Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Gold Stamped

I finally took the time last week to really get cozy with the Nail Art Diva machine. By that, I mean that I polished my nails one night, and then did the stamping the next. Needless to say, it was a far better experience than my first, and I do think I’ll get a lot of use out of this little machine.

What I used:

1 coat OPI base coat
3 coats OPI 18k Ginza Gold
3 coats OPI top coat (you’ll see why the extra below)
Qtica half-time drops
Black nail art paint from Nail Art Diva (NAD)
2 coats NAD top coat
I started with a basic polish in gold (hubby picked the color – he likes to do that). I did three coats of top coat after reading in the NAD instructions that top coat would leave room for fixing stamped mistakes. Then I let it dry, and the following night, I set up at the dining room table with everything I’d need (including a glass of orange pop, which kind of matched my nails!).
The NAD machine is very simple. There’s a suction cup on the bottom that sucks it to the table to hold it in place. There’s a place for the metal plate with the designs cut into it, a silicone stamper, and a metal scraper. At the other end, there’s a spot for your nail to sit, with an adjustable edge to position the center of your nail where the center of the design will be. The gray part moves back and forth over the whole thing like an old credit card machine.

The trick is to have everything set up, the design in place, and your fingernail already on the nail rest before you start. The polish holder they give you is great – it holds the bottles very steady, since you’ll only be using one hand to apply polish with. When I was ready, I put my nail on the rest, grabbed the brush, and started counting.

One-thousand one, one-thousand two, one-thousand three, one-thousand four, one-thousand five.

In those five seconds, I put the polish on the metal plate, then slid the gray shuttle back over the plate, tapped the stamper to pick up the design, slid the shuttle back over my nail, and tapped the shuttle again. Everything goes very quickly. I cleaned the metal plate a few times, but not after every nail, and most of them came out very nicely, as long as I moved quickly enough.

The mistakes were easily fixed with a little polish remover on a q-tip…I simply rubbed off the design, and started over. The extra layer of top coat ensured that I never got down to the polish layer, protecting my gold manicure.

When I was done with all my nails (they dry super-fast), I brushed a couple coats of the NAD topcoat over them (basically a resin), which also dried fast. The entire project took all of half an hour, and that’s with set up and cleaning up the machine with nail polish remover afterwards. Waiting to do the stamping until the polish layer was completely dry the next day was key to my success…not having to worry about messing up a manicure really makes it much easier.

Next time, the first of two weeks worth of Valentine’s Day nails. Hearts, anyone?

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