I was wondering how you would create something like this:

puddle of color
Source: orlybeauty.com

As you can see, there is a shadow in the bottom left, which gets lighter as you move diagonally to the top right. There is also a fleck of white added, which is very easy to apply.

I had a go myself, using a linear gradient, with about 75% opacity either side and nothing in the centre. It didn't work!

  • Can you show us your attempt?
    – JohnB
    Commented Nov 29, 2013 at 17:10
  • So it is not the marble-effect you are after, but rather the button-effect? If so, there are a million tutorials out there.
    – benteh
    Commented Nov 29, 2013 at 17:45

1 Answer 1


It's fairly easy to recreate the bevel effect. The inner swirl is a bit more difficult.

I created the swirl with several variations of Filter > Render > Clouds set to Multiply and then merged with a solid color. Then used Filter > Oil Paint... to add some additional swirl variations. And finally Filter > Distort > Twirl and Filter > Blur > Radial Blur to create the twist appearance.

I did this on a couple layers and used some blending between the layers to add some depth to the overall swirl effect.

From there it's a fairly simple matter to use Layer > Layer Style > Bevel & Emboss... and adjust settings to create the shine and shadow of the "button" effect. I actually used two layers for the Bevel & Emboss (with the Fill Opacity set to 0% so only the effect shows through) and used color burn and screen on one and multiply and screen on the second.



This isn't perfect, but your original image was a photograph of a drop of what appears to be fingernail polish with the bevel layer style added to the photo. It wasn't created entirely in Photoshop. You could simply photograph a drop of fingernail polish yourself, then ad the bevel effect to enhance the depth as someone did to your sample image.

You could also overlay a photo on top of any creation to add some appearance with that....

with photo overlay

  • This is an amazing answer, thank you so much! Commented Nov 30, 2013 at 8:20

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