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Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Let me preface this by saying I am by no means a professional nail artist or anything.  I am just your average person who has become interested in stamping and instead of having people go through the same process that I did, I rather share my experience to help people figure it out what choices are out there.  This is my opinion and what works best for me.  All of these products were purchased by me, of course.  Stamping can be a lot of fun!  It can also be the worst thing in the entire world know to man (along with watermarbling).  There are different things that you have to keep in mind while stamping: The stamper, the polish, scraper, speed and the plate. I am going to break this down and talk stampers today.
 Yes, I have a box of stampers. Before I start spouting off about which I prefer, I want to tell you about them...now I'm not going to go off about silicone marshmallow fluff puff because I don't even have time for all that riff raff.  As far as that stuff goes, I like the ones that are squishy and a little tacky.  Does it really help pick up the image off the plate...don't know the science behind that but I have never had a problem with those types of stampers. 
 Coverage is really the issue I had with stampers. Let the story begin...So a while back I bought the Salon Express stamping kit.  The stamper is extremely hard and I could barely pick up the image off the plate.  Eventually I was able to work it a little but didn't really feel like messing with it.  That's it...it was a hassle.  I hated it and actually threw it out.  About a year later, one of my co workers gave the exact thing to me for Christmas.  I was like really!?  She was so excited and proud that she had the knowledge of what things I liked to do during my free time (as free as you can get working full time and being a mom to a very busy 2 year old).  
Back to the stamper.  This thing was so hard (that's what she said) no seriously it was so hard it hurt my nail bed when I would push down to transfer the image.  I know what you're thinking... well genius aren't you supposed to roll the image on not push down.  Yes, Yes you are but this made it really hard and annoying.  If you were just slightly off when you started rolling it at the side of your nail, it wouldn't cover the whole nail because a part of the design got on the skin.  GRRRR!!!  This is why I gave up on it!  I needed something bigger, softer.  
This led me to this stamper.  It is some cheapy stamper I bought on Amazon.  It is super small however, the stamping head is a little softer so I found that I could easily pick up images.  It was at least 10 times better than the other stamper.  It doesn't have a great circumference by any means but it was easier on my nail beds. Still had problems lining up the image and I'm sure if I really practiced it I couldn't figure out exactly where to put it but who has time for that....I don't my manicure to take 9 hours.  
After a while I couldn't stand how little this was...made it hard to handle..I'm on 37 and I don't need to speed up on the arthritis front.  

 Enter YouTube.  I starting watching people on YT make amazing manicures with these really large, squishy stampers....I NEED one of those! 
 So I went online in search of the extra large stamper.  Now some will claim to be extra large but this one takes the cake!!  It comes in two pieces - a base and the silicone squishy pad.  I like to refer to the bottom part of this stamp as a shot glass.  I seriously thought perhaps the person that came up with this was drunk and looked down and said "hey this would make an excellent nail stamper...think of how large it would be!"  This is one of the stampers I love.  It's the Creative Shop stamper.  I have seen several places caring it such as: Llarowe, Uber Chic Beauty, What's Up Nails, Color4Nails...I'm sure there are more than that.  I love this stamper because I can stamp a large design and smush my finger into the stamper head instead of trying to roll the image onto my nail.  It's super easy to use I love it so much!  Anything that is going to make my life a little easier, I am all for it!  Now some people will stay they have a harder time lining up this stamp.  I could see that if you are trying to do something in a small area and you want it in an exact place but for that I would just\put some top coat on it, let it dry and then peel it off and place it on my nail like a decal.  I am not interested in making things hard for me.  I don't want to have to re paint nails because something didn't get placed in the right spot.  



I just wanted to share what this looks like up close.  LOOK at the surface area...*drools*.  I absolutely love this thing.  I love it so much that you will see I have two of them!  I of course didn't stop there.  I wanted to explore all of the stamping options.








I noticed all of these Instagram people using a stamper that looks similar to this one.  It's squishy enough but my main problem with it is skinny.  You really have to be lined up to use it, which may be helpful but I haven't had enough practice with this one.  

The next two are the same size in diameter, however, the handles are different and it's the reason why I like one over the other.  The one on the left I purchased from Fancy Gloss for $6.00.  It is a double headed stamper.  The one on the right I bought from Winstonia and I'm not sure how much it was off the top of my head.  It is also a double headed stamper but the smaller end is super small.  It would work great for small individual stamps like characters.    Now...why do I have two?  I bought the one of the right first....I have problems with the stampers that have the wide/fat handles.  That's why I went with the one on the left.  The slim handle is much easier for me to maneuver.  I did have to prime these stampers (I just used a fine grit nail file and just ran it across the top until it wasn't shiny anymore).  These work perfectly and even though it's not as large at the creative stamper it has enough space with some leeway.  Perfect! 

I wish you good luck on your stamping adventure!

Tia~
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