11 Best Stamping Nail Polishes: Your Buyer’s Guide

nail stamping polish

123RF (Marina Migukova)

If you’re into nail stamping, you know the struggle of finding reliable stamping nail polish.

Even with the best stamper, high-quality plates, and the perfect technique, if that nail polish won’t stamp your afternoon is going to be frustrating. If you’re looking for gel stamping polish head on over to my other post and for stamping polish tips and tricks see the end of the article, but now let’s get straight to polish.

What Are the Best Stamping Polishes?

00000000 Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Perfect for beginners
  • 25 colors including metallics
  • Good value
Price: $39.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Maniology nail polish Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Amazing opacity
  • Full-size bottles
  • Brand has many colors and finishes
Price: $6.50 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Four squares of twinkled t stamping polish swatches Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Excellent white
  • Good range of colors
  • Supports indie brand
Price: $5.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
00000000000 Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Holographic
  • Doubles as polish or topper
  • Many color choices
Price: $10.20 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
oooooooooooo Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Trusted brand
  • Great black
  • Several collection choices
Price: $7.60 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
00000 Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Good opacity
  • Works as polish
  • Crisp lines
Price: $8.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
nail art stamping polish set Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Six polish set
  • Variety of finishes
  • Many collections available
Price: $16.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Bottle of Zoya Purity white nail polish Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Decent opacity
  • Doubles as polish
  • Breathable
Price: $10.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Metallic stamping polish Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Sets or individual
  • Bottles are nice medium size
  • Good opacity
Price: $17.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
00000000 Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Convenient
  • Cheap
  • Decent range
Price: $4.49 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
ooooooo Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Super opaque
  • Good metallic finish
  • Works as polish
Price: $7.98 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Born Pretty Stamping 25 Polish Set

    • Perfect starter set
    • Lots of colors for the price
    • Brand has metallic, temperature changing, duo-chrome, and holographic options
    • Crisp images
    • Can get in collections or indivudially
    • Most bottles are mini size
    • Reds not as opaque as others
    • Can be a little harder to wipe off plate

    Born Pretty’s 25 Color Set was the first stamping polish set that I ever bought. It’s good value, gives you tons of fun colors to play with, and it was a blast to unbox the seemingly endless bottles of stamping polish.

    They are mini bottles of polish so don’t expect full-size, but when you’re stamping you don’t need that much so a tiny bottle will last you longer than you expect.

    I love how these pick up. I’ve had no issue getting these onto several stamper types and they produce very crisp full images.

    My singular issue with Born Pretty stamping polish is that when I’m cleaning my plate between stamps I find the black can bleed and takes an extra swipe or two with my sponge compared to other brands. But that has nothing to do with the quality of image you can stamp–just a pet peeve of mine.

    The colors in this set are great. You get your basic black and white and a full rainbow of pastel and deeper shades. There are also a few metallics in purple, dark green, silver, and gold which may be my favorite color of the set.

    Their opacity is great and when you see how creamy and pigmented these are you understand how they can be so opaque. Their reds don’t stamp over black as well as Maniology, but that’s the only color that has that issue.

    Most of their bottles are mini sizes but you can get some of their colors including their Black and White Set in full-size bottles.

    Born Pretty offers a huge range of colors and finishes in their stamping polish. I have some of their Temperature Changing Stamping Polish which is really just too fun to play with.

    They also have multi-chrome Chameleon Stamping Polish which is metallic and color shifting. I have my eye on this set of Holographic Stamping Polish which I haven’t seen other stamping polish brands offering.

    VideoVideo related to born pretty stamping 25 polish set2018-10-15T16:21:20-04:00
  2. 2. Maniology Nail Stamping Polish

    • Precise, crisp images
    • Amazing opacity
    • Full size bottles
    • Lots of colors
    • Unique finishes like metallic and iridescent shimmers
    • Can buy individually or in collections
    • Cap can be a little finicky
    • You pay a little more for quality
    • Their greens are a little muddy

    I have several Maniology stamping polishes (bought with my own money) and they are the best brand I have worked with so far. They are quite thick and easy to spread and deliver the crispest image in my experience.

    Their opacity is near perfect and their pigmentation is rich. They have all manner of neat finishes but their Bam! White and Straight Up Black are an indispensable part of my stamping supply bag.

    They offer a wide range of colors both individually and in collections. I’m highlighting their Romantika Collection which has a range of metallic chrome polishes that look best over black.

