirling to make it easier for you to remove the polish that stuck your skin.
  • You will be wasting a lot of polish with this technique. Fortunately, Caronia nail polishes are very affordable. It retails for Php33.25 (less than a dollar) per bottle.
  • Not all polishes can be used for nail swirling.

Here's a personal video tutorial on how I did my first nail swirling:

Personal Recommendations
  • Buy the regular Caronia polishes and avoid the others if you would like to try this technique using their polishes. Based on experience, the frosted ones dry too quickly when dropped into the water.
  • The smaller the bowl or water container, the better. This means the polishes would have limited space to spread and that would consequently make it easier to get more opacity.
  • Do NOT work in an area that is windy or avoid using an electric fan when doing the technique. Blowing on the polishes while in the water would make it dry faster and would make it impossible for you to swirl it.
  • Loosen the polish caps before swirling to facilitate the alternate dropping of the colored polishes faster and easier.
  • I find it easier to dip one finger at a time.

As of this posting, Caronia is celebrating the campaign with Nail Swirl Madness, an online contest that would ran until May 31, 2012. Get a chance to win fabulous prizes by simply creating your own nail swirls! Find out more by visiting the following:

Disclosure: All materials I used for this nail art post was sent by Caronia Philippines for consideration. Under no circumstance did it influence this personal and impartial review. You may read my Disclosure Policy here.


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  1. Gorgeous! I love the colour choices. I've tried this so many times and it never looks good. It's just not my thing :P

  2. Just a thought- when i do this I coat the skin around my nail with petroleum jelly. That way, when your nail polish dries you can just wipe away what you don't want!

  3. share ko lng po..para hindi po kayo mahirapn sa pagtanggal ng excess na polish...lagyan nyo po yung paligid ng nails nyo ng scotch tape,mas ok po kasi yun.. ganun po kasi ginagawa ko.

  4. i've tried using petroleum jelly/ lotion to 'protect' my cuticles before, but it made the water surface oily, causing the polish swirling to turn out funky o_O

    you did a fantastic job with the marbling (: mine are always utter fails lol.

  5. this is your first attempt :-0
    i'll shoot myself :-p
    i hate it because it's so messy... and i suck in it :-(

  6. try using a scotch really works....

  7. @Cuti-CLUE-les
    I love the results of water marbling but like you, I am also not fond of it because of the mess. But I guess if you get the hang of it, it is a good technique to make your nails look like it was done by a professional. :)

  8. @Katie
    Yes, I used petroleum jelly in this attempt. Any lotion would work too. :)

  9. @Polished Pinay
    Yes it is and what's more fun is that you can choose any color combination you like. :)

  10. @chie
    Using scotch tape would work too. Some, like myself, would find applying lotion on the surrounding skin more workable since you'll be working with your non-dominant hand as well. I guess it all boils down to what technique you are most comfortable with. :)

  11. @purrplecatclaws
    That happened to my water a few times so I became conscious to applying only a thin layer of petroleum jelly on my skin. Sometimes, I use a cotton bud to lift the oil from the water. :)

  12. @nail crazy
    I have to agree with the messy part. :(

  13. soooo pretty! very perfect for summer! am definitely going to try this one out this weekend. wish you can also share your fabulous tips at everyblissdotcom a place to get the latest news, tutorials and product reviews of the newest trends in the beauty industry. see you there!