Lately I’ve been doing quite a bit of research on nail art stamping plate brands that are available for purchase in the U.S., and I wanted to share some of the information I have gathered with you, as well as some of my own tips for successful stamping. I am going to share links to a lot of other blogs’ posts because it would be unnecessary to duplicate the work that these lovely bloggers have already done.
If you are brand new to stamping, start with this informational video from The Nail Junkkie or this in-depth video from Chickettes before diving into the information below.
Stamping Plate brands and reviews:
- Konad – This is the brand that started it all but, unfortunately, the plates are somewhat hard to find, and knock-offs abound. Here’s a review of a single plate from Samarium’s Swatches and a review of a Konad kit from Swatch & Learn. You can buy authentic Konad plates and accessories at wowsocool.com.
- Bundle Monster – This company has a few sets of plates, all priced very nicely. I own all the sets and can highly recommend them myself, as they have high quality images that stamp crisply. Here’s a review from ChitChatNails.
- Pueen – These stamping plates generally get good reviews. Check out this one Colores De Carol or this one from ChitChatNails. Ready to buy? You can find these on the Pueen website or on Amazon.com
- MoYou London – This company is serious about their branding! Their stamping plates come in themed collections, which I thought was a great idea, even though most of the collections didn’t appeal to me. Their newest plate collections take the themes a step further in that they have a lady’s name and her persona that dictates the theme of the collection, such as Amy the Rebel or Olive the Sailor. I haven’t tried any of these plates yet myself but based on the good reviews, like this one from Lucy’s Stash, I plan to in the future. In the U.S. you can buy them on Amazon.com (search for the name of the collection plus the plate number).
- Cheeky – This company offers jumbo plates (meaning the designs are bigger, for full nail coverage) which are great for people with wide or long nails, so that they don’t have to double stamp. No Nude Nails has a review of these plates for you here. The plates are available for purchase on Cheeky-Beauty.com or on Amazon.com.
- Winstonia – I haven’t tried these yet, but they got great reviews from nail art bloggers. Here’s a review from Nailed It, and you can buy these plates from Amazon.com or the Winstonia Store.
- SHANY Cosmetics – over the past couple years I’ve seen reviews from quite a few bloggers on these, though I’ve never tried them myself. Here’s a review from Nail Crazy. The SHANY Cosmetics website has these for you to buy, or you can get them from Amazon.com.
Here are reviews for some lesser-known brands:
- Fab Ur Nails (FUN) – Here’s a review from Beaching Nails, and you can buy a couple of these plates at Ninja Polish or direct from Fab Ur Nails.
- Messy Mansion – These plates come from Australia, but you can buy them online from Messy Mansion. Here’s a review from HeartNat.
- Red Angel – I don’t know much about these, but here’s a review from the Nailasaurus. I am including these even though they’re from the UK because you can buy them online at Amazon.com… and the shipping is not too expensive!
- Nailz Craze – These plates are made by an independent designer and can be ordered at Ninja Polish. Nail Polish Wars posted a review of these plates here.
- My Online Shop – these plates are also called MJ stamping plates, and they come from the Phillippines. Ninja Polish carries their line or you can go to their Etsy store. Check out an example of the stamping results at Spellbinding Nails.
- QA – Here’s a review of the QA line of stamping plates from Lacquer Buzz. You can purchase these plates at Ninja Polish or LightInTheBox.com.
- DRK Nails – these plates are made in Brazil and available in the U.S. through Ninja Polish. They look beautiful and I would love to try these plates. Check out this very thorough testing and review from Eeeek! Nail Polish!.
- KD – I don’t know much about these plates. They appear to have fairly simple designs, if that’s what you prefer. Here’s a review from Meet My Nails. You can purchase these plates at Ninja Polish.
- Vivid Lacquer – Another indie stamp creator, which has some awesome looking plates! Check out the review from Nail Polish Wars, or the one from Chit Chat Nails. Follow Vivid Lacquer on Tumblr, or on Facebook. You can buy the plates on Etsy.
- OB – another seemingly obscure line of plates available for purchase at Ninja Polish or Messy Mansion. I was unable to find any reviews for these.
- MASH – You can find these at the MASH Nails site or on Amazon.com. They get good reviews, although the images seem a bit small for my taste. Here’s a review from Oooh, Shinies! for you to check out.
