Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Aztec Summer Nails & Nail Art Stamping Tips and Tricks

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If you're looking for an easy way to create more complicated nail art designs, there are two ways you can go about it: nail wraps or stamping. While wraps are quick and generally last for long periods of time, they can be more on the pricey side and are one time use. Nail stamping plates, on the other hand, are very inexpensive and can be used multiple times to created many different designs. Today I'm going to give you some of my tips & tricks for getting fun nail art like these summer Aztec nails!
Stamping requires a bit of trial and error when you first start out, but hopefully with these tips you'll be on your way to easy stamping in no time. The plates I have used were sent to me from Born Pretty Store, and they have so many patterns to choose from!

1. Not all polishes will be ideal for stamping.
While there are polishes specifically designed for stamping, regular nail polishes can work on stamping plates if they are thicker in formula and opaque in colour. Since stamping is a one-coat type of deal, anything to thin or sheer won't show up well.
2. An old gift card or credit card work better for scraping.
Most of the time stamps will come with a scraper of some sort. In my experience, and from what I've read/seen from others, these are not generally the easiest tools to work with. Instead, just use an old gift card or credit card!

3. The type of stamper you have will determine how much pressure you use to pick up the images.
When I first tried stamping, I didn't understand why my stamper wasn't picking up any of the images. It wasn't until I read a blog post on all of the different types of stampers that I realized I was using mine incorrectly! Hard rubber stampers require a lot of pressure when picking up designs, but softer gel stampers only need a slight bit of pressure to pick them up. This will likely be where you need to play around and determine for yourself what your stamper needs, but don't assume that more pressure is always better!

4. When picking up the image, work quickly, when placing it on the nail, take your time.
You'll want to work quickly to apply the polish, scrape it over the design, and pick it up with your stamper, but lining it up correctly on the nail makes a big difference with the final look so don't rush!

5. If you mess up, you don't have to start again.
If your placement of the stamp doesn't look like you want it on the first time around, don't panic! You can remove the stamped image without having to reapply your base colour by ensuring that you are stamping over a fully dry nail with a top coat. I've heard that clear tape will work to remove the images, but since I didn't have that on hand I used a tiny bit of remover on a lint-free cotton pad and light pressure to remove the stamped image only. Just reapply your top coat and wait for it to dry before trying again!
Here is what I used to create the design above:

I started with two coats of white polish as my base then topped it with the Insta-Dry Top Coat. For the stamped images I used the QA66 plate from Born Pretty Store, using the same image for both the accent nail and tips. For the accent nail I used the full design with the Wet N Wild Black polish and rolled it onto the entire nail with my Born Pretty Store stamper. For the tips, I used a neon pink polish and just placed the edge of the pattern on the tips of the nails using more of a stamping motion.  Both of the black and pink polishes had a thick, opaque finish so they worked just fine with the stamping plates. Make sure you clean off your plate and stamper each time! 
The total cost of the plate and stamper come in at under $8 (even less if you use the code SSEG10 for 10% off your order), and just think of all the different design combinations you could make!

Have you ever tried nail art stamping? Any tips to share?

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