Saturday, October 15, 2011

Essie's School of Hard Rocks and Konad (well Konad imitation) Stamp!

So for the weekend I decided to go with Essie's School of Hard Rocks from their winter 2011 collection.  I am in love with this color!  Such a beautiful deep and dusty green.  Great and easy application.
Look I'm picking up my pug with one hand!
Why I get so much amusement from my lame optical illusions, I don't know.  Now an obligatory pug sniffing the hand photo.
She approves.  This polish is awesome!  What more can a girl ask for?

Ah yes, Konad stamp kit.  Ok, this isn't real Konad, but a random Konad imitation I came across.

I bought two plates with very small flowery designs.  I am taking baby steps with this.  I didn't want anything too big or crazy (yet).
You're supposed to paint over the design you want (you really don't need much polish so just a light coat on the design will do) and then quickly scrape off the excess with the scraper (see below).  It works best if you hold the scraper at 45 degree angles, and not 90.  I also liked the scraper because it had a plastic edge.  I think Konad has a metal edged one that scratches the plates.  I know it doesn't affect the design, but I still don't like the idea of it.
The there's the stamp.  It's weird because it's way more slippery and rubbery than I thought it would be.  It kept popping out of the holder though which was annoying.  I may need to upgrade to a better stamp kit if I continue with this.  You're supposed to rub a nail file a few times across the rubber stamp before using it.  It helps it to pick up the polish.  After scraping the excess polish off the design you painted, you quickly roll the stamp over it (rolling really works best - don't just plop the stamp directly on top) with some gentle pressure.  Check to make sure the stamp picked up the design and then roll it across your polished (and dry) finger.
My first attempt at nail stamping.  I used a long flowery design diagonally across each nail and then added a few tiny stars.  I used Essie's Buy Me a Cameo for the stamp polish.  I didn't buy any Konad specific polishes but found this works fine with regular polishes if you find the right combo.  With dark base polishes I think a white or metallic color would show up the best.  Or an even darker (but it has to be significantly darker) polish.  Anything in between just didn't show up.  I'll experiment around though once I have a different base polish on.

Another hard part with the stamp is knowing where it is and how to place it in the right spot on your finger.  The stamp is so big it's hard to tell if you're placing it exactly right.  It's definitely something you get used to and get better at with time and practice.  And I was a bit rushed with some of the little stars so they varied in size depending on if I rolled it over properly or if I just plopped the stamp directly down.  And I found I had to clean out the design on the plate with nail polish remover every now and then to make sure I got the design properly stamped.

But other than those minor issues this was pretty easy and super fun!  I can't wait to try out more designs and styles.  I think during the work week I will keep it to just a small flower on my thumb (maybe my ring too).  But since this was my first attempt and it's the weekend, I went bananas and covered my entire nail on every nail.  Yippee!

Here's a few photos of when I was testing out the different designs on my old nails (painted with Essie's Power Clutch and Essie's Buy Me a Cameo, Carry On and Size Matters for the stamp designs)
And because I need to add my pug to almost every post, here's a photo of her first time at the local dog park.  There weren't that many dogs there but she still had a blast!
Now it's time for a bath because she STINKS.  She is not happy about it.
Sorry buddy, you stink.  Into the bath you go!

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