Friday, February 27, 2015

Nail Stamper Comparison review

Hi there everyone! today I have a big post on nail stampers. I apologise in advance that this will be a long winded post as I have a bunch of stampers to go through. Bit I hope it will be informative and help you make the right decision when picking a stamper. 

OK so click and read more after the jump!!!! 

So Stampers. There are a ton on the market at the moment. I will go through from the cheapest to the most expensive available. There will also be a video at the end.

First up......

Born Pretty Stamper.

This stamper was the first I ever brought. It was 99 cents over at Born Pretty Store and it was shipped for free. 3 or so years ago these stampers were the only one of the market. For the money they are great value for a first time stamper.

Pros and Cons-   The stamper head is not very big, just over 1.5cm wide. And it is not a squishy stamper so If you have very curvy nails you will find it harder to get the image on the nail. Also the stamper needed a LOT of priming to get a good image pick up. On the plus side when I had primed it well the image quality was quite good. The stamper is cheap and if you want to start out I think a great starting point.

XL Rectangle Stamper-  Is the rectangle squashy and non squishy stampers available over at Messy Mansion. This was actually the next stamper that I purchased after stamping for around 6 months. Up until recently this was my go to stamper. I always seemed to get amazing results with this one. I have both the white and red ones here and in the video.

Pros and cons- The red stamper is very similar to the cheap born pretty stamper. If you have fairly flat nails this is fine but I have curved nails so found the white squishy stamper much better. I get a clean image and it fits my small nails. The only down side to any squishy stamper is you cannot use acetone on it. you need to use sticky tape to remove any left over polish. Also if you have wide nails the rectangle one may not be wide enough for you.

Double End XL stamper- So this stamper is very similar in the type of stamper head it has. The stamper is pretty much the same but a different size and shape. Available from Messy Mansion. This stamper is I think the most versatile of all the stampers I have compared.

Pros and cons- A big advantage of this particular stamper is most of the different stamper heads available to purchase fit this stamper. From the messy mansion ones to the Fab ur Nails head, they all fit in this one. I mainly use this stamper for nail decals tho due to its size.

Stamper Heads- There are many places that have stamper heads for sale. The below 2 are the soft and medium ones from Messy Mansion.  When stamping your nails depending on what you feel comfortable using and how much of a C curve you have, this will determine what stamper head to purchase. My personal experience is the more curved your nails the softer the stamper head you need to get the image completely around your nail.

Here is the stamper head from Fab UR Nails This is a silicone head which I have had hit and miss results so far. I need more practice with the silicone stampers. Tho I have been told you can get more detail with a silicone stamper head.

Universal Polish Stamper- This is the newest one I have tried. They are available direct from Universal Polish.

Pros and cons- This was an odd stamper for me. It was very heavy, this I found was actually tiring on my wrist when stamping. The stamper itself was very heavy duty and the stamper heads were quite heavy too. I have heard great things about this stamper but honestly I could not get a great image transfer with it. I tried re priming the head but still it was not as good as my XL stamper.

Creative Stamper- This stamper is the newest on the market and everyone has gone mad over it! I personally was not convinced until I got one! You can purchase them in various places but here in Australia you can buy them via Nail Stamping Queen and Drama Queen Nails.

Pros and cons- Well personally so far I have not found a con. This stamper is great. I will go for this one now over all my others. I love the big size and it is easy to clean with sticky tape. I would like maybe the holder to be a little longer but apart from that I have found clean crisp images every time from this stamper!!!

I have recorded a video demonstrating all of these stampers for you.

I hope this all helps you on which stamper to choose. Prices vary from 99 cents to $15.00 but whatever you choose I am sure you will have a ball learning to stamp.
Remember if the stamper does not work, do not write it off. make sure you have Primed the stamper correctly and you are using the Plate and polish correctly. Make sure you click on the top tab for tutorials to find more How to videos on stamping if you are not 100% sure, of please feel free to pop a comment on the post and I will answer it.

Until next time......
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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Lead Light Lacquer Technique tutorial

*Press Sample

Hi there everyone!!! today I have a great tutorial for you. It is all about the lead light technique everyone has been talking about!
I was lucky enough to have the new Powder Perfect Lead Light Lacquers sent to me, and So I decided to share with you a little video on how to obtain that great effect quickly on your nails,

Ok, do before we get into it lets check out the polish I will be using.

