Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Stamping For Beginners

As you may know, I recently started stamping, and I'm pretty happy about that. It was a calculated risk, because I'm not exactly the most coordinated gal, but I've had some success with it. I'm a natural researcher, so while I waited impatiently for my kit to arrive, I must have looked at 50 tutorials. Last weekend I did some simple flower stamping, and that process made me think about the things a new stamper might want to know.



First, here are some great resources:
Lacquer or Leave Her's Nail Stamping 102 post is fantastic. I tend to prefer a wordier blog style with lots of pictures (nooo! really?), and this post both shows and tells the process clearly and gives some great tips on what polish brands stamp well.

For those of you who are more step by step picture people, Nail Art 101 (who I love, by the way) have a good visual step-by-step with a few tips thrown in at the end.

Finally, for our audio-visual learning types, this video from Elleandish hits the basics in 4 minutes or less. She's using a stamper almost identical to mine, which was cheap and works great.

I've also started picking up a few of my own best practices for nail stamping. In the images here, I'm wearing Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Going Grape and stamped with Sally Hansen Hard As Nails in Pumping Iron. I usually shoot for more opaque polishes to stamp, but I wanted a more subtle, faded look to compliment Going Grape's amazing duochrome effect. Robin Sparkles shows how well metallics can look in a stamping design in her Valentine's design video. Here are my own tips for those of you in the same boat as me:

- For me, one of the challenges has been figuring out what colors to use together. Black and white are always winners, but try colors in the same family for an elegant effect, like a dark green over seafoam or deep aubergine over lilac.
-Stamping is a great way to get mileage out of thickened polishes, too- thicker polishes stamp really well. For more pronounced designs, every black and white I've tried have worked fine, and Julep cremes have worked well, too-Gayle stamps like a dream.
-Roll the stamper all the way across the nail rather than trying to dab on the design. I'm constantly half stamping, so be careful about that.
-Sometimes I use more than one design and stamp twice on different parts of the same nail to make a look that's all mine.
-Finally, I always use a thick coat of quick dry topcoat before stamping. Then if I mess up, I swipe a q-tip dabbed in acetone over the design and almost never have to redo the whole nail, even if it takes two or three tries. Seal it all in with another layer of topcoat, and you've got it.


Isn't Grape Going fabulous? I'm falling madly in love with Sally Hansen duochromes. What stamping techniques have you picked up, and which stamping looks do you still covet? What polishes are made for stamp art?