Q: I want to start stamping. How should I start?

A: It depends on who you ask, really. The place I started was with this: Bundle Monster 25pc 2012 Collection and this: Konad Stamp And Scraper Set which I bought on Amazon. I still use Bundle Monster plates frequently because they work really well. I would recommend starting with these and doing lots of practice!!
Note: One thing I recommend for those new to stamping is to put a couple coats of topcoat on your base color before applying a stamp. I have completely ruined many nice manis because I applied a stamp that was crooked or not fully pulled up. If you have a couple coats of topcoat on your nail you can carefully remove the stamp with polish remover and q-tips without trashing your whole mani.

Q: What are your favorite plates?

A: The plates I use the most are my Moyou London Plates. I absolutely adore MoYou. You can buy them directly from their website or on Amazon, Here is a link to one of my favorites: MoYou-London Nail Art Image Plate Pro Collection - 02. I use these the most because they are very high quality, meaning that they are etched very deeply and leave a very clean stamp. However, they are very expensive and only worth the cost if you are planning to stamp often. I also love the new Pueen 2014 Stamping Buffet Collection which has some really deeply etched images but is very reasonably priced. I also own and frequently use the following plates or sets:

Q: What is your favorite stamper? 

A: I have two favorite stampers. They are the only ones I use. My main favorite is this Konad Nail Art Stamper. It comes with a metal scraper but that tends to leave scratches on my plates so instead I use an old credit card as a scraper. I use the Konad scraper with pretty much all of my plates except my MoYou plates. When I am using my MoYou plates I always use the Square Silicone Stamper I purchased on their website, especially because most of the images are larger and need a larger stamp.

Q: Do all stampers need to be primed? What is it and how do I do it?

A: Not all stampers need to be primed. Priming refers to getting the stamper ready to pick up a good quality image. Usually there is a protective coating that needs to be removed before you use a new stamper. You won't know if your stamper needs to be primed until you try it. If it is not picking up your image very well or at all then it most likely needs to be primed. I have had to prime both of my stampers. I was able to learn how to prime my stampers by watching this video from PContreras8nails

Q: How do you get the colors into your stamps?

A: See my Advanced Stamping Tutorial for that.

Q: But I've tried stamping and I can't get it to work!!! Help!

A: First of all, that is totally normal. I can just about guarantee that every person who knows how to stamp well has had trouble with it at some point. It's not easy to learn. When I first started stamping it took me many hours of frustration and wanting to trash the whole thing until I finally got it to work.
If you are having trouble, the first thing to remember is that it takes a lot of practice to get the hang of stamping. Also check to see if your stamper has already been primed. If not, you might need to prime it. Next, make sure that when you go to scrape off the excess polish you are not pushing too hard with your scraper. That can pull the polish right out of the stamp and then you won't be able to pick it up.
You might be waiting too long to pick up your stamp. You need to move pretty quickly once you get the nail polish down on the plate. It should only take you about 5-7 seconds to scrape, pick up the image and then stamp. if its taking you longer than that your polish might be drying up before you can pick it up.
Make sure you aren't putting too much or too little pressure on your stamper to pick up the image. Too much pressure can smash the image and too little can keep the whole image from picking up.
I think that just about covers all of the most common stamping issues. Above all, practice, practice, practice!

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