These are just a few things I have made note to myself, while stamping. do and don’ts. Would you like to know? Read on 🙂
Use acetone when cleaning your stamping equipment – not regular nail polish remover. Unfortunately it isn’t strong enough to get everything in the nooks and cranny’s . I have a acetone soaked cotton pad on the side to wipe the rubber stamper on, wipe the plate and clean the scraper after every try.
I have also purchased one of those plastic cutting boards from the dollar store to do my stamping on. Best $1.25 I have spent to include in my nail stamping arsenal (when did dollar stores turn into dollar plus stores?)
The stamping process
DO NOT use any of the metal plate scrapers that may have come with whichever stamping kit you have purchased. It will ruin the plate. The cheapie plastic scrapers are the best for your plates, but they are not necessarily a smooth edge or perfectly flat edge. You can take a gentle nail file to smooth the edge, or use a plastic card i.e. old gift card/credit card or my choice Dave & Busters card 🙂
DON’T press super hard when pulling the scraper across the image plate to remove the polish. It will remove some of the polish in the grooves, and mess up the image when you pick it up with the rubber stamper. Firmly and on an angle, but not pushing down, (and not straight up and down) pull the scraper across.
Picking up the image on the rubber stamper…. first wipe the stamper with the acetone soaked cotton pad. It will remove all left over residue, dust, etc.
Roll the rubber stamper over the image quite quickly and firm, but not super fast or it might miss some of the polish – not too slow and hard, because it might smoosh the polish and you won’t pick up a clean sharp image.
Once the image is on the stamp, let it dry a bit – then line up where you want the print on your nail, and roll the stamper on the nail. Fast or slow…you have to play with what image you are using. I have found that I need to roll faster if it is a single smaller image, and slow when it’s a full nail stamp.
You will need a top coat – but here is something I have had issues with. Some top coats drag the image and make it smear. The top coats that I KNOW work well for me are: Seche Vite, and the clear top coat that come with the GCOCL “special” nail polishes for stamping. The tops coats I KNOW haven’t worked for me, and smear, are: Nubar Diamont Seal and Shine, Nina Ultra Pro Super Dry Topcoat, and INM Out The Door.
Removing extra polish around the edges of the nail AKA cleaning up the nail. I have picked up the fantastic technique from some of the seasoned nail polish bloggers out there, who have shared heir secrets.
Use a small flat brush (I will attach a pic) and dip in acetone. As it is a flat brush, you can get right into the edges and wipe out all of the polish that isn’t on the nail. If it is really messy, swish the brush in the acetone to clean off the polish, and wipe it on a paper towel and keep going with the clean up.
Qtips can leave behind little fluffy pieces, and cannot get right into the small areas for detailed clean up. So, keep those for your ears 🙂
Immediately after the acetone clean up, wash your hand and fingers thoroughly and get some lotion or oil onto your cuticles.
If you plan on taking photos and blogging about your nails – this is something I have noticed, makes a blog look much more professional – and it only takes and extra minute or two in your entire manicure process.
And last, always research a brand before purchasing plates. Konad and Bundle Monster are not the only brands out there – but they are REALLY good! I have recently tried Fab Ur Nails by JAKS and GCOCL and really likes them as well. There are other brands popping up all the time, so try and find images online from those brands before buying.
I just put together a pile of plates I purchased on ebay that are garbage – only about $1.50 average, but it adds up! So, I would warn against the cheap hex shaped plates that are all over ebay – maybe some are great, but the odds are against that, unfortunately.
Storing your plates
I currently use a binder by Bundle Monster that is specific for holding stamping plate (but it only holds Konad and Bundle Monster size plates from my experience so far).
Bundle Monster Nail Stamping Plate Zipper Synthetic Leather Case Organizer
Or, I have heard that using those plastic sheets to hold baseball cards works just as well.
I hope there are a few bits and pieces that are helpful – and if my entire post is redundant/repetitious/tedious – my apologies 🙂 And, if you have other tidbits you can add, please feel free to add them in the comments area – they would be much appreciated:)