This post is going to be a mish mash of things...this wasn't the mani or type of post I planned on posting next (or ever to be honest!) but Fingers commented on my last mani about how do I get the white Konad stamping polish to not smear and pondered if perhaps I post the pix I take before top coating my mani. I did reply to her but this mani/post may perhaps demonstrate it better in more detail (ie ramble!) with other comments and suggestions thrown in for good measure!
First of all, a few of my goals aren't going as planned. My first day back to work after the long weekend (Jan 3rd) was a 13 hour day due to having to stay late to handle an emergency. So much for less working. Last night, I went to bed at 2:40 am...so much for getting more sleep. As I type this, my lunch is leftover scalloped potatoes with a healthy helping of butter...so much for eating healthier! And well, this post is probably going to be long with a lot of pix...so much for shorter posts and less rambling! The great thing is that I have goals....which can be worked upon!
Winners has been a great source of polishes lately. One of my purchases just before Christmas was Barielle That's Hot Pink. This is the mani I came up with using it.
Started with two coats. I really liked the application of this polish...the smaller size brush was easier to apply on my small nails and while the polish seemed a little runnier to apply than a lot of other brands, this is actually my personal preference as I find I put less on the brush and then seem to apply it better...plus any cleanup is easier to remove as the polish is a little thinner.
Stamped using plate Big SdP J with black and white Konad special polishes on alternating fingers. I purposely tried to position the stamped image different on each finger for interest.
Now (and here's some rambling!) its probably evident that my fingernails are considerably shorter than my last few posts. I cut them down a few days ago because my middle finger kinda was growing funny. I filed it to try to fix or save it but then, it looked even funnier so I thought better cut them down so they can grow out. Well, these are my version of nubs! My nails even look kinda funny to me as they seem so short! But being the kinda gal I am, I couldn't resist still layering and stamping even with my nubby nails so I've still been doing lots of mani's with my nubs. And because this blog is about my nails, fails or not, with a little length or nubs! I did think about not posting them as I do still have lots of pix in archives and they probably won't take terribly long to grow out, but then I thought why not post some nubs with cool stamping (well, what I think is cool anyway!...this may not be the general consensus!! lol!) to highlight that you don't need really long nails to do some cool 'nadding and short nails are just as great! I personally know that I have specific image plates and themed mani's planned for when my nails are shorter as some of the full size images don't fit my nails when they are longer. I also think some stamped images just look nicer on shorter nails...just my opinion!
Anyway, after stamping the base, I used Konad black special polish and went over the white band of dots in the stamped image with black for a contrasted band look.
Then, went over one band of the stamped black dots with white Konad special polish. Also added more dots for interest, again using black and white Konad special polish.
Fingers...pay attention here! I've had my share of fails with white Konad special polish (well, if I'm honest, more than stamping polishes!!) and there are still lots of times when I get stamping polish drag when I apply my topcoat. Another problem I've encountered with white stamping polish (actually it will happen with regular polish too) is that if you apply SV topcoat while it is still kinda wet, the polish disperses and kinda fades so its not a crisp, clear stamped image. An example of this is my "Moves Like Jagger' mani and the white Konad special polish used on the pinky finger for the skull music notes. Before I put SV on, the white stamping was crisp and clear as a bell. As you can tell in those pix, when I top coated it with SV, the white stamping polish dispersed and as a result, the stamped skulls are not as clear. It was because of this mani that I started to make sure I take pix of my finished mani's before top coating, just in case it happened again. But I did find that if you wait a little longer for the polish to dry, whether its stamping polish or regular polish used for some dots, the polish does not disperse or smear when you put SV on it. Waiting this extra time is also key if doing any kinda of dotting work...I find the little blobs of polish does take a while longer to dry and again will smear if topcoat is put on too early. I've learned the hard way what happens with dots if topcoat is applied too early...they smear! So dear Fingers...time is the answer! Drying time of the stamping polish seems to be key...you will just have to learn like I did...there are some times that I can immediately go over a mani with SV right after stamping...there are others that I can tell that the stamping polish is a little thicker or wet, or the dots are wet, so I wait a few minutes (maybe 5 minutes?) then apply SV. I know this goes against the grain of applying SV on wet nails, but so far, it seems to work. I sometimes have a little SV shrinkage, but after reading lots of tips, have found that wrapping tips with base coat and wrapping tips with SV during both applications of SV (over base coat and over stamped image) 99% of the time eliminates shrinkage problems. I find that Konad white and black special polishes are the most finicky for drag or smearing...but I've also used WnW black creme and Essence's brand of black stamping polishes and they all smear. (This was through my phase when I was sampling different options for black stamping polishes as the clean up using Konad black special polish is a pain...but my personal preference is Konad as I find it stamps the crispest and darkest.)
