As happy as I am with the stamping results using Konad black special polish, I'm not generally happy with the cleanup, which is rarely 100% plus it has a tendency to drag probably more than any of the other Konad polishes. I've been wondering if there are other black polishes that work well for stamping. I took note of various comments on my blog (thanks Bunny Nails for mentioning KleanColor because I never would have thought about this one!) as well as seen what some others were using for stamping polishes; either swapped or bought them and decided to see if there was an alternative to Konad.
For this comparison, I used (left to right below) black Konad special polish, KleanColor Black, Wet n Wild Ebony Hates Chris, FingerPaints Black Expressionism and Essence Stamping polish.
For this stamping experiment, I used FingerPaints Blue Raspberry Taffy (blue) and Misa Without Airs Orange (orange) as the base. Initially, I was planning to do an Aztec theme but when I discovered that the Misa had a shimmer, I wasn't too keen on finishing it for some reason....this is why the plates you're going to see are Aztec themed for the stamping comparison as I already had them picked out for the mani! This is two coats of FingerPaints Blue Raspberry Taffy from their Gumdrops and Lollipops collection and three of Misa Without Airs Orange. (As a side note, I did have skin staining with Blue Raspberry Taffy; if you decide to pick it up, you may wish to be careful with removal.)
Stamped images in same order; starting at thumb: black Konad special polish (Big SdP C), KleanColor Black (Big SdP C), Wet n Wild Ebony Hates Chris (Big SdP B), FingerPaints Black Expressionism (Big SdP F) and Essence Stamping polish (XL A)...in hindsight, I guess the fairest comparison would have been using all the same image plate...unfortunately, I didn't think of this at the time!
So you could see how dark the stamping polish is, I purposely left it without cleanup. I also wanted to apply the topcoat fairly fast to see if there was any topcoat drag so didn't want to take the time for cleanup at this point to see if they did drag while relatively wet...the only delay was the time taken to snap a couple pictures. I used SV, which is the topcoat I use 99% of the time. Pix below is with topcoat.
I didn't see any visible signs of SV drag on any nails.
The above pictures are on my left hand; on my right hand, I alternated the base colours but kept the stamping colours in the same order, just to see if there was any stamping colour difference, but the results appear to be consistent with the left (ie WnW is still faint).
These are my comments/observations generally on all the polishes I tried:
Konad: I generally buy Konad online for $6.99 as it is $10-$12 at local stores; however, its not that handy for me to buy (flea markets in other towns). Stamping results: Konad stamped crisp, clear and the darkest image of all polishes tested. Cleanup: While it seems I didn't do too bad of a job clean up in this pix and there doesn't seem to be any leftover residue of stamping polish on the skin, I know this always isn't the case from past results as sometimes no matter how much time I spend with clean it up, it stays in the small fine lines in my skin...it also took the most amount of time to clean up in this pix but at least it cleaned up well! Drag: no visible drag in this test (but prone to drag from past experience). I usually wait a bit before topping with SV to ensure stamping polish is good and dry before applying SV to hope to eliminate drag...but even then, sometimes it happens!
KleanColor: Pricing was $2 in my area for a bottle. Availability: There's only two stores that sell KC in my area; the one didn't have KC black in stock; second one did and its pretty close to my house. I'm guessing KC should be found easily online too at reasonable pricing if needed. Stamping results: Stamped dark and fairly crisp, just a smidgen less in darkness and crispness than Konad. Cleanup: No issues at all with cleanup. Drag: No issues with drag. (Additional comments: I wonder if the bottle was left with the lid off for a bit if the polish would thicken to see if stamping results would be better? Because this polish is thinner than Konad, slightly better results may be achieved if it sits on the plate momentarily to dry which sometimes helps with better stamping results. Also, would like to monitor for SV drag because it would be a great plus not to have to worry about drag when applying the topcoat. I also have to recognize that while there is missing pieces of the stamped image on my finger, this may be the design plate and not to say I wouldn't have the same results with Konad as it happens with Konad polish too...sometimes this is remedied by just scraping side to side or down to up.)
Wet n Wild: Pricing was $1.49 for a bottle. Availability: locally sold at Walmart; lots in stock. Stamping results: Stamped the faintest of all polishes; wasn't even dark. Cleanup: No issues at all. Drag: No issues with drag. Additional comments: I have to say I was surprised the most with the results...or lack thereof...from this polish as I've read so often about gals using this for stamping polish but the stamped image is not very dark at all. Terrible brush; wouldn't even want to use this polish as a base polish. Maybe if I need a black to ever franken with I might use this polish. This would be my last choice ever because its just not a good dark stamped image. In fact, if this was my go to black stamping polish...I'd pick another stamping colour.
FingerPaints: Pricing was $5.99 for a bottle (slightly less with Sally's card). Availability: locally sold at Sally's; part of core line; usually in stock. Stamping results: fairly faint for a black but passable. Cleanup; no issues at all. Drag: No issues with drag. Additional comments: Wild card here; I actually bought this as an alternative to black base for manis as I heard it was a one coater and was pleasantly surprised that it stamped OK....maybe a good polish to take on holiday as serves two purposes for base and stamping! On the thin side; maybe another polish to try again if the lid is left off to let it thicken again? The stamped image shadowed which is because its a thinner polish; may be remedied by the polish sitting a bit on the image plate before scraping which sometimes helps.
Essence Stamping Polish: I don't actually know pricing as I received this in a swap. Availability: Not available in my area at all. Stamping results: OK for a fairly thin polish; not as good as Konad or KC. Cleanup: no issues at all. Drag: no issues with drag. Additional comments: Surprised it stamped so dark given that it is a fairly thin polish. Small sized bottle. Probably will never have another bottle as not available in my area at all so probably out of luck once this bottle runs out!
Results? I guess it will depend if stamped image is more important or the cost of the stamping polish! I think that based upon stamping results, availability, pricing, quality of stamping image, etc, the best overall polish would be KleanColor Black....that being said, I'll probably stick to Konad strictly because personally, I'd rather pay the extra and order online for the crisp clear stamping results of Konad! Also, while Konad cleanup takes longer and sometimes stays visible in my clean up pix, keep in mind that this isn't nearly as visible to the human eye as people aren't looking at your nails in macro view and immediately after stamping! As I take these pix mainly late at night, by the time I shower the next morning, there's little stamping polish left visible. All this being said, and as this is the first and only time I've used KleanColor to stamp, I'm going to use it more for stamping to get a good feel with how it stamps...because its available locally and less than a third of the price of Konad...and if I can get it to stamp well and it has no drag, it may be my next go to stamping polish...unless I find something better in the next round of comparison stamping that is!
Have you tried these polishes? Are your results the same or not? Just curious.....its always interesting to hear what others think...just like one person may prefer Poshe topcoat and the next SV if you know what I mean! Do you use any of these for stamping? If not, do you have any other suggestions? There's still a few black polishes I've yet to compare being Beautiful Scratchers black, Sally Hansen Black Out, Wet n Wild Black Creme and CND Blackjack. I think Fab Ur Nails also has a black stamping polish; I'm probably going to order it too whenever I get around to placing my order as I want to try a few of those stamping polishes.
I have a few different white polishes to try as well; KleanColor white, Sally Hansen White Out, Beautiful Scratchers white, Essence stampy white polish...do you know of any others that work well and may be an alternative to Konad? I'd love to know your thoughts!
Thanks for looking!