Review of Beauty Big Bang Stamping Plates and Stamper Kit

Are you looking for the perfect gift for your favorite nail art loving buddy or even for yourself? You will love the selection that this kit from Beauty Big Bang has whether you are new to nail art or a seasoned pro!


How beautiful is this nail mail?

There are 12 pieces total in this awesome set. You get a stamper, a scraper, and 10 random circular plates with assorted designs. The downside is that you don’t get to select what designs you will receive, but I loved the surprise of opening the package and seeing what arrived.

Each plate comes inside a resealable plastic bag. The front of the bag is clear so that you can see the images on the plate. Storing the plate inside the original packaging is recommended so that the surface does not get scratched from rubbing against other plates or objects.


Basic instructions are printed on the back of the packaging.

The instructions aren’t very thorough as they don’t cover the first steps of stamping, such as removing the plastic layer from the plate, applying nail polish to the design, and scraping away the excess before transferring the image to the stamper. Seasoned pros won’t need the tutorial, but if you are purchasing this kit for a beginner, the recipient might be very confused as to what to do.

I think it’s very unfortunate that they do not mention the part about removing the plastic layer from the plates first because the plastic is clear and not easily noticed. Also, trying to find a free edge to pull the plastic away is a little tricky, although I find that using an orange stick helps with this.


You can pick away at the edge of the plate to lift enough of the plastic layer to remove it easily.

As for the plates themselves, I think they are made by Blink, but they are clearly inspired by Konad. The etching is done very well, and the quality is top notch. As mentioned previously, you don’t get to pick which plates you will receive, but I loved the assortment of designs. Here are the 10 plates that were in my package: Continue reading

Born Pretty Store BP-79 Stamping Plate Review

I’m a musician, so when I saw that plate BP-79 from Born Pretty Store had a design with music notes on it, I had to have it!

Shipping to the US always takes about 2 weeks, but it’s free.  Free is always good, and good things come to those who wait!

As is the case with all Born Pretty Store stamping plates, it comes sealed with blue film on top of the plate and a protective cardboard envelope.  I love using these sleeves for storage because they prevent other plates or items from accidentally scratching the etching.  Of course, some people use albums, but I’m not that fancy.  😛


Plate BP-79 from Born Pretty Store.

The backside of the plate has a thin plasticized sticker covering the metal with the company name and website.  The function of this is to help prevent the user from getting cut on the metal edges, although I suppose you probably still could injure yourself on the plate somehow if you really wanted to.


Can you guess where I bought this plate?

On the front side, the blue film must be removed before you can use it and see how beautiful and spotless it is.


The blue film is removed, so BP-79 is now ready for action.

The size of the plate is comparable to circular plates made by Konad and Bundle Monster, but the images span entire quadrants across a 5 cm diameter.  The plate number takes up some of the music note/butterfly pattern, but you won’t even notice the difference.  The image sizes are still quite large, and you’ll be able to stamp with different parts of the same image without a problem.

Stamping with this plate is a breeze because the etching is done so well.  You’ll be able to pick up every little detail from the image with hardly any effort.


Black rose manicure done with Curve-aceous by Sephora by OPI, Define Good… by China Glaze, and Konad Special Nail Polish in Black.

If you like even just one design on the plate, I would recommend buying it, especially if it is on sale.  You’ll find that the other images will appeal to you as well, and your manicures will look instantly professional with minimal work, and your wallet won’t complain, either!

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing BP-79 (retail price is $2.99 USD), the link for the item is shown below.  Using code RSSPX31 will get you 10% off your order, and Born Pretty Store offers free worldwide shipping.  Happy stamping!


Review of BPL-029 Stamping Plate by Born Pretty Store.

If you love flowers, you will love plate BPL-029 from Born Pretty Store.


BPL-029 from Born Pretty Store is full of floral prints.

Like all the long plates from Born Pretty Store, the metal plate is mounted onto a white plastic backing.  It also comes shipped in a cardboard envelope with blue film covering the image.  The blue film must be removed before you can use the plate.


