5 simple steps for nail stamping
What is nail art stamping?
Nail art is a gorgeous, yet subtle way to add some flair and personality to your everyday look. While elaborate hand painted nail art is best left to the pros, you can still jazz up your nails on your own by nail art stamping.
Nail art stamping is a relatively new nail art technique which involves transferring designs to your nails using a stamper. In a nutshell, nail polish is applied onto a metal plate with designs engraved on them, which is then applied to the nail using a stamping tool.
Advantages of Nail Art Stamping
Unlike other types of nail art, nail stamping gives ultra-fine and detailed designs, which can be quite difficult to achieve with freehand nail painting. What’s good about nail stamping is that you can easily change the nail art designs whenever and wherever you wish.
Apart from the fact that it’s very easy to apply, there’s also a wide range of styles and designs that you can choose from. You definitely won’t run out of options because there’s just way too many.
Tools Needed for Nail Art Stamping
Typically, nail stamping kits already come with all the necessary tools you need to make your nails pretty. But as you move forward in your nail stamping journey, you may find yourself buying individual tools because some tools included in the kits just won’t cut it.
Apart from your nail polish, these are the three main tools that you will need for nail stamping.
A stamping plate is a metal plate that has different designs engraved on them. These designs are the same designs that you will transfer to your nails.
Nail stampers are used to transfer the design on the stamping plate onto your nails. Stampers that come with stamping kits are usually made from rubber, but nail stamping enthusiasts highly recommend using transparent stampers.
This is used to scrape off any excess nail polish applied on the stamping plate.
How to get started with stamping
Those sweet little picturesque scenes painted across fingernails and posted all over Instagram are super easy to recreate with the right tools. All you really need are nail stamping plates, nail stamping polish, and a Stamper.
Of course, there are different accessories available that can make the job a lot easier, but these three items are really the most essential.
If you’ve always stared at those flawless nail art designs with an envious eye wondering how it’s done, we can help you get started.
STEP 1: GATHER UP THE NAIL STAMPING PLATES AND OTHER SUPPLIES
This step is easily the most important. Once you get started, it’s important that all the required tools are at your fingertips. Once you start stamping, you’ll be having so much fun that you won’t want to interrupt the stamping flow for any reason.
STEP 2: PREP THE STAMPING SUPPLIES
To get yourself primed and ready for stamping, a little pre-stamping prep will go a long way. Here are a few things you can do before you get started:
- Be sure to remove the blue film from any brand new plates
- Make sure your nails are prepped and ready for some nail art
- Make sure your supplies are clean and in good working condition
- Ensure your nail polish remover is within arm’s reach, just in case
STEP 3: LOAD UP THE STAMPER
Once the prep work is out of the way, it’s time to load an image onto the stamper. Apply a thin layer of stamping polish to the image of your choice on your stamping plate.
Scrape off any excess nail polish while holding the scraper at a 45-degree angle.
Now for the tricky part – roll your stamper over the image lightly. Sometimes flicking the wrist slightly will help the transfer go smoother. It’s all right to practice a few times. You’ll want to make sure the image is crisp before applying it to your nail anyway.
If any extra polish is lifted with the image, clear it away gently using the flat side of your scraper, Sticky Pad or lint roller, or a piece of tape.
STEP 4: NOW IT’S TIME TO STAMP!
If the image sitting on top of your stamper looks good, go ahead and apply it to the nail of your choice, but be quick about it! It’s important to apply the image to your nail before the polish dries to the stamper.
And there you have it – a beautiful, stamped image worthy of an Instagram post.
Now Try Some Simple Nail Art Design Ideas
To get a feel for the nail stamping process, start with simpler designs before attempting the designs with the most wow factor. Nail stamping is a skill that takes a little bit of practice to master. By easing into more complicated designs, you can save yourself from DIY nail art frustration.
Use these easy nail art ideas to try your stamping hand at some less technical designs:
1. The Accent Nail
By stamping only one fingernail on each hand, you can spend all your time perfecting two designs instead of ten. Choose your favourite polish colour, paint all your fingernails, then pick a nail to feature and start practicing until it looks just the way you want it.
