Special stamping polishes are generally thicker and dry kinda rubbery (if that makes any sense!). They provide nice sharp images and opaque lines and dry quickly. Some people say you don't NEED stamping polishes -- and I agree, they aren't necessary for stamping -- BUT getting a good stamping black and white will serve you well and provide you with a good starting point.
A LOT of regular polish can be used for stamping also -- thicker/one coat creme polishes work well, as do metallics and some holos. The only way to know for sure is to test them out!
I asked some ladies in Facebook polish groups what their favourite polishes are to stamp with (both regular and special stamping ones) and this is what I got:
Special Stamping Polish
- Mundo De Unas
- (most) Sally Hansen Insta-Dri
- (most) A England
- Formula X Chromes
- Cult Nails Nevermore, Tempest
- Color Club Halo Hues
- Maybelline Bold Gold
- Essie Chromes
- Julep (one-coaters)
- KBShimmer Sky Jinks & Life Rose On
For a MUCH more comprehensive list, check out Sasse Stamping Stampede, she has a HUGE list of regular polishes that work well for stamping -- though it hasn't been updated since 2011. There are other lists out there. Just search around. The best thing to do though, is to try out different polishes!
My ONLY caveat is that you should NOT ever use glitter polish for stamping!!! The glitter will just stick to your plate (have fun cleaning that off!) and will not transfer to your nails.
If you have any questions or anything to add, let me know!