Nail stamping is a great way to get a salon perfect manicure without the salon cost! Nail stamping involves transferring images in nail varnish from a metal plate to your nail with a stamper.
You will need:
* A nail image plate with an engraved design on it. (These come in various shapes and sizes, and a produced by a number of manufacturers.. most famously Konad, but also by other brands such as Bundle Monster, Cheeky, Winstonia, Pueen, and my own brand, Messy Mansion.)
* A stamper – these come in 3 main types, “XL Squishy stamper”, a rectangular stamper and a hard silicone double ended stamper, which is firmer.
* A scraper – these are traditionally metal and come with the stamper, however most nail artists will use an old credit or gift card.
* Stamping polish – you can use a special polish for this, but some regular polishes also work.
Firstly, prepare your nails as usual, with basecoat, your colour and top coat.
Stamping is an easy 4 step process, once you have your nails prepped with a good base polish and base colour. (If I’m doing a complicated design, I’ll also use a few coats of topcoat at this stage. Any mistakes can be more easily rectified with a swipe of acetone to remove the stamped design without having to start again from scratch.)
(1) PAINT the image of your choice on the metal plate with your chosen colour. If the image has thin lines on it, you can simply paint down one side and scrape the remainder across. More heavily engraved designed will need to be fully painted.
(2) SCRAPE the plate with the scraper to remove the excess polish. A 45 degree angle works best for most images. Images with large “negative” spaces can be scraped at a 20 degree angle to make sure that you don’t inadvertently scape out the polish. I personally use an old credit card as I find it gives the best results, and the metal scrapers can scratch your image plate. One mistake beginners often make is to scrape too hard… removing too much polish and not leaving enough for a clean crisp image.
(3) TRANSFER the image to the stamper. If you have an XL stamper, pick the image up by going straight up and down on the image. Make sure you don’t press too hard as this can distort or smudge the image. The firmer stampers like the Konad one require you to roll the stamper over the image in one smooth motion.
(4) STAMP the image onto your nail! Again, if you have an XL stamper, you can just squoosh your nail directly into the silicone. Firmer stampers require that you roll the image onto your nail.
Then add another coat of top coat to seal it and protect the image and you are done!
Remember to work quite quickly as the polish can dry before it gets onto your nails, and to clean all of your tools between transfers with acetone. Non-acetone polish remover can leave traces on the plate and stamper, preventing them from working.
Check out our advanced tutorials here: