Adventures in Stamping 2: full nail design, tips and tricks and a review of the bundle monster image plate #BM20!

Hey guys! I thought I would share with you my latest adventure in stamping! As you know, if you have been reading my blog or watching my videos lately, I have recently taken an interest in stamping designs on my nails. I have always been a huge nail polish enthusiast (which you can probably tell from my 200+ bottles of polish) but I have never been much of a nail art person. I don't have the steadiest hands, nor am I particularly creative, so stamping seemed like a good chance for me to try out new nail designs without needing the artistic gene!

So I dove in headfirst today and tried out my first official stamping mani! I have tried stamping before, in my first adventures in stamping post, but that was just playing around with stamps. I didn't intend to actually wear that manicure! This one I did. I had some mild success, so I thought I would share with you all my finished product, a mini review on the image plate I used to stamp, and then give you some tips and tricks and things I have learned through trial and error!

First, let's show you what I did! It's not at all perfect, but not bad for my first real try, in my opinion!

Wet n wild wild shine black creme stamped
on top of Sinful Colors Sugar Sugar
Wet n wild wild shine black creme stamped
on top of Sinful Colors Sugar Sugar

As you can see in the above photos, my right hand (top photo) looks MUCH better than my left hand (bottom photo) and that's because I learned as I went and made adjustments to my stamping technique. I started out with my left hand (bottom photo) and you can see that the stamp was not properly aligned. So while I was able to get a great polish transfer using the image plate that I chose (more on that later) my technique made this not so pretty.

I started out with a manicure that I had already been wearing for a couple days. This way I knew the polish was dry, and also, because I had already worn this mani for a while, I figured I wouldn't be too heartbroken if my stamping was a total failure and I had to take everything off. I applied my polish to the image plate (I used Wet n Wild Wild shine polish in Black Creme for my stamping polish) scraped the polish off, rolled my stamper over the image and then rolled the image on my nail. I found that doing it this way I got a good amount of pressure on the nail and was able to easily transfer the image, but it was difficult to see exactly where the image was going that way. So for my left hand, rather than rolling the image onto the nail, instead after I got the image onto the stamper, I held the stamper so that the image was face up and then I rolled the nail over the image. This made the image much easier to see and made aligning the image MUCH easier.

As for the actual image plate, I used the Bundle Monster image plate number BM20, and I used the diagonal striped image.

bundle monster image plate BM20
Unlike some of the other image plates I have experimented with, where the images didn't transfer well (perhaps because the design wasn't etched far enough into the plate?) this transferred beautifully onto my stamper. I had zero problems with transferring which made application a piece of cake! The main issue I had with this plate was that the image itself was too small.

I have my nails cute pretty short at the moment due to a sad break of my ring finger nail last week, so because of that the small image was large enough for the majority of my nails, but when it came to stamping my thumb, it was quite clear that these images simply aren't big enough for anyone who has longer nails, or average to large nail beds. You can see this clearly in my image below, where I stamped my thumb.

bundle monster image too small

While I am quite certain I can figure out a way to make these image plates work, be wary of this issue with some of the early bundle monster image plates. I am told that the later ones do not have this problem, as the images are bigger on those. But at least for this first set (BM1-BM21) the full nail images are too small for most nails.

Now that I have been playing around with stamping for a little while, I feel comfortable offering a few tips and tricks and things that have worked for me. Keep in mind I am no expert. I am very much a beginner! But through trial and error I have found a few handy tips that you might find useful!

Stamping Tips and Tricks for Beginners! 

Start with an old manicure. This is personal preference for me, but as a beginner, I want to make double darn sure that the polish that I am going to be stamping on top of is completely dry, so I like to stamp on a mani I have already been wearing for a day or two. You might not be as disappointed with messing up and having to take your polish off if you've already been wearing the polish for a while. Another reason this is a good idea is because if you're wearing a polish with a top coat, and you mess up your stamping, you can a lot of times remove just the stamped image with a bit of acetone, and leave the polish underneath in tact, because the top coat protects the polish beneath it! I managed to remove a faultily stamped image from my nails this way and do it over without having to paint my base color on again and lengthening the process!

Don't use that metal scraper! The stamper and scraper set that I purchased on amazon came with a metal scraper. While that's fine, I highly recommend that you skip the scraper and use an old gift card instead. The reason being is that the metal scraper can scratch your image plates. And also, the little holes of the metal scraper fill up with polish and make it difficult to clean. An old gift card or expired credit card does the trick and scrapes well, but doesn't scratch your plates and is easy to clean!

Try a different Angle! If you are having trouble lining up your image and it's stamping off center, or askew, like mine was above, try stamping from a different angle. If you're having a hard time seeing, try flipping the stamper over so that the image is facing up and then roll your nail over the image, rather than trying to roll the image over the nail. Or try different stamping techniques to get the image to stamp the way you want it! Don't be afraid to try a new angle or technique!

Acetone! I recommend that you use pure acetone for clean up both where the image might tranfser to the skin around your nails and on the plates themselves. The acetone makes clean up around your nails a breeze, and it evaporates quickly so it cleans your plates and tools of excess polish but doesn't leave your plates with ugly streaks! just be careful not to ruin your mani cleaning up, and make sure you moisturize your hands well when your mani is all dry, acetone is strong stuff!

Make clean up a breeze! Stamping can be a lot of fun, but boy, is it a messy process, especially for a beginner. Here's what I do to keep messes in check. First. I make sure to gather everything I need for stamping before I get started. That's just common sense! But I make sure to have Cotton swabs, acetone, and paper towels hands for cleaning up around my nails, cleaning my image plates, stamper and scraper, as well as for any spills. Then, what I do, is I do all of my stamping on top of an old magazine. I lay the magazine out and put my image plate on top of it and that way any polish that gets scraped off the plate gets on the magazine and not my table top. Then, when I am done I just tear off the page with the polish on it and throw it away, leaving a fresh clean page to use for next time!

use an old magazine under your work station
for easy clean up! Just tear the page out
and toss it when you're done! 

Try, Try again! Lastly, don't give up! Stamping can be a pain at first, and you might get frustrated, but you will definitely learn new tips and tricks and things as you go and each time you try stamping it will get easier. You will be able to do a ton of different designs easily and affordably! It's worth the frustration!

So there ya have it! My second adventure in stamping! I am loving stamping so far even though I am obviously no master! It's fun to try new designs and techniques and I think it will get easier and easier as time goes by! Do you like stamping nail art? What tips have you found helpful? What is your favorite image plates? I would love to hear from you! Leave me a comment here or use my contact card to get in touch!!


Nail Polish Sleuth said...

You are much better than I at stamping!

Jessi said...

try my tips! It makes it so much easier!!


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