Saturday, 23 July 2011

Konad stampers: a how-to, with some tips and tricks :)

I'm by no means an expert at stamping nail art (quite the opposite really) but I've quite a lot of practice recently, and I thought I'd share all the application tips that I've gathered with you all- I posted my most recent NOTD earlier today, and I duly took pictures at every step for you! I hope you find these instructions useful :)

Step 1) Your base coat; I generally choose quite a lightish shade, so that the stamp design contrasts and shows up well, but you can choose anything you like really- make sure it it totally dry before stamping, even if it's dry to the touch, you should wait until you are certain it wont smudge if pressed upon.


2) Get all of your bits and pieces ready and laid out- Blue Peter style, I hate having to fish around for things with half wet nails, it ends in tears! (well, smudged nails...)
You will need:
  • Newspaper- I have almost ruined the coffee table once so now I always lay out newspaper (or something you don't mind getting covered in polish and nail polish remover) over my 'work surface' in case of mess- which is almost inevitable, especially with me (at least I learn from my mistakes!)
  • Your chosen plate- make sure the plate is clean. I find it easiest when the plate is straight, and the image I am using is closest to me (this makes lining it up on the nail easier) I've chosen to use the star design, at the bottom of the plate (m11)

  • Stamper and scraper- also nice and clean. If your stamper doesn't have an arrow to point to the top, you can add a dot with polish like mine- this also helps with alignment :)

  • Your chosen stamping polish- I've never used one of the 'special polishes' and all the brands I've used (mostly e.l.f. and Models Own so far, I keep experimenting with others) seem to stamp well :) I generally choose darker shades, as these show up best- but again, it's up to you!
  • Cotton pads, cotton buds and nail polish remover.

3) Take your polish and splodge (yes, it's a technical term) a little onto the plate over the image, make sure you brush it into all the nooks and crannies. You generally can afford to be a little more generous than you think with this; make sure the design is fully covered.

4) Take your scraper and hold it at somewhere between a 45 to 90 degree angle, then scrape the polish downwards and off the plate- be firm or you'll end up leaving excess polish on the plate. This is where your newspaper will come in handy- notice the drippy mess? It's a good idea to wipe off (don't bother being too thorough) your scraper on your cotton pad, it can get gunky and harder to scrape if it has excess polish on.

5) Take your stamper and align the dot/arrow with the 'top' of the design (the flat edge of the plate is also a useful guide) and press the stamp, using a rolling motion (left to right usually works best for me) into the design. Again, you need to be relatively firm, but be careful not to smudge the design.

At this stage, check the design has transferred properly onto the stamper, if it's missing a section you may have to start again, and if there is extra polish on the sides you can wipe it away with a cotton bud before stamping onto your nail.

6) Take the stamper and align it with your nail- use the dot/arrow again to help find the 'top' (tipping the stamper at an angle so you can see the design helps too) Roll the stamper over your nail once to transfer the pattern. Do not rock it over and over, and be fairly gentle as you can smudge the design quite easily.

7) Once the design is thoroughly dry- not just touch dry (when it can still smudge; considering how thin the layer of polish is, it can take ages until it stops smudging!)- give it a top coat and admire your handiwork :)

Some general tips:

Always clean off your plate and stamper with nail polish remover and a cotton pad between each use. Excess polish in the plate can dry and clog up an image- causing uneven or incomplete stamps, and if polish is left on the stamper it can transfer and smudge onto other nails.

At the end of use- make sure all your things are properly clean- dried on polish is harder to remove.

Don't forget, you can choose to only stamp a small portion of an image if you wish, just put polish on the required section, and make sure you scrape away from the design. And you can stamp each design more than once on a nail- I like to do 1 and a bit stamps on my thumb, otherwise there is a lot of 'dead space' on my nail.

Do you have any tips to add? If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask :)



Leave me a comment- it really does make my day! :)