Nail Art for Dummies – Nail Stamping

One form of nail art I’ve been itching to try for months is nail stamping. This technique allows you to reproduce intricate images on your nails that would otherwise be impossible to do freehand.


When I received the very pretty LOLA Makeup nail polish from this month’s Libbie Club I knew the delicate blue shade would make the perfect background for some stamping and that it would suit a number of colours and designs, so I immediately went out and picked up a kit. I was also keen to share my experience and step by step tutorial with you.

The first thing you need to give nail stamping a try are the right tools. As a complete beginner to stamping I decided to buy a really cheap kit from Poundland as a starting point, consisting of a plate with various designs, a scraper and stamper, as I didn’t want to spend too much money until I’d tried the technique first. Of course you can add to your kit as you wish, picking up plates from various online stores including eBay, which is a good source of interesting and inexpensive designs.

After painting your base colour the next step in nail stamping is to select your design and a suitable contrasting shade of polish. The idea then is simple; brush the polish over your chosen design on the stamping plate, scrape off the excess and use the stamper to pick up the design. It’s then just a matter of transferring the design onto the nail by gently pressing and rolling the stamper across.

I liked the idea of a pearlescent white polish against the blue to recreate a delicate lace effect so I tried that first. The effect is ever so subtle but very pretty.


The next colour I tried was a yellow polish from essence, and I chose a floral trail pattern stamp. The buttercup yellow polish against the bluebell shade is perfect for summer.


Finally to see how a black design would look I experimented using Nails Inc Black Taxi and a tribal design. A darker colour really stands out and works well.


Nail stamping is a quick and fairly easy technique, although I do need to work on getting the stamper more central and aligned properly, and I also noticed that some polishes don’t pick up as well as others, so in the beginning it is a case of trial and error to find out which polishes work best! Stamping can be a little messy when you’re scraping the excess off, but nothing a little bit of nail polish remover won’t clean up, so make sure you have some on standby to clean up your tools and stamping plates.

Although my designs are simple and my technique needs some improvement I’m really happy with my first venture into nail stamping and am now very keen to try some different colours and get some other plates.

Have you tried nail stamping?

The LOLA polish is available here for £8 for two polishes, the stamping kit is from Poundland and the essence polish is available in Wilkinson stores nationwide.

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