Friday, 22 April 2016

Flowers and butterflies using reverse stamping

Here's my take on the 'butterflies' prompt on the clairestelle8 challenge. I think it's one of my favourite designs I've done so far!

Reverse stamped nails with flowers and butterflies, featuring Pahlish 'Such Great Heights'

Read on for the full details - and another video tutorial! I also got a new macro lens for my camera, so there are some cool close-up photos - have a look!

I started with this periwinkle blue called 'Such Great Heights' by Pahlish, a brand I've not tried before. It has some very fine, subtle holographic glitter too.

Pahlish 'Such Great Heights', two coats with top coat; swatch by polilish
Pahlish 'Such Great Heights' - two coats + top coat

The holo glitter is much more apparent in this macro shot of my thumb!

Pahlish 'Such Great Heights', two coats with top coat. Macro swatch by polilish
Zooming in! 

Given the design that I added to this, I didn't have to start with two coats of 'Such Great Heights' and topcoat, but I had somewhere to be in the morning of the day I did this, and I couldn't leave the house with naked nails!

The butterfly and floral patterns I used are from UberChic Beauty's 1-02 stamping plate. Here's how I did it:

A video posted by Lili 🌷 (@polilish) on

Again, do excuse the poor lighting! I really need to find a better lamp. Anyway, the technique is the same as my previous green-and-gold and geometric designs - instead of stamping the pattern directly onto the nail with the stamper, I colour in the pattern on the stamper itself and make a nail 'decal'.

As I condensed the video for Instagram's 15-second limit (still no 60 second videos for me yet!), some details are missing - most importantly, the whole decal has to dry for a good 15-20 minutes for it to peel off perfectly.

Reverse stamped nails with flowers and butterflies, featuring Pahlish 'Such Great Heights'

To my knowledge, it's more typical to use a layer of topcoat over the entire design to form the decal. In the video you can see that I used a generous layer of 'Such Great Heights' instead. This is because using topcoat makes a stiffer decal - after all, topcoat is meant to dry to a harder finish, which is why it's good to add over a manicure as a final protective layer. This isn't ideal for me because my nails are very curved - the stiff decal doesn't conform well to my nail.

Instead, using regular polish makes a flexible decal that happily takes to the curves of my nails. Some wrinkles are inevitable, but as the decal is softer, it's easy to smooth them away using gentle pressure from a brush or even my finger.

I won't lie, the whole process is time-consuming - I certainly didn't do my right hand - but the outcome is so effective and pretty!

Reverse stamped nails with flowers and butterflies, featuring Pahlish 'Such Great Heights'
More close-ups! 

Finally, a list of everything I used:
  • Base coat: UNT 'Ready for Takeoff' peel-off base coat
  • Blue: Pahlish 'Such Great Heights'
  • Reverse stamping pattern: UberChic Beauty 1-02 plate
  • Reverse stamping colours: Konad black, Cirque Colors 'Jane on Jane St' (pink), Cirque Colors 'Don't Forget the Cannoli' (ivory)
  • Top coat: Glisten & Glow 'HK Girl'
Next time will be the last prompt of the clairestelle8 challenge for April - nail charms/studs!

No comments :

Post a Comment