Stamping FAIL - Help!

With nail art, you generally get better over time. I've seen my hand-painted nail art go from weird colourful stripes to patchwork to detailed cartoons. Hurrah. But I have never improved at stamping - in fact, I think I've gone backwards. The only hope I have is that maybe it's not me, maybe it's the polish I'm using. I've only ever stamped with normal nail polish, or stamping polish from Born Pretty Store. The one time I tried Konad, it belonged to a friend and it worked perfectly... I'm not sure if that was a one-off or not, but it gave me some hope.

I received a heap of stamping products to review from Born Pretty Store, and was excited to give it a try. The polishes are quite expensive, so I figured they must be awesome. But I don't know what it was - it was the most frustrating thing ever! I spent hours trying to get it to work one day, and this is the best I could get - plus this is after fixing it up the best I could by hand-painting in the gaps.

I pouted about my failed attempt for a good two weeks, but decided I owed it to Born Pretty Store, who I usually fully endorse, to try again. Maybe I was just having a bad day.

But no. Granted, this time was a little easier than last time, but most of the design still didn't transfer, and the white polish was far from opaque.

The awkward thing was that I intended to make a "How To" video with this stuff. But really, it was just a "How To Suck" video. I asked on Facebook if people wanted me to still upload it, despite it's... issues... and the response was a unanimous "yes," so at least I don't have to feel too bad about uploading such a sub-par tutorial. It's to please the people!

So I need some serious stamping help. Please, if you know anything about stamping, tell me what I'm doing wrong! It's worked in the past, with some other BPS polishes I have, but these ones... either I've gotten worse or the polishes aren't very good. The black was decent, come to think of it, but the white was too sheer and didn't transfer properly and the red dried so fast it was near-impossible to transfer. See the video for what I mean - and please subscribe!

Here are a few shots of the stamping supplies from Born Pretty Store. I did like the plates - there were heaps of awesome designs that I was so excited to try out, but it just didn't work out for me.

I heard that there's a company (or maybe several?)  that make extra large plates, for us ladies with wide fingernails. Does anyone know what the company's name is? I might see if I can hunt them down. Stamping isn't really "my thing" anyway, I like to hand-paint, but I know that a lot of people do like it and it'd be good to film a video where it worked perfectly.

The stamper that I used in the first attempt (seen above) did not work out for me. It was an awkward shape - my nails are long and wide and the long and wide stamper was a bit to constricting; there was little room for error. I imagine it'd work just fine for others with smaller nails, or more stamping skill in general, but not for me.

I feel a bit bad being this harsh about this polish - maybe I just got a bad batch? Or I actually am using it completely wrong? I doubt the latter, though, as I tried a lot of different techniques and have made it work in the past. As some consolation to Born Pretty Store, I really do love most of their products and have reviewed many over the years. Their studs and rhinestones are so cheap and perfect, and I love their dotting tools and brushes. It's just a bit disappointing that this didn't keep up with the standards, especially with a $20 price tag!

Here's one last shot of the second attempt. Again, let me know of any suggestions you have in terms of either improving my stamping skills, or choosing another brand. Thank you!

Helpful links:
Buy the stamping polishes here.
Buy the plates here.
Buy the stamper and scraper here.

Use CEL91 for 10% off at Born Pretty ☺.

The products used in this blog post and video were provided to me for honest review from Born Pretty Store.


  1. I don't have much in the way of suggestion to help you out, as I'm new to stamping as well, but MoYou London makes amazing plates, and their XL designs are big enough that I stamped my big toes this afternoon...

  2. first of all, thank you for your post. I also suck at stamping sometimes, I have my ups and downs with it :)
    you asked for larger plates, have you ever tried Moyou London plates? I love them, and if I stamp I only use them! they have some with whole pictures with different patterns on it, or their pro plates have really large images.
    FYI I'm talking about the European plates, because I think in the US they have other plates.
    but check them out, many indie sellers who ship worldwide, sell the European plates!
    hope that helps!

  3. I only started stamping successfully fairly recently so I'll tell you what works for me...

    1.) MoYou London plates. They make XL image plates (as well as some really unusual full-plate images), have a TON of themes to choose from, and are just awesome. I do recommend staying away from the regular image sizes, though, especially if you do have wide nails. But even if your nails aren't particularly wide, they still have to be pretty short to fit the image properly. My last order I got 4 regular size plates because I thought, hey, more images to choose from! Totally regret it. :( Fortunately the only nail it's a real problem on is my thumbnail (I do keep my nails fairly short), so I am able to use them for accent nails on my smaller nails, but it's not ideal. Aside from that, though, the plates are super quality, deeply etched so the image transfers really well.

    2.) Decal method. I still cannot stamp directly onto my nail without royally screwing it up. So I do the next best thing - paint a layer of cheap top coat on a Ziploc bag (Wet n Wild's Wild Shine top coat has worked best in my experience), then stamp onto THAT and transfer it to my nails as a decal. It adds an extra step to the process so it can be a tiny bit of a pain but it saves you from having to do a nail all over again if you screw up a stamp. I generally do a big stamping session so I have a bunch of decals sitting around for whenever I feel like using them. I have like six sandwich bags sitting off to the side right now covered in stamps. Plus, when you do it this way, you can color the patterns in - Lucie from Lucy's Stash has a great YT tutorial series on ways to do this, and @alygaterrr on IG does some fabulous colored stamp decal manis. (to be continued)

  4. (continued... comment was too long lol)

    3.) A good, sticky stamper. I got this one: Before that, the only one I had was from MASH (their image plates have SUPER tiny images, btw, definitely avoid), and it did an okay job, but once I got this one, it changed things so much for me. Next time I do a MoYou order, though, I'm planning on getting this one: It is worth mentioning that I don't care for the all-plastic scraper that comes with these. It just doesn't do the job well enough. I use one from this really cheap as-seen-on-TV stamping kit that has a metal edge, but they stopped making the set that way and changed it to really really cheap materials so you can't get it anymore. Basically I'd just keep an eye out for a scraper that's metal, because it actually does scrape the excess polish away properly. It also takes a bit of practice to get in the habit of scraping at the proper 45 degree angle, but once you've got it down you'll get it right almost every time.

