The Art of Nail Stamping & Mermaid Nails

Odds are that if you have any interest in d.i.y. home manicures, you have been curious about nail art stamping. Or maybe you just have not been able to master the skill. You can watch a million videos or research tons of articles, but that can be overwhelming. This post will be a clear and concise explanation of nail stamping, including my mermaid manicure. So, sit down, grab your favorite polish, and learn the real way to stamp.

Products used in this tutorial:

nail polish tutorial mermaid stamping


1) Jordana black polish
   -Tip: I'm using this polish for stamping because it is old. Older polish tends to be thicker, and the         thicker the better for stamping.
2) OPI Pop the Cork
3) China Glaze Rare & Radiant
4) Topcoat: Seche Vite (or your topcoat of choice)
5) Bundle Monster stamping plate 502
6) Salon Express stamping kit (any stamping kit will do)
7) Old gift card
   -Tip: cards tend to scrape the excess polish away better than the provided scraper in your kit
8) Nail file
9) NON-ACETONE nail polish remover
   -Tip: acetone polish remover will break down the rubber stamping heads. To be on the safe side,        clean all parts of your stamping kit with non-acetone polish remover ONLY.
Not pictured: cotton ball and q-tip for polish removal


Step 1: Mix polish

Always make sure your polish is completely mixed before use. I do a combination of tilting the bottle upside down and right side up, rolling it, and beating it on my hand. I read somewhere that you should never shake your polish because that creates bubbles. I'm not sure if that is true. 

Step 2: File stamper

Briefly file the stamper head with a nail file. This roughs the surface up so that it will hold the stamped design better

Step 3: Basecoat

As a general rule, you should always apply at least 2 coats of your base color. I can confirm that you definitely want to apply 2 coats of Rare & Radiant. Allow basecoat to dry before stamping.

china glaze rare & radiant

Step 4: Apply polish to plate

Apply a generous amount of polish on top of your design of choice. Make sure the design is fully covered. Take the scraper your kit came with, or some kind of credit card, and scrape the excess away in one, quick motion. 

bundle monster 502 plate

bundle monster 502 plate

Step 5: Get ready to stamp

Take the stamper and press it firmly and evenly on top of the design. When you lift it away, peak at the stamper and you will see the design on to it. To apply the design to your nail, the best way I can describe it is to roll it. Do not just press it onto your nail. Start at one side of the nail and roll the stamper across your nail for best results. As you continue to stamp each nail, you may have to clean your plate or stamper from time to time with nail polish remover for optimal results.


nail art stamping mermaid scales

nail art stamping mermaid scales

nail art stamping mermaid scales

Step 6: Add some glitter and topcoat 

I applied Pop the Cork to the tips of my nails only. Let it dry, then apply Seche or your base coat of choice.

Step 7: Clean up

Dip a q-tip in the polish remover and use it to remove the polish from your skin. You will also want to clean your stamper, plate, and scraper well. You may want to wear gloves while you do that to protect your manicure.

Finally, take the time to appreciate your efforts and show off those nails!

mermaid nail art tutorial nail stamping

mermaid nail art tutorial nail stamping

I hope that by reading this article you have a better grasp of the proper nail stamping techniques you should practice and are totally inspired to go out and order thousands of stamping plates. If you have any questions, please ask them in the comments and don't forget to share your manicure with me. 

Thank you so much for your dedication and time. Keep your eyes on the lookout for blog enhancements and tons of fall fashion heaven that is headed your way! Until next time, continue to let your true beauty shine. 

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