Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Nail Art Wednesday: Inverse Subtle Tone on Tone Stamping

I wasn't planning on posting about this particular design, but I turned out liking it so much that the thought of changing it tonight is loathsome to me right now. So I thought, "what better way to keep a record of it than to write about it?" Makes sense, right? To give you a little insight on how this particular design came about, you'll have to understand that I was rushing all weekend. I already had a mani on that I'd worn for 3-4 days prior that was definitely showing some wear and tear. I probably could've gotten away with one more day out of it (seeing as it was a croc effect one and the chips looked like it was part of the design) but I was meeting a nail stamping master and I wasn't about to go with grubby nails. I've already been thinking about doing this metallic swirls design but I later incorporated the inverse stamping, thinking it would make the design look more contrived than something I rushed through. (Quick tip: I've found that adding a layer of fast dry top coat helps the base colors dry faster and lets you remove the stamped on design if you messed up without ruining the base.) The design evolved as I went through the motions and I'm really proud of how the final product ended up:

Dainty and subtle, but interesting enough without being boring.

What I Used:
Pale mauve: AEngland Guinevere
Lilac foil: BarryM Lilac Foil Effects
MASH plate #40, swirls full nail design on the lower left side of the plate

How I Did It:
***No, I didn't forget to take photos this time. It was intentional. Like I mentioned earlier, I didn't plan on writing about it, but it turned out so well that I thought I'd share, anyway.

After applying your favorite base coat, pick a lilac accent nail. By accent nail, I mean the one that gets painted with the lilac foil as the base. I chose my ring finger for my left hand, and my index finger on my right. The asymmetry will make it look even more interesting. Trust. Next, paint on an opaque layer of the lilac foil for the lilac accent nail(s) and the pale mauve for the rest. Once dry, pick two of the pale mauve nails to stamp with. For my left, I picked my index and pinky, while the right got middle and pinky. (I would've picked a thumb for one but the image isn't a perfect fit, so no go.) Go ahead and stamp on the swirls design on the pale mauve nails using the lilac foil. Remember to rotate the stamp 180 degrees for the second nail to create visual interest. Then, taking your pale mauve, stamp on the same swirls design on to the lilac accent nails. Top everything with top coat and enjoy your handiwork!

 The trick to inverse stamping is finding a creme that will stamp well. Once you've got that, finding a foil/metallic nail polish to complement it is easy peasy, seeing as metallics usually stamp very well. 

 I like to call these my 'non-accent accent nails' mostly because at first glance what looks to be the accent nails are the plain ol' pale mauve ones.

 I've been playing around with the idea of inverse stamping for a while now, but it wasn't until I got my hands on the lilac foil that I immediately thought to pair it with Guinevere.

 If you can find work appropriate creme shades that stamp well, I think this would be a great, not to mention subtle, way of wearing nail art even at work!

I was initially planning on stamping everything but I'm glad I didn't. Leaving a couple nails plain worked really well!

Yay for Hump Day! We've made it through halfway of the week, hurrah! Mine's sort of just starting seeing as I'll be 'working' all the way through Sunday. In fact, by the time you're reading this, I'll probably be sitting in a U-Haul van amidst a mountain of toys heading to the Metro Convention Centre. *fingers crossed* I don't throw my back this time, otherwise I'll be out of commission for the rest of the week. How's your week turning out? Do you prefer in your face nail art with bright colors and high contrasts? Or do you like to keep it tame and subtle with tone on tone color variations? Would you wear nail art to work?


  1. Marisa (Polish Obsession)August 22, 2012 at 8:20 a.m.

    I love how subtle this is!!! Such a gorgeous mani. I'm glad you shared it. Hope work isn't too crazy for you!

  2. This is beautiful! Hope you had fun with the stamping master!

  3. Very pretty and feminine - great job! :)

    Tone-on-tone nail stamping isn't something that I do, but I may try it sometime because while it's subtle, it's very interesting to look at. Thanks for inspiring me, Carmela!

  4. You met your stampin master ? Funny, odd coincidence I was having a quick meal with one of my favourite bloggers! The sweetest Lady ever!!! ;)

    This look was stunning in person as it is in your photos. I have a few things to learn from you! ;)

    Love the subtle/inverted stamping!

  5. Thanks, Mary! :D

    I honestly think that for the more strict work places out there, you can easily get away with subtle stamping. Maybe a nude base with a complementary metallic stamp would look fantastic. :) I hope you do try it for when you're doing a palette cleanse!

  6. Thank you, Susan! :D Oh, I did! She was as beautiful inside and out as I hoped she'd be! :D I'm surprised I wasn't struck dumb seeing as it was a lot like meeting a celebrity and I was having my own fangirl moment. :P

  7. Thanks, Marisa! :D I think this sort of stamping is something you can pull off splendidly! I think it would look fantastic with pinks, especially. ;) It kind of was, but so worth it. :D

  8. Oh what a treat it was to see you and to be able to admire these nails in person :D (that sounded creapy but hope you can take the 'creapy' out of the statement and see my genuine admiration).

    I don't do tone on tone stamping often but each time I see it I LOVE IT!!!!!
    You truly pulled this look together sooo well... this is going on my must try list! STUNNING

  9. One of my fave patterns (and colors! - maybe I am biased hehehe) by far!

  10. A treat, for sure! I'm still feeling a bit bummed out that I wasn't able to make it to the meet up last Sunday. Looks like you ladies had a blast! I'm also drooling over your swap scores! Good thing you guys took photos! We both totally forgot to do that when we met, haha! :D

    I'm really digging the tone on tone look so much that I find myself gravitating towards it more often than not. That being said, I do love your unexpected color combos and that's a skill I have yet to learn! Thanks, Marta! :)

  11. I can recreate this for you next weekend, if you want. I'll bring my stamping supplies. Haha! :D Thanks, Achi!


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