Part two: Basic Stamping Technique
Part three: Advanced Techniques
Part four: Reverse Stamping/Decals
Today I decided to do something a little bit different, and a little bit more informative than my usual post. I know a lot of the time I reference stamping techniques and polishes but I don't usually take the time to go into detail about how to do it, so I thought it would be nice to do a detailed tutorial on how I personally do my stamping.
I'm going to break up this guide into a few different pages, because I realize that I have a lot to say about the subject. This first series is going to focus on my favorite stamping products, since that's the first thing you really need when learning how to stamp.
So, to do that, I suppose I should start at the beginning... which is prepping the canvas.
I always start my manicures with a base coat. My favorite base coats are the PRO-FX Sticky Base Coat and Essie's "Millionails", pictured above. I normally use the Essie, because my nails are super weak and this is the best basecoat that I have found to keep them growing stronger. The PRO-FX is mainly used on friends who come over for manis who don't have a problem with weak nails.
Using a base coat helps your mani last longer and protects your natural nail, so it's super important! Sometimes I use UNT peel-off base coat if I am going to be using a glitter polish, or otherwise stubborn to remove polish on my nails because nobody likes removing glitter with acetone. However, I have noticed that the peel-offs aren't as effective in preventing nail stains, so it's something to consider if you care about that.
You may need to try a few different base coats before you find the perfect one to work with your particular nails, and your particular body chemistry.
So, now that we have that out of the way, let's talk about stamper heads. There are a few different types of stamper heads, but the only kind I personally ever use are clear stamper heads, like this one from Bundle Monster:
ScrapersAs for scrapers go, I simply use old credit cards. Instead of tossing them, into the nail art caddy they go and I use them until they break apart. I don't like the little metal ones or funky shaped plastic ones that sometimes come in stamper sets, though the card-style ones that stamping companies sometimes sell are fine.
Black and White polishes
I've never had this problem with the Sinful Colors white; only the black one.
|Sinful Colors "Snow Me White" in action|
Link to more details
As far as actual stamping polishes go, I can't say I'm an expert because I've only really tried two- the Born Pretty Store one and the Bundle Monster one. The Born Pretty Store black is super finicky to work with, but I find it is better at picking up super fine details than the Sinful Colors black so if I have a super detailed image I will use it, but I prefer the Bundle Monster black over it; it's just a little easier to work with.
|This mani has images with a lot of "solid space", so I opted for a Black stamping polish.|
Link to more details
These dedicated stamping blacks *are* deeper and more opaque than the Sinful Colors black. Most of the time it isn't a big deal to me, but if I'm stamping over a dark color it can be helpful to use a more pigmented black.
As far as whites go, I haven't had the same difficulty with stamping whites that I do with black stamping polishes; the Bundle Monster white stamping polish that I have isn't particularity difficult to work with and does have a better opacity than the Sinful Colors one. But I'm overall pretty pleased with the performance of the Sinful Colors polish and since it's cheaper, I save the Bundle Monster for if I'm stamping an image that has lots of solid space because in those instances a better opacity is important.
Dark-Toned PolishesOne type of color I would say you can almost always get away with using regular polish for is dark-tones. That'll be your Navy Blues, your Plums, etc. The one exception to this rule is dark reds; I find that they always come out too pink when I try to stamp with burgundy polish. Because of this, I do own a burgundy stamping polish, but it's really the only dark-toned stamping color I have.
|The blue stamping here is done with Sinful Colors "Navy I Do", but|
the red is a Bundle Monster Stamping polish. More info here.
|Lovebirds blog post|
|This example of a foil polish at work shows two pinks that are similar in tone|
for a more subtle mani- but I'm amazed at the detail this foil polish picked up!
Follow this link for more details
|Bundle Monster's "Freedom Ring" for silver stamping|
One thing about stamping plates- when you first buy them, almost all stamping plates will come to you with a protective blue film over the top of them. This film must be removed prior to stamping.
|An older Bundle Monster plate from the "Secret Garden" collection,|
in the round style. These cost about $1.99 individually, but much
less if you buy the whole collection.
|A newer style Bundle Monster plate from the "House|
of Horrors" collection. These go for around
$2.99 individually, or around $1 each if you buy the
|These rectangular plates are about twice as big as the square plates.|
They cost around $4.99 individually. This particular plate
comes from the new "Kawaii Emoji" collection.
|A Moyou London Plate from the Scandi line with beautiful details|
|My favorite MoYou London plate, because of its versatility|
Born Pretty StoreBorn Pretty is a company based in China, and they sell a variety of plates including their own house brand. These plates are on the more affordable side of things, and I have never had a problem with the etching of the images. They cost about $3 in their online store with free shipping and no minimum purchase, but you can also find them for even cheaper on Ebay if you just do a search for "Born Pretty Stamping Plates." For nail art inspiration using these plates, check this page out.
Cheapo Ebay/Aliexpress Plates
|This plate is a near-exact copy of a MoYou London plate, made|
by a Chinese company and found on Aliexpress for about a dollar.
Cotton Claw/Self-closing tweezers
|My well-loved clean-up brushes. You can see that the orange|
bristled brush has begun to fray.
AcetoneYou need 100% Acetone to clean up your stamping plate in between uses. You don't want to use regular nail polish remover for this as it can leave behind a residue and make future attempts not turn out so well.
Well, that pretty much sums it up.... in one very lengthy post! If you have any questions for me, pop them down in the comments and I will be sure to answer them the best I can. And if you disagree with me... you can let me know about that, too. ;) These are simply my opinions from the experience that I have had with stamping and I know that not everyone will agree.