Protection of the plate is key, especially during shipment, and a cardboard envelope and some blue film are just what the doctor ordered.

The rectangular images are all 1.5 cm wide, but the 2nd row images are slightly taller than the 1st row measuring at 2.4 cm versus 2 cm for the top row.  Even the individual flowers on the bottom are fairly large, the smallest one being 0.7 cm wide and the longest one being 1.7 cm.  In any case, you should easily be able to find something suitable for your nail size.  The individual flowers are great for making patterns on extra long/wide nails.

The images are etched deeply into the metal and transfer easily to a stamper.  I find that you can use a lot of pressure to scrape the excess polish off the plate to get a clean image.  With plates by other competitors that are etched poorly, I find that I will end up scraping off all the polish if I scrape too hard.  With Born Pretty Plates, you don’t have to worry about the frustration associated with the aforementioned problem.

To illustrate the point, here is a rose print manicure I did that shows the most solid background in the image.


Beautiful rose print nails done with Awaken by China Glaze and mayfair by nails inc. along with plate BPL-029 from Born Pretty Store.

The image transferred perfectly with no empty patches of polish.  It should be noted that I stamped the darker polish over the white one, not the other way around.  That is an impressive feat, indeed!


A closer look at the stamping compared to the image on plate BPL-029.

Plate BPL-029 is full of spring flowers, but I made it fall appropriate using the right blend colors.


Autumn foliage nails done with reverse stamping of an image from plate BPL-029 over a gradient base.

With a good color scheme, this plate is usable all year long!

Overall, I think this plate is well made and a great buy.  It will keep you coming back for more looks over and over again.

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this stamping plate (retail price is $5.99 USD), the link for the item is shown below.  Using code RSSPX31 will get you 10% off your order, and Born Pretty Store offers free worldwide shipping.  Happy stamping!


Review of BPL-030 Stamping Plate from Born Pretty Store

Are you a fan of lace?  Then you’re going to love plate BPL-030 from Born Pretty Store!


Plate BPL-030 from Born Pretty Store comes in a cardboard envelope for protection and is sealed with blue film that must be removed prior to use.

As is standard with the large plates from Born Pretty Store, BPL-030 comes mounted on white plastic, so you won’t have to worry about injuring yourself on the metal edges of the plate.

At first glance, it looks like each of the 3 rows of images is a single continuous lace pattern, but there are 7 different designs if you look closely.


The different pattern sections of plate BPL-030. The red lines were drawn in by me for clarity.

Regardless, these images are HUGE.  The middle row has the tallest images at 2 cm, probably to make up for the fact that there are 3 different patterns in that row.  The top row is only slightly less tall at 1.8 cm, and the bottom row is the shortest at 1.5 cm.  Even so, 1.5 cm should fit the width of most fingernails.  I have seen “full image” plates from competitors that are only 1.2 cm x 1.5 cm so don’t be fooled into thinking that the last row is unusable.  Don’t forget that the width of these images is insanely long.  The top row images are both 5.5 cm long, the middle row images are 3.7 cm, 3.9 cm, and 3.9 cm long, and the bottom row images are both 5.7 cm long.

The greatest advantage to having the big images is that they will easily accommodate long fingernails, particularly acrylics.  It is also safe to say that if these images are good for acrylics, then they would also be great for toenails.  The only issue is that you would need to get a stamper that is big enough to handle the size of the nail that you are trying to stamp.

What I also like about the oversize images is that you have the option of using the same image for each nail or varying the pattern across the manicure.  This makes the plate versatile.


A sample of using the same image on each nail.


A sample of varying the pattern across the manicure.

The etching is done so well that you really have to scrape the polish off to get a clean image, so this is the perfect plate for beginner stampers, although experienced stampers will love the ease of use, too!


A Gothic inspired lace manicure using b.m.c. nail lacquer in noir black and Missy by Julep.


Gold lace manicure using Konad Special Nail Polish in Gold and Cassandra by Julep.

I really consider this item a best buy in terms of design, versatility, and ease of use.  If you only own one stamping plate, this should be the one!

