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.
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, 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 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!