Born Pretty nail art store has kindly sent me a few nail art items for review. I will be sharing my thoughts on this stamping mat today.
I have been using my trusty Uber Chic stamping mat for at least 2 years and it has been a godsend. It was the first of its kind that started the nail mat craze. Now the market is saturated with stamping mats, there are so many different ones to choose from? Are they all the same? What features to look out etc.?
First question first.. Do you paint your nails? Yes? You’ll need one! No kidding, the most basic function of a stamping mat is to protect your work surfaces. I cannot tell you how many times a stamping mat has saved my table from acetone and spilled polishes!
Function of a stamping nail art mat (any brand!)
- Flexible, non-slip mat to protect your work surface from polish and acetone spills. Some mats do slip, but unfortunately you won’t know until you have tested it on your own work surface!
- Good sized work area for making decals (reverse stamping, stamping or vinyl decals). It is true that you can create decals using clear sandwich bags, that’s where I started few years ago! But I do prefer to use a mat for convenience and ease, as these stamping mats are purposely made for this type of activities.
- Work area to test out colour combinations and design try-outs. I normally test my design on a mat first, rather than on my nails… just in case it didn’t work well or I have changed my mind about the designs. Plus I don’t want to repaint the base layers (base coat, couple coats of the base colour of polish plus top coat before any nail art!).
- Easy clean-up, all mats should be easy to clean and it should be acetone and polish proof.
What to look for when choosing a stamping mat?
In terms of what to look for, it really depends on what you are planning to do with it. Stamping mats are getting so jazzy nowadays; some are fairly basic like this Born pretty one.
Size: Determining what size of mats you will need really depends on the size of your current work space; number of nail polish bottles; other nail art tools for a single mani.
Your budget: There are mats that cost less than £5 to ones that cost more than £20. It seems that the price reflects on quality on these mats, but be aware that you might be also just be paying for the brand name as well. Look around, there are branded mats that are just plain “good looking” without special features.
|Brand||Available Sizes||Colours||Nail shapes, swatch circles||Extras||Price||My comments|
|Bliss Kiss Simply Neat Miracle Mat||Approx. 40.5 cm by 30.5cm||Opaque White||Y||Bevelled edges around the mat
|$19.99||I believe the bevelled edges are a godsend for containing any spillage!|
|Born Pretty stamping nail art mat||Small – 21 x 15cm
Large – 28 x 21cm
|Opaque White||Y||Printed swatch sticks, ruler||Small – $5.99
Large – $7.99
|Cheap and cheerful|
|DRK Nails||30.5 x 40.5cm||Pink, turquoise, black, white and blue||Y||Rainbow coloured swatch/test spots – great if you want to quickly test out stamping or colour combos!
It looks very pretty with the printed borders.
|Currently, you cannot buy these mats direct from DRK while they are moving to Amazon. In the UK, you can get these from Nail Artisan for £10 each.||Wonderful array of colours available!|
|Moyou London – Magic Workshop Manicure Mat||Small – 21 x 15cm
Large – 40 x 30cm
|Opaque white||Y||Pretty printed graphics?|| Small – £7
Large – £10
|Beautiful storage tubes!|
|Twinkle T – Glamour Mat||30.5 x 40.5cm||Opaque White||Y||Collapsible watermarbling cup
13 Small indented dots for holding rhinestones or acrylics etc
Black, white and pastel coloured nail boxes
Mega thick, you can really feel the difference on the quality of this mat. The makers did not skim on features.
|£17 from Rainbow Connection UK
$21.99 from Twinkle T, ships worldwide
|Uber Chic Beauty||30.5 x 40.5cm||Opaque white||Y|| $13.99 from Uber Chic Beauty
£11 from She-sells-sea-shells UK
|Very large mat with abundant clear space for creative work!
But it slips on my glass table
*information accurate as of 3rd January 2017
This Born Pretty one is fairly basic and its price reflects that, it doesn’t have the coloured printed nail shapes for various colour stamping tests (noting the DRK nails stamping mats); it does not have the fancy collapsible watermarbling cup (noting the Twinkled T Glam Mat, probably the queen of all mats with the price to match!); No grids/bevelled edge (noting the Bliss Kiss Simply Neat Miracle Mat); only available in opaque white, DRK nails stamping mats come in an array of colours! So, what’s important to you?
Born Pretty Stamping nail art mat review
I have received the larger version of their mats; it measures 28cm by 21cm. The smaller version measures at 21cm by 15cm. My Uber Chic was bigger compare to this BPS one, measures at 30.5cm by 40.5cm.
- Semi opaque white and see-through enough for creating freehand decals!
- 2 white swatch circles plus 5 white and 5 black rounded/oval nail shapes on the left hand side of the mat; 2 black swatch circles plus 5 white and 5 black square nail shapes on the right hand side of the mat. These areas are for easy size referencing if you are making decals. I use the circles for testing colour combinations and general dib-dabbing!
- There’s a 5cm “ruler” printed at the top edge of the mat, not that I have the need to use it (yet!). Plus 4 white and 4 black swatch sticks shapes printed by the ruler.
- The mat is approx. 2mm thick, probably very slightly thicker than the Uber Chic stamping mat.
- Acetone and polish proof
- Flexible and non-slip
- Lightweight and made with good silicone material
- Comes with a cardboard tube for storage
- Easy clean with sticky tape, acetone or polish remover
- Cheap! And easy-ish to obtain, just need to be patient with the delivery times!
- Semi-opaque (Check out how I draw my designs on my Halloween pumpkin nails and create nail decals from tracing over this mat!)
- Delivery might take a long time depending where you are
- Lack of colour choices
- Very basic stamping mat with no fancy features. It would be cool if BPS comes out with a deluxe version with some really cool features!
Ps. do not underestimate the importance of the storage tube for this mat. You should store the mat away to prevent it gathering dust overnight (or over a week in my case), or other bits and bobs sticking on it. Trust me, your mat will last so much longer and looking newer for longer if you look after it. I wish I did with my Uber Chic mat!
Nail tutorials (using Born Pretty Stamping mat!)
Actually, most of my nailart tutorials are done on this BPS mat in the last few months.
I have been road testing this mat for over 3 months, I’ve used it for creating nail decals (vinyl and stamping), testing out designs, colour pairing polishes and generally as a work surface protective mat.
I still do not know if this mat stains, with the polishes (including highly pigmented stamping polishes) I have used in the last few months, none of them have stained my mat. But I do avoid those well-known nail-staining polishes! I have left dried polishes and stamping polishes on the mat overnight and for a few days. They did not stain the mat.
As recommended by some mat makers, do not leave your stamper head(s) on the mat for too long. It might cause irreversible bubbling on the mat. I love my mats and I have not tried to test this out!
I do like this handy sized, cheap and cheerful mat, it acts as a nice plain background for my nail art tutorials too!
Go with your needs when choosing a nail mat, you may fancy some high end mats or mats with more features. You might prefer one brand to another too! I have the Twinkled T Glam mat and Moyou London Magic Workshop to review in the future. So I can do comparison once I have tried them and will post about it.
Where to get this Born Pretty Stamping Nail Art Mat?
Free worldwide delivery (but please be aware that the shipping times can vary greatly!)
Discount code: FTL91 for any full priced item
Thank you for reading and have an awesome day!