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Bubble Nails: How To Do Them

Updated: Apr 28, 2021

No, I am not talking about this monstrosity, but to each his own.

I’m talking about using actual ‘Soap Bubbles’ to create a reptilian skin like texture on top of your nails. What you end up with, is an amazing visual texture that can be interpreted as snake/ crocodile skin or pumice stone depending on the colours and the size of the bubbles used. Here we are going for a more classy crocodile skin look.

So without much further ado, let’s get right into it.

Here is a small video tutorial.

Followed by step by step instructions.

What You Will Need:

Base gel polish

Black gel polish

No wipe UV topcoat

Chrome/ Mirror powder

UV/LED lamp (depending on the polish)

Liquid detergent

A bowl or cup

A straw

What To Do:

Step 1: Prep your nails for the gel polish (see how). Apply a thin layer of the base gel. Cure for 1 minute (or as directed).

Step 2: Roll and mix your black gel polish well to disperse the pigment evenly. Now apply a thin layer onto your nails. Cure for 1 minute. Repeat for one more layer.

Step 3: Now apply a thin layer of the ‘No wipe’ UV topcoat. This is very important as the #mirror powder we are gonna use next won’t work on regular gel topcoat. Cure for 1 minute.

Step 4: Now dab some mirror powder onto a sponge applicator and rub it all over your nails to get a smooth and even mirror finish. You can use any colour you want or you can use a colour shifting chrome powder too. The finished result will vary accordingly. Here we are using a copper colour to get a more subtle classy crocodile skin look.

Step 5: Apply a thin layer of the same no-wipe UV topcoat again. Cure for 1 minute.

Step 6: Now take some liquid detergent in cup with some water. Take a bigger cup than what the water will need. Using a straw, blow #bubbles into the cup. They will be big in the beginning, but don't worry, we will break them down (see video). Once you have sufficient bubbles for one nail, move onto the next step.

Step 7: Apply a thin layer of the same UV topcoat again, but just on one nail. Now using the straw or a flat stick, pick the bubbles and place it onto the nail. Try not to touch the straw onto the nail. The bubbles will slip around and fall off, don’t worry just keep on adding bubbles quickly so you get decent enough coverage (see picture).

Step 8: Now with the bubbles on top, quickly cure the nail for 1 minute.

Step 9: Once cured, wipe that nail with a tissue paper, and voila, you will have a cracked suds-like texture on your nail. If you have a big bald patch, just repeat the process by applying the topcoat only at the blank spot.

Step 10: Repeat the process for all nails one by one. There you have, reptilian skin texture on your nails!


Different colours of the #chrome powder will give different results. A colour shifting colour will look more like #chameleon skin. Black will look more like a subtle #snakeskin.

You can play around with different colours of nailpaint and not use chrome powder at all. You can also use a colour coat instead of the top coat to create the bubble layer, and then top it off with a regular UV topcoat.

Use shampoo and very little water to get very tiny bubbles in the suds to get a more pumice stone like effect.

With this technique, the world is your oyster and you can make infinite combinations to get your desired bubble nails. Hope you give this new and fun technique a try. Check out the blog for more nail art inspiration and tips and hacks. Have fun painting your nails!


P.S.- None of the images used are owned by us unless watermarked with @nails_by_sujata.

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