On Monday I did a post about the nail stamping kit and a few extras I bought from Rainbow Connect. I was planning on waiting but my nails got to the point where I needed to do them so I decided to have a play around and have a go at nail stamping. This is my first time using any of this and I am definitely learning but I thought I’d post about it anyway, if nothing else it’ll be interesting in the future to see improvements!
I did read this post over on Mrs Strawberry Blonde for information I was recommended by Stashmatters (thanks for that, there are definitely things in there I might have had to work out the hard way!) and it’s a great post if you’re starting out with nail stamping. Definitely listen to the part about having a magazine or something for protection, I think I underestimated how messy it would be even with this! This post is pretty much seeing how it went and things I learnt along the way or what I’m going to do differently next time.
The first thing I did was the gel base colour with the top coat to set it, my nails are pretty long at the moment and as I have a family wedding in a few weeks I’m trying to protect them and keep them looking nice without breaking. Otherwise I’d probably recommend going for a normal base, at least to start, as if something goes wrong then can remove it all quicker and redo the nail and you’re not stuck with it for a long time if it fails. I used Red Carpet Manicure Sands of Time for four nails and Glasses Up for the accent nail. I do love the colour combination of nude and rose gold or copper nails.After getting everything ready and set up I chose the nail varnishes I thought would work well, I mainly went for the two Models Own colours in the photo because I know they’re well pigmented with one coat and the other two are actual nail stamping colours. I don’t think you need specifically nail stamping nail varnishes but with lighter colours they are very pigmented for on a darker base. I guess it all depends on the look you want.
I did try a few other makes too, I had two OPI, a Nails Inc, the two Organic Farm and an old Rimmel one and there were definitely varying results when it came to the practicing. I will say that Models Own ones were hands down the worse, it did not pick anything up with them, and Organic Farm were surprisingly pigmented considering how many layers they need normally but I stuck with the nail stamping varnishes as they were a good match colour wise for what I wanted, especially with the Models Own ones failing. I think I might go through my nail varnish collection and have a go with all the different makes and do a comparison post, see which Ines work best if anyone’s interested.
When it came to using the plates it’s pretty easy, applying it and scraping it was fast and didn’t make much of a mess outside the plates. It seems like you can use pretty much anything you want as a scraper if it’s plastic, I can see just cutting some old packaging up working as long as the side is straight. Getting it from the plates onto the stamp itself will definitely need some work, I didn’t get many of the finer details to work and I’m definitely going to be practicing this. I do like the softer, jelly like stamper though. Next time I’ll definitely be doing more practice on an old piece of paper, I used an old envelope this time, for each of the designs and each colour. Also I realised it really doesn’t matter about shaky hands as you can rest your elbows on a surface and even lay the pattern on the stamper head on the table separate to the handle, if you have one like this where it’s removable. That means you can even hold your hand steady as you roll it against the pattern and you have a great view of where the pattern is likely to end up on your nail when you roll the nail into the stamper rather than the other way around.
Anyway, this is the final result. I’m pretty happy with it as a first go and it’s doing well without a top coat. Unfortunately one of my nails did break so the gel came off it, though it did mean I got a second go and I think I did better with the more detailed prints with this go around. I am pretty impressed with the fact there’s no need for a top coat, it does leave the nails slightly rougher because of the added layer in parts but it doesn’t catch and it means there’s no smearing on the pattern which happens with a top coat on other nail art I’ve tried sometimes.
Basically this is definitely something I’m going to do in the future, I do love some of the patterns I have, but there will definitely be a lot of practicing and learning which nail varnishes work best for which effect. I can’t wait for the other plates to arrive, I may have gone a bit over the top considering I had never tried it but it seems like something I’ll use a lot and will work well alongside other nail art techniques that I already use. I just hope I get better at it!