I bought these plates because my daughters spent the night at a friends and came home with the cutest nails. When I asked about them their friend showed me her 'name brand' set that she paid about $50 for. It had two plates some polish, a stamper & a scraper. I thought it was adorable but was not going to pay that kind of money. Bargain hunter than I am I searched for a better deal. Which led me to Bundle Monster and another 'off brand' that I found on ebay for similar value.
I bought both sets. The received the ebay ones first. They were a great value came with some extras & offered cute plates (a few with the same designs from one plate to the next). They even offered the same designs and our neighbor girl had on her 'name brand' plates (none of which were 'full nail' or 'french tip' images). I was quite satisfied but have to say when I received the plates from Bundle Monster I soon realized I preferred their images better. They were larger for the most part & a much nicer selection over all (I hope they continue to add to their designs).
The ONLY Con I would mention is that the edges seem a bit sharp (compared to both the name brand & the other off brand I purchased) so I would keep them out of reach from young fingers even if they are just 'looking at the designs'. My teenage daughter cut herself on one not paying attention.
For those of you who are having problems with them here are some tips & step by step instructions I use (mentioned by others but with so many reviews I will post it as well).
Tips to Know Before you get started:
1) REMOVE the plastic film: They come with a plastic film when you first receive them that sometimes can not be seen. I used something sharp (tweezers) to cut a spot & then removed the rest with my fingers. If you do not remove the film the plates do not work.
2) Use THICK but NOT Quick Dry Contrasting Nail Polish for Images: If you do not have a 'thick' polish & do not want to spend $10+ on the 'name brand' let one of yours dry out a bit or go to your local salon that does nails & see if they have some 'old stuff' that you can buy for pennies on the dollar.
If you use quick dry you may not get the transfer done quick enough before it drys.
I have tried a few variations of colors but for obvious reasons white & black work best. A dark color with a white or light pink print or a light color with a black or similar dark will have the best results. Do some practice ones on something to see what you really like.
3) Use one coat cover for Bottom Coat & Top Coat: I recommend using nail polish that IS quick dry & only takes one coat to cover for both the Bottom & Top Coats (not images). This is because the more nail polish you have on your nails the more likely it is to smear your images. Using quick dry also helps with this.
4) Use a Good Acetone nail remover: It seems this works best for cleaning the plates. Some remover seems to thin out the polish & make it more difficult to transfer.
5) Let the Plates DRY completely: After each transfer you will need to clean the plate (if there is polish in the image you will not get a good transfer). When you wipe the polish out let the remover dry before you put polish on it. Again it will thin out the polish making for a poor transfer.
6) Use Cotton Rounds instead of Balls: Cotton Rounds make it a lot easier to manage the nail remover without messing up your nails. I use a nail polish remover with a pump so (one touch remover) I don't have to do too much with my hands.
7) Between EACH STEP let your nails dry for the best possible results.
8) If you don't have a plate holder (which I highly recommend) use double sided scotch tape to hold the plates in place on whatever you are scraping the extra paint onto.
9) I also recommend the two sided stamper with the smaller stamp. It is much easier to ensure the best image placement for smaller images.
10) If you have larger nail beds you may want to overlap designs. Everyone has different nail bed sizes so it would be difficult to accommodate everyone. With practice one could learn to line up the designs for a fuller image but I would recommend either using more than one design or just overlapping them. It can create a nice effect as well.
10) Clean EVERYTHING thoroughly when you are done: This will be important so that your future painting will be more successful & so that the plates, stamper & scraper last longer.
My personal steps:
1) Wash hands & gently push back cuticles that might be up on nail bed.
2) Get out all needed products & items.
3) Paint nails with bottom coat. Let dry completely (VERY important for best results)
4) Prepare image plate, image nail polish & cotton round with polish remover.
5) Working Quickly - Paint a nice coat of image paint over your image, scrape away extra, stamp with stamper, line up with nail bed, roll on fast, firmly & carefully ensuring you get the entire image to transfer. (If you have never seen this done check out a youtube video on it).
6) After each image you will have to clean the plate completely (especially if you are using the same image for each nail). Be sure to do so carefully not to smudge your other nails. Some recommend using tweezers - I find if I use a Cotton round instead of a ball I don't need to. Again let the polish remover dry on the plate before adding the polish again.
7) I recommend doing all your images on one hand BEFORE putting on the top coat. Just be gentle not to 'bump' them.
8) Once your first hand is complete put on your top coat & let this dry Completely before starting your second hand.
9) Repeat for second hand!
Once you get the hang of it use multiple designs & colors. We have used it to stamp our phones & more (and change when we get bored)
Hope you enjoy this as much as I did! All the little Girls in my life (age appropriate of course) will be getting this for the next 'gift giving' occasion!!
For the price these are pretty good. I'd recommend these for people with smaller nails, as there isn't a single full-sized design that I can use to fit my entire nail no matter how short I cut them. I bought these assuming that they would be the same as the Konad ones without the brand name. I have a Konad plate and it is, in fact, better than these. Some of the designs (like the peacock and the spiderweb,) will not turn out no matter how much I try (not with Konad Special Polish, thick or thin regular nail polish, or acrylic paint.) I can usually use nail stamping plates without fail, but a few of the more detailed designs just wont transfer. It has to be the plates. You can tell that they aren't as thickly engraved. I would recommend these, but keep in mind that they're not spectacular. You might want to look at other options. Konad works and the full-nail designs are larger, but they are far more expensive. I've had this set since Dec 2011 and still use it, but I am currently looking for something that would suit my nail size better now that they make the XL plates, which were not an option back when I bought these. I do not regret my purchase. If you're looking for a cheaper set of plates that work with both special polish and regular nail polish, try these out.
These plates are just cheaper (price-wise and quality) versions of Konad plates. You get 21 plates for about $18, and shipping is free, so that's quite an irresistible deal, but I have to say, these plates CANNOT compare to the Konad plates. First of all, there is no safety backing on the plates, as many people have written already; the plates are very thin, and can be very sharp. I resorted to pasting the plates to index cards so it's less likely to slice into my fingers, and to prevent the plates from scratching each other. Secondly, the designs of the plates are not as intricate and well done as the Konad plates. I have a bunch of Konad plates, and the BM designs definitely don't come close. The BM designs are not as detailed, and just are not as "pretty" as the Konad designs (but of course, you get what you pay for). Also, some of the plates I got, seems like there were manufacturing flaws. The designs on the plates appear smeared, or smudged, and when I tried to stamp them, the images do not transfer properly, if at all. Thridly, the full nail designs don't actually fit on your whole nail (unless you have really small hands, or are a child). I learned that if I'm very precise on how I stamp, I can get away with stamping the "full nail" designs from my index to my pinky. Thumb is definitely out of the question, lest you end up with a half stamped thumb, or you're good enough to stamp in two halves (you have to really match up the designs). I've never had this problem with Konad designs. Fourthly, some of my plates arrived with water and rust stains. I don't understand how this happens, since there is a thin Saran type film ontop the plates when you first get them. This must mean that the plates have somehow gotten wet during manufacturing process, but before the packaging process. This doens't interfere with the stamping process, but I just find it annoying to have rust and water marks on my plates. Overall, these plates are dirt cheap (under a dollar for each plate), compared to Konad which are between $4-7 per plate, but you get what you pay for, and Bundle Monster plates definitely do NOT compare to the quality of Konad's.