Note that there are other brands available from other countries. If the brand isn’t readily available for purchase in the U.S., I haven’t included them in this list.
Stampers and Scrapers:
- Konad – You can find a variety of scrapers plus stampers in multiple sizes at WowSoCool.com. This should be your go-to stamper if you are a beginner.
- Salon Express – I haven’t used this “As Seen On TV” brand, but I’ve heard that you can buy at Sally Beauty, Rite Aid, and CVS. Here’s a review from Vampy Varnish.
- Winstonia – Lots of nail stamping enthusiasts prefer this stamper, which you can buy at the Winstonia Store.
- Pueen – This company offers a super squishy stamper in addition to the regular stamper. You can buy these sets on Amazon.com or from the Pueen website.
- XL Stamper – made from soft silicon, this stamper allows for a more comfortable stamping experience especially if you’re stamping nails with a deep C-curve. Here’s a review from The Nail Polish Project, and you can buy it at Ninja Polish.
- Messy Mansion – This company has rectangular stampers in a couple different colors (so that you can see a contrasting color of polish on the stamp in order to line it up on your nail), in addition to the traditional round stampers.
You can use regular polish for stamping, with varying degrees of success based on the brand and viscosity of the polish. If you want to buy special stamping polish to ensure success, here are some brands and reviews:
- Konad Special Stamping Polish – these are worth it, especially for beginners. I own black and white, but there are many different colors available and in a couple different sizes, as well. I bought mine on Amazon.com, but you can also get them from Konad or WowSoCool.com.
- Born Pretty Nail Art Stamping Polish – I haven’t tried this brand myself. It is available for purchase at the Born Pretty Store, of course.
Note that I’ve only listed two brands here because that’s all I know of, as I typically use regular nail polish (RNP). Just remember that you’ll have to work faster when stamping with RNP, as these are less viscous polishes than the special stamping polishes and therefore dry faster. Here are the kinds of RNP that work the best:
- Old, thick RNP
- special nail art polishes (the kind that come with the skinny brush in the bottle)
If you have wide and long nails it will often be necessary to “double stamp”. See an example of how that’s done at My Simple Little Pleasures.
Use a credit card instead of a scraper. Many people prefer this over the scrapers with the metal edge, as using the plastic avoids metal-on-metal violence against your stamping plates.
Pinch a cotton ball with a clothespin and dip it in the acetone. Use that to clean the plate between stamps, instead of your fingers. If you use your fingers, you may end up ruining some of the stamps you’ve already done on your nails.
Most seasoned stampers use and recommend Seche Vite regular top coat nail polish. You can apply stamps over gel polish. You just use the gel top coat rather than regular polish top coat.
Make sure your base polish is completely dry before beginning to stamp on it. Also, allow the stamp plenty of time to dry before applying top coat.
Work as quickly as possible so that the polish isn’t drying on the stamper.
For healthy nails and skin, get plenty of vitamins A, B3, C, E, and K. I take this Hair Skin and Nails multivitamin from Vitacost.com and moisturize with Palmer’s lotion with vitamin E multiple times daily. Also, drink plenty of filtered water!
Advanced stamping techniques:
- Stamp with multiple colors – Simply apply multiple colors of polish to the stamp, then scrape. Check out these examples from The Polished Mommy and Nail Polish Wars.
- Reverse the image by picking up the stamp on a stamper, as usual, then immediately transferring it on to another stamper by pressing the two stampers together. Then, quickly push the image onto your nail. Here’s a pictorial from Wacky Laki.
- Make your own nail strips or decals using a plastic bag or parchment paper – simply apply one layer of top coat (in roughly a nail shape and size for decals, or a spot slightly larger than your stamp if you’re stamping a small graphic) then stamp on top of that, and color in the stamp using a small brush and RNP. Allow it to dry for at least a couple hours before carefully removing it with tweezers from the bag and laying it into a freshly top-coated nail. This is a very versatile method for creating nail art easily. Check out this tutorial from The Daily Varnish.
- Create a decal directly on the stamper – simply pick up the image on the stamper, then paint it with other colors of RNP, as desired. After that dries, top coat and allow the decal to dry for at least a couple hours before peeling it off with tweezers and applying to a freshly top-coated nail. Find more information on this and other techniques from Lucy’s Stash.