Saturday, May 25Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

Nail Art: Nail Stamping Tutorial

Intricate nail art has been a huge trend in recent years, and artistic nails are sure to be a fashion statement that lasts! With the return of London Fashion Weekend this month, I wanted to try something a bit more complex. Some designs are simply too detailed to achieve with a brush, which is why nail stamping is so fantastic: the design is already made for you to transfer onto your nails. I was so impressed by how simple it was to achieve this look and how well it turned out. To get started you will need an image plate, a stamper and a scraper. These are available in kits from Amazon for around £15, and I’d definitely recommend investing in a set if you’re a nail art enthusiast. They look fantastic on and there’s no limit to the designs you can choose as the plates are reusable!

Start with a base colour on your nails and allow to dry. I recommend using a darker colour as the base (I used Barry M in Black), then choose a second nail polish – preferably lighter than your base coat so that the pattern will show up – I’ve found that metallic shades work best (mine is Barry M in 288-Silver). Then, taking your design plate, paint a thick layer of the second polish across the pattern you want to use. Pull the scraper firmly across it to get rid of the excess polish, so that the varnish remains on the pattern only. Angle the scraper at 45 degree for perfect pull (if you don’t have a scraper, a gift card works well too!). Once this is done, firmly press your stamper onto the pattern by rolling it along the plate to pick up the pattern. Finally, line the edge of the pattern to your nail and gently roll the stamp across so that it transfers on top of your base coat. When dry, finish with a top coat to help your design last longer – you could even add a glitter polish top coat or nail studs for an even more glamorous finish.

Check out for more inspiration!

You will need:

  • Base Coat (Barry M in Black: £2.99, Boots)
  • Metallic Polish (Barry M in 228-Silver: £2.99, Boots)
  • Clear Top Coat (Barry M: £2.99, Boots)
  • Nail Stamp Plates (Cheeky 26 Piece Set: £9.99, Amazon)
  • Nail Stamp and Scraper Set (Konad Nail Art Double Side Stamp Set: £4.98, Amazon)

Photography: Araminta Pender