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Konad/BM Review

Finally watched Julie & Julia last night, and I’m feeling like the a blog amateur (and nail art amateur) that I am.  I meant for this post to be an exciting debut of Konad Stamping Nail Art and how easy this ingenious invention makes nail design, BUT . . . I was disillusioned.  I’ve posted my process and mistakes so we can learn from them together.  To be a good teacher, one must be a good student, so hopefully someone out there will give me feedback on how to use this system effectively – I haven’t given up!

I ordered the Konad double-ended stamper and scraper along with the Bundle Monster 21-piece plate set from Amazon last week, and I couldn’t wait to try them out.  Every review and How-To tutorial I researched made the Konad stamp look like a manicure miracle.  No artistic talent or dexterous motor skills necessary: just press-on beautifully intricate designs in any color.  I settled on the Bundle Monster plates because who doesn’t love a bargain?  So many designs, including holiday images–my favorite!  According to reviews I read, the only significant differences between the BM plates and Konad plates are that the BM brand’s have sharper edges and the designs are thinner, so they may not cover across the whole nail.  I felt I have slender nails, and especially because I didn’t want to waste money not knowing if the stamp would work at all, I purchased the BM set.

I also read that most regular nail polish would work with the stamper; Konad “special” polish was just another expense in my opinion, therefore I opted out of buying my 97th bottle of nail polish.

When the items arrived,  at first I couldn’t get the stamper to pick up the design at all.  I tried various types of polish with no success.  Then I read that filing the stamper with an emery board and using non-shimmery polish helps.  Once I could imprint a design, making sure it transferred correctly without smudging and lining up the image where I wanted on the nail became new challenges.  Tips ended up as diagonal designs, single images never centered, and it turned out I have wider nails that I thought since I had to stamp some designs adjacent to each other to cover the full nail either horizontally or vertically.  I tried dark colors (Loreal “Espresso”; Maybelline Express Finish “Merlot Magic”; Nina Ultra Pro “Emerald City”) over lighter colors (Revlon “Gold Rush”; Pure Ice “Frosted Sunshine”) and vice versa.  Every color resulted in a lighter version of itself, barely showing.  I couldn’t layer a second coat because I never would be able to perfectly align the stamper over the first print.

I assume black and white contrast would work well with the designs, but I didn’t want to be that limited in color choices.  I’ll keep practicing; some of the thicker-lined designs such as BM plates #16 & #21 do transfer better than others, so if I can master how to roll the designs on straight, they might produce some stylish results.

I will try the Konad brand plates to compare/contrast with the BM, and will order the Konad polish to verify if it makes a difference – stay “after class” for updates!  For now, check out my Fall Foliage tutorial, which features (yet ultimately fails at) stamping.

{ 1 comment… add one }

  • Brynne January 25, 2012, 6:01 pm

    I’ve got the Konad plates and the special polish. I also got a set of 21 plates at the local “Showcase” store, but I haven’t tried them yet. I’ve found that the Konad polish helps for black and white stamping, but the real fun starts when using foil metallic polishes. Shades like China Glaze Millenium or 2030 are great and opaque, and shades with more sparkle like Finger Paints Easel Come, Easel Go and Orly Rage show up more sheer, but still a great effect.

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