11 July 2015

Blue scales manicure

Hi everyone!

Saturday, no work, all chores done, no one in need of immediate attention, husband happily playing computer games... finally some time to try out a nail technique: stamping decals! All I needed was a stamping plate and colors, and of course an idea of what to put on my nails. So I started searching Pinterest for inspiration and after a while I stumbled across this picture: scales in shades of blue!

I followed most of the instructions in this video by Lucy's Stash and my nails now look like this *beams with pride*
indoors, no flash

The one thing I changed from Lucy's tutorial is that I didn't leave the image on the stamper to color it. Instead I used a silicone baking mat I picked up for about 2 dollars at a local store called Action (that sells just about anything for dead cheap prices). Using Hit The Bottle As Black As Night and MoYou plate Sailor 05 I made four stamps on the mat so I could do more than one decal at a time. After the stamps dried a bit I used a tiny brush to fill in the open areas with three different shades of blue with different finishes: a-england Tristam (dark blue holo), Zoya Ling (medium blue creme) and Kleancolor Ocean Wave (light blue metallic). When all that was done I covered the colored stamps with a thick layer of OPI Top Coat (the normal kind that I still had from ages ago when I first learned about top coat and didn't know anything about the wonders of Seche Vite) and left them to dry for about five minutes.

indoors, flash
During those five minutes I painted my thumb, index and pinky with one coat of Tristam and my middle and ring finger with a coat of Ling. After that was done I carefully pried a decal from the mat, painted a coat of OPI Top Coat on my middle finger, put the decal on that and gently smoothed it out on my nail. I used the flat side of an orange stick to push it down between my nail and my skin and around the tip of my nail, painted a coat of Seche Vite on top and after that dried I grabbed some q-tips, my clean up brush and acetone to get rid of all that was not stuck to my nail. I repeated the prying, sticking, pushing and cleaning for my ring finger and the ring finger and pinky of my right hand and spend the next half hour bugging my gaming husband by shoving my fingers under his nose and mailing pictures to my mother and to-be-polish-addicted nieces ;)

The usual line up:
a-england Tristam, Zoya Ling, Kleancolor Ocean Wave, Hit The Bottle As Black As Night

When I put the first decal on my nails, I realized I could have left the spaces that I filled with Ling unfilled as the base would show through anyway... oh well, lesson learned for next time ;) Also I definitely have to figure out a less messy way to remove the excess decal after I stick it to my nails. This time I think I used at least an entire dappen dish full of acetone (and lots of cuticle oil after that to take care of my poor abused fingers... but hey, they want to look nice, they have to suffer every once in a while). Apart from that I'm just totally in love with this manicure. I will definitely do it again and maybe even make decals in advance and store them for future use... lots of possibilities!

Have you made your own decals? And do you think I can beam some more or should I be done with it by now and be a good girl, brush my teeth and go to bed (as it's getting close to midnight over here)?

Last but not least I think this is good for three challenges in the SBBNailChallenge: 28 - New Technique, 51 - Follow someone's tutorial and 54 - Something from Pinterest.

a-england Tristam was bought from Pretty Polish.
Zoya Ling was bought from Nail Polish Fashion (closed).
Kleancolor Ocean Wave was bought from Nailways.


  1. Yes! Love it! And yes, you could've left that 1 color out if you use it on the nail, but if you would've gotten an airbubble on that spot then... Not a bad idea to color it all ;) Happy to see HTB black stamping works so well, I need a new black for that!

    1. Thank you! Hehe, lesson UNlearned ;)
      HTB is absolutely great! I've used it three or four times now and I have yet to see a failed stamp that is not caused by my clumsiness. The only thing I had to get used to is that if I use it with a creative stamper (you know, the big squishy one) I have to keep my nail pressed into the stamper a little longer than I do with normal polish.

  2. You are a genius!! I've avoided making stamping decals because it just seems so tedious, but using a silicone mat totally fixes that! *TACKLEHUGS* I need to check our dollar store. You did a great job and I love it!! ^_^

    1. *falls over and hugs back* You're very welcome! Can't wait to see what you come up with :)
      It's not my idea though. I've read it quite a while ago (as I have my mat for almost a year I think). Can't find where I read it anymore, must have something to do with grey hairs and wrinkles ;)


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