Salon Express Nail Art Stamping Kit Review Part 2

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Salon Express Nail Art Stamping Kit

Welcome to Part 2 of my review of the “As Seen On TV” Salon Express Nail Art Stamping Kit.  In this post I will explain nail stamping in more detail and show you how the Salon Express Nail Art Stamping Kit performed my first time out.  I’ll also include some tips and tricks not mentioned in the instruction guide.  I used plate SE20, the snowflake/starburst design.  I stamped Sinful Colors Snow Me White over Sally Hansen HD Laser, hoping for a winter snow effect.

Here are the instructions that Salon Express provides for you:

  1. Apply a base coat of polish to your nails and allow to dry thoroughly.
  2. Select a Design Plate and place it in the plate holder.
  3. Apply polish to the design of your choice.
  4. Use scraper to remove excess polish from the Design Plate.
  5. Press the stamp onto the selected image to pick up the pattern. The Stamp has two sides. Depending on the size of your chosen design, use either the small stamp or the large stamp.
  6. Working quickly, transfer the design onto your fingernail by gently pressing the stamp onto one side of your nail and using a single rolling motion to apply the design.

Some of the “tips” included are:

  • Once your design is completely dry, you may wish to apply a clear top coat to the entire nail.
  • For best results use nail polish with a thick consistency.
  • You may wish to gently file the surface of the stamper to cause the nail polish to adhere better.

Now, here are my two cents.  Completely ignore rule number two.  The design plate holder is more trouble than it’s worth.  You end up scraping the polish all over the holder and it gets under the plate.  It’s a mess!  Forget the holder, and just put the plate on some paper towels.  I would also avoid using the provided scraper.  It’s metal on metal and will scratch your plate.  The best alternative is a used up gift card, or any credit card type item that is sturdy and not important to you that you can dedicate as a scraper.  If you need to scrape more than once, feel free.

You need to have nail polish remover handy because you will be using it often.  The directions aren’t clear on this, but you need to clean the stamper and the design plate after each nail.  It’s also a good idea to clean the design plate before you start stamping in future uses just to make sure you got all the polish off the previous time.  I chose to use Q-tips, but cotton balls or cotton pads are fine.  Whatever you prefer.

As far as the actual stamping goes, there is definitely a learning curve.  I had to stamp my first nail five times to get the image to transfer properly.  It is absolutely true that using a rolling motion works better than using the stamper straight on.  I did my first hand by placing my hand flat on the surface and stamping down on my nails.

I did my second hand by holding the stamper steady and rolling my nail onto it.  The second hand came out better and with less “do-overs”.  Really though, it’s all a matter of what is the most comfortable for you, and it takes practice.  In one of the “tips” Salon Express advises to lightly file the stamper, but I did not do that.  I’m a little hesitant in case I mess it up.  If you do any sort of nail stamping, I’d love to know if you file your stamper.

I know a lot of you are going to ask me what type of polish can be used, so let me address that.  There are special polishes designed for stamping, Konad brand for example, but they are expensive.  Though they will give you the best possible image transfer, they are not necessary.  What you do need is a thicker polish that doesn’t dry too fast.  You don’t need to use that much polish on the design, the etchings aren’t that deep.

Because you’ll be stamping a thin layer, quick-dry polishes will dry too quickly and the image won’t stick to your nail.  Thin polishes are too runny and will be too sheer to see the design.  The best polishes to use are ones that are opaque in one coat.  I’ve heard that metallic and holographic polishes are really good for stamping.  For this attempt I used Sinful Colors Snow Me White, which worked fine.  I have also heard that Wet n Wild Megashine and China Glaze are good options.  Play around to see what polishes in your collection give you the best results.

Click for a larger view

Let’s talk about messing up for a second.  You are going to mess up.  A lot.  My advice would be to put a really good top coat over your base nail color.  That way you can use a little nail polish remover to get a messed up stamp off without having to repaint your nail from scratch.  I used Seche Vite, and my base color stayed strong, despite having to redo the stamps several times.  My biggest issue was getting a clean image.  I think that I moved the stamper or my nail too much during the stamping and and would get blurry images.  Perhaps I should have chosen a less intricate pattern for my first try.  I also didn’t manage to line the image up in the center of every nail.  I have a couple nails where the design is off to the side, but I just didn’t want to re-stamp them yet again, so I left it.  I wasn’t aiming for perfection.  ;)  I know that I will get better as I get used to stamping.

Click for a larger view

I think that I covered everything, but if you have any questions, leave them in the comments below.  I don’t have any other plates to compare the Salon Express Nail Art Stamping Kit to, so I can’t say how they measure up to other stamping kits.  I can say that I foresee myself having a lot of fun with this kit, once I get the hang of stamping.  Although my nails aren’t perfect, I think I did a good job for my first time out.  Now it’s just a matter of practice, practice, practice.

The “As Seen On TV” Salon Express Nail Art Stamping Kit is available at Rite-Aid, CVS, and Sally’s Beauty Supply.  It retails for $9.99.  Though this isn’t the end all, and be all kit, this is an excellent deal for an intro to nail stamping.

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14 responses »

  1. I just bought this kit a few days ago, and I’ve been messing around with it non stop. So what I’ve noticed or come to the conclusion with using this kit for hours on hours is that either my polishes aren’t think enough (My whole collection) or that the plates aren’t deep enough. All my polishes show up faded. The design comes out perfect no smudging but the color isn’t that vibrant.

    Do you have that problem? What polishes for stamping do you recommend??

    • I have not had that problem yet. I’ve only used the kit twice, and both times I use Sinful Colors brand. (Snow me White and Black on Black to be specific.) I’ve heard that Wet n Wild Megalast polishes work really well for stamping. The stamp is going to be a little light, compared to the bottle, just like putting on one thin coat of polish. It’s possible that you are waiting too long between the time you scrape the plate and the time you stamp your nail, so the polish is drying out. Or maybe you aren’t using enough polish. I’m not really sure what else to tell you, but if you google it, you may find some helpful tips and listings of good polishes to use. HTH

  2. Hey I just backtracked a ways and just to reaffirm–Sinful colors Snow me White is the PERFECT consistency for this product. I just did a killer zebra print with snow me white over black and it is opaque and a great contrast between black and white! Note–any polish that takes more than 2 coats to cover a bare nail isn’t ideal for stamping, The polishes that work best are those that only take 1-2 coats! Sinful Colors all the way on this one =)

  3. Pingback: Fing’rs Flirt Nail Art Stamping Kit Review « Beauty in Budget Blog

  4. I bought this kit yesterday :) I used caronia nail polish and it doesn’t work.. It covers the outline but doesn’t stick to the stamper…

    • Keep trying with different polishes. Some are better suited for stamping than others. I’ve had good luck with Sinful Colors and I know that China Glaze works well for stamping. Good luck. :)

  5. Hi :) Thanks! I bought nail polish specialized for stamping and it worked! It’s a bit cheaper than China Glaze..Thanks :)

  6. How about nail stripers? I bought some where the color looked very rich specifically for stamping but havent tried them yet. I bought this kit and tried it once and it didnt work at all. I haven’t tried it since because I wanted to get some tips first so I wouldnt get so frustrated. I havent tried Sinful colors so I’ll give those a try.

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