Nail stamping can be an expensive habit so I was interested when I saw Essence’s Nail Art stampy set at Shoppers Drug Mart for only $5. It seemed like it would be good for starting out and for people who are not sure if stamping is for them. I picked up the be creative (01) kit which was the only one currently available.
Stamping is fairly straight forward and the box does have instructions with a link to the video. They have changed their website so when you visit, it redirects you to the North American site which does not have the video. You can find the instruction video here.
The Essence Stampy Nail Art kit includes a small plate with nine stamping images (one full nail), scraper and stamp. The plate comes with a clear protective film, make sure you remove it before you start! They recommend using Essence stampy polish which my store did not stock so I tried it out using both stamping polish and regular polish I have used for stamping before from my stash.
I rarely find metal scrapers useful, they scratch the plate and don’t always remove the polish cleanly. This one is not terrible, I have tried expensive ones that are worse, but I got a tiny scratch on the plate trying it just once. Personally, I use old gift cards to scrape off excess polish and find it works better plus I can just throw them out when they get too used.
The stamp itself was not super smooth like a new stamp, it had some bumps. I had the older pink ones which was decent so this may just be a dud stamp head. While it lifted the design from the stampy plate well, it did not transfer well. I wasn’t sure if it was just the polish (shown above using a regular polish, the stamping polish was worse and really stuck the stamp head) so I tried it out using my regular stamper.
As you can see, while the tail did not transfer well, the stamp itself was fine – so definitely the stamp head from the stampy set. I primed the stamp head and it worked much better, not a perfect transfer, but what you would expect from a cheaper set and using regular polish.
My nails are quite curved, so I generally use a stamp with more give than the Essence Stampy stamper. You can see the full nail stamp had issues transferring around the edges but was fairly clear on the middle of my nail where it was not dealing with curve. The smaller stamps transferred well where they were not dealing with the curve and a full design.
If you have really curved nails, you are better off choosing a squishy stamper, but for someone who just wants to try out stamping, $5 is a great price. You can pick up squishy stamps fairly cheaply from Born Pretty or eBay if you are willing to wait for them to be shipped internationally.