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Adventures in Nail Stamping

So last year I started experimenting with nail wraps, which are essentially little stickers you add to your fingernails in place of nail polish. I tried several different options, including Jamberry, Espionage Cosmetics, Sally Hansen, Kiss, and Incoco.

Jamberry Painted Polka and Berry Blue

Sally Hansen Salon Effects in Crowd Surfer

Sally Hansen Salon Effects in Crowd Surfer

Espionage Cosmetics Nailed It in Patriotic

Espionage Cosmetics Nailed It in Patriotic

I had moderate to decent success.

  • I like many of the Jamberry patterns, but it takes me about an hour to do, and I sometimes have problems with the edges lifting, even after reading various tips online.
  • I really like the Espionage Cosmetics nerd manicures (e.g Sherlock-wallpaper-inspired Baker Street!) and love how fast they are to apply, but find that the tips start to wear for me after about a day.
  • I really like the Sally Hansen nail polish strips, and they're fast to apply too, but only like a couple of their patterns.

So I read online about nail stamping, and decided to give it a whirl. The concept is that you buy metal plates that are engraved with a design, apply nail polish to them, then use a rubber stamper to transfer the image from the plate to your nail. I like that once you invest in the plate, you can keep reusing it, in infinite nail polish color combinations, as opposed to continually re-buying one-use nail wraps. Of course, there is a bit of a learning curve, but there are plenty of tips, tutorials, and videos online to help. This video on "How NOT to Stamp" was helpful AND entertaining.

For my first foray, I didn't want to invest a lot, not knowing if I would even want to continue. So I bought a plate for $1.50 on Amazon. Guess you get what you pay for, because the engraving was barely deep enough to hold the polish, so that didn't work very well. But it gave me enough of an idea that I wanted to try again, so I read quite a few reviews, and chose a MoYou London plate and got to try it this weekend. 

I used Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Navy Fleet as the base, and Konad nail stamping polish in Princess white for the stamp. Each stamp got progressively better as I got used to the process and landing the stamp correctly. The trickiest part, however, was the top coat. As you can see below, several nails smeared when I applied the top coat. Reading online, this is a fairly common issue. I went back out and got Seche Vite top coat, and redid a couple nails, and am more pleased with my results. I thought of this as a trial run and reminded myself I'm still in the experimentation phase, which helped.

MoYou nail stamping

I enjoyed these so much that I went ahead and bought two more MoYou London plates, including this geek one, which features Sherlock's wallpaper, so I can reuse it again and again!

Have you tried nail stamping? Had you even heard of it? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!



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