I was recently asked by Nail Polish Canada if I’d like to review one of the new Konad stamping plates they’ve added to their selection of image plates. The three new ones, M86, M87, and M88 are all French tip designs of various types.
This is the plate I received, M86, plain French tips with a pronounced inner curve, and an across-the-nail band that resembles a frilly lace garter.
I decided to use two Color Club holographic polishes, Revvvolution and Worth the Risqué, since these are very pigmented one-coat polishes, and so, good for stamping.
As you can see in the pics, my metal scraper already left some scratches on the surface of the plate, but this is normal when using a metal scraper and it doesn’t affect the results at all.
If you’ve never used French tip Konad designs before, I will say that there is a learning curve to it. I had never used Konad French tips and I had to practise at least a half-dozen times before I got something that I felt was decent enough to photograph. What helped me a lot in the end was watching this French mani tutorial by blogger The Polished Mommy. She goes through two different methods for French tips, one of them being Konad, and part-way through the tutorial when she demonstrates rolling the stamper onto the nail tip starting at one side, I had an “aha” moment, as I’d previously been trying to stamp head-on and the tips would almost always turn out crooked. I’d definitely recommend watching it if you’re like me and trying this type of stamping design for the first time!
The base polish is two coats of Revvvolution, by the way (the second one wasn’t all that necessary but I added it just in case, since I was photographing it), and there is no top coat on these first photos.
Another thing I learned in practising was to choose the right size of design for each nail. The plate has five tip sizes, and although it seems kind of silly to me now, at first I tried to use all five of them largest to smallest from thumb to pinkie. I ended up realizing that was a mistake, and to choose the correct design for each nail based on which one’s width seemed to best match the width of the nail.
I ended up using the second-largest tip on my thumb, the second-smallest on my index, middle and ring fingers, and then the smallest on my pinkie. I was actually kind of relieved that I wasn’t using the largest one in the end, since the greater width of that one makes it a bit trickier to avoid scraping right down to the plate in the center of the design and ending up with a bald spot and having to start over. Not sure if this would be less of an issue when using an old credit card to scrape, like many people do, instead of the metal Konad scraper. The four smaller nail tips didn’t give me any trouble like that, though!
I then decided to add the lace-garter design across my nails, but of course the first one I did went on kind of crooked and with bald spots (some day I’ll get better at stamping, I swear! haha); I then applied the others haphazardly on purpose so that at least they’d all be similar! I still like the way it turned out. I also added topcoat before taking the rest of these photos.
I was really happy that Worth the Risqué works so well for stamping. These two holos are gorgeous in the sunlight!
Although at first I was getting a little frustrated when I couldn’t get the tips stamped on straight, once I watched the tutorial and practised a little more it became a lot of fun to play around with this plate! Previously I’d only ever used French tip guide stickers (well, and tried freehand once, but that didn’t turn out well enough for me to be satisfied with it) but the thing with those is that you have to make sure that the base is completely dry before applying the stickers or else removing them will remove some of the base too. So, I’m really glad to have this plate; I’ll surely be doing French tips on my manis a lot more often now!!
If you’re in Canada like me you can find this plate and others here at Nail Polish Canada. (edit: I just noticed on their site that they also ship to the US.) You can probably also find them wherever you normally get your Konad plates; I’m not sure how widely available the newly released ones are at this point.
Disclosure: the stamping plate in this post was provided to me for review. Opinions expressed are my honest opinions.