From left to right we have - Illuminate, Medieval, Flora, Cranberry Glass, Charlemange, Tracery and Cerulean. All of these are what I would describe as a sheer tint. You would need like 6 coats I reckon to be opaque, but that is the point of them!!!! They are meant to be sheer for this very technique! All of them had a great formula and were easy to work with both a dotting tool and a brush.

So the technique, well first up here are a few pointers.
  • When doing the lead light technique, ensure you have a pale base like white or creme.
  • Try to find a stamping plate with bold lines but large open spaces as well to easily colour in. You do not want to much of a small area as this will be harder to paint in.
  • once you have stamped your pattern in black, pop on a quick dry top coat. I recommend this as you will be putting a solvent based product over the black pattern. by adding a clear top coat in-between you will have less of a chance for smudges and the black then mixing wit the colours.
  • If you do not have the colour needed mix your own. As long as you have the 3 basic primary colours you can pretty mix any colour!!! just pop a little on your plastic and mix!

Now you have got these tips check to the video. This will show you step by step how to create the lead light effect and how to mix colours to make your own custom colour.

I hope this has helped you with this technique.
Here is the final manicure.

You can purchase Powder Perfect Lead Light lacquers for $8.80 each, or you have the option to just buy the primary trio for $25.00 or a full mini set like I used for $36.00. At the moment there is a sale on so the primary trio is only $22.50.

The stamping plate I used was the Messy Mansion Lead Light Lacquer A01 plate which sells for $12.77 atm.

If you have any questions please pop a comment below and I will get back to you asap
Until next time.....
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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Joss Stamping polish review.

*Press Samples.

Hi there everyone!!
Today I have a new stamping polish brand to share with you. 
Nail Superstore Produce and sell a brand called Joss nail Lacquer, they have a huge array of polishes and now they have added stamping polish to their collection.
The collection so far consists of 6 metallic stamping polishes so far but the collection will be getting gradually bigger as new colours are released. 

Firstly I would like to say that the formula is amazing. For $6.95 for 9mls that's great value. All of the colours are metallics and are opaque over black. The only thing I did notice is that when stamped the colour looks more subtle than  the colour in the bottle.

So lets have a look shall we??!!

First up we have Silver, Steel, Lilac Shimmer and Crimson Shimmer.


Next we have Green Shimmer, Blue Shimmer and a yet to be released holo silver. This holo silver is an amazing stamping polish and i was sent one to check out. fingers crossed this becomes available soon as it is super opaque over black and the holo is awesome!!!!



All of these shades apart from the holo are available now over at the  Nail Superstore they sell a range of other nail products including bulk size top and base coat, frankening kits and main stream brands like OPI, Orly and Zoya.

Until next time.......

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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Using nail foils with stamping video.

Hi there everyone!!!
Today I would like to share with you A new technique that I saw first on Messy Mansion's You Tube Channel.  Using nail foils with stamping!!!!!

So most of us have seen foils pop up and about over the past few years. I have had foils in my craft stash for ever!!! The nail foils we see for sale I have been using and demonstrating on my other blog and even doing an article in an cardmaking magazine that I work for over the past 15 years! Yup foils are THAT old!!!!
Anyways, So  the usual way is to pop on a top coat or special polish and stick them to your nails. It can be very hit and miss and messy. But how awesome would it be to use them with stamping plates?!?!
 Julia on messy mansion did a tutorial and I asked her if it was ok for me to do the same and pop one up on my blog. which she said was ok :) 
So I have created the below video to show you how to use the nail foils with stamping.

Here is a little recap for you....
  • Make sure you take all the clear layer off the back of the foil.
  • When choosing a polish to stamp with, try and pick a colour that matches your foil, that way if you miss a bit it will not be as visible.
  • Also, when choosing a stamping polish make sure it takes a little while to dry so you have time to apply the foil and it stick.
  • When you have finished your nails put a coat of Picture polish revolution or a specialised sealer before your top coat or the foil may crinkle.
I hope this will help you create more amazing and special manis!!!
If you have any questions please feel free to comment and I will reply asap.

