Hows your Sunday going? Happily for me the roads here are back open, so I'm not trapped indoors anymore. So OBVIOUSLY I've been shopping.
I was asked recently by the beautiful Catrine at Unnaked Nails about nail stamping. I said I would do a post about it, and I'm a woman of my word, so here it is. By the way, if you like nails and beauty, and you don't follow her, you're missing out, her blog is fab.
While I was out shopping, I was in Poundland looking to see if they had any Sally Hansen polishes lurking around as they sometimes do (none this time), and I saw their nail stamping kit. I've been intrigued to know if this was any good, and so far I haven't seen any comparison posts from the blogs I follow. So thought I would kill two birds with one stone, and do the comparison along with a quick 'how to' about nail stamping.
So here's a pic of the Poundland kit still in its package, alongside the Konad equivalents:
I knew as soon as I saw this kit, that I already owned the Konad plate that they've produced a dupe for, so it would be a good chance for me to show them side by side. And here they are:
As you can see, the Konad plate M20 on the left, and the Poundland plate B17 on the right, both have identical images on them, and the plates are exactly the same size. The Poundland plate didn't have any backing on like Konad plates do, but actually the edges weren't too sharp so it wasn't so bad. I got some quite bad cuts from the original Bundle Monster plates so I know how dangerous they can be! I've discovered that it's quite difficult to take photos of highly reflective things without appearing in shot haha. As you can see the Poundland scraper has a plastic blade, which is quite handy because both my Konad scrapers have metal blades, which work brilliantly, but can scratch your plates. I wonder how they can get away with directly copying things like this without infringing copyright?
So anyway, let's see if the results are as similar as the plates. Firstly I painted my nails using Marks & Spencers Limited collection polish in Pale Lavender. Then I used a coat of Seche Vite, and I was ready to stamp. I'm using Barry M Gelly in Blackberry to stamp with.
Here's the outcome:
Pretty impressive! Konad is on pointer and middle finger, and Poundland is on ring and little finger. I chose these two images because they both have fiddly lines in them, which can easily go wrong in cheaper plates. I actually think the floral design on the Poundland plate came out better, but certainly Konads butterfly image is crisper. This could of course been because of the plastic scraper.
The both stampers seemed to work as well as each other, the Poundland one didn't feel as firm or tacky, but worked just as well.
In summary, if you don't own any Konad, but want to try stamping on a budget, this Poundland kit is definitely worth a go. I couldn't tell the difference between my nails in real life, and it's no harder to use than Konad. It's a go-er!
So then, this is all very well, but how do you use it? I've put together a mini photo tutorial below, but there are tons of videos on YouTube. Soguesswhat11 is one of my favourites.
After applying your base coat, paint your nails with the colour of your choice. I then apply a coat of Seche Vite. Then WAIT. Your polish has to be hard dry before you can stamp on it. I usually do this and wait at least a quarter of an hour, even with Seche, because if you dent your colour coat with your stamping, there's usually no rescue and you'll have to start again.
Also the Seche acts as a barrier between your colour coat and your stamping. This is expecially handy if you mess up a stamp, because if you're careful, you can sweep off the dud stamp and apply another coat of Seche to have another try without having to do your colour coat again.
If your plate is new, there could be a plastic film cover stuck on the front of it, which you'll need to peel off.
1) Load some polish on your image. You don't need to totally cover it, but you can if you want:
Some polishes work better for stamping than others. All the Barry M Gelly ones I've tried so far have worked well. As a general rule, the more opaque the polish is, the better. If it's a one coater, it will probably be good for stamping. Any polish that's gone gloopy is usually good too. I do own some Konad special stamping polishes as they came with the kit I bought, and if I want to stamp in white, I'll use the Konad one as it's the most opaque I've found so far. The only real difference between the Konad polish and regular polish (that I can see) is that the Konad polish is thicker, and it dries slightly matte.
2) Scrape away the excess polish:
As you can see, I'm holding my scraper at a 45 degree angle, which seems to work the best. You do want to have your plate resting on something absorbent (kitchen roll is best but we didn't have any), because when you scrape to the edge, the polish will go off the edge and onto whatever you're resting on. You don't want to press down too hard or you'll scrape too much polish off your plate and you'll be missing bits of your design when you come to stamp it.
3) Pick the image up onto your stamper:
Hold your stamper above the image and then press straight down onto your image, and then straight up again to pick your image off the plate. Don't use a rolling motion at the point or you'll have a bigger chance of getting a smudgy image. Actually this is the point where alot of people get their stamping technique wrong, before they've even got close to their nail.
4) Have a quick check of your image:
All too many times I've missed this step out, and regretted it. As you can see, I've missed the bottom of this image, so I would clean my stamper and have another go. To do that you just rub it on a cotton pad with polish remover on it. I usually rub it on the palm of my hand afterward to make sure it's dry. If you rub it on a cotton pad at this point, it would probably pick up lint, but a paper towel would be ok. If it's not dry and you try to stamp with it, the polish remover would spoil your stamping.
5) Stamp your image:
Here's where you want to use a rolling motion. Starting at one edge of your nail, press the stamper onto your nail and roll across to the other side. You don't need to press too hard, that's another common mistake people make when they first start stamping. If you press too hard there's more chance that your image can be distorted, whereas if you just gently place it on the nail, it settles more evenly. You also don't want to wait too long between picking up your image and stamping it on your nail, because if it dries it will stay on the stamper and not transfer onto your nail.
And so onto the next nail. Depending on how gloopy your polish is, and how quick/perfect you want to be, you might need to clean your plate between every nail. It's not messy to clean the plate anyway with a cotton pad and polish remover, and remember to give it a quick dry too. I usually just have one wet and one dry cotton pad on my workstation, and rub with wet then dry.
So when you've done all your nails you can topcoat if you wish. Topcoat does give it a nicer finish. It's another common preconception that you have to topcoat. You don't. It's still polish that's on your nails, so it's not going to wash off in the bath or anything. If you topcoat too soon, you'll drag your image and ruin your design. If you wait an hour or so you'll probably be ok.
And there, you'll be done! Here's a manicure a I did using stamping and dotting. You can see the post I wrote on it (here)
I painted a third down my nails, stamped the flowery line, and then dotted below that. It didn't take very long, and I think it looks pretty good, even though I do say so myself.
So what do you think, have you tried stamping, or is it something you'd like to have a go at?
Until next time...
MASPOOASE x x x