When I first started stamping, I swore by Konad's topcoat. But I found I had a lot of smearing or drag of the stamping polish when it was applied. So for a little spell (before I started blogging...you won't see any pix of this), I just left my mani's without topcoat as I had smearing so often. But it bugged me that my mani's didn't have that crisp, clear stamped image that can only be achieved with a topcoat. This was around the time I turned to the internet to look into Konad more; when I googled it, I found all these awesome blogs out there with stamping! I did a lot of checking out of blogs and reading to see what others were doing and one tip that I read time and time again was to only swipe your topcoat lightly once over the image. Swipe and apply with one sweep. So I started to do this. But quite frankly, if the stamping polish underneath isn't dry, it still smears or drags one swipe or not...and too much of a blob or a heavy coat of the topcoat causes bleeding or blurring of the stamped image (I know from experience!). At some point, I read about Seche Vite (SV), and while I have love and hate issues with it too, I've found that a new or well thinned bottle of SV seems to work the best for me. For not only top coating my base polish before stamping but also applied as final topcoat over stamping. The other thing I've found is that if you wait long enough for the stamped imaging (or dots) to dry, you can go over the image more than once without it smearing or dragging. This is handy if you have a little too much SV on your brush and you need to go over the SV more than once so you don't have a big blob on your nail, or if you have bubbles (I find I can sometimes swipe them away)or if you have a spot you missed and even need to go over that general area again. I've even found that with a little practise, I can swipe away a little bit of a stamping polish drag by kinda going over the SV in the opposite direction (across the nail) with the SV brush without any on it. I've even waited for SV to dry after a polish drag, took out a clean up brush and removed the drag with acetone and then reapplied SV again (I'm getting better at this...sometimes its still a fail...see my recent birthday mani and you can still see some smudging on the thumb under where it says Happy Birthday, but I've since done it and it has worked better).
Another comment that I have about applying SV on top of your base coat before stamping is that in the event that you make an error, most of the time, you can lightly swipe a dampened cotton pad with acetone over the stamped image and remove the stamped image without effecting the base coat underneath. But use a light hand...and don't double swipe the same area using the same cotton pad if there is some residue on the nail; use a clean portion of the pad. Hand sanitizer with rubbing alcohol also removes image (but I've found the odd time that it removes the base polish more than acetone so I've switched back to acetone with a light hand). It doesn't matter if the stamping polish is wet or dry; the acetone will still work...just use a light hand with your swiping.
I personally find that black Konad polish drags more than white, but have had issues lots of time with white. I had the weirdest thing happen with Konad white back when I first started my blog....it literally changed from white to another colour in front of my eyes. I'm not sure what ever caused it...if it was a base reaction or SV or what. You can see this here. I'm pretty sure it had something to do with the Misa base...I haven't had this happen since this last post...but it was like magic...white to green in seconds...I also had it happen before this post when it changed to purple but I can't seem to readily find the post right now.
After waiting for dots and stamping polish to dry, applied SV.
You should be able to see here the difference with SV on top of the stamped image and without...just in case, Fingers, you wonder if my pix are taken before topcoat. Most of my posts are kinda like tutorials (well, in my mind anyway that how I post them!), so I usually have a finished mani, then the base, then mani in progress, then finished product and sometimes a second pix with SV on top...I'm not a betting gal, but I'd say at least 95% of my posts show at least one pix with the stamped image topcoated...in fact, I comment on it occasionally how the topcoat makes the stamped image *pop*. Topcoat is also a great way to even out dots as my dots look like pimples a lot of the time...it smooths them out so my mani's are pimple free!
Another reason I do my posts like this as I remember just getting into stamping and trying to figure out how gals did their mani when I was surfing blogs. So I try to post pix step by step versus just one of the finished product. I also recall reading that they used a particular plate as it was indicated but didn't know which image was on which plate...which is why I try to say x image is from x plate, etc etc...unless its only one or two images/plates...or I forget, which it probably is the case most often! But I do try because I remember driving myself crazy looking for specific images and trying to figure out what plate they used! I thought if I look for this info, maybe someone checking out my blog may be looking for the same info..maybe? And don't get me started how crazy I used to go when a blogger just posted a mani and had no reference of the plate used or the stamping polish...which I still see on blogs now! Thank goodness I'm more versed with image plates so I usually have a good idea of which plate/brand it is...but this literally drove me nuts when I first got into stamping! And still does sometimes if I don't recognize an image now and then!
I cut and pasted a bit of the images above for a better comparison of mani before topcoat and after. (ughhh....not that I want to supersize my cleanup skills or poor cuticles, but for the interest of comparison of mani with and without topcoat....)
This image is without topcoat.
This image is with topcoat.
The other thing that I want to stress is that this is how I stamp and what I've found works for me but no means does it mean that other polishes, basecoats or methods won't work better........ I know others find other topcoats work better and lots of people use WnW black creme for black stamping polish...I've used it too, its just my preference is Konad. The odd time, I try out other quick dry topcoats just to see if I'd be liking anything better too. I have them all (Sally Hansen in the red bottle, Deborah Lippmann, Posh, Essie, Orly...probably more)...just find the SV works best for me. I usually indicate in my posts if I've deviated from using SV (odd time use a non-quick dry topcoat especially if using a holo polish) or if I only put one coat of polish on, or four, which happens sometimes. And by no means am I a polish guru or know everything about stamping...there are bloggers out there that stamp way better than me and with far more knowledge about polishes, bases, cuticle care, stamping etc etc...and I still am working on my issues like clean up and super dry cuticles so always am scouring posts looking for tips! Heck, I still have lots of stamping fails (even this mani, I can see some where I didn't get the stamped image 100% on the nail)...but the great thing about polish or stamping fails.....it's just polish...easy enough to remove and redo with a bit of remover and a bit of time!
I'm sorry to have rambled so much...but hopefully this will demonstrate to Fingers how I do white and black stamping without getting it to smear...and well, anyone else that this may help out too!!
Thanks for looking!