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this stamping plate (retail price is $5.99 USD), the link for the item is shown below.  Using code RSSPX31 will get you 10% off your order, and Born Pretty Store offers free worldwide shipping.  Happy stamping!


Review of BPL-026 Stamping Nail Art Plate by Born Pretty Store

I found the perfect plate for autumn nails from Born Pretty Store- BPL-026!


Do you like leaves? This plate is for you!

As is the case with all Born Pretty Store stamping plates, it comes shipped in a cardboard envelope with blue film covering the image.  The blue film must be removed before you can use the plate.


Freshly ordered from Born Pretty Store: BPL-026

The plate is also mounted onto white plastic with curved edges.  For the injury prone, this means that you will not have to worry about cutting yourself on the metal edges of the plate.  Yay for no tetanus shots!

The images on this plate are HUGE.  Each rectangle measures 5/8 of an inch by 7/8 of an inch so if you have wide nail beds or are into toenail art, this is definitely for you.

The etching is done very well, and you should have no issues transferring your images onto stampers.  I sampled the image with the most solid color stamped area below so you have an idea of how good this plate works.


It would have been a perfect transfer and not warped on one side if I didn’t squish my stamper a little too hard while picking up the polish. Oops. Stamping was done with “crimson red” by B.M.C. nail lacquer.

As you can see, the polish is distributed evenly across the image, and there are no empty spots.  I don’t even consider my squishy stamper to be my most foolproof transfer device, and it had no problem picking up the entire area.

Here’s a dandelion seed manicure that I did using the image on the top right hand corner of the plate:


Manicure done with plate BPL-026 from Born Pretty Store.


The stamping was done with Silver Holo by UO Nail Lacquer, so the polish photographed clearer (although not as holographic) before the top coat was added.

I also interpreted the image in the 2nd row, 3rd from the right as seaweed:


The seaweed was stamped with BPL-026. For more details, please refer to the link above this picture.

What I also love about this plate is that you can use the single leaves on the bottom most row to make up your own pattern if you want to mix things up or just use them individually for an accent nail.

The only thing I regret is that I don’t have green or brown stamping polish to use with this plate!  I’ll have to put that on my shopping list for next time.  😉

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this stamping plate (retail price is $5.99 USD), the link for the item is shown below.  Using code RSSPX31 will get you 10% off your order, and Born Pretty Store offers free worldwide shipping.  Happy stamping!


Ice Cream Nail Art

I can’t believe that I didn’t know that July 19 was National Ice Cream Day!  I definitely would have celebrated were I aware of this beforehand, but I hope you guys enjoyed some ice cream.  🙂

It’s totally coincidental that I decided to do some ice cream inspired nails last night.  I’ve been in a funk because of horrible back pain that I’ve been experiencing the past few days, and I had to force myself to do my nails just to keep some sort of normalcy in my life right now.  I was not in the mood to do any freehand painting, so I decided to look through a set of Bundle Monster plates that I purchased a few months ago and thought that the two plates below would make a great looking ice cream manicure.


Plates by Bundle Monster- the inspiration for this week’s manicure.

Next step: picking the colors.  I used only three different polishes for the final look.

Sephora by OPI- Neutral Beauty
Julep- Olivia
Konad Special Nail Polish- Pink


Polishes for a strawberry ice cream mani.

First, I painted 2 coats of Neutral Beauty onto all of my nails to make the general ice cream cone color.  This technically ends up being the highlight color on the cone part of the design after the stamping is done.


Neutral Beauty by Sephora by OPI

Next, I used Olivia with plate BM-418 to make the waffle cone pattern.  I kept the smaller sized part of the design toward the cuticle knowing that the larger part would be covered by the ice cream drips later on.  They kind of look like giraffe nails at this point, mainly because the brown color that I used is dark.  I don’t own many brown polishes (honestly, how many different brown polishes does anyone own?), so I had to go with Olivia.


Slightly burnt looking (or maybe chocolate covered) waffle cone pattern done with Olivia by Julep and the BM-418 plate by Bundle Monster.

