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>I’ve been stamping my nails for almost a year now, and I want to share some tips&tricks with anyone who could benefit. I’m by no means an expert and I see much better and creative konad manicures every day, but I also watch tutorials time to time and see some details which could be misleading. If you’ve came across one of those tutorials and ever wondered why your images didn’t come out as they should be, maybe this post could be helpful to enlighten some points.

  • Try to use a plastic scraper. If you don’t own the Konad plastic scraper, use a plastic card, like an expired credit card. I don’t own the plastic scraper, either, and never had issues with a plastic card.  Cut one card in half and there you have a scraper. At least now you’re not going to stratch your plate.
  • Take out your desired polish and dab some on one end of the desired image. You don’t have to go all over the image with polish. It’s a waste of product, since most of the polish is not going to be used. Scrape all the way along the image, and the polish will be evenly spread. You can even grab some of the excess polish on your image plate holder with the scraper, and run it all over the image to cover it again. Note: The last one works best with Konad polishes. Other polishes have different nature, they dry quickly. But painting all over the image is not necessary with any polish I’ve used. Of course if you wanna waste product, that’s your choice =)
  • Don’t hold the scraper vertically, and don’t push hard to scrape. Instead, hold the scraper in a 45 degree angle, and lightly scrape the plate. If you push too hard, you’ll wipe away the polish from inside the image and the image will be gappy and not complete.
  • Get your stamper. The stamper should be clean, but not wet with polish remover. Press one side of the stamper on the plate, and gently roll to cover the whole image. Don’t go down directly and push hard on the image. Push the stamper firmly on the image, make sure all the image is covered with the surface of the stamper. If your stamper is clean but doesn’t pick the image, rub its surface with a buffer, or like me, with a rough cloth. This will make the polish stick to the stamper.
  • Put your nail on a flat surface, and push the stamper again, firmly, in a rolling motion. You don’t have to push too hard, just be sure that you roll all over the nail, and only once. Don’t push down from the top, don’t go in rocking motion, just roll gently but firmly. Pushing too hard might double the design, pushing too light might leave it on the stamp. You will find the right pressure after a few times. Rocking the image might misalign the image, and pushing down can leave some parts blank, failing to transfer the edges.
  • The image should be on your nail now. If the image is not complete on the stamper in the first place, start over. Practise until you can transfer the image to the stamper. If you transfer well on the stamper, there is no reason for you to be unable to transfer on the nail =)
  • After stamping the nail, don’t wipe the stamper with remover. Just stamp the stamper on the hard plastic surface of the plate holder, and the image should come off. Wiping regularly makes the stamper surface slick and reduces friction, which is key to transferring images. Wipe only when bits of polish won’t come off.
  • Clean the image plate with a cotton ball when images start to get “clogged”. This happens mostly with other brands, since they dry early. Konad polishes don’t dry on their own, I can go through ten nails without wiping most of the time. But with other brands, you need to wipe regularly. Make sure you dry the plate with a cotton ball afterwards.
  • There are different polishes that work with Konad, but if you’re using a polish other than Konad special, you’ll have to rush. Other brands dry very quickly, especially with layers this thin. After dabbing the polish, you literally have to scrape, push the stamper and transfer within 3 seconds. But this shouldn’t be very hard after finding your own rhythm. But I recommend starting with konad polishes, as you can be slower with them and that they’re more forgiving. But even with konad polishes, don’t wait about 10 seconds. Because they dry after a while, too.
  • First make a decision in your head, then do the stamping. If you wait with the stamp in your hand, unable to decide where to put a pattern, you will most likely end up with half of the dried image, and hate the thing altogether =)
  • If you made a mistake, grab a cotton ball and soak it with remover. Go lightly over the design. It should remove, as long as you have topcoat underneath. If you don’t put on topcoat before stamping, I advise you to start doing so, because it could be a life saver. After finishing the manicure, you will put another topcoat, which will hide the dullness, so don’t worry.
  • In order to avoid smudging, use Konad topcoat, or if you want to use your regular topcoat, just get a big amount on your brush, and spread evenly, from root to tip, without touching the brush on the nail. Go with light strokes, and only once over every section of nail. Let dry, and then do a proper topcoat.
  • Finally, don’t give up! It’s not rocket science, it’s a very easy and fun thing to do, and possibilities are endless =) I once saw a woman who tried to return her professional salon kit, because she thought she couldn’t do this. She had tried every single color, and she didn’t even clean the plates, she was just demanding her money back. I was eyeing her like O_o with only 3 first plates and 2 mini polishes in my hands. I mean everybody can do this. Just sit at it for an hour, and try, and don’t give up. I remember my first time =) It was a fiasco! But I got the hang of it and now it’s one of my favorite leisure activities =)

