Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Konad Polish Swatches & XL Stamper Review

Hey, you two birds- meet this one stone!

 I recently got an XL Stamper, and was having a bit of a time trying to figure out why my luck with it was nowhere near that of others. So, I sat down with full intentions of making it work. It took little to no time to realize that the problem I was having was caused by the included scrapers, and not the stamper itself.

 I am not one of the Nail Girls that use a Shopping Card as a scraper, I have never been able to get the same results as with metal ended ones. But if you are skilled with one, these may be a better option for you- as they are very solid and will not bend. The plastic is probably a whole lot better for the condition of our plates, but I have never had a metal scraper scuff a plate beyond the point of being able to discern the image. While testing the stamper with the plastic scrapers, I noticed that I was pulling too much polish off of the image. No matter what angle I held the scraper at, I wound up with open gaps where polish should have been.  I swapped out for my Konad metal scraper and the difference was enough to make the XL stamper my new best thing. 

 The larger White end of the Stamper is very squishy and pliable. And also somewhat different in what it picks up and leaves behind. It attracts lint and dust like none other, but doesn't seem to leave it behind when transferring. It picks up less polish from around the design lines, leaving crisper images, but it deposits ALL of the polish you pick up. Unlike the Konad stamper, which always has a faint outline of the design left on it, the XL stamper had nothing left after the transfer. Which made for a more pigmented stamp.

 That being said, with the exception of black and white, here is my budding Stamping Polish collection, done with both the Konad and the XL stamper. I chose to do them on paper to save my hands from so much remover. I would rather test them on my hands over something other than black and white, so if you have any suggestions/requests leave them in the comments!  

The Konad is on the Left, and the XL is on the Right in both the black and white bases. 

Both scrapers had been filed.

The Image is from the Pueen 25 plate.

 Pastel Orange
 Move over, Black, we have a new contender for Halloween stamping! See the difference in color on the white paper? That (and all of these) are not from my camera. They are like that because of the layer of polish that stayed behind on my Konad stamper.

 Dark Orange
 I had to stamp this one a couple extra times, just to make sure that the fault was not my own. (Too slow on the transfer, pressing to hard.... a number of things could have made me to blame.) But alas, it was the Konad stamper. I couldn't believe that this one showed up on the dark base, with or without the cool new toy. There really isn't a whole lot of difference between this and the Pastel Orange as far as color goes, in fact I have a pretty hard time telling the bottles apart because they don't have stickers. But when the bottles open, the Pastel is the clear winner.

 Pastel Blue
 Here is the only other from the Pastel line that I have, so far. I have used this one over a few different colors, and it gives wonderful results. 

 This Blue is obviously not a good choice for darker bases. The sheered out stamp from the Konad stamper probably wouldn't work very well over anything but the lightest shades.

 Blue Pearl
  However, this Blue... Completely makes up for it. It is metallic, and gorgeous. Again, the XL Stamper really gave a bigger bang on the transfer.

 (Not So) Psyche Pink
 This one, and the Blue Pearl came in the Coraline Set A kit that I got from Amazon a while back. As you can tell from the bottles, this one is nowhere near the Psyche Pink that is advertised. I am thinking that it might have came from a bad batch, as I have read reviews that shown others had the same problem. It is less than visible over anything light, but looks elegant over darker shades- which is why I have kept it around. 

 You will notice that there are 2 stamps facing downward on the dark base. They are both using the XL Stamper, but the left I used the plastic scraper. It left bald spots on the petals, but depending on the color combination it may look nice.

Psyche Pink
 Now, This is Psyche Pink. This is another shade that will look good over both light and dark shades, and is very metallic. I have a feeling I will be using this one within the next week.

 Green has no shimmer, and like the Blue the transfer from the Konad stamper left it a little too sheered out to really cover many darker shades.

 Red was a lot creamier than I expected, and like the Psyche Pink- I foresee it being put to use in the near future.

 This one was another that surprised me on the black paper, I thought I would have to wait to get the Pastel Yellow to have one that would cover a darker shade. That is obviously not the case.

 Light Gray
 Light "Gray" is almost a  little too purple for my tastes. I need to try it out over some other shades before I decide whether I like it or not.

Violet Pearl
  Violet Pearl is another of the metallic finish set. It doesn't look as pronounced over the black base as the others, but it is still gorgeous.

 The formula on Chocolate is flawless, it stamps wonderfully. I've used this one a few times as well. It was one that I knew I would use as much as a black or white, and that's why I chose the Princess size bottle of it. I got this on Amazon a little cheaper than on their website.

 Black Pearl
 This one also came in a prepackaged Konad kit, along with a White in the same large size. (French Manicure, Set F I do believe.) It doesn't come off as metallic as the other Pearl finishes, but it is still there. I enjoy this one when I am wanting something more than just black, ha.

Final Thoughts

Tips & Tricks 

  • Do file your stamper. (Lightly, with a fine grain.)
  • Do keep your scraper very clean.
  • Don't apply too much pressure.
  • Do practice/test swatch before committing yourself to an entire mani.
  • Do shop around before spending money. Some kits offer more bang for your buck. Some stores/sellers offer a better deal than others.

XL Stamper Set

 Though I will not be using the plastic scrapers, that does not mean you shouldn't test them out. Especially if you are accustomed to using Gift/Shopping Cards, because as I mentioned before- they do not give or bend. (Unless you like the bendy?)

 The XL Stamper itself is where the true gem lies. I do believe that I have found my favorite stamper, and have already been testing (on paper, for now.) regular polishes with it. I have had more wins than fails with my picks to try with because of the simple fact - it leaves nothing behind. 

 I am going to be putting the XS stamper on the opposite end up to the MASH dual ended stamper, I do not have the Konad of that version.

Pueen Cosmetics Plates

 I tested others while trying out other polishes, and like this one- they were wonderful. Not too shallow, and yet not too deep. The full nail images are large, and all have the option of a french end. I had no problems with what stamp swatching I have done. I haven't used them in a full manicure yet though, so more on those at a later time.

*The item(s) in this post were purchased by me.

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