    VideoVideo related to maniology nail stamping polish2018-10-15T16:24:39-04:00
  3. 3. Twinkled T Stamping Polish

    • Super creamy polish
    • Picks up intricate details
    • Nice range of colors
    • Options for metallic, neon, and frosted
    • White is opaque over black
    • American family business
    • Not much odor
    • Red isn’t that stellar over black
    • May stain your nails
    • A little pricer per bottle

    I haven’t tried this brand yet, but it’s at the top of my wishlist. Twinkled T is an indie brand out of Los Angeles made up of a team of two women.

    I love supporting small family businesses, but I also love when I’m not fighting with my stamping polish. But going by the buzz Twinkled T outperforms the bigger companies in opacity and detail.

    Their stamping polishes are thick and creamy, always a good sign and they swatch almost completely opaque. Even their white looks phenomenal over black. Their only tripping point seems to be red over black, but that is almost across the board for stamping polish.

    Their colors are intensely pigmented, enough that they recommend using them over a base color to prevent nail staining, which is fine because when you’re stamping it’s over another color 99 percent of the time, and when it’s not–you’re using a base coat, right?

    They have a nice range of colors from the primaries to metallic, neon, and icy options all with cute names. I’m highlighting their light blue Friyay.

    Also their logo is an adorable unicorn so I’m sold.

    VideoVideo related to twinkled t stamping polish2018-10-15T16:28:01-04:00
  4. 4. Halo Hues Collection Color Club Holographic Nail Polish

    • It’s holograhpic–what more do you need?
    • Many color choices
    • Doubles as regular polish
    • Not opaque
    • More subtle than others
    • Best over dark colors only

    I’m addicted to holographics and if you are too, check out my guide to the Best Holographic Nail Polish. If you want to stamp holographics you either need to pick up special Holographic Stamping Polish by Born Pretty or you can reach for your Color Club nail polish.

    The Halo Hues Collection from Color Club stamps surprisingly well. It’s not the type of polish that will be opaque for you, but the color shifting holo design is absolutely there.

    Some of the best colors for stamping are Harp On It, Cherubic, and Blue Heaven.

    VideoVideo related to halo hues collection color club holographic nail polish2018-10-15T16:37:06-04:00
  5. 5. Konad Nail Art Stamping Polish

    • Really nice white and black
    • Trusted brand
    • Lots of collection options
    • Stamps details well
    • Slightly more expensive
    • Not as opaque over black and darker colors
    • Limited colors and finishes
    • Bottles are a little small

    Konad is a favorite among many in the stamping world, enough to include here despite not being one of my personal favorite brands. I would say that their stamping polishes stamp wonderfully over light colors and their white specifically stamps well over black.

    Not all of their colors are as opaque as other brands over darker colors however, so keep that in mind when making your decision. I’m highlighting their S25 Black here which is brilliantly opaque.

    Their polishes are six free and slightly thinner in consistency, though still thicker than regular polish. 

  6. 6. Essie Metallic Nail Polish

    • Trusted brand of polish
    • Opaque over black
    • Stamps clearly
    • Not too thick to double as a regular nail polish
    • Limited to metallics
    • Best if you also want the nail polish
    • No black or white

    If you’ve got some of Essie’s most classic metallics in your collection, you may already be set to stamp. Essie’s Good as Gold, Penny talk , and No Place Like Chrome both stamp well even over black.

    They are thinner than most specialized stamping polish but they manage to stamp very opaque. Essie polish are three free and a brand you can trust to last.

  7. 7. Nicole Diary Nail Art Stamping Polish

    • Possibly the best white around
    • Awesome opacity
    • Includes metallics
    • Several size options for collections
    • Not as available individually
    • Best with marshmallow stamps
    • Slow shipping times

    I would say Nicole Diary has some of the more impressively opaque lighter colors. Their white might be the best coverage over black that I’ve seen.

    It almost has a plasticy look like dried liquid eyeliner. If you’re dealing with white woes in your stamping polish, try Nicole Diary.

    All of their colors are decently thick, highly pigmented, and stamp very clearly. I would say, from watching several videos, that these polishes play better with a rubber or marshmallow stampers than they do with clear jelly stampers which seem to smear more. Just an observation.

    Their metallics are extraordinarily opaque as well, especially their silver. And I appreciate that they’re honest about how their reds don’t show up well over black. It’s a hard combo to nail and it’s nice that they show you upfront what it looks like.

