To get started with stamping you will need, at the very least, a stamper (I prefer the Konad 2-sided one, $3 on Amazon) & scraper (some people prefer to use old plastic cards, which work okay but you get the most crisp detail using the metal one, IMO. The scraper comes with the stamper so try both to see what you are most comfortable with). You will also need at least one image plate and a “stampable” nail polish.
Now, Konad and other brands try to sell you their “special stamping” nail polish by promoting the idea that “regular” nail polish just won’t work. This is completely untrue. I and others have found MANY “regular” nail polishes that work as good or better than Konad’s “special” (read:PRICEY) polish. The only upside to the Konad special polishes (or downside, depending on how you see it) is that they do take forever to dry so you don’t have to move as quickly transferring the image from plate to nail. This also makes applying a topcoat a tedious task (will smudge VERY easily). Once you gain experience and speed in your stamping technique, a quicker drying time isn’t really an issue anymore.
Rule 1: you are going to suck at first. Don’t give up or get disappointed. At first, I couldn’t get the image to transfer from stamper to nail at all or I’d have partial prints or smudged prints and I’d end up spending forever doing cleanup or completely redoing the manicure on the fingers that were beyond just a little clean up. Practicing on various surfaces (picture frame glass, my desk, paper, whatever) and over an old mani that you are about to change helps. Now the longest part of doing one of my manicures is the pre-paint steps (filing, cuticle care, etc) and the stamping part takes only a few minutes. I still flub but it’s easier to cover up or redo now that I’ve gotten the hang of it.
Rule 2: Start small & simple. In other words, don’t try to do a complicated konadicure (e.g. the fishnets are rough and all the French tips take some practice for everyong) but try something small, like hearts, whatever. And always do a “practice stamp” or two on an easily cleaned surface before you start stamping your nails to preview how the image will look stamped with the color you choose. I like to try on white paper and then on a dark surface (usually I’ll paint a small area with the base nail polish I want to use and then stamp over that to see how it looks.) I still always do this step.
Rule 3: Read all the tips, tricks, tutorials, etc and watch all the videos you want on “how to” do nail stamping (there are so many out there) but don’t feel like a failure when something that worked for one person don’t work for you (like I cannot paint my nails “in the lines” ever, no matter how slowly I work or careful I am. I always end up spending forever cleaning up my cuticles and the skin around my nails after a fresh paint. I honestly don’t know how anyone can paint their nails without flooding their cuticles with color!! Ha). You will try different methods and different products and different tips and tricks but in the end, the goal is to come up with a technique that works for you.
At the end of this post I will list my personal picks for the best “how to konad” tutorials because there are Soooooo many I would feel redundant writing one myself. What I will do is list my personal tips & tricks:
Alright, now that I’ve blabbed your ear off, here are the links to my favorite konad tutorials (I had to have them open and read each step as I practiced the first few times I stamped.)
Well, that’s all I’ve got for you for now. Any other questions, you can always ask! As you can see, I will probably overload you but too much info is better than not enough IMO. :-p
Let me know how it goes, bailosaurusrex!
Hope this helps you, and to any other readers out there, be sure to follow me on my tumblr, as I will post a majority of my manicures there and reserve this blog for pic heavy posts and tutorials/how-tos.