That’s all for now. I hope I didn’t sound arrogant or annoying, I don’t blame anybody who does my don’t s, I just merely wanted to say what could go wrong with them, based on my own experience. Of course everybody has their own ways of doing Konad, and maybe I’m doing many things wrong in your eyes! It’s just what works best for me, and if I was helpful in the slightest way, I’d be happy =)

Bonus tips from readers:

  • If you see parts of the image sticking up off your nail right after stamping, carefully press them on the nail with as little contact as possible before you proceed. (This happens with non-Konad polishes, like Romantiques.) These parts will cause your image to smear when you use the topcoat. Don’t rub, just lightly press them down. 
  • If you haven’t mastered Konad yet, play with it over old mani’s. Nothing frustrates more than ruining a good mani. (Yeah, me too =) And not only try the stamping, but practice putting a topcoat over it, too. Go crazy, use bold designs, regular polishes, experiment with angles, pressure, double stamping etc.
    Over an old mani it doesn’t matter what you do but it can give you inspiration and it helps you find a way that works for you without the frustration of ruining a perfectly good mani.

If you want a tip added here, just leave it in the comments!

      >I’m sad at this point because this is the last time for a while that you’re seeing my long nails. Yesterday in bed I managed to break my left pinky, which has been growing for 4 months now… I was kinda furious but I calmly picked my nail clipper and cut my nails to little nubbins. At least now they can grow together. Arrgh. Why does this keep happening? My pinky is so short now that I’m gonna have to take pictures of my right hand for a while.
      Anyway, here is China Glaze Custom Kicks, three coats as usual, but 2 would be just fine.

      They say Flyin’ High from the Up&Away Collection is close to Custom Kicks, minus the golden shimmer. So I’m trying to kill my lemming with these while waiting for Up&Away. =)

      >I got China Glaze Platinum Gold and Platinum Pearl about a year ago, hoping that they could also stamp like Romantique polishes, but I was disappointed. I guess I should have done more research… Anyway, I love Platinum Gold because it’s a lovely bronze, but I can’t say the same for Platinum Pearl. It’s sheer and a bit streaky, but I decided to give it a try. Then I stamped using special polish in white and plates m56 & m57. Please ignore the smeared parts, because they irk me to no end. I just hate that a bottle of topcoat lasts only for about 3-4 weeks.

      My nails are bare right now. Tomorrow I’m getting a new topcoat, which means you’re going to see more decent manicures from then on =)

      >I did it. Because I had to do it.
      For the first time in three months, I went short with my nails. I feel terrible. Today I realized after taking off my nail polish, that my right pinky was torn on the side. I tried to buff it so that the crack would sink in, but using my recessive hand caused a disaster, my nail tore from side to side, in a matter of a milisecond. It was painful, and I was frustrated! Then I decided to chop my nails, because it makes no sense to run around with long nails when one or two nails are just little nubbins. So I grabbed the toenail clipper and… You know the rest.
      Don’t get me wrong, I love short nails on other people and they don’t bother me at all, but after all the effort for growing them longer, it’s frustrating to have them break just like so. I wonder if I ever have even nails at one time. I swear, before I became obsessed with my nails, everything was smoother…
      So today’s mani is the offspring of my depression. I just slapped some polish and layered it, and this came out.

