As promised here is a stamping tutorial. With Valentine's quickly approaching it has to include a few hearts, of course! I discovered stamping a few months ago and have been having so much fun ever since. The supplies require a bit of up front cost but it's pretty minimal when you consider how much use you'll get out of them. I purchased this starter kit, which has everything you'll need to get going.
To begin this Valentine's Skittlette manicure I used Essie Blanc on my ring finger, Essie Licorice on my thumb, and a lovely deep red Essie polish that has lost its label on my index, middle, and pinky.
Next up I pulled out all of my necessary supplies. :-)
You'll need an image plate, a scraper, a stamper and polish. The stamping companies say that you need to purchase their "special polish" to be used for stamping, and while some out there say it is not necessary I have had very little success with using regular polish. Therefore, I only use the polishes specifically designed for stamping.
Here comes the fun part! The designs are etched into metal plates, so basically you need to fill the engraved portion of the plate with polish, remove the excess, pick up the design with a stamper and transfer it to your nail. Here's all of that in more detail...
Step 1 - Generously brush stamping polish over the desired design.
Step 2 - Use the scraper to remove excess polish. (When I first began stamping I was scraping too aggressively and was actually scraping polish out of the design. Therefore, I wasn't getting a good transfer. You can see in the photo below there is a small amount of residue left on the plate, don't worry about that because the stamp won't pick up a thin layer of polish.)
Step 3 - Press the stamp down onto the design. If the design is larger than the heart I am using for this tutorial you may need to roll the stamp over the design. Do not wiggle the stamp as it will smudge the design.
Step 4 - Press or roll the stamp onto your nail, and voila!
Be sure to clean your plate and stamper after each use. I have found that pure acetone works best for this. If using a larger stamp you will often get some polish on your cuticles and surrounding skin. I use a small makeup brush dipped in acetone to clean up.
I finished this manicure with a different stamp on my ring finger, a few red rhinestones on my thumb, and a glitter gradient on my index and middle finger using China Glaze Techno.
Stamp away, Ladies!