If you’re a fan of the musical Into the Woods, you’ll recognize the scene on my nails from the Little Red Riding Hood feature where the wolf and Red sing “Hello Little Girl.” Even though this manicure is stamped, it was probably one of the most labor intensive stamping designs that I’ve ever done and uses several different techniques to bring the images to life.
I started with a rich shimmery forest green polish from Julep called Giselle. You only need to apply 2 coats of polish to achieve the same color that you see in the bottle, and it’s beautiful all on its own.
Being a fan of Into the Woods, I fell in love with the Fairy Tale-L003 plate from Born Pretty. You can really get a good sense of the story from looking at the images, and even if you’re not a fan of the fairy tale, you can use a lot of the nature based designs to put together a pretty manicure with the plate.
As mentioned before, several different techniques were used to colorize the design. Starting with my pinky, I applied green and brown stamping polish from Beauty Big Bang (SKU codes J6415TM-3A and J6415TM-4A, respectively. Use code CHRISS to save 10% off your order there.) to the leaves and bark of the images just left of center at the top of the plate and scraped away the polish in one swipe in a direction that would not allow the colors to blend with one another.
My ring finger used the 2nd image from the right of the bottom row of the plate. I stamped the entire image with brown polish, then I applied gray polish (color 444 from Born Pretty) to only the wolf’s head and double stamped it over its brown counterpart. I then applied green polish to the leaves and used tape to lift away the unwanted tree trunk portion of the design before double stamping it on my nail.
Little Red Riding Hood proved to be a bit problematic because the red stamping polish (color BP-WN05 Dark Armor from Born Pretty) was not as opaque as the polishes from Beauty Big Bang. I initially applied red polish to the cape portion and black polish from Ya Qin An to the rest of the outline and colored in the design carefully with a small brush while it was on the stamper. Brown polish was applied to her bangs, Give Peach a Chance from Sephora by OPI was used for her skin, and white Ya Qin An stamping polish was used for her dress. After stamping this decal onto my nail, I discovered that the red was not very bright, so I ended up double stamping a 2nd coat of red polish over her cape.
The flowers from the image just right of center in the middle of the plate were used for my index finger. Because the flowers here are all different heights, I couldn’t use a 2 color single swipe technique. I stamped the green stems first, taking care to remove any flower petals that may have transferred onto the stamper with some tape. The flower heads were stamped with pink polish from Born Pretty (BP-WT06 Cherry Blossoms) and filled in with UO Nail Lacquer in Pink Holo prior to applying the decal to my nails.
My favorite nail by far is my thumbnail where I used the image from the bottom middle of the plate. Because my nails are pretty long right now, I stamped the rows of teeth separately with white polish from Ya Qin An to ensure that the bottom and top sets would extend from the edges of my nail. Red was stamped with Dark Armor with the details filled in with the brown, peach, and white polishes that I used before. I again ended up double stamping the red part of the design for a more opaque look, and I finished up the mani with a layer of matte top coat using BK Matte Surface Oil across all my nails.
Do you prefer the matte or the glossy version? The gloss brings out the shimmer in the base color and looks cute, but the matte version gives the scene a more sinister look.
Overall, this was a fun manicure to create. It’s definitely one for more advanced stampers, but the results are really stunning.