Manicure Monday: A Look Into Nail Stamping

In the past I’ve mentioned how much nail polish is a part of my life. If you follow my Instagram account, you’ll see quite a few photos of nail designs specifically nail stamping. I’m no expert by any means, and I drool over the awesome ideas that a few bloggers come up with each week, but I try to make my own creations the best they can be.

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I thought possibly doing a Manicure Monday post once in a while might be interesting for all of you. If so, let me know in comments!

I want to share a small post taking a closer look inside my hobby, and what it looks like from my point of view! I recently created a very simple manicure featuring a floral pattern and butterfly accent nail. Nothing too fancy to start us out.

It might look complicated, but its really not! And the tools to do it won’t break the bank. Polish runs from 99 cents to $13, though I tend to buy the $8 to $9 brands. Stamping plates vary on price, but they rarely, if ever, run more than $25 for a set (which can offer dozens of options). Stampers usually run about $7. They come with scrapers, but I prefer to use an old credit card. Base coats and top coats usually cost about $8 a piece. And I use a small makeup brush by e.l.f. for cleanup purposes that’s only $1.

Here’s how it works in a nutshell:

  • Apply base coat and two coats of the color(s) of your choice over each nail
  • Choose design(s) from stamping plates. Paint polish (usually one made specifically for stamping, but some non-specialty polishes work, too) over the desired design.
  • Use one quick swipe with scraper or credit card over design, removing excess polish from plate.
  • Quickly pick up design with stamper and transfer to nail of your choice.
  • Allow time to dry, then use quick-setting top coat over nails. Clean up around the nail with brush dipped in 100% pure acetone.

Manicure Monday1Manicure Monday2Stamping is my favorite way to create nail art, especially since I don’t have an artistic ability for free-hand nail art. I get a lot of comments on my nails from people who don’t know what stamping is. They usually think my nails are acrylic and the designs come from the stickers you can buy from Jamberry. I love telling those people the opposite.

It’s totally an addiction, though! New plates and stamping accessories come out all the times and I want them all, even though I have more than a hundred designs at my disposal. You’re only limited to your imagination! And yes, of course you can stamp your toes!

My new favorite stamping “toy” is this clear stamper from one of my go-to stamping sites, Uberchic Beauty. I always used to have major issues trying to line up stamps straight on fingernails. Well this baby takes care of that problem! You can see right through it, making placement a breeze. How cool is that?

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I will note, however, that I’ve found this stamper head to be a bit temperamental when picking up designs. I think there’s just a learning curve I haven’t figure out yet. Uberchic Beauty also sells stamping plates, but the designs I used for this manicure came from plates from Bundle Monster.

If you’re not good at free-hand designs, stamping might be the way to go for you! This whole method, of course, does take time and practice, but I find it a lot of fun especially when you get to make someone else’s day by giving them a fun new set of nails!


-Photos by Justin McKee

About Karin

Journalist, singer, reader, movie fanatic, photography buff, GVSU alum, wanna-be-Brit, Crohn's fighter, Coca-Cola addict, animal lover, not a kid person, hater of winter, Michigander
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