A few weeks back I bought myself an XL squishy sticky stamper from ebay because I had grown frustrated with not being able to pick up a whole XL image and I had also heard they were good for stamping longer nails. After a few weeks of using it, I felt it was about time I wrote a review as
there isn’t much information out there about them I could find.
Size – above is a side by side picture with my trusty Konad stamper. To better demonstrate the size difference, I stamped the same chevron image from BundleMonster plate BM-423 which shows how much extra free space there is on the XL stamper. Because the XL stamper is both softer and stickier, air bubbles get trapped in the stamper when you press it on the plate which means that it’s virtually impossible to get a good solid stamp like you would with the Konad stamper. I’ve tried rolling and pressing the stamper into the plate and found that lightly pressing it against the plate gets the best image but I’ve never managed anything perfect like the Konad stamper. It gives the stamp a slightly aged/worn feel on the nail which I don’t mind in some instances but for a geometric design like this I really would prefer it crisp and clean.
Texture – The Konad stamper is a smooth rubber material, while the XL stamper is a much softer silicon. This makes it easy to damage and as you can see mine has a few scrapes and came with that tear already on it.
This photo shows how sticky the stamper is – can you see how the silicon is stuck to the bottom of my nail? It is similar to the feeling when you have PVA on your fingers and it gets tacky and stringy when you press the fingers together. The big benefit of this is that it sticks right to all the edges of your nails when you stamp so you don’t get gaps in your design at the edges if your nails have a strong c curve. It also helps to get the stamped image all the to the tips and even wrapped around the tips if your nails are curved verticals (mine lovingly curve both ways!). The downside to this is EVERYTHING sticks to it – every last piece of dust, lint, cat hair etc.
Here you can see just how squishey the stamper is – I was applying barely any pressure with this pen and it just sinks into the stamper. The pro of this is that you don’t need as much pressure when you stamp on the nail as you do with the firmer Konad stamper. If you have long tips to your nails you will know how difficult it is to apply pressure evenly to the tip without hurting yourself or being scared of breaking a nail. I used to have to press underneath my tip with another finger to support it to prevent too much pain/a break when stamping with my Konad stamper. The lower pressure also means you’re less likely to wrinkle your base coat if it’s not 100% dry (let’s face it, we’ve all done it!)
Happy days – I took some photos while stamping to show you exactly how easy it is. I took the stamping pad out of the holder because it tends to come out on it’s own every couple of nails anyway due to the stickiness. I line up my nail above the design then press my nail directly into the pad rather than rolling the pad across my nail as I would with the Konad stamper. This makes it far easier to line up my nail to the design and stamp it relatively straight on my nail. I have tried using the same rolling technique but because the pad is so flexible the image ends up stretching and distorting in the process.
Here are my final nails using both stampers – the pinky and middle nails were done with the Konad Stamper and and pointer and ring finger were done with the XL Stamper. I tried two different black polishes too but didn’t see a radical difference in the end result. I’ve highlighted the major issues with each.
Maintenance – the XL stamper is a pain to clean, because it’s so sticky you can’t wipe it down with cotton wool soaked in acetone which is what I’d normally do. I’m also not sure if the acetone would ruin the surface when used all the time. I stamp it onto a piece of parcel or masking tape to clean off any left over polish between stamps and keep it in a drawer when I’m not using it with the stamping surface face down to prevent too much lint and dust sticking to it. I’ve tried washing it under a tap with no luck and every now and then I wipe it down with a lint free wipe with some acetone but nothing truly cleans it 100%
Final Opinion – I really like this stamper still purely because it no longer hurts when I stamp the tips of my nails and it’s easy to get a design lines up and right into the edges. Would I use it on every occasion? No just because the air bubbles really detract from the final effect on some designs like the one I used for this review. I think there are a time and place for both this stamper and the Konad stamper but neither are perfect – really it’s just down to personal preference.
Note – the ebay seller I bought from is no longer selling this stamper. I paid $8 for this stamper, I suggest searching for XL Stamper and then looking for stampers that are specifically described as “soft silicon”.