2. A Perfect Pattern
Sometimes a full-nail pattern can be one of the easiest ways to achieve complicated-looking designs with minimal effort.
These patterned designs are also great at hiding minor flaws if your stamping technique still needs a little fine-tuning.
3. The Matte/Glossy Combo
This fun look is a great way to practice simple stamping. By stamping a clear gel topcoat over a matte gel topcoat, you can experiment with new nail designs without imperfections being easily recognized. But we must warn you… don’t try and stamp with the matt top coat, it will cloud the clear jelly.
Once you feel like you’ve conquered these designs, you can now move on to the multi-layered and intricate designs you’ve always wished you could do.
9 Tips to Help You Master Stamping with Clear Stampers
Just starting out with clear stampers and stamping plates? Master the art of stamping with these insightful tips.
Cute nautical designs, gorgeous floral arrangements, and quirky animal prints look so simple when the pros do it using clear stampers and plates. But once you get all the things you’ll need to DIY at home, you may find yourself stumbling somewhere between scraping the excess polish off the plate and stamping your nail. It’s okay. We’ve all been there.
With a little practice and a couple tips, you can be stamping your way to flawless looking nails in no time.
Only the best polish will do. Stamping nail polish is a must! Use the proper polish, and you’ll find some of these designs will become almost effortless. Almost.
Scrape left to right and up and down. If your chosen design has a big open space, use your scraper to evenly distribute polish. If you scrape in all directions (left to right then up and down), it’ll be fairly easy to achieve the desired outcome.
Start with an accent nail. Don’t overwhelm yourself trying to make each and every nail perfect. If you’re just starting out, spend all your time making one nail faultless. Sometimes less really is more.
Use a Clear Jelly Stamper. Even the pros will tell you that you need to get yourself a Clear Jelly Stamper.
These little beauties take all the guesswork out of stamping nail art. With a see-through head, you can apply layers and art directly to your nail with precision and control.
Take your design to the next level with this easy trick. Stamp your nails with a few different colours using the same stamp. This layered abstract effect will look totally abstract, yet intricate. Plus, it’ll give you lots of stamping practice.
Get familiar with reverse stamping.
This trick will have you stamping like a professional in no time. Paint your design, adding layers directly onto the stamper, let it dry, stamp it on your nail (firmly!) for a few seconds, peel back the stamper, apply topcoat, and show off your masterpiece.
Time your topcoat. This step is super important. While some smudges may look trendy and edgy, smeared nail art isn’t pretty to look at. Make sure your nail art is completely dry before adding a topcoat for a flawless finished look.
Be generous with your polish. It’s always wise to have too much polish rather than too little.
If you don’t use enough polish, your image will probably come out looking patchy –IF you can even get the clear stampers to pick it up.
Use topcoat before stamping.Yes, this seems backwards, but just try it. Apply your basecoat and polish as you normally would. Once it’s dry, apply a topcoat. Then if you make a mess out of your stamped nail art, you can gently wipe it off with a cotton ball and nail polish remover without ruining anything underneath.
Tips for choosing the perfect nail polish
Trying to perfect the stamping process? Start by checking out our tips for picking the perfect nail stamping polish.
You’ve seen the trendy designs in magazines, on friends’ nails, and on those plastic imitation fingernails at your favourite salon, but you’ve never attempted stamping nail art on your own before. One of the biggest tips out there for successfully mastering the art of stamping is to invest in top quality nail stamping polish.
Thankfully, there are so many out there to choose from ranging in both quality and price. You just need to do a little bit of homework to find out what ones work better than others.
Specialty Stamping Polishes
For the all you newcomers in the stamping world, polish specifically designed for stamping is a must. If you want to save yourself from countless ruined manicures and tension-induced headaches, stick with proper nail stamping polish. If you’re feeling adventurous and daring, try using some of the polish you’ve already started collecting.
It’s a brave move, but maybe you’ll get lucky and it’ll work out for you.