I used Konad’s pink polish to imitate strawberry ice cream dripping down the sides of the cones.  I knew that there was no way that the polish would be opaque enough to cover the waffle cone pattern, so I considered the stamping as a template for how to paint the drips on afterward.


What Konad Special Nail Polish in Pink and Bundle Monster BM-405 look like on top of the cone pattern. Unfortunately the polish isn’t opaque enough to cover the existing design.

The last step was to go back and paint over the drip pattern directly with the brush from the bottle.  Thankfully, Konad polishes have a small and somewhat stumpy brush, so it’s easy to paint with with a little precision.  If you want to recreate this look with a different brand of polish, you can also use a dotting tool so that it’s easier to achieve the rounded edges of the drips.

Technically it’s not even necessary to stamp the drip pattern on beforehand, seeing as you have to paint over it again to make it look more opaque.  I just wasn’t feeling up to doing it completely freehand because of the aforementioned back pain, but painting over a stamped pattern definitely makes you feel more secure in the same sense that kids love using tracing paper to draw.

The result is a fun summertime mani that drips with happiness without the mess.  Enjoy!


Melting strawberry ice cream never looked so good.


Posing with a Cheesecake Oreo ice cream cone from Max and Mina’s in Queens. Yum.

Review of Ya Qin An Y015 Plate

I’m always looking for good quality stamping plates because they make doing nail art so easy.  What attracted me to this plate was the dragon design (hello, Chinese New Year or Game of Thrones designs!) and the hibiscus flower pattern along with its inverted counterpart.

The packaging is nicer than most.  The plate comes shipped in a cardboard sheath, which provides a little extra protection so that it doesn’t get bent during the shipping process.  I’ve had plates arrive that were slightly warped because of being improperly handled by shipping carriers, so I appreciated the packaging even more.


The plate comes in a cardboard envelope with a label sealing the open end.

The extra benefit to having a cardboard envelope for the plate is that they have room to write instructions for how to use it.  The instructions are in Chinese, but you can figure out what you’re supposed to do by looking at the illustrations.  However, chances are that if you purchased the plate, you already know how to use it.


Instructions for use are pictured on the back of the package.

The plate itself is covered in the standard blue film that protects the design.  You must remove the film from the top of the design before using it.


The plate comes sealed with blue film that needs to be removed before use.

The bottom side of the plate also has the same blue film on it.  I would recommend leaving the film intact for this side because it protects the plate, gives the surface a bit more traction so that it doesn’t slip around when you try to use it, and it minimizes the chance that you will cut yourself against the metal edges of the plate.


The back of the plate is also covered in the same blue film as the front.

Without the film on the plate, you can see the beauty of the designs, which are well etched into the metal and form a complete continuous picture.  The quality of the etching is much like the kind you find on Konad plates.  It also helps that the lines of the design are fairly thick, so there is more of a channel for your nail polish to settle into.  This also makes cleaning the plate with acetone and a cotton ball a breeze.


Plate Y015 by Ya Qin An

The only thing that irks me about the design is that on the top right corner of the plate, you can see that the center detail of one of the flowers was not etched.  You can avoid using that part of the plate and still come up with a beautiful manicure, but it’s a slightly annoying design flaw.

The first part of the plate that I tried to use was the inverse flower pattern on the left side of the image.  I used a black polish on the plate and stamped it onto a white background.  With so much empty space for the polish to fill on the plate, it’s hard to get an even consistency in the stamped pattern.  Although having the negative image of the flowers on the same plate is a cool concept, it’s a little pointless.  I could have stamped white polish onto a black background using the right side of the plate and achieved a cleaner looking result.


A sample of the inverse flower pattern. I stamped black polish over a white base.

Next I tried using the flower pattern etched on the ride side of the plate.  You can see how crisp the lines transfer onto the stamper.  The thickness of the lines of the image also make this perfect to use for reverse stamping.


The image transfers nicely from the plate to the stamper.

Here’s the finished manicure I did using this plate.


A lovely colored in floral manicure using the reverse stamping technique.

