Saturday, December 3, 2011

Salon Express Stamping Review

Hello Lacquered Lovelies,
I have an exciting review for you today. I recently purchased the Salon Express Nail Art Stamping Kit at Sally Beauty Supply. The kit only cost $10 which is great for the stamper, scraper, holder and 5 plates. Each plate has 6/7 images on the plate.

First off I must say that this is very messy. I seriously went through about 5 or 6 cotton balls, I know I should use lint free stuff but at the moment I don't have them. I don't like the idea of having messy things because I hate how it looks. Your hands and work area will look like you split polish a little. This set comes with the holder for the plates while scraping but I personally don't think you need it. A piece of paper will work just as well.

The scraper is a very thin metal strip. I actually don't like metal scrapers but I find they work better than a plastic scraper or a credit card. Also wiping this off after each stamping is necessary because if not the scraper doesn't work as well and will smudge polish all over the image plate and the image will not come out the way you want it. 

As for the plates like I said above there are 5 plates with 6/7 designs on each, 34 images in all. In my kit there was 4 image plates with simple and small images and 1 full nail image designs. On some of the plates there is some discoloration in the engraved image, sometimes this means the image didn't get engraved enough in certain areas or too much in another area.

SE18 includes a spiral heart design, a palm tree, an apple, a star flower design, a scrolled heart, a very cute flower, and a basic monarch butterfly. There was no problem stamping any of these images. I also stamped the last image with two different colors to show how you can design these images more.

SE19 includes a basic dragonfly, a sun type flower, two small flowers, another choppy flower like SE18, another flower, a seahorse, and two butterflies flying together. As you can see there was a problem with dragonfly so I tried stamping it again. I should have just kept these all black with the paper I used.

SE20 includes a swirly sun type design, a star type design, bling highlight type things, a snowflake type flower kind of reminds me of dandelions, a single rose, a intricate butterfly, and hearts with XOXO which I think I have seen on Bundle Monster and Konad. As you can see there was a problem with the first image stamping. 

SE21 includes a bamboo type leafy flower, a few hearts, a cute turtle, a playful dragonfly, a cute flower, a moon and a few stars, and a double heart. The first image is a little iffy and the second image is messed up because of me. Other than that there was no problems. 

SE22 includes full designs of what looks like zebra print, small intricate flowers, larger and smaller stars, polka dots, a burst type design, and checkerboards. The problems here were all my fault because this is actually a good plate. 

My problems with the plates as of right now. The full image plates are actually smaller than the newer Bundle Monster or Konad, I could imagine that they are about as big as the first Bundle Monster. Then the smaller designs are actually really big compared to the "larger" images. I'm not going to complain about the smaller "larger" designs because my nail beds are very narrow and short, so they fit perfectly with the exception of my thumb it barely works. I also notice these designs have a lot of flowers, butterflies, and hearts.
Compared to Bundle Monster 206 (the only other plate I own)

These kits can be found at variously locations, I know CVS, Rite Aid, and Sally's Beauty Supply.Be aware the kit you get may be different from mine though. As you can see mine pick up at SE18 which means there are 17 before mine. I am not sure if  there are any above mine. 
I know I want SE11 which is a Konad dupe with the Zebra, Lace, and Leopard. There is SE12 with Plaid and Dots. I also want SE02 with the interesting Konad french tip design and butterfly. 

For people new to stamping.
Each set is engraved with a design and you apply nail polish into the grooves and take a scraper to remove the excess nail polish that is on the surface of the plate. Taking the stamper you push the rubber part over the image and take it and roll it over your nail. Practice makes perfect. Here is a friend of mine trying Konad for the first time.

Tips for people who are new to stamping.

  1. The thicker the polish the better. I have been using cream polishes although some shimmers work. My preferred choice right now is LA Colors Art Deco, they are the polishes with the striping brushes built into them.
  2. Make sure you take the blue film off of the front of the plate, you can leave the blue on the back of the plate if you want, it isn't going to hurt it to be there. If not you won't be able to scrape or put polish into the engravings. You will be able to feel the lines of the design.
  3. Make sure you are working on a surface that is protected. I suggest paper or paper towels. I used mine on my glass desk so it didn't really matter, clean up was a breeze. If you don't care about the surface more power to you. LOL
  4. Roll the stamper with the image over your nails, don't just lay it there. This makes it so the design gets on the nail completely. Just laying it there will only get the image on the round part of your nail unless you push the hardest you can but even then it won't get all of it.
  5. Make sure you work quickly or the polish will dry on the stamper and will not transfer onto your nails. 
  6. Always clean all of your equipment. Make sure you have your nail polish remover on hand and something to clean with (cotton ball, cotton round, etc...) At first it will take a bit to clean up but you will get better.
  7. Practice makes perfect. Don't give up. If at first you don't get the desired look just keep trying because it does take some practice. I have been playing with mine since Tuesday and still have some problems. But I can tell you this, my phone and iPOD both have stamps all over them. (If you are under 18 I would ask your parents for permission before stamping on a phone, etc... you don't want them to get mad.)
  8. File down the stamper a tad because this will pick up the image just a little better than if it was smooth.
Nevermind the crappy cellphone.

Overall I recommend this kit to anybody who wants to try stamping or someone who can't achieve nail art by the brush. I love this type of stuff and I plan on purchasing the Bundle Monster and some from Born Pretty Store. 

Here I am wearing Ulta's Lav-ish which is a greyish lavender color. Then over that I have SE18's Butterfly stamped in LA Colors Art Deco in Black. From SE21 I have the Dragonfly stamped in LA Colors Art Deco in Silver. I topped it with Seche Vite and went on with my day. I actually wore this until last night when I broke my middle finger nail, I didn't break it all off but there is little to nothing there. I will still stamp but getting those "small" designs on my fingers is going to be a little harder. 

 Funny story time... I have been thinking about getting Bundle Monster and Konad for some time but have never gotten around to it. I have been talking to my boyfriend about it lately, and when I said Konad he started laughing. Now every time we are around someone he says Konad, just so i have to go into a long discussion about nail art stamping.

Enjoy yourself
Pam <3


  1. THANK YOU SO MUCH for mentioning the blue film over the plates! We didn't even know it was on there and couldn't figure out why it wouldn't work! Boy do we feel stupid! Now it works great!

  2. I've tried many types of nail polish and I'm still not able to get it to transfer onto the stamper thing?!?!??!?!

    1. Hi! I had trouble at first with this too, but I saw someone suggest leaving the polish on the image for a little bit before you scrape. This thickens the polish so that any brand you're working with can get a better consistency. It works well for me, hopefully it will work for you! Just don't wait so long the polish dries!!

  3. Thank U.I tried this design (the butterfly one) and really liked my hands. Cant stop looking at them.

  4. I have the salon express and it;s wonderful! I've had it for about 6 months and the more i practiced,the better i got and now i have no problems with it.You just have do do the process fast.:)