I've been getting a lot of questions from people wanting to know where I get my nail art supplies. So I thought I'd dedicate a page to it!
Ebay is an excellent resource for nail art supplies. You have the option to either bid on items, or "buy it now" at a set price. There are advantages and disadvantages to both options. When you bid on something, you have the chance to get it for a lower price. But of course this depends on the demand for a particular item. And there's always a chance that someone may outbid you. With the buy it now option, you know the price up front and can pay for said item immediately. Buy it now items may cost a little more than things you can bid on. But again, bidding isn't guaranteed. And if you choose to bid on something, make sure you look around to get an idea of the base price of what you're bidding on. You wouldn't want to end up paying more for something if you don't have to.
When searching for nail art supplies, it helps to put "nail art" in the search to narrow the results to relevant items. For example, 'nail art rhinestones' is a better search term than just 'rhinestones'. And I always sort the results as Price+Shipping: lowest first so I can see the cheapest options. You can find rhinestones, fimo canes and slices, dried flowers, and nail art tools for good prices. Pay attention to seller ratings before you buy. The higher a seller rating, the more positive experiences other buyers have had with a seller. Also pay attention to whether or not a particular seller will ship to your location. Not everyone ships worldwide :(
I haven't had a negative experience on ebay yet. Sellers generally do all they can to help you if you have a problem, since they want good ratings.
Ebay also offers the bill me later option when buying things. They ask for a bit of info, and once you're approved you can shop away and pay for your things about a month later. Bill me later is good for people who don't have credit cards.
Born Pretty, or bornprettystore.com is a site that sells nail art supplies at decent prices. They also have an ebay store. Born Pretty offers free shipping worldwide within 24 hours.
I recently got a free Hello Kitty image plate as part of a 10 per day giveaway promotion, so it's worth following them on either Facebook, Twitter, or Youtube, if only to be in the loop when a giveaway comes around.
When you buy their stuff, you accumulate bornpretty.com points. They also give you the option to review what you bought in exchange for points. You can use the points toward future purchases, so it's pretty cool. Their FAQ can answer any other questions you may have about the points program.
If you're thinking about getting started with Konad, you've come to the right place! The first thing you're going to need is a double sided stamper. I've used both the one sided stamper and the double sided stamper, and the double sided stamper is definitely the way to go. It has a larger pink side that's appropriate for full nail images, and a smaller green side that's great for small images and helpful when stamping with red or pink paint (easier to see these colors on the green side). The stampers usually come with a metal scraper, but I don't recommend using it. Metal scraping against metal= scratches which is definitely no bueno (not good). I use an old library card. Old gift cards are also a good option.
Konad image plates can cost up to $7 each, which is a bit too expensive for my liking. Amazon.com offers bundles of plates! The Bundle Monster image plates cost $17.99 for the first set of 21 image plates, and $21.99 for the second set of 25 image plates. This is an incredible bargain, and I have no complaints with Bundle Monster's image plates. The only thing you may want to know is that the first set of Bundle Monster plates come without a paper backing, making the edges a little sharper. The full nail and french tip images from the first set of image plates are also on the smaller side, so if you have larger nails, the images may not cover your nails completely. But the smaller images are really cute. You can take a closer look at the first set of plates here and the second set of plates here.
Konad sells a special polish that is only suitable for stamping purposes. Basically, don't try to polish your nails with it or you'll end up with a goopy mess that won't dry. It's recommended that you use the special polish for stamping, but certain nail polishes also work well with the plates. Any nail polish that is opaque in one coat is usually a good choice. I find that the Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Fast Dry Nail Color works well, and a lot of people swear by Wet n Wild Black Creme. If you do decide to buy the Konad special stamping polish, I recommend buying the black and white, as you'll most likely get the most use out of them. Konad also sells a special top coat that won't smear your design. It's great, but you don't NEED it. I use seche vite, and as long as I don't try to apply my top coat immediately after stamping, I don't have any problems with smearing. I'm sure there are other top coats out there that would also be good for this, it's just a matter of experimenting.
One thing to remember is that when you're stamping, you're going to want to move as quickly as possible so the polish doesn't dry on the plate before you have a chance to stamp. In my experience, the Konad special polish doesn't tend to dry as quickly on the plate/stamper as regular polish. So if you're just getting into stamping, I recommend using the special polish, at least until you get the hang of it and can move quickly enough. There are several tutorials available on youtube that show you how to use the Konad stamping system.
If you have any other questions regarding nail art supplies or Konad stamping nail art, email me at email@example.com and I'll do my best to help you :)
I hope this was helpful, and I'll continue to add to this page if I come up with anything else!