      This is Inglot #202 (green/pink flakies) over regular black creme polish, topped at first with China Glaze Matte Magic, then the underside with shiny topcoat. So those thick lines are not intended to be french tips =) When using a matte top coat, I recommend using it over regular top coat, because even when matte top coats dry quickly, they are not like quick-dry top coats, and they dent.

      Look how short they are! I only didn’t shorten my left pinky, because pinkies are such a pain in the butt to grow.

      >Here is the whole story.
      In Turkey, nail polish concept is not like in the USA, Japan or Europe. One can hardly find any blue polish here, let alone greens. Most of the time the lines consist of reds, pinks, whites, sheer whites and sheer pinks, some vampy colours and occasionally corals, etc. Cremes are minority, there are frosts, shimmers and a few true glitters. There are no permanent lines and collections, there are colours with numbers, you can’t exactly follow them because numbers change, things get re-packaged, etc. Nail polish is really cheap (less than a dollar) but good quality.
      One other thing you oughta know is that imported items are rare here. They are imported on demand, and because nail polish culture hasn’t really developed among women here, who only wear either reds or french, importing nail polish brands is a dream to me. And when something is imported from another country, they are expensive. The annual income of people here is far less than in Europe or in the USA, but imported items have too much tax on them that we have to pay unreasonable prices.
      What I did was to haul 14/15 pieces at a time from online retailers in USA, and I always fear that they might get stuck at the customs. I can’t do this very often… So when I heard that OPI was finally sold here, I went kinda crazy.
      They are 20$ a piece. And a bottle of Nail Envy is 60$. What the hell? Someone here is definitely a fraud.
      I got my OPI for 15$. Here is my ridiculously pathetic OPI haul.

      You Don’t Know Jacques
      This is all. I had been wanting this polish for such a long time, that I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw it! I’m thinking of buying maybe 2-3 more in the future, but I’m not sure. I’m planning on doing another haul when Wizard of Ooh-Ahz comes out. And I hope my China Glaze haul arrives soon!

      >Hi everyone, I hope you had a blast at Halloween.
      Last night I did this manicure, with a She polish I got this summer. It’s a lilac creme with strong pink undertones, and I thought it would go along well with Konad polish in pink (pastel pink?) and design from palette m69. It’s one of my favorite palettes and it’s not yet sold in my country, luckily I contacted Kathleen from OC Nail Art and she sent it to me along with m71, m73 and m74. I just can’t get enough full pattern palettes. They are my favorite. I also love little flowers and tip designs, but full designs have a special place in my heart, and are the main reason I got into Konad stuff.

      This lace design is beautiful, and I’m slowly getting hang of aligning the designs correctly. With full designs it’s much easier, because the rectangular shape is obvious. But with tip designs and/or vertical designs, I always have problems with my recessive hand. Now I use the marks on the sides of the double ended stamper, and align the stamp that way. But I still have problems with aligning with the central axis =)

      Btw, all of my manicures are base coat + 3 coats + top coat, unless otherwise stated. Of course when I konad, I put an additional coat of top coat to seal the design.

      >Today, my thumb nail broke painfully. It was really nice and long, and I was keeping my tips very strong with Mavala Scientifique, but it had a tear on one side, and when it got stuck while opening a box, it ripped painfully. Now I have it very very short.

      PhotobucketI filed all my nails down, and I hope they finally grow out without tearing on the sides this time. They always say thumbnails grow the slowest, but it doesn’t seem to be the case with me, luckily. And my fastest growing nails are my ring fingers.
      Anyway, I was kinda unwilling to do a manicure, but I did it anyway, because bare nails are the weakest. The base is Rimmel Your Majesty, and I stamped it with Konad special polish in red, and zebra pattern of m57. The result: Funky Robo-Zebra!


      The stamping was complete in 20 seconds. Can you believe that? It’s a personal record!

      Here is a bottle picture: