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As a big fan of nail art AND not spending too much money, I do my nails myself and am therefore always on the lookout for a fun new trend or product I can trial in my own home. And the konad stamping system is a great example of the recent push towards more intricate nail art, as seen with the effects varnishes popping up everywhere.
Konad is a clever idea - it effectively allows you to create a transfer of wet varnish to apply direct to the nail, by means of a design plate, scraper and stamper. The plates have several different designs machined onto the surface. You apply the required nail colour (or colours if going for a multicolour design) over the pattern you wish to transfer, then scrape back any excess polish from the surface, leaving the resulting varnish levelled in the design indent. Then "pick up" this varnish design with the stamper, and place or roll it over your nail to transfer it from the rubber pad.
This way, you can get even fishnet lines, exact animal print, crisp writing etc - that should look identical on both hands. I specify this, as I'm quite adept at freehanding nail art onto my left hand... then producing a wonderful "ecce homo"-esque reproduction on the right that bears little to no resemblance. Bear in mind that it can prove a bit tricky to align full nail patterns and french tips, so these might take more than one attempt.
Konad recommend you use their brand of colours to use with this system due to the thickness/consistency of varnish. I would say however that some "standard" varnishes also work well with this, although I would recomend trialling colours before attempting them on prepped nails, as not all varnishes transfer cleanly and you may end up with a half-complete design. This is also a perfect opportunity though to go through your "I should throw this away now" type old colours, as a thicker consistency definitely works better than a new, thinner standard varnish. Make the most, and recycle those fudgy old polishes!
I really enjoy painting and decorating my nails and have tried a variety of 'fad' nail products - crackle varnish, glitter, magnetic and also nail foil. But I had never before seen or heard of Konad stamping nail art until my friend bought me a kit for Christmas. I was very excited to look inside the box. Opening it up I found a metal plate which has in this case 7 designs on. My plate is called 'm2' the pictures include 2 hearts and the word love, some tiny stars, a couple of flower designs, a little animal and an animal style pattern I have since found there are many more plates to choose from to add to the collection. In the box you also get a 5ml bottle of white Konad Special Nail Polish, a scraper which has a plastic handle and a thin metal part at the bottom and a stamper which has a plastic handle and rubber part on the bottom.
Looking on the back of the box I found the instructions on how to use my nail product the instructions are as follows:
1.Apply base coat to nail
2. Apply Konad special polish to the image you want to use from the plate
3. Use the scraper at a 45 degrees angle to scrape of excess polish it advises you to do this quickly
4. Press stamper onto the design
5. Stamp image onto your nail with a gentle rolling motion
6. Apply top coat
Well that all sounded simple enough and there were pictures to match. So here goes I followed the instructions being quick and guess what nothing happened. I could not figure out what I was doing wrong but the picture would not lift from the plate. I tried about 10 times and managed to get it to work once disappointed and frustrated I put it away and forgot about it. That was until my friend who bought it for me asked how I was getting on with it and I had to admit that I couldn't figure it out. Anyway she had also purchased herself the kit and had got the hang of it so she came round to teach me.
So here's what I was doing wrong firstly when it said quickly I was panicking and getting over keen with my scraping leaving bits of nail polish where it shouldn't be. Secondly I was pushing the stamper to hard onto the design plate which meant the design was not lifting from the plate I needed to roll the stamper over the design and it picked it up straight away. Once I had cracked this bit I was away with my stamping the designs look amazing once stamped onto my nail and now I can't get enough of my stamper the best thing to do with the stamper is experiment with the designs. I have since ordered myself some more design wheels from Amazon which I am eagerly awaiting there are so many prints I will never get bored. The results of the nail stamper are in my opinion salon professional looking it can cost a small fortune to have your nail done in a salon and if you can master this you won't have to.
Design plates vary from really detailed designs for the whole nail to small quirky designs. You tube is full of inspirational videos and designs which are fantastic. Konad does recommend you use their special polish for the printing but I have been doing some experimenting of my own and so far found that 17 Magnetized polish works as does Barry M instant nail effect polish just as well. There are also a huge range of Konad special polish colours to choose from. Another tip is to use acetone nail polish remover on the plate between stamps to clean it off so the design lifts off properly.
I fully recommend this product once you have got the hang of it it's brilliant. Experiment and enjoy.
I love all girly things and often spend £££'s down the salon in order to achieve nice nail designs and despite trying many 'DIY' style nail kits before they always seem to end up blotched or just looking a big, hideous mess. Though, even after saying this I seem to always be drawn to new nail kits, even if it is just in the hope that the may work.
The particular one that I shall be reviewing today is the 'Konad' nail stamping system, now I have had several sets within this range and several add on's and will therefore just be reviewing the system in general.
~~Where can you purchase it to?~~
I have found that you can purchase this on most well known sites on line, however, am yet to find I instore.
These places include:
I have ordered mine from eBay and Amazon as they often tend to be a little cheaper that the actual Konad online store and also offer the same sets / individual items as on the main site.
~~How much does it cost?~~
This question really depends on what set you buy, or if you buy the individual items. The main items that you will need when buying the Konad set, is the scraper, a stamping plate, stamper and 'special' nail polish.
You can get sets from around as little as £12, however I have seen them range to over £200 on the website, so I suppose it just depends whether you want it for home use or for professional use.
Cost of individual items...
-'Special' Nail polish £6
-Stamping plate £6-10
~~How does it work?~~
To use I found it very simple and you simply need to paint your nails in a base coat (a colour) and then use the special nail polish to paint over your preferred design on the stamping plate and then use the scraper to remove any excess. After this you press the stamper into the stamping plate which will bring the design up onto the stamper it order to simply 'stamp' onto your nail.
I found it a very simple method and an amazingly effective method. It was very easy to follow, as long as you allow one hand to THOROUGHLY dry before you move onto the next one.
~~The special nail polish~~
Now, I personally don't know why this is called is special as to me it doesn't seem any different to any other nail varnish. This is what you paint onto the stamping plate / image plate. You only need a thin layer of this polish, which is good as it means it tends to last longer. However, for some reason I did find that this nail polish became gloopier and messier to handle opposed to the 'normal' nail varnishes, however if you put in the fridge I found that it is much easier to use.
They come in array of colours, however are £6 each so may be a little more than the normal nail varnish you may buy, so asking for some for Christmas or birthday may be a good idea. As I have said I am unsure as to what the difference is between this Konad nail polish and that of normal nail polish, but have not tried normal nail polish (except for on the base of my nails) so cannot really comment.
I personally, when buying them tend to pick colours which I will know will stand out, as after experimenting with some of the paler yellows, pinks and blues I tend to find that these just get lost amongst the base coat. One colour that I would definitely recommend would have to be the white, as it is bright and bold so stands out on almost all base colours. It is also works particularly well when done with a 'zebra' style nail art (This stamp can be found on plate m57) and then alongside a black base coat.
~~Stamping / image plate~~
Here is where you get the design from your nails from. There are SO many different plate to choose from, some based upon seasons of the year, others on the alphabet, animals, ect. There are also other ones that just have pretty designs on them such as bows, laces, etc.
The image plates themselves are silver in colour and round in shape. Each of the image plates have a few different designs on to pick from, so you will be able to create more than just one design from one image plate. The designs are engraved into the image plate, which is why you paint over it with the special polish and then use the scraper to remove excess, therefore how the stamper picks up the image.
One of my favourite image plates has to be that of M57 (they tend to all be numbered / lettered in this way). This image plate has the zebra print on it, alongside a leopard style print and then some other smaller designs.
This is used to scrape any excess off of the image plate. It is easy to use and is quite flat in shape and is quite small, but isn't too small so that it is hard to use.
The instructions say that when using this it should also be scraped towards you, though I am not sure why and as to why it matters.
I did find that the nail varnish tended to dry quite quick on the scraper, so I would recommend removing any of the nail polish from the scraper quickly.
