Beginners Guide to Nail Stamping with Tiana

Posted by Tiana Regan

These days your 'gram is filled with pictures of nails of all kinds, lines, geometry, flowers, plants, words...but the question really is: How do I get these designs on my OWN nails?!

This is the question of the day! If you're new to nail stamping or need a refresher because you've been away from nail stamping for too long, here is your beginners guide. This video will show you how you can achieve these looks for yourself, with a little personal touch and how to do the process of nail stamping. Included, I answer questions that you're thinking and in the end I hope to give you all the tools you need to create a successfully stamped design that makes you feel confident, original and beautiful! Ultimately you'll find nail stamping to be pampering experience that you'll want to do time-and-time again.

Click to watch video

What will you need to achieve this manicure:

  1. Stamping plates
  2. Stamper
  3. Scraper (most of Maniology's stampers all come with a plastic scraper card)
  4. Stamping polish 
  5. Smudge Free Top Coat

Here are extra items that are helpful to have when stamping:

  1. 100% acetone
  2. Cotton (ball or pad)
  3. Scotch tape
  4. Paper towels
  5. Clean up brush (other solutions could be: q-tip or a clean eyeliner makeup brush)

Prep your tools:

  1. Peel the blue film off the brand new nail plate. The blue film is there to protect the surface of your plate. The film is tight to the plate, so pick at one of the corners to lift the surface of the sticker and peel.
  2. Clean your new stamper head with mild dish soap and warm water. Carefully remove the stamper head out of the holder and submerged the stamper head in the soapy solution. Rub the surface with your wet fingers and do this for 10-20 seconds. Rinse the stamper head with clean water and pat dry with a paper towel. Once dried, you may have some lint or debris that landed on the surface so take a piece of scotch tape and lay the sticky surface to the stamper head and remove any lint or debris. Continue this step until the surface is completely clear. Gently align the stamper head back into the holder so it sits in the holder evenly.

Start nail stamping (Watch video for this process):

  1. Paint your nails in a polish color or with a clear base coat. Wait for nails to dry.
  2. Select a design from a nail plate.** From this point on you need to move quickly. Estimated 7-10 total seconds **
  3. Apply a thin layer of stamping polish over the design on the nail plate. Scrape and swipe away the excess polish at a 45 degree angle.
  4. Quickly, grab your stamper and pick up the design using a firm, steady continuous motion rolling technique over the surface of the plate to pick up the design onto the stamper.
  5. Line up your design by looking through the stamp holder and push the stamper into the nail to transfer the design to the nail.
  6. If you are using the same design on all 10 fingers, carefully clean the design on the nail plate with cotton and 100% acetone and repeat steps 2-6 until your nails are completely stamped.
  7. Apply your Smudge Free Top Coat to seal and protect your design. Cap the edge of your nail.

Common questions about nail stamping (Watch me answer these questions in the video):

- Can I stamp with regular polish?

Short answer is Yes! However, there is polish designed specifically for the stamping. The formula for the stamping polish is thicker and opaque so your design really pops. You can find stamping polishes of different finishes, like cream, opalescent, metallic or holographic.

- How long is the stamping process?

Wonderful question! In general work quickly! If I had to put it into a time, I would say you have 7 seconds, 10 seconds tops from the time you put the polish on the plate, to picking up the design with your stamper to transfer to the nail. Sounds like a lot of steps. But when you do the process continuously, it will be a smooth and easy transition. Making sure your workspace is clear is helpful too.

- I’m not able to pick up my design. Why?

It’s a loaded question, but let me give you a few tips to help:

  • Environment plays a role. If you’re under extremely hot lighting or in front of an AC or fan, the polish may dry up quickly. Make sure none of these elements are pointed directly at your workspace.
  • Did you take off the blue film? Sounds silly - but it happens, trust.

- My stamper is oily and not picking up the image!

Most times getting the stamper to work right out of the box is no problem. But oils is natural during the manufacturing process. So you can wash the stamper head with mild dish soap and water and it should take care of this issue. (See Step 2 under Prep your Tools)

- I keep scraping and scraping and I can’t get my image to pick up.

Once you’ve put on the polish to the plate, scrape firmly but at a 45 degree angle once. If you find yourself overly scraping, you may need to put less polish over the design.

- Do I have to clean my plate image every time?

YES. Why? This ensures your plate will be clean and won’t leave any residue on the surface of the plate. If you are stamping all 10 fingers with the same design, you will need to clean your plate every time in between. We recommend that you use only 100% acetone to clean the surface of your nail plate.

Now that you have all the tools you need, go explore your creativity! What is your first design going to be? What do your nails say about you?

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