For a while now I have seen photos on Instagram of impressively intricate nailart patterns and designs, only to be disappointed when I read in the comments that they are achieved by the use of stamping plates. I feel cheated in some way.
For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, stamping plates are little silver templates to which you apply nail polish, scrape away the excess and then press a rubber ball-stamp on to them which picks up the design so it can then be transferred to your nail.
To the untrained eye, the effect can be hypnotically alluring.
Despite the apparent deception of these designs, I’m ashamed to say my curiosity got the better of me.
I ordered the relevant materials and gave them a try yesterday. I practiced a few times on some paper with little success but decided to dive into the deep end anyway and attempt a design on my nails. I didn’t want to waste too much time on what would most likely be a nail fail so I used acrylic paints as my base as I knew it would dry faster so I could get started on the stamping sooner.
I used four MoYou-London ‘Mother Nature’ plates and chose different sections of them for each nail. The plates themselves are beautiful – covered in flowers and birds and hearts as well as hot air balloons!
If only the finished result could be as beautiful.
They take a fair bit of getting used to and the perfectionist in me could never be completely happy with them because it is nearly impossible to get a flawless finish. Added to which my morals feel threatened by the dishonesty of the whole affair!
However, the process was tremendously therapeutic and transported me temporarily back to my childhood. Flashbacks of arts and crafts afternoons filled my head and made me feel happy. (Perhaps it was the varnish fumes!)
Try them out if you want high impact nails with minimum effort but don’t mind an imperfect finish or your morals being questioned. I’ve since given these another attempt, this time using nail varnish as my base and had much more success.
Tips if you decide to go for it:
- When picking up the design on the rubber stamp, scratch off any stray sections of varnish that are not part of the design you want.
- Wait a while before adding top coat afterwards as the nail varnish smudges more than normal.
I hope this helps you decide one way or another.