Sunset n Swirls – Smoosh and Stamping Nail Art

Stamping nail art by Kimett Kolor

Fiery blended colors, opalescent flakies, shadow stamping with multi-chrome polish, oh my! Today’s nail art design has got a lot going on, but really comes together pretty easily. Especially with the help of clear stampers.

Actually, coming up with a title for this design was a challenge. However, as you read on and see some of the in-progress photos, it should make more sense. Let’s see, shall we?

The other day, I needed something bright and cheery to get me out of a little funk. Nothing does that better than painting my nails yellow. Well…there might be something else…but this is a nail art blog so I’ll stick to those types of things…K? Any-ways. Also, recently, I started the process of culling down my polish collection after all the yammering I’ve done about it of late. To help decide between some similar shades, I painted all 5 nails with a different yellow polish. Here’s a quick look at that yellow skittle:

Yellow Nail Polish Comparison

A few dupes here…I kept two of the five. Can you guess which ones? Also, it’s kinda hard to believe that this design started off so plain, isn’t it? But…I guess, really, they all do.

Design Details

Other than I had already applied a base of yellow polish to my nails a few days prior, I had no real idea where I’d end up with these. I shut down the planning in my brain and let my creativity just take over, reaching out for colors and tools as I went along. The first inclination was to cover the yellow with a smoosh type technique in the popular tropical sunset colors – orange, yellow, pink, purple. Because I wanted to maintain some of the horizontal gradient aspect representing the skyline, I decided upon a drag marble smoosh – also known as the #dragnsmoosh.

Previous drag marble smoosh: Picture Polish challenge

I grabbed a piece of tin foil to be the surface of the drag marble and started by painting a square of clear polish. I did this one square at a time, so that I could keep working with wet polish. Without waiting, I added blobs of each color and used a small dotting tool in horizontal strokes to mix up the drag marble portion of the design. Then, I picked up the drag marble design with the stamper.

Feeling a bit rebellious against my own words of wisdom, I didn’t test anything out ahead of time. Rather, I used my thumb nail as the guinea pig and applied the smoosh directly from the stamper. However, I found it too difficult to capture the linear look when squishing the wet colors across the curves of my nail. I lost the definition of the drag marble effect, and ended up with a traditional smoosh effect.

In Progress Drag Marble Smoosh

So, for my fingers I decided to let the smoosh set on the stampers for about 15 minutes (give or take). The best I can say is the polish was not wet, but also not yet dry enough to peel off the stamper like a decal.  I then applied some sticky base coat to my nails, and before it was dry I stamped the drag marble onto each nail. The tacky layer pulls the design off the stamper in one piece and as long as everything isn’t too wet, the smoosh can be pressed across the curves of the nail pretty evenly.

The one other thing I improved as I went along, is to use a clear stamper for the next three nails so that I could align the pattern that would ultimately be the design on my nail. By the way, it’s fascinating to see the differences in the top and under sides of the smoosh. If you preferred the pattern facing up on the stamper, you could let it dry further so that you could peel it off the stamper and apply it face up. Smooshes are so fun, they probably should be outlawed!!

After clean up, here’s a shot of the drag marble smoosh base:

In Progress Clean Up Stamped Smoosh

Alrighty roo. Now what? Well, since I flubbed my thumb and ring finger nails a bit, it was time to pull out the weapons of mass distraction. Flakies! Better than fairy dust or glitters, IMHO.

It figures that as I’m just writing this up today, I realize that I had some loose flakies not-hiding in my pretty see-thru drawer organizer that would have worked very nicely. However, on that day I chose to use an older flakie polish topper from my stash because the colors best went with my creative vision. Let it be said, flakie polish technology has come a LONG way since this one was bottled…and today it will be relegated to the recycle pile (not the destash pile, as it’s no longer viable). I digress.

I applied the flakie polish to a make-up sponge and then dabbed it across my nail a couple times to get even flakie coverage without too much of the polish base covering the nail.

