I purchased these four MoYou London stamping plates from Daily Charme a few months back in a fit of summertime pique – I had been on a tear of complicated, free-handed nail art, and I imagined my first real foray into stamping would lighten the lazy load a bit. I was also looking forward to stretching my stamping legs – it’s a nail art technique I don’t attempt very often. And when the plates are as beautiful as these four, the results are just bound to be gorgeous, right?
Wrong. Allll the wrongs. It began with the Festive Collection plate. It would not transfer any of the designs to two different stampers, with a multitude of polishes. In between frustrated attempts, I tried my gear out with a previously-used stamping plate from another manufacturer and had no problems getting the design to adhere. After taking a closer look at the plate, it appeared as though the engraved design (an absolutely gorgeous allover one, so intricate in its festive detailing) was simply too shallow to allow for proper design transfer.
I contacted Daily Charme with my concerns, and they were really wonderful – offered me a full refund if I chose, despite the fact that I had already peeled the protective film off two of the plates. But I really didn’t want to choose – I very much wanted to keep the plates, even in a non-functional capacity (I was initially going to frame the Fairytale and Festive Collection plates, a plan it appears I am going to have to once again revisit.) Daily Charme also offered up a number of helpful tips on the technique of stamping itself, which I put into immediate good use, eeking out three whole nails’ worth of designs from three different plates. Already tired of the fuss, that seemed good enough for me.
Earlier this week, though, I got the idea for a kind of decorative tin roof-type manicure, one I thought would be made appreciably easier by stamping on one of the stained glass designs from the Gothic plate. I think you can guess how it went. As in it didn’t. I couldn’t get a single design to adhere to either of my stampers, using four different polishes. It took me half an hour of messy, acetone-splashed frustration to net absolutely nothing. I could have free-handed the design in that amount of time.
I don’t know what the ultimate problem is with these MoYou plates – Did Daily Charme receive a terrible, poorly-etched batch? Is that even possible across four different collections? – or even if the problem is indeed the plates. I mean, I suppose it’s possible my stamping skills are completely deficient – other nail artists seem to think MoYou’s offerings are pretty awesome. But at the risk of sounding full of it, I’m not half bad at this nail art stuff, and I’ve had pretty great results with other stamping plates.
And so with Daily Charme’s generously-offered refund surely no longer on the table all these months later, I’m going to have to press these plates into action as decorative items instead. And they’ll look fantastic, of course (gosh, the unicorn-drawn carriage on the Fairytale plate is stupendous) but that’s somewhat besides the point. Ultimately, it’s tremendously irksome to have paid for something that could not carry out its most basic function. I’m lucky in that I’ve found a good secondary use for these plates, but really, why did I need to find a silver lining in the first place? A regrettable experience with style over substance.