Hey There Polished People!
Many people ask me how I do my nails. They see intricate designs on them and ask if they’re strips or stickers or appliques of some sort. When I tell them no, that they’re done using a nail stamping plate they’re like totally perplexed- What is a stamping plate? How does it work? What do you need to stamp your nails? Where do you find them? How do you do it? Well today I am going to answer those questions.
What is a stamping plate? And how does it work?
A stamping plate is a metal disc (usually circular but not always) with designs etched into it. It works because the polish is placed on the plate and then the excess is scraped off. The polish stays in the etched recesses and then when you use a silicon ended stamp, it picks up the polish in the recesses and can be transferred to your nail.
Where do you find them?
You can find stamping plates, stampers, scrapers and stamping polishes in the mall at Konad Nail Art Kiosks, online at Bundlemonster.com, through various indie polish people on Etsy, through Cheeky or Mash on Amazon, and even at your local drugstore in the Essence nail art section.
What do you need to stamp your nails?
To get yourself set up to stamp your nails you need to create a little workstation. You’ll need the stamping plate, a scraper, a stamper (the silicon ended stamper to pick up the polish out of the recesses), polish suitable for stamping (any thick nail polish, most metallics, Konad brand special polish, etc), cotton balls soaked in nail polish remover and a paper towel.
How do you stamp you nails?
You may develop a slightly different routine than I have, but this is how I do it with mostly success. You need to start with nails that are painted with the base color you chose and completely dry. Also- double or triple up on the top coat as “stamping insurance.” If you have plenty of top coat and you apply a stamp crooked or incompletely you will be able to soak a clean cotton ball in remover, lightly swipe it over your nail and remove the failed stamping without removing your base polish and having to start all over. If you’re a beginner, don’t skip this step. You will thank me. Trust me on that. Let’s get stamping!
When you have a clean, complete design on your stamper then you’re ready to apply the design to your nails.
Now, in the same way that you picked the polish up off the plate, use the same rolling motion and light pressure to transfer the polish to your nail. If you find it’s messed up when you pull away the stamper, use a clean remover soaked cotton ball and gently swipe over your nail to remove the stamping but not the base color and start over.
Important note: The steps between the time you scrape the excess polish off your plate and the time you apply the stamp to your nail need to be done quickly. I think it probably takes me about 10-15 seconds to do those steps. You scrape, wipe on paper towel, pick up the stamper, press onto the plate, check, press onto the nail. If you’re too slow the polish will dry in the recesses and you’ll only get a partial stamp. If you are slow at first, keep practicing and you’ll eventually get quicker.
Repeat all the steps for each nail, making sure to fully clean off your stamping plate and your stamper with a remover-soaked cotton ball between each nail. Also wipe them on the paper towel to dry them; a wet stamper or plate WILL smear.
After every nail is stamped, very carefully apply a layer of topcoat. I like Seche Vite. It’s important that while you apply your topcoat you only touch any part of your nail once- no going over the same spot if you think you missed a little piece. Let this layer dry, then apply a more thorough second coat of topcoat and you wont have to worry about smearing your stamping.
I hope someone out there found this helpful!! Stamping your nails really isn’t that hard, it just takes a little patience and a little practice. Let me know if you do your stamping differently or any other tips and tricks you would like to share. I will do some more tips and tricks and troubleshooting stamping posts in the future. As always, thanks for reading and till next time- Happy Polishing!!!