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.
- Apply a base coat of polish to your nails and allow to dry thoroughly.
- Select a Design Plate and place it in the plate holder.
- Apply polish to the design of your choice.
- Use scraper to remove excess polish from the Design Plate.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.