Sunday, August 31, 2008

Let's talk more Konad?

Judging by your responses, Konad techniques might be interesting to some of my readers. OK, let's get stamping.

Here comes a short seance of a self-therapy:

My environment is totally Konad-unfriendly. My mom, bless her heart, still tells me that bright or, God forbid, red polish reserved for the fallen creatures only. My beloved husband used to roll his eyes ones hear the words "nail art". "Honey, how old are you, exactly? Thirteen?". Yes, he can pursue a PhD in being sarcastic with his wife. I had been drooling profusely over Sara's beautiful Konad manicures (check the links at the end of her post). Yet, somehow I was sure I would look like a retired ho' with a lot of time on her hands (literally) if I would get myself one of these sinful stamps. I have to admit, pictures on Konad official web site did not exactly prove the opposite. So, buying a Konad was somewhat of a rebellious act. I was working late and out of the blue I though: "Hell, this is my life and I just want to have some fun". Hi, my name is Masa and I'm so proud of myself for finally getting a Konad!

Konad is a trade name of a company that produces kits for "stamping nail art". In theory, you apply a bit of a special nail polish on the design of your choice; scrape polish excess with a miniature scraper; press a rubber stamp on the design and transfer it to your nails. With the greatest of ease. I wish!

After getting my Konad, I did one - one! - design successfully and then it just did not want to work for me anymore. Instead of transferring countless immaculate "highly detailed, sophisticated designs" to my nails, I was almost crying in frustration. Then I remembered that I have a polish fanatic colleagues and sent out a lot of emails.

Carla G was nice enough to share this link. Please, read the section "Stamp not picking up image" carefully.

Konad's nuts and bolts:
1. Before you begin, file the rubber stamp with your regular nail file - just a touch.

2. Do not try to swipe your polish over the design in different directions in attempt to cover all little nukes and crannies. Swipe with one fast, wide motion. If you work with polish for too long (we are talking seconds here, not minutes), it will dry out right on the plate and your stamp will not pick up the design. Big blop of polish is not necessary at all. Thin layer can produce very good results.

3. Clear both the plate and a scraper after each swipe, with acetone-based remover.

4. Use Konad special polish. I hate "special" products; usually it's just a marketing trick, making you to pay more money for a product equal to a regular, not-so-special stuff. Well, "special polish" does yield better and more consistent results.

5. Experiment with the stamp: try to place it on the design straight, head first; or try a gentle rolling motion.

6. Transfer the design to the nail in one rolling motion.

7. Even if you are a perfectionist, please, do not get mad at yourself. Some designs are just more difficult to work with than others. I still cannot master this one:

For some reason it's almost impossible to pick up completely. I've already wasted gallons of polish on it, and was able to pick the design for 95% just once. Oh well.

8. Buy more polish than you think you would use. You will inevitably waste some while learning ropes.

9. Make sure your top coat is fresh and thin; otherwise it will pull your design and ultimately ruin it.
Some tips and tricks:

1. Stamping over your base coat works well. Great way to refresh an old mani.

2. If you work over the base coat and have smudged the design, gently scrape it off the nail and redo. I use plastic nail tips from Sally's for scraping.

3. Some of regular polishes do work with Konad. For instance, Color Club nail art polishes. One of nail boarders also has mentioned that Misa I Will Survive (glossy black) works perfectly. Go, Misa!

Experiment and have fun!

Special thanks to NOTD blog for inspiration and advice; and to Carla G for the great link!