    You can get their whole Basics Six-Piece Collection or they offer a 13-Piece Collection of mini bottles and a Five-Piece Set of Shimmer Stamping Polish.

    VideoVideo related to nicole diary nail art stamping polish2018-10-15T16:34:07-04:00
  8. 8. Zoya Creme Nail Polish

    • Good opaque white for regular polish
    • Trusted brand
    • 10 free
    • Breathable
    • Not as opaque as stamping polish whites
    • Limited colors
    • Pricey

    White is always the hardest color to find a good drugstore stamping polish for. If your white isn’t opaque enough it comes off looking dingy and dull. For a double-duty polish that can work as a regular polish and as a stamping polish, try out Purity by Zoya.

    It’s creamy, picks up well, and is opaque especially for a regular nail polish. This is another polish that I would say does best with a marshmallow or rubber stamper versus a clear jelly stamper.

  9. 9. Pueen Stamping Nail Polish

    • Super creamy polish
    • Amazing coverage over black
    • Fun metallic colors
    • Sets or individual
    • Reds could be better
    • Pricier
    • Just under full-size

    For those looking for fun colors, consider Pueen’s Six-Piece Metallic Stamping Set

    This bundle comes with Hathaway Gold, Love Affair, Silver Dust, Ocean Blue, Mexicali Turquoise, and Mighty Aphrodite. They have great coverage and a beautiful metallic sheen.

    Pueen also offers a very affordable Black and White Set. All their stamping polishes are five free and very nicely pigmented.

  10. 10. Sally Hansen Insta-Dri

    • Cheap alternative to stamping polish
    • Easily available
    • Many colors including metallics
    • Not all colors will work
    • Range of opacity from great to okay
    • Brush is very wide

    When I first started stamping, this is the brand of regular nail polish I was using because they were cheap and available. If you don’t plan on springing for stamping polish a large number of the Insta-Dri line by Sally Hansen will stamp perfectly well.

    Like any drugstore polish for stamping, not every color will stamp for you and you will need to experiment. I can tell you that their Black to Black and metallic Silver Sweep both stamp as well as some stamping polishes.

    One trick you can use if your drugstore polish isn’t stamping how you’d like it to is to leave the cap on loose for a day or two. (Doesn’t that make your skin crawl?) That’s exactly what you don’t want ever do with most polishes, but if you need a thicker polish for stamping and don’t plan on polishing your nails with it, letting it dry out a little can help it produce a clearer stamp image.

    Just don’t forget and leave it open for too long!

    If you’re curious how it compares to other polishes, there’s a great side-by-side comparison guide over on Copycat Claws showing swatches of Sally Hansen next to other drugstore polishes and stamping polish.

    Or you can watch live swatches of the Insta-Dri set on YouTube.

  11. 11. I’d Melt For You by China Glaze

    • Totally opaque
    • Great metallic silver
    • Doubles as regular polish
    • Really just this one color
    • No other finishes
    • Shows brushstrokes and nail ridges as polish

    Another great silver metallic is I’d Melt For You by China Glaze. It’s a thicker polish to begin with but not so thick that it can’t be used as a regular polish as well. I’d Melt For You is fairly fast drying while still giving you some play time on the stamp.

    For a regular polish it picks up detailed stamping images very well and stamps completely opaque for a chrome effect which you can see here in this stamping swatch video from YouTube.

What makes a great stamping polish?

It needs to be thick and it has to be highly pigmented. If you're digging through your current polish collection, you're looking for the nail polishes that only need one coat. If they need two the three coats when you're painting your nails, they won't stamp right.

Do I really need special stamping polish?

No...but it's so much easier.

You can absolutely use the nail polish already in your stash or get by on drugstore nail polish--as long as you're prepared to experiment.

Not brands will work. Not all colors in a brand or collection will work. You really have to try them out for yourself and see what stamps well for your equipment.

I stamped exclusively with drugstore and personal nail polish for the first year I was stamping before I splurged and ordered some stamping polish.

I'm never going back.

Stamping polish is thick, creamy, and so intensely pigmented. It picks up easier and crisper. I find the whole process goes much faster because the polish is made for this.

That said, I totally get that not everyone can go all out for stamping polish right away so I'm including stamping polishes as well as tried and true drugstore polish that is known to stamp well.

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