Sunday, March 31, 2013

Does it Stamp? (R,O,Y)

Hello Dahlings!

Da question comes up from time to time: do I have to buy Konad or other 'stamping' polish to stamp on my nails? Nope! Each Sunday, from now until I'm done, I will feature regular polishes in my collection that can be used for stamping & hopefully give you ideas for polishes you already own that might work.

I've noticed 2 factors that are key to determining if a polish has da potential to be stamped:

Opacity: is it a one coater?
Da more opaque a polish is, the better da chance it has of working for stamping. Stamping uses a thin layer of polish that is shaped by da image on da plate that is then transfered to da nail. Color Theory 101 applies here in that if you stamp on a yellow polish using a sheer blue polish da blue polish may look green. (So you can stamp with sheer polishes, like jellies, that are thick enuf, tho you'll get dif colors) Certain types of polish tend to lend themselves towards stampability: cremes, metallics (inc foils & chromes), holos & frosts/pearls. If it's a one coater (or nearly so) it's worth testing. Polishes that you probably shouldn't bother testing: GLITTER! Most glitters just won't work. If you can easily see da bits (this includes flakies) it's not going to transfer from da plate to da nail well.

Viscosity: is it getting so thick that polish thinner is becoming desirable?
Konad clearly states that one should not use their stamping polishes for regular manis. Why? Cuz it's so thick it won't spread over da nail evenly before it dries. Your regular polishes don't need to be quite that thick to use for stamping, but you don't want to use cuticle flooders either. Thin polish tends to distort (smoosh) when used for stamping cuz it can't hold da image, even if its opaque enuf to stamp with.

When peeps ask about what polishes can be used, they often ask about brands. Heads up! It's not generally what brands will work, but rather what specific lines of any given brand or which specific polishes will work. That said, you may notice that certain lines or collections from particular brands do keep popping up in my Does it Stamp? posts.
To save you some note taking time, I'll list some da most common of them here:

Color Club Holo Hues ~ both da 2012 & 2013 collections
Color Club 2012 Holiday collection*
Sally Hansen Lacquer Shine line*
Sally Hansen Hi Definition line*
China Glaze Bohemian collection*
Kleancolor Metallics
Pure Ice metallics
Nubar holos
*not longer sold in stores, but still available thru blog sales & eBay.

There are other brands with specific lines & polishes that tend to stamp well,
but I don't own all of them, so I haven't tested them personally.
Don't let this stop you from doing your own testing!


You can test polish on your nails, but if it doesn't work, you may get grumped about it & if you're testing a bunch of polishes da cuticle drying factor should be considered. I suggest testing a bunch of them in one sitting & stamping on both dark & light backgrounds.
You can do this by stamping on paper in both a dark & light color
(glossy card stock works well as it doesn't absorb da polish like uncoated paper will)
OR you can do what I do to test polishes for stamping:

This is a glass pebble I got in a bag of 34 at da dollar store in da 1" - 1.25" size. I got da idea from Soguesswhat & its brilliant! You want glass pebbles that are clear (iridescent clear is ok too cuz it will come off with acetone) & more flat than domed with no pits or other texture on the top of da glass. I painted mine half black/half white (I use cheap polish, $1 or less) as you can see, so I only have to stamp each test polish once. After a testing session I wipe da tested polish off with an acetone soaked cotton swab. (I do all da white sides 1st, then go back with a dif swab to do da black sides) Once da pebbles dry, I'll add new layers of polish as needed. I tend to look for polishes that stamp over black well cuz I tend to wear dark polish more than light. Some polishes also look better over a dark base color than over a light one. Most polishes that pass da O & V test will work on lighter base colors. Also, even when using official stamping polish, it can look faded or less than opaque before you add top coat. I didn't use top coat when testing.

I also have used different stamping plates at different times, but da images should be da same in each photo. Here we go! (all listings go from left to right)

My reds: Sally Hansen Quick Brick, Color Club Berry & Bright (scented),
China Glaze Red Pearl, Ruby Kisses Red Hot Chili Pepper

My one orange: Sally Hansen Three D

My yellows: Sally Hansen Hue, Kleancolor Metallic Yellow, Pure Ice Excuse Me

Since this first post in da series is chock full o' wordage,
I opted to go light on da photo spamage. Next week: golds, coppers & browns!

Thanks for stopping by!
~ Inky


  1. Very cool test. I've found that many China Glaze polishes do stamp well, so that's a good place to look in other collections as well. :)

    1. Thanks! I wanted to know for me, but thought other's might find this info useful too. LOL

      Good to know! The more info we share, da smarter we'll all be. <3


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