Happy St. Patrick’s Day a tad late! I had a design idea in mind but I needed a new product to create it. Once it arrived I just had to play with it some, hence the delay. But I am excited to share the design I imagined with you today.
The product I was waiting on was Stamping Gel from Wildflowers Nail Academy. It launched in late January as part of a kit, but was recently made available by the bottle at a price point that was a little more friendly on my budget.
This gel works just like the stamping polish you are using now. It allows you to do cool things to your stamped image such as adding foil, pigment, holo powder, chrome and multichrome powder. You can also achieve a chrome on chrome look, as I’ve done here.
Like any other gel, this product needs to be protected from the light. Wildflowers chose to use an opaque dropper bottle instead of the traditional polish bottle and brush. I’ll admit it’s a bit odd at first applying little dabs of gel to the top (or bottom or left or right!) of your chosen image, but I adjusted fairly quickly. By the time I was done with these practice nails and my actual manicure I had a better handle on how much gel to use without being terribly wasteful. At $22 for a half ounce bottle + shipping, you want to learn fast!
This gel picked up like a dream!! I even used my Big Bling Clear Jelly Stamper, and you know how finicky clear stampers can be. I used stamping plates from 2 different brands and even a reverse image without issue. After stamping, I cured the gel for 15 seconds in my 24w Melody Suzie lamp. There’s a great ‘how-to’ video here on Wildflowers website and I’ll also include some tips below.
I started with 2 coats of Madam Glam Perfect Black gel polish on all nails followed by Wildflowers Metallic Topcoat. Then I rubbed on either What’s Up Nails Absinthe green multi-chrome powder or Daily Charme Mirror Gold. Do not topcoat!
Working on each nail individually, I stamped clover images from Messy Mansion MM04 and MoYou London Festive 21. After a quick cure, I first dabbed on and then rubbed in the opposite color powder. I was careful to remove any excess powder from the nail before applying another coat of Metallic Topcoat.
Lauren demonstrates “sizing down” in the video I mentioned above. My nails are large and long so I didn’t need to do this. But, if you have smaller or shorter nails, you may need to reduce the size of the image on the stamper as not to stamp gel all over your skin. Either way, be sure to clean up any excess gel before curing.
I’ve been really into loose glitter lately! This seems like the best place to mention that, as a final step in this mani, I scooped Daily Charme Royal Emerald Metallic Glitter onto wet topcoat on my middle finger and cured.
Here’s a close up that shows the finer details that the stamping gel picked up on a regular and reverse image, such as the clover stems. And here’s a few tips for you:
- Do some advance testing to find the best curing time in your lamp.
- Use a credit card type scraper that has some bend to it that will help to push the gel into the image as you swipe slowly.
- Take advantage of that bend to reuse the excess gel on your scraper for your next stamp, providing it’s not a full reverse design since you shouldn’t have enough. I found it will keep on the scraper for at least 5 minutes, perhaps longer.
- Remove any excess gel or artifacts when the image is on the stamper. It’s much easier than trying to see extra bits of gel and get them off of your nail.
- Clean your stamping plate with alcohol as you are working with it. Do a final cleanup with pure acetone when you are finished.
Messy Mansion MM04
As always, I would love to hear your thoughts on this design! Is this stamping gel something you think you would try?