Until next time......

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Friday, February 20, 2015

Stamping Polish Versus Regular Polish...What is the Difference.

Hi there everyone!

So your about to invest in some stamping supplies for the first time...... you get your plates and stampers, grab a scraper and then cannot decide if you "really" need the stamping polish everyone is saying you should buy...... Today I am here to share with you what is the difference between stamping with regular polish and stamping polish.

Ok, so you grab a bottle of say...Orly glow stick. A bright yellow neon. Its amazing! you love it! and think OMG it will be awesome stamped over black!!! Imagine that...a black nail with bright yellow zebra stripes........ then you stamp....BOOO!!!!!! Nothing. You cannot see anything. Its not bright.You can hardly see it at all. Why is this the case???

Ok well the first thing you need to remember is that Stamping polish is formulated completely different to regular polish. when you stamp a image, You are essentially putting a super thin layer of polish on your nail, compared to when you paint your nails and it is a lot thicker.

So lets look at the polish it self.

Here is a picture of Nail Stamping Queen fluro green on the left and on the right China glaze I'm with the lifeguard. You can see the NSQ stamping polish on the left when dropped stays in a drop shape while the regular polish spreads out really quickly. This is because of the formula. The Stamping polish is made thicker than regular polish for several reasons. 
It is made with a lot of pigments. This in turn causes the polish to be a LOT more opaque when stamping and the offset it the polish becomes thick. The next reason is due to its highly pigmented formula the polish will take longer to dry. This is great when stamping as due to the thinness of polish when stamping, regular polish will dry super quick and a stamping polish will not dry so quick.

Here is a pic of how the stamping polish reacts to being tipped on its side compared to a regular polish.

The left polishes are Nail stamping queens Fluro green and China Glaze I'm with the lifeguard, and the reds are Nail stamping queen hot lips and Zoya livingston.

Again you can see how the 2 types of polishes behave. The stamping polish is a lot thicker and will not drip as much as the regular polish. 

So what to look for?? Well when buying a stamping polish or even a regular polish to stamp with, make sure the polish is of what I would describe "thickened cream"viscosity. A thinned polish will not stamp as well as a thicker one.
Make sure that the polish is highly pigmented. If the polish is thick but sheer in colour, you will not get a very good stamping image when stamped over dark colours.

 Don't think that if your polish is a "one coater" on your nails it will be a good stamping polish. I have many "one coaters" but when put over dark colours they just do not show up. The stamping polish needs to have a specific amount of white to make it opaque. If you really do need to use a specific colour check out my post and video HERE on how to make a polish opaque over black.
Lastly, give it a go! you will soon find out if it is ok to stamp once you have tried it!

Here are some stamping polishes and a similar colour in regular polish brands to show you the difference.
It is to be noted when I picked the regular polishes they all looked pretty much exactly the same in the bottle as the stamping polish, but once stamped were not opaque over black.

NSQ- Nail Stamping Queen Stamping polish.

NSQ-Nail Stamping Queen Stamping polish

You might be asking "why is she not stamping on white??"well I have found that if something stamps on white it may not stamp over black, but if it stamps over black it for sure stamps over white!!!!

And as you can see some of the colours do look a lot different over black compared to in the bottle.

I hope this has been informative for you all, Please if you have any questions feel free to post a comment and I will reply to you asap.

Until next time......

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Stamping onto Gel Polish tutorial and video

Hi there everyone!  Today I have a video to share with you on how to stamp on gel nail polish.
This was one of the things I just could not get right when combining gel polish and regular polish. So I thought I would pop together some pointers and a video to show you how simple it is when you know how!!!!

