Saturday, 6 September 2014

Adventures in Stamping

Hello Nailistas!

My quest for stunning nails had reached new heights over the past few weeks and I'm massively excited about it! I've ditched the nail art brushes and have swapped them for stamping kits and have spent the last few weeks (and manis) getting to grips with them. I'm forever seeing amazing nail art done with stamping and have been meaning to try it out for a long time, but because I'm super lazy and have always been massively late to jump on any kind of bandwagon (except the Beanie Baby bandwagon), I've only just recently bought my first stamping sets.

I've followed the MoYou London stamping extraordinaires pretty much since I started my nail art Instagram account and so I finally managed to muster up the energy to reach into my purse and get my debit card out and pay for some of their beautiful image plates and polishes.

Here's what I bought (note that I've only photographed the outer packaging of the stamps because when I've attempted to photograph the plates, they reflect the camera and you can't see the design!)

I also bought a stamp and scraper, but haven't photographed them because I'm sure you're not terribly interested in seeing a picture of a plastic stamp.

Here are (some of the more successful) designs I've created thus far:

And here's how you do it!

1) Prep nails as normal and apply the base coat and colour of your choice and wait for it to completely dry before beginning the stamping process

2) Take out the stamping plate and apply a layer of polish over the design you want to stamp onto the nail

3) Use a scraper or anything with a sturdy, flat edge to wipe off the excess polish from the plate

4) Immediately press the stamp over the plate, almost in a rolling motion rather than simply pushing it down on top of the plate

5) Do the exact same thing with the stamp onto the nail as you did with the stamp onto the plate and Bob's your uncle! The image should transfer onto the nail. 

6) Seal in the design with a top coat to make it last longer (although this really does go without saying!)

Having had a really good bash at perfecting the art of stamping, here's some sage advice that I'd pass on to anybody thinking of trying it out for the first time:

1) Practice printing the image onto paper before your nails. That way you can nail (pardon the pun) the technique and make all of your initial mistakes (which are a given, I promise you!) without ruining your mani.

2) Use colour combinations that really show off the designs. I used a few which just didn't draw enough attention to the design and ended up scrapping them, grr!

3) Make sure the quality of the polish you're using for the stamping is top notch. I found cheaper polishes didn't transfer as well because they were too runny. I actually didn't buy any of MoYou's polishes originally because, in a bid to be a cheapskate, I thought I'd just use the polishes that I have here, but I ended up ordering some because they're especially well-suited to transferring properly.

So, what do you guys make of stamping? Have you tried it? Do you prefer it to hand-drawn designs