Woops, no progress picture here, sorry about that…sigh. Moving on…

Now, it was time to pick some stamping. I thought I was going to do an ocean & palm tree motif, but the smoosh patterns led me in a different direction. When in doubt, I default to swirls. Swirls are always a winner. First I stamped in black. I placed two partial swirl designs on my thumb nail (since there was room) and then a swirl pattern on each of the finger nails. Hmmm….it looked good…but it still needed more.

So, as a finishing statement, I tried out the technique of double stamping the same image, but aligned so that it looks like the first stamp is a shadow of the second. To do this, I stamped in a golden holographic glittery polish…on my thumb nail. After determining that I need LOTS and LOTS more practice with shadow stamping, ahem, I chose a more subtle look (a.k.a. more forgiving) by using a multi-chrome polish for the second stamping on the finger nails.

Drag Marble Smoosh with Double Stamping

After a couple coats of top coat to seal it all in (except the most stubborn few of these ole’ flakies that stuck out, no matter what), the net result was pretty cool!! Even if I’m saying so myself. Yay! It really is a blast to combine so many elements as layers to make up the finished nail art.

And, so you can see what I’ve been going on about…here are a couple close ups to show a comparison of the “two” designs:

Shadow stamping with multichrome polish

Middle Nail – Multichrome Shadow Stamping


Shadow stamping with gold holographic polish

Thumb Nail – Golden Holographic Shadow Stamping

Smoosh and stamping nail art


Polish Palette

Butter London – Pimms (yellow), Cake-Hole (pink), Silly Billy (orange), Giddy Kipper (indigo)
Revlon – Nail Art Moon Candy (flakies)
Hit the Bottle – As Black As Night (black stamping)
Lucky 13 Lacquer – I Will Burn The Heart Out Of You (multi-chrome polish)

Plate: Fab Ur Nails – FUN 23
Stamper: multiple stampers, soft but not sticky

Base Coat: Supernatural Lacquer – Sticky Base Coat
Clear: Pipe Dream Polish (closed) – Clearwater
Top Coat: Lucky 13 Lacquer – Elemental Ward
Latex Skin Barrier: Clear Jelly Stamper – Cuticle ProTect
Clean Up Brush: Fab Ur Nails – Angular Kolinsky Clean Up Brush
Cuticle Oil: Apothaka – SOS Recovery & Cuticle Oil
Misc: Tweezers, small dotting tool, tin foil, make-up sponge

This is one of the newly released stamping plates from Fab Ur Nails. Lots of potential here! Includes designs meant for layered looks too. Can you find the swirl pattern I used?FabUrNails FUN 23 Stamp Plate

Okay. Now is the part of the post that I wow you with more pictures…you’re okay with that, right? I suppose if you’re not, you’ll scroll or click away…good thing I won’t know otherwise I might cry. Dramatic, much? LOL

Sunset colors with stamping nail art

Taken in direct afternoon sunlight

Excuse the hand pose in this next photo, I just really liked the shot because it gives a feel for how everything going on came together in a pretty manicure. It glowed bright and gave the effect of movement because of the stamping pattern, but also all the layers of colors and finishes.



Braving the intense grass pollen to bring you some nails and flower shots too! [Click on the photos, if you’d like to see them bigger.]

And last, but not least….some dreamy multi-chrome action in that bottle, eh?

Shadow Stamping FUN 23

Photo taken under the shade of an porch, but with the afternoon sunlight indirectly creating the glisten


So…what did you think of these? Did the colors and designs play well together? I’d love to hear your feedback (all is welcome) in the comments.
Oh, and Happy Summer Solstice to my fellow friends in the Northern Hemisphere. Got any special things lined up to enjoy the warmest time of the year? Me? I burn up quick like a lobster, so I’ll be mostly hiding in the air-conditioned house, thank you very much. Maybe I’ll go to the beach…on my nails, that is. LOL

Till Next Time,