Ok. First up you will need the following products.
  • Gel polish of your choice. Base coat, colour and top coat.
  • LED/UV  lamp
  • Lint Free wipes
  • Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Stamping polish
  • Stamping plate and stamper/scraper

When stamping on to gel polish I recommend you use regular stamping polish. Don't try to stamp with gel polish it just does not work very well. The consistency of a gel product is different to a regular polish and I have tried and tried again but can never get a crisp image. Stick with regular stamping polish.
One of the big tricks is to remove the sticky gel layer before stamping. I will be showing this on the video. Basically, after popping on your base gel coat and coloured coats and curing them, you need to wipe of the sticky residue with isopropyl alcohol. This will give you a clean surface to stamp onto. If you do not do this crucial step your image may become fuzzy and not crisp. 
Once you have stamped, make sure that the image is 100% dry. This should not take too long maybe 15-30 seconds, but if you do not do this the gel top coat can either bubble over the regular stamped polish or even lift off.

Here is the video.

With these simple tricks you can have awesome gel nails with some amazing stamped patterns on them!

I hope this is helpful, and if you have any questions please feel free to pop a comment below and I will answer it for you!!!

Until next time......

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Born Pretty Stamping Plate Review

Hi there everyone!!!!
Today I will be sharing 2 new Born Pretty Store stamping plates. In recent months Born Pretty have jumped on the band wagon and produced lots of new stamping plates and designs. Some kind of look like everyone elses and others are really unique. I brought a bunch of the rectangle plates and circle ones. The regular circle ones are pretty much the same as what they have sold before, but the new backed rectangle ones are very impressive,

I found that for the price of $5.09 each (tho I did get them on special for $3.99) these were really good value for money. The image sizes are approx 2cm x 1.5cm which will fit most nails. They are really deeply etched and I could pick up the stamping polish very easy with all of my stampers. The fact the have the plastic backing is great so there is no chance of cutting yourself on the sharp edge.

I picked a image for both plates and created this manicure using Nail Stamping Queen black stamping polish and a Celestial Cosmetics polish.

As you can see they stamp really well!!!!

You can purchase these plates from Born Pretty Store  for $5.09 each but if you use the code CATG10 you will get 10% off your whole order.

Until next time......
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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Stamping with Pretty Serious Cosmetic Nail Polish

Hi there everyone! Today I have lots of swatches for you and it's all about Pretty Serious cosmetics nail polish range.
I had a bunch of readers ask if I could road test Pretty Serious's nail polish as an alternative to stamping polish, And as I own all of their collections I was happy to compare them for you.
So lets get started.

For all the swatches I have done today, I used a standard rectangle sticky stamper, Sugar Bubbles plate 028 and Messy Mansion scraper. I stamped over a 50/50 white and black swatch stick so you can see the colours over dark and light polish.

First up are the greens and blues. I went through my collection and grabbed any colours I thought would stamp.

 From left to right the colours are - Forbidden Fruit, Blue Gums on Boxing Day, Swatch and Learn, Phantom Planet, Nightopia, Elliot, Galaxy Invader and Tux.

As you can see most of them performed fantastic over the white, but only really Forbidden Fruit and Elliot was fairly visible on black. You may almost notice that colours like Nightopia which look green in the bottle actually look blue when stamped. I found this a few times as I swatched the Pretty Serious shades. It was cool that this is the case.

Next up are the pinks and purples.

From left to right- Claris, CGA, The Pink One, Atomic Brain, Gargoyle Ganache, Naughty Night Shift Nurse, Poltergeist Puddle, Into Dreams.

Once again they all looked great over the white, tho The Pink One I thought was awesome as it looked slightly blue then stamped over black. Plus NNSN stamped but also places some of the flakies on the swatch so over black it created a cool effect.

Next are the reds and oranges.

Left to right - My Darlin Clementine, Generally Hazzardous, Martian Sea, Santas Sunburn, Nightmaren and Evie's First Christmas.

What surprised me with pretty much all of these was that the colour in the bottle did not stamp the same. Nightmaren and Evies First Christmas are both quite bright red polishes on the nail but when stamped looked really pink!  I loved Santa's Sunburn the best as It stamped well over black and white. I would love to see Kaz of Pretty Serious make a whole range of this type of polish.

The next set of swatches are of the Brand New Undies collection. This was the most asked collection to be swatched. All of this collection stamped really well apart from Lacy Underthings which I felt was a little thin and therefore did not look the same in the bottle as stamped.

Left to Right- Comfy- Y- Fronts, Granny Panties, Under Dunders, Lacy Underthings, Daring Delicates, Knickers in a Knot.

