Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Nail Stamping: My First Attempts

I have often admired other people's nail stamping, but until the other day I'd never attempted it myself. Bundle Monster was having a decent sale, so I finally decided to tale the leap and purchased Bundle Monster's 25-pc 2012 stamping image plate set. I wavered between the 3 available, but figured if I liked the most current I could always go back and get the 2 previously released sets down the road.

One thing I will note is that Bundle Monster stamping plates, like many other companies, arrive with a blue plastic film on them to protect their surfaces. I personally hate using my finger nails to peel anything off because they are so fragile this winter (no matter what I do). I did find that a set of precision tweezers easily removed the film though with no fuss.

Came right off!

First Try
I initially chose a "kiss" stamping image. I used Cult Nails Manipulative (love it!) as the base and used butter LONDON Dolly Bird for stamping. While the colors look gorgeous together--green/blue and pink combos are my fav--the stamp didn't fit on my nail well because they're super curved and narrow. I think I'll probably try it again another time, but for my first try this was the best I could do:

Bundle Monster plate 303. Base of Cult Nails Manipulative with butter LONDON Dolly Bird for stamping.
Had the lips fit on my nails I think this would have been amazing! The one thing I noticed while stamping with Dolly Bird is that it's a neon pink so it dries super fast. That was a bit difficult to work with, but not impossible even for my first time.

Second Try
Here's everything I used for my second attempt (minus Seche Base which I use pretty frequently as my base) left to right: Gelous, Cult Nails Nevermore, Konad dual-ended stamper, Bundle Monster plate BM311, A-England Princess Tears, OCC Shellac'd

For my second attempt, which I did directly after my first, I chose a bigger image on plate BM311. The second time around everything worked so much better and I finally had a bit more confidence to work fast enough to get the image to transfer pretty well. I think that was my biggest hang-up initially. I was so worried about doing it right I hesitated and second-guessed myself a bit because I'm a bit of a perfectionist with some things and didn't want a messy image. I should have just moved faster and worried less! Which is what I did the second time. The other issue I had was that I was so worried about scraping the plate well enough that I actually scraped off too much--believe it or not lol. Anyway, I found my rhythm the second time and here's the results (keep in mind that in order to focus in macro on the teeny words on my nails a lot of the holo in Princess Tears was not picked up):

Excuse the dry skin, I wanted to take a pic after clean-up but before moisturizing because I hate how glossy the moisturizer looks in macro ;) This is A-England Princess Tears as a base, Cult Nails Nevermore (the world's greatest glossy black) for stamping, and OCC Shellac' for the top coat. I used Seche Clear under everything to start (I always use a base coat to protect my nails from staining).

I started playing around with placement of the image, getting a feel for how to anticipate where it would go. I found that holding the stamper upside down and rolling my finger down onto it rather than rolling the stamper onto my nail.

I was actually really pleased with these and I think (hope) my 3rd attempt will be even better!

On little note, I love the double-ended Konad stamper, but I personally found using a credit card was better for scraping than the actual scraper because it was easier to use and I got polish all over my hand because I had to stamp right after scraping. It might just be me, but I would recommend trying both a card and scraper like this if you've never attempted stamping before.

What do you think? Ready to take the plunge and try stamping?

A-England Princess Tears can be purchased on the A-England website HERE.
Cult Nails Nevermore can be purchased on the Cult Nails website HERE.
Bundle Monster Plates can be purchased from Bundle Monster HERE.
I purchased my Konad double-ended stamper from Amazon HERE.


  1. I loved both of your designs! I have a Konad kit that's in a drawer somewhere. Now I want to take it out and play with it. Like you, I'm a perfectionist so when I couldn't do them well, I gave up. You inspired me to try again! Thank you :)

    1. Aw you're welcome and definitely let me know how it goes! I think my biggest obstacle was me worrying about making a mess lol. I bet you you'll get it super fast now that you've attempted once before!

  2. I started stamping not so long ago either, I also recommend the credit card trick it's so much easier, I tend to find it's practice with these sometimes it just goes better then other times

    1. I can only imagine some days are just off and some days are right-on! And then you have to take into consideration the polishes you're using. I tried stamping a few on paper to see how they'd transfer prior to doing my nails. Some were just far too thin, thankfully the two I worked were much better. Trial and error I suppose ;)


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