Best Black Stamping Polish

There are so many black stamping polishes on the market. That’s fantastic because now everyone has access to stamping supplies. It can also be overwhelming to choose especially since I’ve definitely picked up some duds.  No fun putting down the cash for a black stamping polish only to get a smeary brown.

The other day I finally sat down to do what I’d been meaning to do for years – compare as many of the most popular black stamping polishes as possible, all in one go.  

I have purchased or borrowed these black stamping polishes from Lazy Betty. The only press sample in the bunch is from my homegirl over at It Girl Nail Art. Plate: It Girl Nail Art IG117; Stamper Head: Winstonia Jelly Gel; Base Color: Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear White On. 

Best Black Stamping Polish bottle collage

Stamping Polish or Not to Stamping Polish

That is the question. Just in case you’re curious. ALL POLISH STAMPS. Nail art stampers will pick up all polishes, it’s the opacity, thickness and drying time that will affect the outcome. I’m picky and only use very opaque stamping polishes because that’s the look I personally want. Some people prefer to shop at their drugstore for all their needs and some are willing to order online.  I’m just here to show you swatches and how they compare.

Up until I started testing out all of these black polishes there were no “regular” black polishes I would recommend for stamping.  All the ones I had tried were much lighter or brownish in comparison to the black  stamping polishes in my collection. I finally have a “regular” black polish to recommend for stamping.

My advice for nail art stamping newbies – at least get a black and white stamping polish from a reputable brand. Just do it. Buy a few plates too. I recommend that you go to Amazon and buy set from Bundle Monster, just to get started. You won’t regret it.

Stamping polishes do not work well as base colors because they are not designed to be chip resistant or wear well applied to the whole nail. Some may work okay, but its also a staining risk.

Regular Black Polish for Nail Art Stamping

Many people recommend letting regular polishes sit out for a day to evaporate some of the solvent, therefore making it more opaque. I’ve never tried this and will never bother. You can buy real stamping polish so cheap and easily I don’t see the point of messing around with regular polish that doesn’t stamp well out of the bottle.

The most commonly recommended, easy to find and inexpensive regular black polishes for stamping have typically been Sinful Colors Black on Black or Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Black to Black (aka Fright Night). Neither of these polishes rev my engines, but you’ll see they aren’t bad. I’ve also seen good things from the Pure Ice brand from Walmart, but I don’t have it to compare.

Lately some indie nail polish brands have dipped into the dual use polish idea (stamps and wears well). So far, there’s no brand that has shown convincing quality or number of swatches for me to invest.

Regular Black Polish Stamping Swatches

Here’s what I’ve got for you in this post for regular black polish stamping polish comparison:

  • Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Black to Black (swatched identical to Fright Night)
  • OPI Who Are You Calling Bossy?
  • Sinful Colors Black on Black
  • Wet n Wild Black Creme
  • Zoya Willa
  • China Glaze Liquid Leather – WINNER WINNER WINNER

As I mentioned before, you are welcome to come to your conclusions about what you’ll buy or not buy, use or not use, but the clear winner in my opinion here is China Glaze Liquid Leather.  The Sally Hansen Insta-Dris and Sinful Colors Black Creme were good and the rest were pitifully brown or see-through.

From an “in real life” comparison all but the China Glaze look lame compared to actual black stamping polishes. The photos make Sally Hansen Insta-Dri and Sinful Colors look more opaque than they actually are in person. China Glaze is solid jet black in person; Sally Hansen Insta-Dri and Sinful Colors are not.

All had similar dry times and none presented any issues or outlying concerns.

I will show you China Glaze Liquid Leather compared to the real stamping polishes below. If you gave me this swatch stick of China Glaze Liquid Leather I’d have no idea it was a regular mainstream polish. It’s that good. It fits right in with all my other stamping polishes. 

Black Stamping Polish Mainstream Collage

Black Stamping Polish Comparison

You’ll see there’s no story here, all of the real stamping polishes work great and are opaque jet black polishes. Moyra is the only black stamping polish I’ve ever used that went in the garbage. It stamped similar to Wet N Wild Black Creme (poorly).

Here are the black stamping polishes for comparison (including China Glaze Liquid Leather):

  • Born Pretty Store Black
  • Bundle Monster Black (13)
  • It Girl Nail Art Obsidian
  • Konad Black
  • Color Alike BLP01 B. a Dark Knight

My very first stamping polish was Konad Black and it truly is a fail safe selection, except it’s getting pricier and harder to find.  There are too many other more affordable options at great price points. Born Pretty Store polishes are great but you’re buying from China and it’s shipped via slow boat.  Expect to wait 2-3 months for your order. Bundle Monster is a perfectly wonderful, well priced, accessible option. It Girl Nail Art Obsidian is a fantastic option from an indie. Colour Alike stamping polishes are also fantastic but the formula is unusually  thick.  Colour Alike stamping polishes have mixed reviews and many beginners do not like them.

As you can see as I mentioned above, these are all jet black. All are great choices.

Best Black Stamping Polish Collage

Summary

I hope this was a helpful post. I even learned something doing this. Not only did I confirm my long held thoughts that the most commonly recommended regular polishes for stamping aren’t are as good as stamping polishes, but I was also surprised to find that there were no differences amongst the actual black stamping polishes.

So go on and buy yourself China Glaze Liquid Leather for $5. It’s a great base polish too, nearly a one coater depending on the thickness you apply.  And as always, for real stamping polish I highly recommend It Girl Nail Art stamping polishes. Yes, she’s my friend, but her creme stamping polishes really are amazing, made in the USA and a woman owned small business.


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  • Awesome review! I’ve always wanted to try stamping and have a couple of stampers, but honestly I am always overwhelmed with thinking of buying stamping polish and plates. I happen to have 2 bottles of CG LL lying around!!! I will definitely give them a try. By any chance, do you have a post on white stamping polishes already?

    • Thank you! I’m starting white comparisons now, but I’m not sure I’ll drum up as many options. Let me know about CG LL I’ve never heard anyone talk about it so I don’t actually know if it’s just my bottle LOL

  • Did you topcoat? Sometimes they can smear so I’m just wondering if you did/

  • Great and helpdul review! At the time I’m using BPS stamping black and I’m very satisfied with it. It’s quite chip and stamps perfectly! I used to have Colour Alike – I liked it too 🙂