I was quite impressed that most stamped well on black and white! My picks are Grannie Panties and Under Dunders for the most opaque over black.

Lastly are the Pinup Perfection Collection Swatches. I was quite surprised with these, I thought they would stamp awesome but even tho several are red, when stamped most looked pink.

From left to right- Looks that Kill, Hell on Wheels, Love Bite, Irresistibly Pink, Dangerous Curves Ahead and Perfection Projection.

I hope this has been helpful, and it shows you that many of  Pretty Serious cosmetics polishes are great for stamping.

You can purchase Pretty Serious cosmetics for AUD$9.95 each and they ship worldwide.

Until next time...
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Monday, February 16, 2015

Nail Stamping Queen Stamping Polish Review.

*Press Sample

Hi there everyone! Today I will be sharing with you the new Nail Stamping Queen Stamping Polishes. 
I have really had a good look at what is out there in the stamping world this past few months while researching for the Stamp-A-Palooza month. It is amazing how many brands are out on the market ATM.  I was lucky enough to get my pinkies on to this brand. Nail Stamping Queen Sent me some for review and as I liked them so much I went out and brought the rest. That is how much I liked these. 
Now the price is not the cheapest on the market, but to me it is all about performance when it comes to a stamping polish. the BIG box that needs to be ticked is....well is it opaque on black??? There are a lot of brands that claim this and honestly as far as white is concerned, MDS, Celestial cosmetics and Nail stamping Queen so far are the only ones that really do exactly as what they claim. MDS for me is out of the picture tho as I'm not a fan of not knowing what I am putting on my fingers ( you can see the review Here ) Everyone knows  I am a fan of Celestial Cosmetics stamping polish (you can see my review Here)  But I have to say that Nail Stamping Queen stamping polishes are now one of my go to products!!!

Its all about the opacity!!!!!!!

Lets check them out!  
Nearly all of their colours stamp opaque on black. as there are just so many, I have stamped on black card stock. and the black on a white sticker. I have also done some manicures too which I will share at the bottom, Some of the manis you may have seen before but I want to remind that's they stamp well over everything. Formula varies depending on the colour. some of these colours need to be HIGHLY pigmented to get opaqueness over black so I did find several of my bottles to have lumps in them. I have been assured when talking to the owner that she has fine tuned her mixing process and nearly all polish leaving her now has no lumps, but honestly the lump issue does not affect the stamping in any way. The Formula is also quite thick. Again this is due to the pigment, and in turn, I think makes for a better stamping polish. It is easy to use and gives great coverage due to its thick nature. The stamping polish is also noted you can use them as a polish as well, tho personally I would not do this, with such high pigments and tint you may end up with stained nails. So I will only use them for stamping.

All colours have their name under them in the images and are grouped by colour hue.

White,Black Greys and silvers- A lot of these look quite similar. The off white/dove grey and silvery are very similar, but the white and silver lustre is a must have!

Pinks and Reds- The Fluro pink is amazing!!!! and as you can see all the reds are different. It is hard to see on this meduim but some of the reds are shimmery while others are a matte finish.

Yellows and Oranges- Again all of these are great. I love the fluro orange and oink! I would love to see a basic orange in this collection of colours tho.

Greens- This is a great variety of greens again some are shimmery and others matte. I am glad I have all of theses!!!!!

Blues and purples- Once again a great variety of colours here. I would love to see a bright purple or 2 here and maybe a few more different blues.

All in all These are awesome, I would love a brown and beige added to this collection and maybe some different metallics but I cannot complain on the variety, plus I know they are all 5 free and safe to use on your nails and get on your skin.

Here are a few manicures I did with these stamping polishes.

canary yellow and hot purple


hot lips

L-R - Oink, ultamarine blue, ruby satin and fluro pink

black, white fluro pink

Nail Stamping Queen stamping polish sells minis (8ml) for AUD$6.50  and full size (12ml) for AUD$10.00. They ship with in Australia and now have an international option if you would like to purchase them too. 

And to make it even more awesome Nail Stamping Queen  have offered a 10% off code for all Nail Stamping Queen Polish. Just use the code Loki2015 for your 10% off.

Until next time........

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