Stamping Polish v. Foil Polish - What's the Difference?

Stamping Polish v. Foil Polish - What's the Difference?

Jun 26th 2022

Foil polishstamping polishgel polishregular polish...what's the difference and why do we need to use a particular one instead of another?

Today, we'll learn about the difference between stamping polish and foil stamping polish (also known simply as foil polish).

Stamping polish is an opaque, thicker, one-coat nail polish. It is used to stamp a design over a dried base coat of regular nail polish. You can layer different colors of stamping polish, and color in designs using stamping polish, to create more intricate, complicated looks.

Foil polish works in the same way as stamping polish, but it has a slower dry time than stamping polish. This allows you to take more time to apply nail foil over the tacky foil nail polish, without worrying about rushing to apply it so you don't "miss your window."  

Foil polish also creates a more delicate, thinner, softer stamp. It is especially good for delicate images with intricate designs and many lines, such as words, fairies, butterflies, etc.

Hit the Bottle stamping polish on the left, foil stamping polish on the right.

When using foil polish, it is VERY important to use a water based top coat to complete your manicure!!! Due to the longer drying time of the foil polish, a regular top coat will SMEAR the foil polish like crazy! You do not want to ruin your hard work with a regular top coat. 

We only carry brands we believe in, and our customers have shown great success with the SOPHi water based top coat (for use with foil polish as a stamping polish but no foil on top) and the Hit the Bottle Water Tight water based top coat (for use with nail foil). 

One of our pro users says: "Foil polish takes forever and a day to dry - if you are going to actually use foil on it, use HTB's Watertight. If you are going to just stamp with it, use Sophi's water based top coat. I keep both on hand! HTB's is perfect for chromes, powders, foils, etc. and I use the Sophi for everything else." 

PRO TIP: With any water based top coat - make sure that you really brush the excess polish off your brush. It should almost look like it's dry!

Now that you know the difference between foil polish and stamping polish, take a look at it in action here, using Moyra's FP01 black foil stamping polish and holographic nail foil!

Products used:

Simply Silver Nail Stamper

Lantern & Wren Decal Cutter (with detail brush on the other end)

Foil Stamping Polish

Nail Foil