So it's no real surprise that it's the same with fingernail polish. My friend Kim (who produced the wonderful Rainbow Batts) mentioned in passing, that she also loved nail polish and fancy effects, and did I know that there was such a thing as nail stamping?
I did not know there was any such thing.
I know it now.
What follows is absolutely not a tutorial because I don't know even a fraction of what I'd need to know to do a tutorial on this process. But I did record the steps, and I rather like my totally amateur results.
A Konad Stamping Kit, with engraved stamping plate (already used, as you can see). I found mine on eBay but you can get similar ones at Sally. It comes with just one stamping plate, but trust me, there are bazillions available out there. The kit comes with special Konad polish (white), which works really well, though some regular polishes work well too. I used a China Glaze red that I just happened to have on hand.
Paint a line of polish across the top of the image you want to use.
Scrape across the image with the scraper. The scraper will fill the rest of the grooves.
The painted and scraped image.
Immediately press the stamper on the image. It's hard to see in this shot, but the polish transfers to the stamper (though it's a tricky process sometimes- you have to clean the stamper but not with some polish removers... it took me awhile to get the hang of it).
Immediately roll the stamper across your nail. I was home alone, so I couldn't get a picture of the process, but you line up the stamper and then just press and roll it across the nail. As you can see, the polish transfers beautifully.
With large images on large nails, the image will stamp on the skin as well.
Totally silly, and yet so much fun. And the nice thing about the stamping is that it takes the eye away from the inevitable edge chips, so the manicure lasts longer.
I don't think I'm done playing with this yet...
Oh- I messed up one nail stamp totally doing this mani, and I thought I was going to have to take it back down to the base and start over, but I discovered that if I rubbed lightly with the polish-dipped Q-Tip, the stamping came off, leaving the base coat intact.
Also, it's good to notice the orientation of your transferred polish before you stamp, or you'll end up with a pinkie nail going the wrong way. I left it just to remind myself.