Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Essence Nail Stampy Designs!

You have heard me talking about my Bundle Monster nail stamps from Amazon, and maybe heard of other brands such as Konad or Shany. But what about a drugstore version of nail stamps? How would those work? I decided to find out, so I picked up this Nail Art Stampy Set and two additional Stampy Designs from Essence Cosmetics.

Essence is an inexpensive but quality brand. The company is based in Europe, but you can find it in drugstores here in the US. I got these items at Fred Meyer, and I know near me Ulta also carries the brand. From the Essence website, you can also find their products at Walgreens, HEB and Shoppers Drugmart. The Nail Art Stampy Set was $3.99 and the Stampy Designs were $2.99 each at regular price. There was a BOGO 1/2 Off sale at Fred Meyer, and one of the Stampy Design plates was on clearance for 50% off. So for all three items it was probably about $8 after tax.

The Nail Art Stampy Set includes one design plate with 9 designs, a stamper and a scraper. The stamper and scraper look just like more expensive versions you can order on Amazon. The design plate is a little different, most of the design plates I have seen are round and have 6 designs on them. The downfall to this square plate with 9 designs is the one in the very center will be hard to isolate without getting nail polish in other designs as you scrape off the excess. But you can clean it, so no harm done.

This is the design plate included in the Nail Art Stampy Set. The 9 designs include hearts, flowers, a bow, a butterfly, an allover dots print and a nail tip design with stars.

These are the other two design plates I picked out. In the Essence display at Fred Meyer, there are two spaces for design plates. However, if you look through the stack of them, there are more than one different plate in each slot. There were four different design plates to choose from within the two spaces at Fred Meyer. The one shown on the right above was on clearance for 50% off, so I picked up that one. And of course I had to get the one with the ice cream cone, cupcake and umbrella on the left. (Too cute!) Here are what the designs look like all stamped on paper with black nail polish:

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised at how well these actually work. In my experience, smaller and more intricate designs don't work as well and I just wasn't sure how well this drugstore set would work at all. Almost every design worked. As a side note, I did find that the stamps seemed to work better the second time I tried them. I didn't clean all the plates before the first time I stamped them, and maybe that would have helped because I cleaned them in between and those second stamps worked better.

As you can see, there are a couple that I had a little bit of trouble with. The nail tips and that dotted full nail design were a little difficult to get the whole pattern to stamp. With these I also noticed any of the designs that had a large area to catch polish (the little black hearts, the "I", mushrooms and paint splatter) didn't work very well. Some of the more intricate designs actually worked the best which surprised me. (That love/heart/circle design top right! I never thought that it would stamp that well!) Now, this is stamped on paper and not on nails, so I am hopeful for similar results on my nails. I just thought stamping on paper would be the best and easiest way to show all the designs.

These are the plates after stamping and cleanup. As you can see, the scraper left some marks, but I don't think that it will overly affect the designs. (This hasn't happened with my Bundle Monster nail stamping plates and Konad scraper.) I'm wondering if using my Konad scraper with these would make a difference or if it is just the plates themselves.

I was stamping with Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear nail color in Black Out. (I have had really good luck stamping with Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear polishes and have many colors that I use for stamping.) I used the stamper and scraper that came in the Stampy Set. I clean all the plates, the stamper and the scraper with nail polish remover and cotton balls when I am finished stamping. (Obviously if you have freshly painted nails, you will want to be very careful doing this or wear rubber gloves to clean up once your nails are dry!) As you can see above, even after my cotton ball clean up, a little black nail polish remains inside the indents where the metal is attached to the scraper. This happens with my Konad version too. You can get in there and clean it better with a Q-tip and nail polish remover.

Overall, I have to say I'm impressed with this set and stamp plates for the cost. There are many useable designs on each plate and you really can't beat the cost!

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