Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Hollywood Nails All in One Nail Art System

Hi, I'm back. Did you miss me? I hope so. Last week my mom moved to a nursing home where she's doing physical, occupational, and speech therapy. There were a few rough patches during the transition, but she's settling in now. By the time I had to leave yesterday to come back to Michigan, she was feeling strong and well enough to walk me to the front door of the facility—well, I walked, and she scooted herself along in her wheelchair because she hasn't gotten cleared to use her walker yet. We just have to wait and see how her recovery goes before we can make decisions about what happens next.

Since I have been so busy with other things, I have a backlog of stuff I want to post here, starting with something I bought the other week when I was in Bed Bath & Beyond. It's the Hollywood Nails All in One Nail Art System, which consists of a stamping machine, seven stamping plates, a dotting tool/striping brush combination implement, and a lot of little stones. It was around $20, but of course I had a coupon. (I try to never buy anything there unless I have a coupon.)

The handle sticking out of the side of the machine gets rotated to lock it down to the table (using suction), the top of the stamper is sticking up on the left (that pulls out for cleaning and to use on its own), and the scraper is in front of the stamper (it also comes out for cleaning).

Here's the suction "cup" on the bottom of the unit:

I didn't manage to get good photos of the plates; I'm hoping this image from the back of the package will let you see well enough what designs are available. Because of how the device works, the images in the middle of the plates can't be used with it but have to be stamped the old fashioned way. These plates are the same size as other octagonal plates I already had, so it is possible to use other plates with the machine. Most of the plates I had already aren't octagonal so won't be any good with this device, however.

One of the big selling points for this system is the promise of "perfect placement every time" as the back of the package puts it. The fine print that should go with that is "every time after you figure out how to do it with the particular design you've chosen, which may take a long time". There's a nail guide in the back of the machine that slides back and forth and can be locked down once you get the center of your nail lined up withe the line marked on the unit.

To stamp with this, you lay the plate down in the designated space in the front of the machine and put polish on it, slide the top part of the unit forward over the plate (which scrapes the polish in the process), push down on the stamper, pull the top part back over your nail at the back of the machine, and press down on the stamper. I thought I had my nail lined up correctly, but obviously I did not, as the image was nowhere near centered.

My struggles with alignment were especially amusing when I tried the French tip designs. Oooh la la, that really puts the funky in funky French.

There are two plates in this set that have a circle of numbers in the center rather than an image for toes. These are designed to make two-color designs, where you stamp the first part with one color polish and the second part with another, ended up with the two parts perfectly aligned with each other. I tried this with the love/hearts combination, and it did work out pretty well (by this point I'd messed up all my nails trying to get things lined up and didn't bother putting on a new base color).

Here's the stamper after I took it out and cleaned it:

Here's the scraper, before I cleaned it (the blade is metal):

I suppose if I practiced more with this machine, I could manage to get my images aligned the same on every nail, but that would also be true if I practiced without the machine, and stamping without the machine gives much more flexiblity. Without the machine, it's also easier to keep the scraper clean and possible to use a gentler plastic scraper. I can see the value in using the machine to get multi-colored images aligned, but mrsrexy at Canadian Nail Fanatic doesn't need a machine to do multi color designs, so I think there's hope I could manage the same with practice. If you like gadgets, you'll probably like this, but like most gadgets, it's not necessarily going to make your life easier or better.


I finally drew a winner from the comments on the Studio M Valentine's Polish post; those pretties will be going to Meredith Anne from Polish and Charms.


  1. karen, i love your review haha. i think that that for those who might not "know better" would get a kick out of this thing!

    i do not understanding the multicolor plates at all? are they different from regular ones?

    1. Cathryn, mrsrexy explained the multicolor plates better than I could in her comment. Basically, they split one design into two images on the plate, so you stamp the first part with one color, move the plate to the next part, then stamp it with a different color.

  2. So glad to hear your mom is settling in....I've been thinking of both of you over the last few days when reading your FB updates.

    I laughed when I seen that french tipped mani...I suppose with some practise, it would line up! Gives a new meaning to funky french!

    I have one of these machines (different brand) and a bunch of the plates that are to be used with them but have never played with it. The only benefit I see is that there should be no goofups on aligning different colours as part of a stamped image as this does the work for you (pending, I guess, you put your finger in the exact same spot on the guide each time).

    Cathryn, the multicolour plates have the guide thing in the middle. The idea is that you stamp one image from the plate in one colour, then turn the plate a quarter or whatever it is, then stamp another color and it is suppose to go on top/around the first stamped image. I have plates that there are seperate images for the rose pedals, the stem and the flowers so potentially you would stamp the images once each but a series of the three stamps in different colours would be a complete rose with petals and a stem but in different colours if that makes sense! Even Karen has done it with the words of Love and then the two hearts; they are two seperate images on the plate...this device helps align them better on the nail...giving you a foolproof multicoloured image versus have to try to line them up on your nail by eye (or doing a multicoloured scrap on the plate, I suppose!). I probably didn't explain it well!

  3. I bought something like this a few years ago on ebay, but I don't like it

  4. Hope your mother recovers well and settles in nicely.
    That looks like an awesome kit! I've yet to try stamping, I must give it a go! Love your funky fresh :P

  5. This is interesting... I am too impatient with most stamping, anyway so I think I'll pass on this if I see it, lol.

    Glad your mother is doing better! <3

  6. Of course I missed you! Glad your mom is doing better now. :) I do wish that thingy worked a tad better because try as I might I just keep having issue with full-nail designs. Ah well... just gotta keep practicing.

  7. I am glad your mom is doing better! I hope her recovery continues to go well.

    I kinda like the idea that this weird contraption would line up my stamping but it looks like it would be faster and easier to do it the old fashioned way and have misaligned designs lol

  8. Here's my secret to lining up perfect every time-after the design is on the stamper place it at the base of your finger, lining up the pattern for the way you want it on your nail. Then while holding it secure to the base of your nail (cuticle) roll it up to the tip of your finger pressing firmly-hold in place for a few seconds and lift off. This is the only way I can get crisp designs all lined up.

    hope that makes sense-let me know if it doesn't-it's easier to picture it then descibe.

    Glad your mom is doing better-mine has been in the hospital for the most part since Thanksgiving-so I feel you.

  9. Glad to hear your mom is doing well
    This gadget is very fancy lol.

  10. Doesn't work at all for me! They no longer use a metal scraper so the new plastic one takes all the polish out of the stamp!!

  11. How in the world did you even get it to pick up the polish? For me, the scraper just smudges the polish around and pushes it out of the design...

    1. Taylor, I'm guessing it's because I had the original version with the metal scraper--I understand from Tiffany above that they changed the scraper to plastic and it doesn't work so well now.


Thank you for reading and commenting! I greatly appreciate knowing I'm not just talking to myself here. :)