Monday, September 08, 2014

September Is Stamping Month! Day 8: Dragons

Okay, this mani turned out better than the "hearts" one but still not ideal. I still redid it a few times. Not entirely happy but I'm okay with what I ended up with. I thought I had more "dragon"-like stamping plates/images but I didn't. The closest I had was Vivid Lacquer's VL020 which has castles, lion emblems, knights, etc. I did my best!

Want to know more about this stamping challenge? Click here to find out more.

So I'm experimenting with different stampers. I have the Konad double-ended one (one end larger pink, one end smaller green, both kinda firm) -- but it's not ideal for full-nail designs because I have really curved small nail beds. It's a nightmare. I have a rectangular squishy white stamper from Vivid Lacquer which works well but doesn't seem to pick up small images well -- though works fine on full-nail ones (wtf?). I primed it with a nail file but maybe I need to use a Magic Eraser (this is what I've read is a secret to a good stamper! LOL). Maybe I need round squishies? I dunno. Still figuring this stuff out!

Ok, today's mani. Like I said, no dragons. So I used Vivid Lacquer plate 020 (image below) -- index=dragon hide?, middle finger=cool design, ring finger=knight, pinky=lion emblem. I used A England's Saint George (I lovelovelove this shade!) as a base on index, ring, and pinky fingers. I used it to stamp on the middle finger (it stamps well, as you can see! I used Essie's "Good As Gold" to stamp, except on middle finger, it was the base colour (stamps well over dark colours, as you can see). I redid this mani a few times but settled with this. Oh, and I topped with Seche Vite.

Under LED light.

Indoors, bright daylight (no direct sun), near windows.

Outside, bright daylight (no direct sun).

Outside, direct sun.

Vivid Lacquer stamping plate, VL 020.

Overall, I'm not 100% happy with how this turned out. I had a few fights with the stamping plate/stampers. I'm sure this is due more to my inexperience and not a reflection of the quality of the stampers/plates. I wanted to do the castle image but kept getting bald spots so I gave up. I did the "dragon hide" full-nail image on my index finger but I think because I was using regular polish instead of stamping polish and the squishy stamper instead of the firm one, it made the lines kinda smush/spread out. I should've gave it a minute to dry a bit before pressing the image to the nail. I think that's a learned thing -- sometimes you wait too long and the image is too dry and it won't transfer, other times it's too "wet" and smudges. Learning process!

As for the polish -- both A England's Saint George and Essie's "Good As Gold" are excellent for stamping! Plus Saint George is gorgeous, everyone should have it!

Where to buy this stuff? A England polishes can be bought from her website (UK-based, doesn't ship outside the UK as far as I know), or from distributors like Nail Polish Canada (based in Canada, ships to Canada/US), Llarowe (based in US, ships international), and Harlow & Co (based in Canada, ships international). Essie polishes are super easy to come by, you can find them at most drug & department stores & online -- from what I have heard, all their metallics stamp really well. The Vivid Lacquer plate can be purchased from her Etsy shop (she restocks periodically, sign up for notification). 

NB: I purchased all these products myself. I have NO affiliation whatsoever with any of the polish/product makers or websites discussed in this post.

Please check out the other September Is Stamping Month! participants!

1 comment:

  1. I like this color combo and makes this mani so "A England" and classy dragon ;) I'm also admiring your nails, so beautiful, too bad that this shape is difficult for stamping. I actually never thought that nail shape could determine which stamper type would be the best (so i'm was really glad to read your observations about it). My nails are more flat and nail bad is not so long, that's why I guess simple pink Konad stamper works well for me. I ordered soft square from Mundo, I'll let you know how it'll work. Thanks for very useful thoughts on the process of stamping, so useful to read it!!