    4.) For the most part, avoid stamping polishes. I ordered some from BPS (not the same set you got here, smaller bottles, but it was probably the same polish inside), and I was extremely disappointed with it. Neither the black or white were particularly opaque, which is the number one thing you need in a stamping polish. I also got a black polish from MoYou and had the same problem, which disappointed me because their plates are such great quality and they specifically suggest in their instructions that you use their polishes to stamp, so you'd think they'd be suitable for it... nope. I have far more success with Sinful Colors Black on Black and Snow Me White. I've also I've had great success with metallics like Maybelline Bold Gold, and I've heard that the Sally Hansen Insta-Dri polishes are good for stamping. Really there's just a lot of experimentation involved in finding what polishes will work well, but those specific ones I just listed are for sure good for it. :)

    I thiiiiiiink that covers my stamping knowledge. I don't know why it's so difficult for some of us to get down. Probably partially the products we end up with, partially user error, I dunno. It is definitely frustrating because it's meant to be an easier, faster way to do nail art and for some people it works out great that way, but for a lot of us that just isn't the case. It's kind of like how some people can water marble like it's nothing but the majority of us are like nope nope NOPE. :P Anyway, hopefully I was able to help out. Once you figure out a way that works for you, it is definitely a good thing to have in your arsenal as an addition to your other nail art skills, so I hope you can find a way to get it to work using some of my tips.

    1. Thank you, extremely helpful! I'm stamping shopping right now :D.

  5. Hi, Jessie! :-) Long time no comment from me, but I was following your work and still following you, congratulations for all you've done and achieved in last 6-7-8 months :-)

    When it comes to nails, I really enjoy nail art, I mean free hand nail art, that's what I like most and that is the best that I can "offer" :-)
    But, when it comes to some other techniques sometimes I get desperate about my poor "skills"...

    For example, I'm "in war" with water-marble, I've tried it but I've never done something worth enough to be published; I guess I will have to practice very very hard because I love the final water marble effect and I would really be happy to see some nice water marble on my nails :-)

    The same thing is with stamping, somehow it takes me so much time to do a complete stamping manicure that I think "I would have done this much quicker if I used free hand drawing"! :-)
    But, lately I got two Born Pretty Store stamping plates that are really, really nice, with beatiful floral designs (and I adore flowers), so this should inspire me to use them more often! :-)
    I've published something like 7-8 stamping manicures in my life (or in my 3 year long "blogging career") and I used Konad stamping nail polishes (set of 3 very small Konad stamping nail polishes won in some giveaway...) and they worked OK for me; I was very happy with my "Stamping: wonderlicious green bubbles on black" (if you want you can find it on my blog, I don't want to spam here) where I used Essence Colour&Change nail polish.. of course, filling some gaps here and there... :-)

    As I understood, you can use special stamping nail polish or you could search and find some nail polishes in your nail polish collection that "work" for stamping, they should be "one coaters"... I saw many stamping manicures where girls used metallic effect nail polishes (they are one coaters) and their manicures looked great... THEIR stamping manicures are great, I'm far away from being good at stamping! :-)

    Well, I think that my comment is too long... but I hope you won't be angry for this :-) Maybe something that I wrote could help you a little bit... OMG, I've done less then 10 stamping manicures in my life and I'm trying to give you some advice..! Well, let's say that I just wanted to tell you that you're not alone that has some problems with stamping...
    And, at the end, I strongly believe in this: "Practice (and searching... and stubborness...) makes perfect!"

    P.S.1 I love your stamping manicure on pink, it looks very delicate :-)

    P.S.2 If and when you'll have some free time, you can see my BPS reviews Stamping plates QA27 and QA59, done something like a week ago, I was quite happy how those stamping manicures came out... yes, I admit, I stamped only on two nails, but I will get better... one day... :-)

  6. I forgot: you could try new BPS stamping plates, they should be released on 23rd October, some of them have bigger stamping designs :-) And, there are MoYou XL stamping plates that could be the thing you're looking for :-) Some of MoYou stamping plates are gorgeous, but I still haven't buy any of them, knowing my problems with stamping... :-)

  7. I haven't had any success with stamping either. I wonder if the profile of the nail makes a difference. I have very curved nails. And even though the stamper is flexible, some parts of it doesn't reach my very sloped nails.

  8. Konads white isn't very good actually. Mundo De Unas and Mentality is two favorite brands when it comes to stamping polishes. I have also heard that others have had problems picking up the pattern from BPS plates. I didn't have any problems, but it can be different from plate to plate sometimes.

    Someone mentioned MoYou London plates and I agree they are awesome to work with. I think that it's very individual what kind of stamper you like to use. I did a little tutorial at my blog on how to get the stamper to work better and there is also a ton of these tutorials on youtube. Keep trying!

    I have a question for you. Will there be a Christmas Challenge like the one you had last year?

    1. Sorry, slow reply! Thanks for all your advice, I'm about to buy some new goodies now :). Not sure if I'll do a Christmas challenge or not... I was planning on it, but long story short, maybe not now. I'll probably follow someone else's though, so if you make one, let me know!

    2. I have now put togheter a similar Winter challenge as you had last year. You can find more information at my blog or here:


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