Autumn Birds Brave the Wind: Stamping Nail Art for Sharon

black and white stamping nail art with bundle monster plate

Have you ever tried re-creating a color nail design into Black & White?

According to the experts at, “Black and white pictures can have a nostalgic touch and often bring more drama to the scene. Maybe this is true with nail art too. Let’s see…

The Backstory

Today is Sharon’s Birthday! And over on Instagram, her friends are throwing a nail party in her honor. She is particularly fond of making black & white nail art designs for her clients and for herself. Hence, the party theme was to re-create one of her designs, but without colors. Check it out:

Sharon’s Instagram @sharnailstar

Check out last year’s party in green (and read more about Sharon too)

black stamping with hit the bottle polish

Artist Appreciation

Below is Sharon’s original design that she posted back in September along with my black & white version. There’s lots of artist appreciation going on. Specifically, Sharon’s inspiration came from a hand painted purse made by Megan, the artist @madartstudios.

Re-creation of Sharon's nail art in black and white

Above image linked to Sharon’s original Instagram post


Design Details

Sharon is a stamping guru. She makes a living doing it, after all! Consequently, she has created soooo many beautiful and intriguing designs that it was nearly impossible to pick one. Recently though, I purchased the sameย dual end sponge wandย (also called a gradient sponge brush) that she used for her nail art background. Like cookies in the cupboard, it’s been calling out to me to give it a try.

You’ll see a peek of this handy tool in the work-in-progress cell pic below. The handle is pink and it has a place for replaceable sponges on each end. The sponges are super duper soft. Not only do they make terrific gradients, but they can also give the appearance of air brushing. Hence, the technique is sometimes referred to as Aeropuffing. Neat, huh?!

Work in progress nail art using the dual end sponge wand

Puff. Puff. And another – Puff. Lots of fun!

After applying a base color polish on my nails, I used this sponge tool to randomly apply light layers of whites and grays for the background. Like Sharon, I used regular polish even though this tool is designed to be used with gels (or water based paints). In case you’re curious about cleaning the sponges,ย Lantern & Wren‘s the product page was recently updated with cleaning directionsย (link in product list below).

Next step: stamping.

autumn theme stamping nail art in gray-scale

The stamping was then fairly straightforward, applying different sections of the buffet style plate to each nail. I mostly mimicked Sharon’s placement, although I used more of the edge of the tree on my index finger. In hindsight, coloring in the birds would have made them pop a bit more.ย  With gray or white of course. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Lastly, I added the park bench to my thumb. It’s my favorite nail.

Park bench on windy Autumn day - nail art

Care to join me on the bench?


polish and plate used in stamping nail art design

Polish Palette

Base Color
(light french gray) CND โ€ขย Miss Wu

Sponged Colors

All from Hit The Bottle:

  • (white) Snowed In
  • (french white shimmer) Moonshine
  • (gray) A Flock Of Seagulls
  • (charcoal shimmer) My Suitor Wears Pewter


  • Polish: (black) Hit The Bottleย โ€ขย As Black As Night
  • Plate: Bundle Monster โ€ขย BM-707
  • Stamper: Moyra โ€ขย PiXL Clear Stamper No. 12


  • Gel Base: MelodySusie โ€ขย Base & Top Coat
  • Base Coat: Supernatural Lacquer โ€ขย Sticky Base Coat
  • Glossy Top Coat: Love, Angeline โ€ขย Topped With Love (glossy top coat)
  • Matte Top Coat: Bยฒ Lacquer โ€ขย B Matte (matte top coat)
  • Liquid Latex: Vapid Lacquer โ€ขย Cat Suit
  • Clean Up Brush: Fab Ur Nails โ€ขย Angled Kolinsky Clean Up Brush
  • Sponges: Lantern & Wren โ€ขย Gradient Sponge Brush
Autumn nail art in black and white

Can you hear the wind blow?

And, because sometimes we just can’t leave things alone….let’s see what it looks like with a matte top coat, shall we?

Glossy versus Matte Top Coat Over Stamping

Which do you prefer? Glossy (top) or Matte (bottom)?

The collage images too small, you say. Okay, here’s a last look up close and in matte.

Black and white stamping nail art design for Fall


Geez…it was so good to have new nail art to share with you today. Sorry for my absence of late. Despite things out of my control, you can still consider my butt appropriately kicked. ๐Ÿ˜‰

And, we’re so NOT going to talk about my shorter nails, are we? Nope. Because, we’ve all been there. Right?! Okay then. Certainly it wouldn’t hurt then if you happen to leave a comment about nails of all lengths being beautiful. Thank you!


