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I Tried It… Konad Nail Stamping


Konad Nail Stamping System
Photo Credits: 1, 2, 3

I remember my first manicure vividly – I was in 5th grade and had just gotten braces, and my mom took me to the nail salon to try to cheer me up. I loved everything about the experience – especially my bright, sky-blue nails.

Fast-forward seven years to my senior year of high school, where I spent 30 minutes at the drugstore searching for the perfect neon coral-pink polish – even though the polish is totally old, I still can’t bring myself to throw away the bottle.

One more nail polish story: I’m best friends with my freshman-year dorm neighbor – who now admits she started talking to me only because she loved my yellow nails.

Konad nail stamping - lime green with black

Anyway, I’ve always been a fan of bold nail choices. Unfortunately, I have absolutely no skill when it comes to nail art – like, I even screw up doing simple polka dots. I thought that nail art would be forever lost on me, especially since I don’t want to pay extra at the already-pricey salon.

Enter… Konad Nail Stamping


A few weeks ago, while browsing HelloGiggles, I came across an article talking about nail stamping. I watched the video with mild interest but thought it was one of those things that would take a lot of practice to master. The next day I was browsing MakeupAlley (which I am kind of addicted to,) looking at nail products when I saw that Konad had a 98% “Buy Again” rate- and let me tell you, nothing on MakeupAlley has that high of a Buy Again rate, not even cult favorites.

40 minutes, and exactly $40.91 later, I had purchased two special polishes (white and black for about $6 each from Amazon,) a double-sided stamper and scraper ($6.75 from Amazon,) and a set of 25 nail plates ($22 from Bundle Monster from Amazon,) and a week later I had my entire nail stamping system.

My Experience with Konad Nail Stamping

My first try with Konad nail stamping
my first try, over Essie Coat Azure, captured via my computer’s camera

I read a ton of reviews and watched a couple Youtube videos before trying it, so I kind-of knew what I was doing. This video is a great first-time video example-not by me.

Basically, you apply nail polish to a metal plate etched with designs on it, scrape the extra polish off with a scraper (or old giftcard,) stamp the stamper on the plate so it gets the image, then stamp it on your nail.

For my first time, I decided to play around with different designs. I’d read reviews of the Bundle Monster plates that said that some weren’t etched deeply enough, so three or four of the 15 designs I tried didn’t transfer to the stamp. Overall, my first try went pretty well- you can see it above. I wouldn’t say my nails looked good, as some of the designs weren’t 100% on my nail and others were lopsided, but it was really easy to get into the groove of doing this.

It took me about 25 minutes to do the designs themselves as I had to play with the amount of polish to put on the plate, the best way to scrape it off and how long I could wait when I stamped it on, but I was honestly surprised at how easy it was.

My Review

Konad nail stamping results
My 4th, 5th, and 6th tries, using OPI Italian Love Affair, OPI Do You Lilac It and OPI Mermaid’s Tears with Konad White on top

Alright, guys, it’s been about two months since I bought the Konad ‘system’ and I am absolutely hooked – there are so many designs to choose from!

I’m having so much fun with animal print, fishnet print, shatter print… you name it, this pack of plates has it. Seriously, I’ve used it so much that I’m almost out of white Konad polish! I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve been stopped and asked about my nails – the cashiers at CVS know me as “the girl with cool nails.” If you’re the kind of girl that will spend that extra 10-20 minutes per manicure to get the look, then I absolutely, 100% recommend this.

Now that I’ve gotten the hang of it – which happened after 5-6 tries – it takes me 15 minutes from set-up to clean up, and I do these all the time! After using this about a dozen times, here are some more suggestions I have when using it:

  • First, make sure to have 100% pure acetone nail polish remover. (Sometimes it’s called ‘professional polish remover.) In between cleaning the stamper and the plates, you go through a lot of this stuff: In 12-15 applications I’ve gone through 1/3rd of a 16-ounce bottle. I bought mine at CVS for $4.95.
  • Do this on a flat surface – I was used to doing my nails on my bed or a couch, but you definitely need a flat surface, like a table or desk, to do this on – even a sturdy textbook won’t cut it.
  • Grab a ton of old gift cards or credit cards to use as scrapers – I have two or three that I use solely for this purpose and I think they work just as well, if not better, than the Konad scraper.
  • Make sure to lay a bunch of paper towels out, and have toilet paper/cotton balls on hand to wipe off the plate and stamper.
  • You’ll probably need to buy the special Konad polishes – they are very goopy and won’t dry as fast as regular polish. I only say probably because if you have old, goopy polish then it could work for stamping – play around with your stash. Metallic polishes also work. (I’ve had moderate success with Orly’s Luxe but the black and white special polishes work much better.)
  • Stamp your nails after you’re done putting polish on and before you use a topcoat. Also, when you use a topcoat, put a generous layer on, as a thin coat can ruin some of the designs
  • Try to think of a quick way to explain this to people who ask about your nails – it will happen, and I still don’t have a fast way of explaining it. “It’s, uh, this, stamping thing, called Konad?” is not really cutting it.

