Now that I've covered all my favorite stamping supplies in the first post of this series, it's time to move on to the basic stamping technique.
Step one: Gather supplies and set up your area
Obviously you don't want to be rummaging around your bathroom cabinets looking for this stuff while your nails have a fresh coat of paint on them, so it's important that you take care of this first!
-The stamping polishes and regular polishes you intend to use
-Top Coat/Base Coat
-Some kind of barrier to put between your polish and your work surface (silicone mat, paper towel, newspaper, that ugly cardigan in your closet...)
-Paper towels (to wipe the excess polish from you scraper)
-Cotton Claw/Self Closing tweezers
-Scraper/Old Credit Card
Step two: Paint your nails
|By the way, I love most of the Revlon Parfumerie polishes|
but I don't recommend this one- it took FIVE coats to look right-
way too many for a peachy creme polish.
Obviously. ;) Be sure to use a base coat to make all your hard work last longer, and to protect your natural nail. Make sure your nail polish is completely dry before moving on to step three.
Some people like to add a quick-drying topcoat before stamping. Personally I don't do this, but it can be helpful if you need to remove your stamping because you messed it up. With the topcoat under it, it is possible to remove it without having to totally repaint your nails, but it doesn't always work. (Hint: if you are trying to remove just the stamping, use a clean-up brush instead of a cotton ball.)
Step three: Apply your stamping polish to the plate
Swipe some polish over the top 1/3 to 1/2 of the stamping image. For most images, you really do not need a lot of polish. When you scrape it, the polish will automatically fill up the rest of the image. To see the kinds of polish I recommend for stamping, check out my "favorite products" post.
If it's your very first time stamping, I would also recommend choosing an image with thick, bold lines. Images with tiny fine lines are harder to stamp, as the polish dries faster on the plate.
Step four: Scrape
|As you can see, there are some small streaks left behind on the image|
after scraping, but that is ok, and is common with the highly pigmented
stamping polishes. Streaks like these won't be picked up by the stamper;
but larger streaks will.
It's even more likely, however, that the image is not picking up because you were too slow. The image takes just seconds to dry, so a speedy pick-up is one of the most important aspects of stamping.
Step five: Pick-up
|With these clear jelly stampers, you can look down through the stamper|
to see exactly what part of the plate you are picking up.
If you press the stamper head too hard on the plate, it will not pick up the image. You want to just gently kiss that stamper to the plate.
Step six: Check the image
Step seven: Stamp away, my friend
Step eight: Clean-up
Step nine: Top Coat that puppy
Using a no-smudge topcoat can be helpful when you are new, because it is really easy to smudge your nail art otherwise.
Step ten: Moisturize me, moisturize me
-The image has bald spots:
The most likely scenario here is that the polish has partially dried on the stamping plate before you could try to pick it up with your stamper head. Try to move as quickly during these steps as you possibly can, and also try switching to an image that has nice thick, bold lines while you are still learning the basic technique.
-The image has streaks of polish on the stamper head:
-The image doesn't pick up onto the stamper head at all:
-The image looks good on your stamper head, but won't transfer to your nails
-The topcoat streaks your stamping:
Some topcoats are not good to use over stamping and cause smudging no matter what you do. You could try a "smudge-free" topcoat made from stamping companies like Bundle Monster or MoYou London if you are having trouble with this.