Till next time,

kimett signature

  • CurlyGirl66

    A very dramatic nail art post! I LIKE it. (It is so refreshing to see something in black & white that is not Halloween themed or skulls or something along those lines!) I have always been a fan of black & white – I find it very artistic. And your choice of nail art to recreate does not diminish the visual impact of the original at all – both are beautiful in their own right. Right up until the end, I was going to mention the new nail shape. (I thought you had done it on purpose because it suited this stamping design better). Regardless of the reason, it looks just perfect! so nice to see a post from you!!

    • Awe, thanks!! So much praise…my head is getting big….nah, just kidding! And, of course, yes, I intentionally chopped off the tip of my middle nail with the potato peeler….I mean, why not?? LOL As each day goes by the shock of it is slightly less. Thanks for reading and leaving a very nice comment!!!! XO XO

  • Silvie Ngo

    Definitely adds a dramatic touch to the nail art in black and white. I love this look very much. Your version is eerie but in a very moody and pretty kind of way. I love all the details you’ve put down in your technique. I also love that sponge. I’m going to get me one when I get more $$$.

    • Thanks, Silvie!!! I really appreciate your words. I was so focused on “copying” the design, that I hadn’t really considered it fully and you’ve made me like them even more. ๐Ÿ˜‰ The sponge wand is really cool — but use it with gel (or acrylic paints) — with regular polish it just isn’t the same after the first 6 puffs or so (even with cleaning it with acetone as the website suggests). They’re too expensive at that rate. ๐Ÿ˜‰ And….the holidays are coming…hope Santa is good to you!! XO XO

  • Lisa Tryon

    Very beautiful! I’ve missed seeing your lovely work, of late, but circumstances are circumstances. You did a wonderful job recreating her design. I passed right over it as too complex, but you nailed it. I was saying to myself that I wished I owned the plate and then I realized I did. I keep using the grass and skip everything else. Probably my addiction to small animals that need grass to hide in. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Great info about the sponge tool. I want one now. I’d been dismissing them as wasteful because I didn’t realize you could clean and re-use them. And it’s really hard to argue with your results. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks so much – I’m thrilled you liked these! Funny, it was the first time I used that plate, and yes – the grass is pretty cool — not too cartoonist and spaced right for the lil’ animals. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Oh yes, the backgrounds you could make with the gradient sponge tool would go so well with your freehand painting Lisa!!

      • Lisa Tryon

        Ah, it so would! I need to do more freehand soon. I’ve been stamping like crazy lately. But now I feel like I should do an elephant mani because I favor little animals so much. Then again, I’ll just paint the elephant’s foot and still use the grass stamp. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        I’d love to see you experiment with the sponge tool more. You’ve created some amazing soft looks and you’re much better at documenting how well something works. Like…does this do lead lighting well?

        • Here, here!! All creatures, great and small!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

          Ooooh — you’ve given me some ideas to try — THANKS!! So far I’ve seen Yagala do a kind of lead lighting (sort of) — she first used the sponge with vinyls like an air brush and then used jellies to tint “the air brushing”. But, I’ve not seen anyone do the lead lighting with the sponge — hmmm…..

  • nancpantzng

    What a wonderful post!! Beautiful nails and awesome tribute to Sharon! ๐Ÿ‘I was also wondering about that sponge tool. Because I know you really can’t clean sponges once you use them. And it seemed expensive to me. I’m not really one to use gels or water based paints, so I don’t think it would be a good fit for me. Although, I love the look it creates!
    And did I mention that your nails look good at any length! ๐Ÿ˜˜

    • Oh, Nancy you are way too good to me and my little short stubby nails….THANK YOU!! <3 <3

      And, it's a real pat on the back to know that you enjoy the posts even after you see the nails on IG. Thank you!!

      Yes, the sponge tool is pretty neat, but IMHO not useful for regular nail polish really — or more specifically, not friendly on the wallet in that case. I'm curious to see how many times those sponges can be reused with gels (I'm cautiously optimistic about it). It got me thinking though — I wonder if we can find cheap round little sponges and use them with our cotton claws?? It wouldn't have as soft a payoff, but the roundness might be close enough to the look…hmmm….another "to do" item for the list to try!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • nancpantzng

    Actually I have to say, I enjoy reading your blog post on the same mani’s because there’s just so much more interesting info!
    And that sponge is just way too overpriced for what it is! It’s just a sponge!!
    I had the same idea as you; try to make my own! Like I said, it’s just a sponge!!! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

    • Ah – music to my ears!!! Always good to know the effort pays off. Thank you so much!!! XO XO

      LOL. It is a very soft sponge though….but best for gels I think. ๐Ÿ˜‰ With polish, I think we can DIY it. ๐Ÿ˜‰