So, what do you guys think?

Will you be buying Konad’s nail stamper? Have you tried it before? What did you think? And how do you explain it to others? Tell me tell me tell me in the comments!

Posted on on August 23, 2011 / Filed Under: Beauty & Hair / Tags: , , , , , ,

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52 Responses to “I Tried It… Konad Nail Stamping”

  1. 1
    August 23rd, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    I’ve always been interested in buying one of these and after seeing your results i totally want one! Although I don’t know if I’ll be able to deal with not being able to paint my nails in bed, it’s my favorite activity to do at ridiculous hours of the night when I can’t sleep.

  2. 2
    August 23rd, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    My aunt showed it a couple of years ago, when she went to Las Vegas. It´s very easy to use it and I highly recommend it. Unfortunately, she lost all its accessories, but I´m planning to buy the kit soon.

  3. 3
    August 23rd, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    I also had this about 5 years ago when I lived overseas and went to dig them out again after reading this. I remember my nails looking so awesome and that I was able to use any kind of polish on the metal plate – however I much younger and the two plates I bought had rather strange designs (: will be rebuying them soon for sure!

  4. 4
    August 23rd, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    The timing couldn’t be better for you to have posted this review! I’ve been getting back into nail art and I, like you, suck big time when it comes to handling little designy details. I saw this a few months back at the mall but thought it was just some gimmick and forgot all about it. So glad to hear how successful you were with it. I’m definitely getting a kit for myself now! Thanks :)

  5. 5
    August 23rd, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    I own the Konad nail stamper/scraper, 2 Konad polishes, and 25 Mash plates. I only paid around $30 for the whole thing. The Mash plates are really awesome, they go by the same system that Konad does (m57, etc,) so it’s basically the Konad plates but for a LOT cheaper. Unfortunately, I think Amazon is out of them right now.

    I try to make time every Sunday evening to do my nails. Friends have said that they definitely thought my manicures were professional! It’s also a lot cheaper than getting your nails done at a salon.

  6. 6
    August 23rd, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    Wow thats really neat. The trend hasn’t hit here yet but then Im kind of rural. All we have is that old polish that crackles up over the undercoat for a rock like effect. Does the stamp add a texture to the nail in the shape of the design? Or does a clear top coat cover it completely?

    This is really neat and I am defiantly keepin an eye out for these to try it.

  7. 7
    August 23rd, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    So glad you did a review on this! I am sooo into nail art and have been wanting to try this system. I’ll definitely be looking into getting one of my own :)

  8. 8
    August 23rd, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    I saw an infomercial on this a few days ago and was tempted to call and see if it worked. Now, I just bought the same system you have from Amazon today!!! I Can’t wait to try it out :)

  9. 9
    August 23rd, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    I have one, I’m from Peru but my sister brought one from her travel to Las Vegas. it’s amazing, I have manicure done in 30 minutes!

  10. 10
    August 23rd, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    I have NEVER heard of this, but I LOVE the idea!!! I mean, come on! Animal print? Fishnet design??? BRING IT!!! So ya.

  11. 11
    August 23rd, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    My sorority is hooked, too. We have konad parties when we feel like being way too girly. It’s awesome and really easy to do.

  12. 12
    August 23rd, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    These look great, Elizabeth. Thanks for testing them out, I’ve been wanting to try them!

  13. 13
    August 23rd, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    Cool. I never heard of this before… but its a great idea, and seems super easy. But is it affordable?

    Elizabeth, which kit did you end up buying… and where?


  14. 14
    August 23rd, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    I have this and I ABSOLUTELY ADORE IT! It’s what got me hooked on doing my nails once a week! It’s so easy to change up your look with this! I have recommended it to everyone I know! It does take a little more time but it definitely pays off!

  15. 15
    August 23rd, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    I have this too, but i have NEVER been able to get the hang of it. I don’t even know if
    we still have it. I feel like I should get it out and try some more now though, since everyone else is having so much success with it. It would be really fun to be able to have the designs on my nails :)

  16. 16
    August 23rd, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    I have been on the fence about this forever because it takes me so long just to do a simple manicure, i think i might finally try it! Thanks for the review.

  17. 17
    August 23rd, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    Omg! I used to be ALL OVER Konad nail stamps when i was in highschool but gave up on it because I could never do a perfect job in it (i’m quite anal when it comes to my nail designs). Now I just stick to rhinestones, nail stickers and nail brushes for my nail art. I wish I still have my set so I could try to master it over a summer. Girls, a set of this is extremely cheap and it sure will be a lot of fun. A word of caution, though: You can only use the Konad nail polish for the designs because of it’s thickness and it’s ability to stick onto the stamper. I remember trying other thicker old nail polish and it did not work. :( Great post!

  18. 18
    August 23rd, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    I recommend Sally Hansen Insta-Dri for stamping, as well- it’s cheap, and it’s super pigmented.