Everyday ‘Over-the-Counter’ Polishes
If you’ve been stamping for a while now, you may be able to switch things up a little bit and try polish not specifically designed for stamping. It’s hard to narrow down exactly which polishes will do the stamping trick, so it’s best to use trial and error when using non-stamping polish.
The general rule of thumb, though, is if the polish is thick and can be applied with almost full-coverage in one coat, it’ll probably work well as a nail stamping polish.
Tips and Tricks to Invest in
Nail stamping plates and polish can be an exciting way to discover fun nail art. The design options are truly endless. You can use stampers to add texture, add small images, create full nail designs, French tip designs, and so much more. And we haven’t even covered all the different polish colours available out there.
To keep your flawless designs effortless, try some of these basic stamping tricks:
- Invest in quality stamping plates. The designs should be deeply etched into the plate with near-perfect detail.
- Find a stamper that works for you.
- Always try to use stamping-specific polish. It will make stamping a lot easier and a lot more fun.
- Avoid using a scraper with a blade on it. It’ll seriously mess up the face of your quality stamping plates.
Do a little measuring. Fingernails come in different sizes so make sure you measure your fingernail before ordering full-design stamping plates.
Start small. Ultimately, you only have 10 fingernails to paint so there’s no need to run out and buy 20 plates and polishes. Build your skill then your inventory.
Nail polish tools like brushes and dotters can turn a rugged design into a work of art. Keep these items easily accessible at all times.
Take a break if you get frustrated. Stamping takes patience, but don’t worry, the resulting killer nail art is well worth the price.
Nail Stamping Plates: Are They All the Same?
Before placing your order online for nail stamping plates, check out this handy know-it-all guide.
The nail art marketplace is flooded with stamping plates. From full-nail tribal designs to cute little images of sea creatures, snowflakes, and flowers, it’s tough to narrow down your options. If you’ve been eyeing up sets of nail stamping plates online, but haven’t checked out your overflowing cart yet, read this first.
This guide will give you a little insight into the fun and creative world of stamping plates.
Do a Little Research
Picking out stamping plates is as individualized as picking out clothing. Stamping plates that work for you may not work for your nail-art-fanatic friend. To make sure you’re picking plates that are tailored to your preferences, do a little digging into a company’s product line. Look for things like:
- The company’s social media pages. Look for reviews, tags, or tweets directly related to nail stamping plates. Have customers sent in pictures of manicures using their products? Are the fingertip images and designs crisp and clear?
- Make sure their customer commenting isn’t turned off. If it is, this should send up a big red flag. Complaints are part of the game and should be handled in a transparent manner. If customers aren’t allowed to comment, something fishy may be going on. Use your intuition on this one.
- Check out a beloved blogger’s review. There are a million and one stamping nail art bloggers online. Find one you trust and see what they recommend for stamping plates.
- Look for samples of the images created by the plates online and examine them thoroughly. Most manufacturer websites will show a stamped image of the plates. Defects that are noticeable by the naked eye are a no-no.
Wait, There’s More…
Once you’ve done your homework, it’s hard not diving back into your cart and purchasing all those plates you’ve been eyeballing. Pause and take a breath. There are a few more things to think about before clicking that attractive check out button.
Decide if you want full-nail designs or simple single images. Some plates even offer both.
Avoid the temptation to purchase a plate that has only one image on it you like. Ideally, you want to get more than one manicure out of a plate to really get your money’s worth.
Be honest with yourself about your skill level. There are some absolutely amazing floral nail art plates out there, but some are pretty technical. The same goes for almost every design. If you love the way it looks, but don’t think you could pull it off on your own, skip that plate until you’ve reached nail stamping goddess status.
One More Thing Worth Measuring
This may seem like common sense, but it’s an easy step to skip: measure your fingernails. Just like body shapes and sizes, fingernails come in different shapes and sizes too. So do nail stamping plates.
Make sure your fingernails and the size of the designs and images on the plates are a good match. You won’t want a bad romance when it comes to your stamping plates.
OK, Now you’re ready
Based on the research you just performed, you should be informed well enough to go ahead and pick a brand and some plates. Pull out your credit card and go crazy, girl. You’ve earned it.