|Claire's Nail Stamping Kit.|
There aren't too many places in my mall that carry nail polish, but the ones that do I tend to haunt when killing time. I've always thought of Claire's as kinda of a pre-teen little girl place, but they have nail polish so I'll ignore the plastic earrings and locker stickers of what ever teen idol is the flavor of the month to see what is new in the polish section. Good thing I did because look at what I just found!! There are plenty of stamping plates online, but as I don't do much online shopping, finding plates in an actual store is like finding a gold doubloon in the center court fountain.
Get a better look at all that comes in this kit after the jump.
|The back of the box.|
First and most important to me, price. 10 bucks for the kit which is the same for the Salon Express kit, but you only get 3 plates as opposed to 5. You do however get a small bottle of white polish so I guess it balances out. The directions are right there on the back of the box. Simple and easy instructions in 3 languages.
|Everything that comes in Claire's Nail Stamping Kit|
|Top left the film has been removed, top right still has film on it,|
and bottom has film peeled half off.
One thing that must be mentioned, and I didn't see it written anywhere on the box, is there is a clear plastic film over the plates. You have to peel that off before you can use it or nothing will happen. I only know this because I'm so familiar with stamping plates. Someone picking this up for the first time will probably not notice this and get frustrated when they can't get an image to pick up. The plates are sharp on the edge but there is a paper backing so not as sharp or flimsy as the Kiss Fing'rs plates.
|On the left is Claire's full image plate and on the left is|
The full nail images are about the size of BundleMonster.com's second set full nail images. Maybe not as long but just as wide.
|On the left is Salon Express's SE22 and on the right is Claire's|
full image plate.
The are definitely bigger than Salon Express's full nail image and much much more detailed. In fact I really think the over all quality is better than SE's.
|On the left is Kiss Fing'rs B69 (a dupe for Konad's M50) and on the|
right is Claire's full image plate.
And here it is against Kiss Fing'rs full nail design. Again, its much larger but not as detailed. However I think there is TOO much detail in Kiss's and not all of it shows up in the stamp. This plate, I'm told, is a copy of one of Konad's plates, but as I don't have the Konad ones I don't know how it compares to Konad.
|Stamper and Scraper that come in the kit.|
Now for stamper and scraper. The scraper has a metal blade and is smaller than the Salon Express blade, which is good as I think the larger scraper is harder to control. As a scraper, tho, it does a mediocre job. It does scrape away the polish, but doesn't do a clean job of it, leaving "foggy" areas on the stamper and sometimes even your nails. I personally have never cared for metal scrapers as they scratch the image plates. Scratches don't harm the plates, they just bother me to look at. The stamper I was pleasantly surprised with. The surface area is firmer than Kiss's stamper, but still has enough give to not squish the image as you roll it on your nails. I do not like to file my stamper's as some people recommend. I think it breaks down the rubber and damages the stamper. Instead I prefer to use a pencil eraser to gently buff the rubber and remove the oils used in manufacturing it.
|You can see the polish lines left on the plate from the scraper and the "fog"|
picked up by the stamper on the heart. If the "fog" transfers to the nail it can muddy the image.
|Small bottle of polish. Wonder if they will sell this separate someday.|
Now on to the polish. Of everything in the kit, I did not have any hope for the polish. So few whites are good for stamping and ones that come in cheap kits are usually horrid. So translucent as to not even be seen on nearly any color nails. I could not have been more wrong with this polish. The white was pigmented enough to show up on each practice nail I tested. Even when top-coated, the image was still strong and crisp.
These next pictures are the sample nails I practiced and tested this kit on. For the purple and pink nails I used the scraper that came with the kit and you can see what I mean about the "foggy" image that got transferred to the nail. Worried that there was something wrong with the plates I then tried it with my "tried and true" scraper, a gift card, on the blue nail and you can see how clean the image came out.
|OPI's "Louve Me, Louve Me Not" stamped with Claire's unnamed white |
stamping polish using metal scraper that came with the kit.
|You can see the "foggy" stamping and muddled lines of the image.|
|Sinful Colors "Pink" Stamped with Claire's white|
using metal scraper.
|More "fog" in the image.|
|Wet n Wild's "Saved By The Blue" stamped with Claire's white|
using a gift card as a scraper.
|Much crisper, cleaner lines.|
The plates are a dream to work with, deep and evenly etched they transfer their image very well. The polish was a wonderful surprise as was the stamper. The scraper I didn't care much for and still prefer my gift card to use as a scraper. As a set for a beginner, I do recommend this kit. For someone who has some plates and just wants to add more designs, 10 bucks is a little higher than I like to spend for just 3 plates, but it is nice to have a back up stamper and white polish. If you have a large collection of stamping stuff you can probably pass this up unless there is a design here you just can't live without (I really wanted the hearts and peace sign plate).
I hope this helps you decide on if this is a good kit for you!