1. Apply your base coat
For me, this is Rimmel All White Now at the moment. I'm on my second bottle and you can read the review here.
2. Apply your base colour
3. Wait for the base colour to dry thoroughlyNo, not just touch-dry. You say you can bite your fingernail without leaving a mark? Nope, wait for another 10 minutes. That thoroughly.
4. Apply a top coatThis is an optional step. But like your second coat, it will come in handy if you make a mistake. Keep reading to find out how.
5. Deep breath.
Keep the polish, the plate, scraper and stamper within reach. You're going to have to work fast here. Think of the bugle in your Brownie camp in school... it's about to go!
7. Place stamper on a flat sheet of waste paperI'm afraid I've misplaced the casino-themed plate. So I picked a pair of hibiscus flowers from the Hawaii-themed plate (m29).
8. Apply a stroke of the polish on the image
9. Time to scrape the excess polish offHold one edge of the image plate down with a finger. And hold one longer edge of the credit card like you hold a plectrum/key while turning a lock/knife while eating, between thumb and forefinger, so the other longer edge is facing the image plate.
10. Fling the card wherever. Grab stamper
11. How to transfer the image from the plate to the stamperQuickly, firmly, smoothly - yes, I'll say that again - press the stamper on the image. DO NOT move it about or jiggle or wriggle or shake it all around or do the boogie woogie. If you do this right, the image would have transferred on the stamper - the picture to the right shows the amount of polish left behind after transferring the image to the stamper. If not, work on your stamp-a-lympics mantra again.
12. How to transfer the image from the stamper to your nailHold the stamper at the correct angle to your nail so the image will face the right direction when transferred. Hold the stamper at one side of the nail so the image will transfer right to the centre of the nail.
Now ROLL the stamper over the nail, from the left to the right. Don't jiggle/wriggle/press too hard/shake/shiver/lose nerve. One smooth motion. These photographs took me aeons with the darn automatic timer taking pictures of my nose despite trying burst mode.
13. Has it turned up?If not - RELAX. It takes a few tries.
14. How to correct stamping nail art errorsMade a boo-boo? Remember I told you to apply two coats of your base colour and a top coat? Now with a Q-tip dipped in a drop or two of nail polish remover, carefully wipe off the image like I've just done in this picture.
15. What to do if your stamping image has turned up wellWait for it to dry while you go listen to the Black Eyed Peas. Do not apply top coat until it's fully dry. It takes me a couple of hours at least with the Konad Special Polish to apply top coat without streaking or smudging. So be patient! I haven't applied top coat over my stamped image, because I needed to get these photographs done in daylight.
16. What next?Repeat on the next nail if there is no polish left on the stamper. If there is, scrape it off with one end of the credit card or a dry tissue.
17. How to clean your stamping image plateAfter stamping two nails or so, you can apply remover to the image plate with a Q-tip. Make sure you get all the nooks and crannies till it looks like it used to before the polish-process. Wait for the image plate to air-dry thoroughly before you begin on the next nail. And wipe the image plate with a dry tissue once more before you begin all over again.
Summary of key stamping tips to remember:1. If your image doesn't transfer, roughen the stamper's surface with emery/grit paper.
2. Wait for the plate to be fully dry before applying polish to the image.
3. Repeat after me: Quickly, firmly, smoothly. Savvy?
4. The slower you work, the more the polish won't cooperate.
5. Enjoy stamping! It is absolute fun and you will get the hang of it soon enough, unlike me!