In many of the Gina K videos (this video is a good example: http://stamptv.ning.com/video/sketch-spotlight-stvsksp18) she uses a sponge-applicator with distress inks to give the inside of the cut-outs a subtle shade. This makes the image in the middle appear sharper and the whole cut-out is not as stark against any other backing shapes.
NOTE: "Dies" refer to the cutting templates used in 'die-cutting machines' such as the Spellbinder and the Cuttlebug (which I invested in).
While your shape is still in the 'die' after cutting (with or without embossing - that's another story), you turn it around with the image facing you. Now here is my cheaper version:
Instead of using sponge applicators you can use tissue paper or gauze to get different effects. Just wrap them around your finger. I'm also using cheaper pale chalk-based inks named VersaMagic Multi-surface Chalk Ink (the dew-drop size). They look like this: http://www.scrap-a-doodles.co.za/productimage.php?product_id=3729
I have the following colors: Sage (greenish), Pixie Dust (pinkish), Aspen Mist (blueish) and Thatched Straw (yellowish).
So all you do is wrap either tissue or gauze (I'm still going to experiment with other alternatives) around your finger, dab onto the ink sponge and dab once on a scrap piece of paper to get that extra bit off first. Then you either gently WIPE around the inside edge of where the die meets the paper OR for a very nice textured look, you PRESS down with the gauze, going around the shape.
Here is what it looks like:
TISSUE (before taking it out of the die):