Nothing to Disclose
Hey there! Today I'm sharing my first attempt at using nail stencils. This is the "Radiant" design from Sticky Nails.
I'll warn you now that this is a pretty picture-heavy post because 1. I wanted to show exactly how I used these stencils and 2. I used a glow in the dark polish and I simply cannot resist glow in the dark pictures.
For my base I used 2 coats of Serum No. 5 Pink Lantern over white. Pink Lantern is a bright pink that glows a peachy colour (though my pictures make the glow look green for some reason). However, if you're looking for this color, I believe it's special for breast cancer awareness month so keep your eyes out for it next October!
Now, onto the stencils. I wanted to use the radiant design of these stencils because I love the sun ray look that they give and I just don't have the patience that it would take to create this with striping tape. The first generation Winstonia stamping plates have a similar image that I have tried to use many times but I have never been able to get it properly centered on the nail. Using these stencils eliminates that problem because you're able to move them after placement but they're still sticky enough to give a good amount of hold once you get them where you want them.
There are 5 sizes of the stencils with 4-5 of each size so you can pick the size that will best fit each nail. They range from "wee" (1.4 cm x 1.8 cm, internal diameter) to "vast" (2 cm x 3 cm, internal diameter). I used all sizes except "vast" size which, in my opinion, seems excessively large for most people.
To use them, you first have to remove the internal pieces of the stencil. To do this I held the internal pieces down with a pin while lifting the external piece with a pair of tweezers. Easy peasy.
Before you place them on your nail, make sure your base color is 110% dry otherwise the stencil will lift off your polish when you remove them. Once you have your stencils in place (make sure the edges are stuck tightly to your nail otherwise your polish will bleed underneath the stencil), paint over with your second color. Ideally you want it to be an opaque (one-coater) polish so that you only have to go over it once. I used e.l.f. Misty Haze. I think the bottle may have been shipped partially open because it seemed really thick which caused me some problems here. The thickness made it difficult to entirely paint all the open spaces of the stencil.
Like with striping tape, it's best to work one nail at a time. Removing the stencil before you move onto the next nail will prevent ridging of your top color. You can see here that, because my polish was SO thick, it still pulled up when I removed the stencil but I don't believe that would occur with a less gooey polish.
Once all your nails are complete, clean up around the edges with a cotton bud or a small brush dipped in acetone and apply top coat. The top coat should erase any ridging between your layers. Because my stencilled color was gooey and therefore left a lot of ridges, I used two coats of top coat.
Overall I think these stencils are an easy way to create some nail art that is accessible to anybody who has just two bottles of nail polish. My only criticism of them would be that, depending on the size of your nails, you might only be able to get 1 full manicure out of them. Maybe they could come in 2 size options so that the ones that are too small or too large don't go to waste.
You can find Sticky Nails stencils at her Etsy shop. Make sure to check out her other design options as well (chevrons, spiderwebs, etc.).
'Til next time...