The stamper is really easy to use. It is a nice shape and size meaning that it is easy to use and hold. I was really surprised at how well it was able to pick up the nail varnish and when it did so it just picked up the design that you wanted and no extra nail polish.
As I have said it only picked up the design so when it came to stamping it on my nail it did not smudge and did so with such precision it looked so professional.
Even when stamping firmly onto the nail the design didn't smudge and was able to stay neat and in the thin lines the design on the plate looked like.
I was very happy with the finished design, it looked professional and like I had spent at least £15++ in a salon, and the great thing about this set it that you are able to reuse it.
You can position the stamper in many different positions in order to create many different designs on the nail. I have had many comments on them and my friends (after they have used it) cannot believe how quick and incredibly simple it is to use.
~~How long does it last?~~
I always use a clear top coat, whether it is on normal nail varnish or with this set and when using a clear top coat on this I tend to find it lasts at least 4-5 days before it begins to chip. If you apply just a thin top coat everyday (which I have been known to do!!!) then I find that these designs can last up to 2 weeks before you can see some growth at the end of your nail.
~~Would I recommend/Conclusion~~
Overall I would definitely recommend this set, though I know that it costs around an average £20 for your first decent set, once you have purchased this then it will last you for ages. This is such as easy and simple set to use, I have used so many DIY style nail sets and this by far exceeds any expectations that had.
The so called special nail polish also comes off just as easy as any other nail varnish, so it is just as easy to remove this nail varnish as it is any other.
I would worn you though, once you have started to use this you may become addicted and start to buy image plate after image plate, but if your friends have this then you can also swap and change with them.
The finished look is really very good and if you are one of those who like to go to the nail salon to treat yourself then I'd definitely recommend you give this ago as you will definitely see yourself saving the pennies (as long as you don't go overboard with buying different colours / image plates!)
If it is not too late then add it to your Christmas list as it is so simple to use, I would also suggest that you check out you tube as there are many 'konad' videos on there showing you how to use it, all he different designs you can create and ultimately just how quick, easy and simple it is to use!!
What is it?
The Konad nail stamping system is a relatively new idea, combining easy and simple nail-art techniques with professional looking results! The kit I am reviewing is a kit, purchased from the online retailer www.wowsocool.com, called the basic stamping kit, and contains all the necessary equipment for the Konad technique.
How to use it?
The kit contains 1 (5ml) special nail polish (white), 1 image plate (m2), 1 stamp & 1 scraper. Basically, the polish is painted onto the image plate which has designs engraved on it. The scraper is then drawn across the image plate to scrape off excess polish, so that the only remaining polish on the plate is that that is in the engraving and all excess polish is removed. Then, using the rubber stamper, press down onto the polish to pick up the design. This is then stamped onto the nail. It may sound confusing but this is actually a very easy method!
On my photo-sharing site, I have uploaded images of my nails the first time I used the stamping kit and I used a bright nail polish as the base (Barry M's Turquoise) so that the patterns stand out. The link is here: http://s367.photobucket.com/albums/oo116/SpicedChocolate/Konad%20Nail%20Art/
The polish that comes with the set is white, this is probably the most universal colour, it is not recommended that regular polish is used, as the "special" polish is alot thicker and is picked up better by the stamper.
Where to buy:
As I mentioned, I purchased my kit from wowsocool.com, this is an American based site so prices are in US dollars and higher shipping rates apply, but this still is cheaper than purchasing from the UK sites. If you use the coupon code "xsparkage", you get 20% off any order! It is the cheapest kit available on their website, and with the coupon code and international shipping included, the price totals $17.79, which equates to £10.77. I think this is great value as the results are amazing, so many patterns can be created easily, I always get compliments when I have done my nails with the Konad set! And it only takes around 10mins to do! The plate of designs that comes with the starter kit is very pretty, most of the designs are flowers, with one cute animal and animal print design aswell.
Wowsocool.com stock many other design plates and nail polish colours, for even more variety with your nails!
Thanks for taking time to read this review, if you have any comments or questions please message me or leave a comment and I will be glad to help! :)