I didn’t try out the dragon portion yet, but that part of the image is etched similarly to the flower pattern.  I definitely plan on using that part for something in the future, though.

Overall, this plate is beautiful, well etched, and will make you totally satisfied with your purchase.  I highly recommend it!

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this stamping plate (retail price is $3.99 USD), the link for the item is shown below.  Using code RSSPX31 will get you 10% off your order, and Born Pretty Store offers free worldwide shipping.  Happy stamping!


Qgirl-008 Stamping Plate Review

You’ve seen me use plate Qgirl-008 for my triangle gradient nails and for my summery floral nails, so this plate has some versatility!

I ordered this from Born Pretty Store.  Shipping was free and took about 13 days to arrive.  The plate was protected by the standard blue film that is over most stamping plates and also placed inside a vellum envelope as shown below.


Qgirl -008 fresh out of the envelope.

What’s also nice about these plates is the cute paper backing on the unetched side to help prevent yourself from getting cut by any sharp metal edges.


Safety first! The Qgirl-008 plate has a paper backing to protect you from getting cut.

Before doing any sort of stamping with this plate, you must remove the blue film first.


Flowers and triangles! A clean shot of Qgirl-008.

I love the patterns on this plate because they are both understated and can be used for two totally different manicures or simultaneously, if desired.  The floral pattern is what attracted me the most because of the different sized gradient of the flowers across 3/4 of the plate and the fact that they are a continuous design that isn’t separated into rectangular sections like with most brands.  This allows you to use this with big stampers and stamp the pattern onto longer/wider nails.

The triangles are cute and playful and make up a little less than 1/4 of the plate, but I thought that Qgirl could have used some more different sized triangles in the design to add more interest to the pattern.  There are only 2 bigger sized triangles, and they have to be stamped separately if they are to be used in a design.

I also find it hilarious that you could in theory stamp “Qgirl-008” onto your nails if desired.  Perhaps they could have used the space to fit in some more triangles.  At the very least, the logo could have been placed in the flower pattern instead of the triangle quadrant- there is definitely no shortage of flowers on this plate!

The etching of the plate looks good on the surface, but the pattern isn’t engraved as deeply as my plates from Cheeky or Konad.  I had a few issues trying to pick up the nail polish from the plate for both my triangle mani and my floral mani, as is evidenced by the consistency of the stamping in both cases.


Some triangles are fine, some are faded. The ones on my ring finger are hand painted.

Notice that the triangles on my index finger aren’t as clear as the ones on my middle finger, and I guarantee that I tried several times to get the pattern to pick up as much as possible and cleaned the plate with acetone after each try.  I found that if I very gently scraped the polish off the plate so that it almost looked like there was a light film of polish left over, the pattern would pick up better than if I scraped it off quickly.  The downside was that if there was too much film left over, the film of polish also got picked up by the stamper.  It was a little hard trying to find the right balance of pressure to get the triangles right.

When I did the floral mani, I had the same problems trying to pick up the polish and again had to try several times to get the pattern to pick up correctly.  Below you can see one of the more successful attempts, but the polish didn’t pick up evenly across the surface.  Thankfully I have small nails, so I can stamp with whatever part of the design turned out the best on the stamper.


It’s nice to have a full plate image, but it’s a shame if the polish doesn’t pick up the image evenly.

Overall, I love how cute this plate is, but I have to take away a diamond because the etching could have been a little deeper to help with the consistency of how a stamper picks up the image.  However, if you’re patient with experimenting with how you scrape the polish off the plate, you’ll get a lot of enjoyment and use out of this plate.

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦◊ (4/5)

If you are interested in purchasing Qgirl-008 (retail price is $2.99 USD), the link for the item is shown below.  Using code RSSPX31 will get you 10% off your order, and Born Pretty Store offers free worldwide shipping.  Happy stamping!


Stamper/Scraper Set Review

I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with stamping systems.  The patterns on plates look awesome and are an easy way to get intricate looking nail art done quickly.  However, if the plates are not properly etched, the images will look less than stunning, and you can encounter problems with the stamper not picking up the polish correctly, therefore forcing you to redo the same image a few times before you can even apply it to your nail.

