With all the specialty stamping polishes that are out there (Mundo de Unas, Konad, Rica, Mentality, etc.) where do you choose to invest your hard-earned money? Well I get a tad spend-happy at times and I've been tempted to try almost all of them. And what about drugstore brands? Do any of them work for stamping? If you've looked into stamping at all, you've probably seen that a good rule of thumb is that if it's a one-coater (ie. will get full coverage as a regular polish in one coat), it might work for stamping so give it a shot.
The point of my post will be to compare different brands of polishes that you can use for stamping but Anne of Betty's Beauty Bombs has recently had a great series of posts recently all related to stamping that cover topics such as how to pick a stamper, picking plates, troubleshooting, etc. In my experience, stamping success is truly a mix of all of those variables plus practice. It took me a long time to find what I like, especially in the stamper itself, and now I'm hooked. In case you're curious, this little guy is my best stamping friend. It's a squishy (but not marshmallow) rectangular stamper that I bought from Messy Mansion about a year ago. They do have a rectangular white stamper on there at the moment but I can't tell you if it's the same one I have. But it could just be because mine is worn in (or "primed) because I do remember not liking it when I first received it. Then some angel suggested I wash it in dish soap and wipe it with acetone and voila, it was magic! You can see how well loved this is from all the stains (I'm looking at you, Mundo de Unas Mexican Pink!). The stains don't bother me and actually help when stamping with white.
Now onto the stamping polishes. I'm going to show them over black (with the exception of the black stamping polishes) because it's good to know if the polish you're buying will show up over dark colours. That being said, plenty of these that don't look great over black do stamp over light colours just fine. At the end of this post I'll mention where you can buy them (at least the places I'm aware of) and make a few notes about the brands I've covered here.
Black - notoriously difficult to remove from around nail. I find tape works better than acetone.
(Top, left to right): Kleancolor Metallic Black, Sinful Colors Black on Black, Wet n Wild Black Creme, Sally Hansen Insta Dri Night Fright
(Bottom, left to right): Mentality Scoundrel, Mentality Black Opaque, Mundo de Unas Black (#2), Konad Black
(Top, left to right): OPI Alpine Snow, Rica Whiteout, Mundo de Unas White (#1), Konad White
(Bottom, left to right): Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear White On, Sally Hansen Insta Dri OMGhost, Sinful Colors Snow Me White, Pure Ice Superstar!
(Top, left to right): Sally Hansen Insta Dri Silver Sweep, Essie No Place Like Chrome, Mundo de Unas Silver (18)*, Konad Silver
(Bottom) OPI Push and Shove
* MDU Silver can stain your stamper
(Top, left to right): Maybelline Bold Gold, Essie Good as Gold, Mundo de Unas Gold (#17), Mundo de Unas Light Gold (#40)
(Bottom, left to right): Mentality Jody, Mentality Shirin, Mentality Dapper, Konad Gold
Note: I don't have access to Barry M Gold Foil but I hear it stamps great.
Red - Red is another color that is hard to clean up as it loves to stain cuticles. And there's always been a search for a red that stamps well over black. Reddish wins.
(Top, left to right): Mentality Sally, Mentality Red Opaque, Mundo de Unas Reddish (#32), Mundo de Unas Red (#9)
(Bottom, left to right): Sally Hansen Insta Dri Rapid Red, Zoya Posh, A England Perceval, Konad Red
(Top, left to right): Sally Hansen Insta Dri Presto Pink, Rica Pinky Promise, Mundo de Unas Mexican Pink (#15)*, Konad Pink
(Bottom, left to right): Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Pink Satin, Kleancolor Metallic Pink, Mundo de Unas Pink (#10), Konad Pastel Pink
*Mundo de Unas Mexican Pink will stain your skin and stamper
(Top, left to right): Sally Hansen Insta Dri Pronto Purple, Mentality Purple Opaque, Mundo de Unas Purple (#21), Kleancolor Metallic Purple
(Bottom, left to right): Sally Hansen Insta Dri Lively Lilac, Rica Sugar Plum Wings, Mundo de Unas Violet (#16), Konad Pastel Violet
(Top, left to right): Sally Hansen Insta Dri Brisk Blue, Mentality Blue Opaque, Mundo de Unas Blue (#4), Konad Blue
(Bottom): Kleancolor Metallic Sapphire
(Bottom): Kleancolor Metallic Jungle
(Top, left to right): Sally Hansen Insta Dri I-Rush Luck, Mentality Green Opaque, Mundo de Unas Green (#8), Konad Green
(Bottom, left to right): Kleancolor Metallic Green, Rica Summer Mint, Mundo de Unas Avocado (#39), Sally Hansen Insta Dri Licket-y Split Lime
(Top, left to right): Konad Yellow, Konad Pastel Yellow, Mundo de Unas Yellow (#11), Mundo de Unas Pale Yellow (#26)
(Bottom, left to right): Sally Hansen Insta Dri Lightening, Rica Mellow Yellow, Mentality Yellow Opaque, Kleancolor Metallic Yellow
(Top, left to right): Mentality Orange Opaque, Rica Ain't It Peachy, Mundo de Unas Orange (#13), Konad Dark Orange
(Bottom): Kleancolor Metallic Orange
Holographics - Holographics can stamp great but I find that over dark colors they lose some of their color and look more silver-y. I only tested some Color club Halo Hues.
(Top and bottom, left to right): Color Club Miss Bliss, Eternal Beauty, Over The Moon, Harp On It
A few notes and where to buy (that I'm aware of):
Mundo de Unas - available from Mundo de Unas, Llarowe and Rainbow Connections.
I'm sure this post looks like a Mundo de Unas ad. They are the best stamping polishes I've tried because they are thick and super opaque, dry slowly and are inexpensive but they do have their issues. Sylvia isn't allowed to disclose what they are composed of so for those of you that are concerned about what's in your nail polish, this could be an concern for you. The only other concern you might have is that if you order these, they do take a while to arrive when ordering directly from Mundo de Unas as they are being shipped from Mexico so you do have to plan ahead and exercise a certain level of patience. My orders have taken an average of 25 days to arrive. And there are shipping charges that are maybe more than some of you in the US are accostomed to paying but for those of us up north, they're pretty standard shipping prices. It should also be noted that they do separate easily but I haven't found that to be a problem for the most part.
Rica - available from Rica Etsy, Color4Nails, Harlow & Co. and BeautySoFly.
These polishes are 3-free and can be used as regular polish which is a bonus because you know they're not going to make many coats.
Mentality - available from Mentality (US only), Harlow & Co., Edgy Polish and Sally Magpies. I'm not sure which polishes are available at each of the stockists though. The Opaques are meant to be specific for stamping so I haven't tried them as regular polish (my sister has and she liked it) but the holographics can definitely be worn as regular polish. All Mentality polishes are 5-free.
Konad - Available from Konad, Nail Polish Canada, Amazon and possibly in some local drugstores.
Sally Hansen, Essie, Wet n Wild, Sinful Colors, Kleancolor - In Canada the first four are available at local drugstore-type stores and can range from $2-10 (where I live). I purchased the Kleancolor's off Amazon. For those of you in the US, I believe these should be relatively easily available...likely for even cheaper than we can get them up here in Canada.
'Til next time...