My Nail Polish Problem

I’m not a huge “collector” of things.  No postage stamps, rare coins, or anything else like that.  The fact of the matter is, I don’t mind HAVING stuff – I just don’t want to STORE a bunch of stuff.  (I’m not very sentimental, anyway.)  So, I don’t have many things that I have a lot of.  Exception:  Shoes and nail polish.  At this point, my nail polish collection has outpaced my shoe collection – by far (nail polish is cheaper!) and has gotten to the point of ridiculousness.  Don’t believe me?  Take a look…

105 bottles.  As I said: Ridiculousness.

106 bottles. As I said: Ridiculousness.

Not Counted but Shown:  Base/top coats and “accessory” polishes, pens, etc.

Not Counted or Shown:  All the nail polish I’ve “donated” or gifted to my daughter.  I rarely borrow them, but they are available to me, so I guess they might count, too.  I did a quick check of her bathroom, and she’s got at least as many bottles as I do.  What can I say? I’m an enabler.

So What’s the Problem?  Actually, there are several.

1- Antique Nail Polish.  Some of these bottles may very well be old and “gunky”, making them no longer useable.  I just don’t have the patience to go through them all anytime soon.

2- Undesirable Finish.  Many of the colors are more “sheer” than I like my nail polish.  A while back, I had the brilliant idea of painting all of them onto little stickers (pieces of mailing labels) and attaching them to the top, so I could assess their color and “sheer-ness” easily.  I didn’t get very far with that. 12 bottles, to be exact.  Hardly a dent in the large number of bottles I have.  I did notice that the Julep nail polish I recently got has a blank sticker on top that says “Swatch Me”.  I’m assuming this is intended for people who – like me – prefer to know what the polish will look like when dry.  Kind of inconvenient that it’s on the top of the bottle/brush, but OK…

3 – Variety.  Yes, this is a problem.  I have all these nail polishes and – unlike my daughter who does fabulous nail art “projects” – I am pretty boring when it comes to my nails.  If I get base coat and color on them, I’m usually satisfied.   Sometimes, when the color starts to chip or wear off, I’ll hide it with a heavy glitter coat.  That’s about it for my at-home manicures.

4 – Storage.  This is my biggest issue.  I have a large, durable plastic box that holds most of the polishes.  The box is so heavy that I’m probably not supposed to be lifting it with my “nothing heavier than a gallon of milk” doctor’s order, but we won’t tell the doctor.  The rest have been put into an overflowing metal bin designed to hold about 10 nail polishes, but which has been stuffed with about 20, plus some clippers and other things.  There are lots of great nail polish storage solutions out there, including one a friend of mine did.  But let’s be real – that is not going to hold all my polish, and I’m not going to find enough inexpensive (matching) spice racks to do the job right.

So, What to Do?  For now: Nothing.  Re-re-re organizing all my nail polish is a monumental task.  Maybe someday soon, I’ll have tons of energy and will get around to weeding out the old, gunky nail polish, labeling them with little swatch things, and finding a good home for them.

Anyone? Anyone?  As for the organizing part – I’m open to suggestions.  What is the best way to organize 100+ bottles of nail polish?

Leave a comment


  1. I too have a nail polish addiction! I am afraid to count how many I own.

    FYI, the Julep lid comes off so that you can swatch it. Just pull the square top off of the bottle. There is a round top below it. You can then unscrew that top to swatch.

    • Ah, that explains it. I didn’t think they expected you to take the sticker off and re-apply it! 🙂


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