I own 3 different stampers right now and numerous plates.  My first and most used stamper is the original one made by Konad.  I picked up my first large squishy silicone stamper from Amazon about a year ago, which worked OK at first but then started giving me issues picking up images cleanly.  Recently I acquired a stamper and scraper set from Born Pretty Store in the hopes of trying out another squishy stamper, so that is the one I’m going to review today.


My 3 stampers.

Born Pretty Store is located overseas, so it took about 16 days for their products to ship to NYC.  It arrived in a padded envelope and was enclosed in a little Ziploc bag as shown below.


Fresh out of the padded envelope.


Stamper and metal scraper set from Born Pretty Store.

The silicone head measures 5/8 of an inch wide by 1 inch long, which is large enough to pick up jumbo sized rectangular images from popular plate brands.  The scraper has a metal blade, which I’m not fond of because it has the capability of scratching your image plates, but it works fine.  I still prefer using an old gift card as a scraper, especially because it can be a bit hard to clean excess nail polish off from where the metal blade connects to the plastic holder.

In terms of the firmness/squishiness of the stamper, it falls somewhat between the Konad stamper and the other squishy stamper.  Konad is pretty firm when you push it whereas the other two are softer.  Below, you can see the difference in softness between the two squishier stampers.  The head on the circular stamper is also stickier in feeling compared to the rectangular one.


Using the BM-205 plate from Bundle Monster and Konad Special Nail Polish in Red, I did a test to see how the stamper would perform right out of the package.


No priming done to the stamper.

It’s not horrible, but here’s how it stacked up to my Konad stamper and the other squishy model.


Same image using a Konad stamper. Firm heads make for crisp images.


Using another squishy stamper. The squishier the stamper, the more the image tends to distort.

I tried priming the head by using a 180 grit nail file and lightly sanding the shine off the stamping surface.


Filing off the shine from the surface. Notice that the side of the stamper head looks shiny compared to the overall velvety appearance of the stamping area.

After cleaning the dust off with some tape, I tried transferring the image a second time.


After priming the first time.

More of the image showed up, but it still didn’t look as crisp as the one on the Konad stamper.  It should be noted that I only primed the Konad stamper one time awhile ago.

I considered the actual technique of how I was getting the polish off the plate: rolling the stamper from one side of the image across to the other.  What would happen if I simply just pushed the stamper straight down onto the image?


Pushing the stamper directly onto the image instead of rolling it across the plate does not work very well.

As you can see, the results were less than satisfactory.  I went ahead and tried priming the head a few more times with tests in between.  This is what it looked like after filing the head for a 5th time.


After repeating the priming process 5 times.

The image definitely looks clearer, although it still does not look as consistent as the one transferred with the Konad stamper.

At this point, I wondered if it was the plate that had issues rather than the stamper.  I decided to switch it up and use Jumbo Plate 3 from Cheeky and BMC Nail Lacquer in Crimson Red.


Perfectly transferred image.

Finally, a perfect transfer!  You can also see that there is plenty of room to fit the jumbo image of the plate onto the stamper.

Overall, I’m not sure that I would replace my Konad stamper with this one.  I do find that it is easier to line up images with your nail because the stamper is rectangular, so it would be great to use this when things need to look precise or oriented in the same direction.  The larger surface area also makes it easy to transfer complete images onto longer or wider nail beds.  This also has the perfect balance between firmness and squishiness which I liked more compared to the other two stampers because it makes it easier to pick up the design from the plate without compromising the crispness of the image.  I also like that the head is white, making it easy to see pretty much any stamping color (other than white) clearly.  However, it takes a lot of priming to get a good transfer, and it did not pick up images consistently across different brands of plates.

Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦◊ (4/5)

If you are interested in purchasing this stamper and scraper set (retail price is $3.84 USD), the link for the item is shown below.  Using code RSSPX31 will get you 10% off your order, and Born Pretty Store offers free worldwide shipping.  Happy stamping!