  19. 19
    August 24th, 2011 at 12:03 am

    I’ve been using konad for almost a year! I love it! I get so many compliments from friends and even complete strangers! :)

  20. 20
    August 24th, 2011 at 2:23 am

    I love it! I was a bit appalled by the $40 price tag you wrote, but when I read what you spent it on and how successful you were (and checking how much the products are myself), I’m definitely going to get me some stamps! XP

    Consider me sold. ;)

  21. 21
    August 24th, 2011 at 8:38 am

    This is so cool! I recently got back into having my nails painted regularly, but have already gotten bored with just plain nails. I think I’ll definitely be looking into buying this kit! Thanks for the great review!

  22. 22
    August 24th, 2011 at 8:51 am

    I’m wearing OPI a color that can’t be tamed, with OPI lincoln park after dark konaded over it in the crackle pattern (the one in the lilac and white manicure shown in the article). I love my konadicures!
    I always use regular polish for the stamp pattern and it’s worked great for me. As long as you are quick about transferring the polish from plate to stamp there’s no need to use special polish. Using regular polish gives you so many more color options!

  23. 23
    August 24th, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    I learned how to do this in about a day. But that’s because I’m really good at this kind of stuff and the lady I bought it from taught me how to do it in 5 minutes. It’s worth the time and money because the end result is so fun and cool and it makes your nails so different than everyone elses. I’ve never gotten a manicure before, so this is coming from someone who has only ever done her own nails. Also, check out Amazon. There is a set of nail art disks that aren’t konad, but the work with the konad stamper and nail polish cause they are laser cut disks. Way cheaper than the konad disks

  24. 24
    August 24th, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    OMG, I loved your post so much that I just had to do a little bit more research – youtube videos – and ordered few of the plates and nail polishes online :D I can’t wait to get them :D it’s going to be my birthday in three weeks so let’s say it is my little gift to myself :)

  25. 25
    August 24th, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    You absolutely do NOT need Konad Special Polish to get these to work, although they may be good for beginners. Wet n Wild’s 99c black and white creme polishes work perfectly, and give you much more bang for your buck. The konad ones do take longer to dry, but I think they’re also more prone to smearing when you add topcoat. Any very opaque (one coater) polish should work well with the Konad system. It’s a bit of an investment at first but so worth it once you get the hang of it!

  26. 26
    August 24th, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    I agree, you definitely don’t need the special polishes! I use Sally Hansen Extreme Wear polishes (best drugstore white nail polish, truly) and they work great. Also, I’ve found that the special polishes sometimes thicken way too much, and it just becomes a hassle with the polish thinner and everything like that =/

  27. 27
    August 26th, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    i would try this! =) couldnt clean up the nail polish off your hands before taking a pic?

  28. 28
    September 3rd, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    just bought this as a gift for my sister, im really hoping she likes them as much as you do :)

  29. 29
    November 17th, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    You know, you can actually use any nail polish you own for stamping. You dont just have to stick with black and white!! All you have to do is get a good nail file out, and rub your stamper pad across the file 3-4 times then clean it with acetone. This will pick up any polish easier. Its totally worth trying!!! Believe me:) Although, some of the lighter/ more sheer may not transfer at all.

    Good luck!!

  30. 30
    February 24th, 2012 at 2:37 am

    I bought a knock-off set today at CVS that came with five disks, a stamper, scraper, and disk holder. My roomies and I played with it a bit, and we had great results with plain old nail polish, no special polish needed. The older/thicker polish worked a little better because it was more opaque though. Every girl has those lying around though, no need to buy special polish.

  31. 31
    June 7th, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Seem so easy to do! Would love to try, my bff just bought one here, they seem very similar.

  32. 32
    June 17th, 2012 at 11:33 am

    what design is that on the nails with opi do you lilac it on? I’d really love to know the plate number! x

  33. 33
    June 23rd, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    Hi!! OMG! i love your nails! thank u for showing us how to do it! i buy a konad stamper and scraper, 3 special polish and a bunch of konad plates from amazon but i haven’t recieved them yet! i can’t wait to try them!!

  34. 34
    August 23rd, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Order the stuff on line or over the phone from konad, directly . They will take your number and credit card information over the phone if you don’t want to do it on line. The stuff you order right from Konad is cheaper then the stores you go to. Stores will charge 10 dollars for each plate and nail polish, the kits are alot more expensive too.

  35. 35
    August 30th, 2012 at 4:25 am

    hey i jst bought this today from the mall from a dude and it doesnt work!! when i scrap the nail polish frm the stamp thing it wont stick to the round thing it jst wont work dont buy it!

  36. 36
    January 10th, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    I’ve ordered one just waiting for it to arrive. Im so nervous about using it. I go to clients home and paint there nail, which if they choose I do nail art. I found your explanation on Konad to be really inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

  37. 37
    October 26th, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    I love konad stamping and I have found that Sally Hansen Instadry polish works really well. About half the price too!

  38. 38
    June 6th, 2014 at 9:51 am

    Most frustrating experience for me..I have to use too much nail polish before I get half of the design. I feel bad that I bought this “stamping nail art”

  39. 39
    June 27th, 2014 at 11:07 am

    its awsome i would love to have such a nail aet kit like this and try these designe …

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