Saturday, May 4, 2013

Nail Polish Organization: Swatch Sticks

Hello my lovelies! Today's post is something a bit different, but I hope at least some of you will enjoy this type of post. I'm gonna talk about how I organize my nail polishes. Well, not how I organize the bottles themselves, I have a whole video showing you my pretty red Helmer (link here), but my way of keeping my whole color palette together so I can pick and compare my polishes. A few other bloggers have done posts about these and they have called them swatch sticks. 



In the picture above you can see all my swatch sticks together and grouped by color. I used to swatch all my polishes on swatch wheels and it was a good option when my collection was small. But after I reached the 200 polish mark, the wheels were getting quite chaotic. This is how over 250 polishes look on swatch wheels. 


Quite pretty, right? Well imagine trying to keep all these together in a stack. They would all fly from my hands and all over the room. Not to mention the fact that I had to look for colors on a few different wheels when I wanted to compare or match them. I made my wheels in the order I got the polishes, so they were all crazy rainbows. Not to mention there is no space to write the names of the polishes. After a while it's impossible to remember all there is on there and you have to check the spreadsheet to see what each number is. My collection was growing and something had to be done! And that's when the swatch sticks stepped in. 


I got my swatch sticks from eBay. They come in sets of 50 in a little ziplock bag along with a long screw that you can use to arrange the sticks on. The price is between 2 and 3 $ for a set, so I would say it's quite convenient. I tried finding bigger sets but I couldn't. So I ordered 7 sets because my collection was already at 300 and I needed a bit of space to expand. 


You can see above how the sticks look. They are made of clear plastic, so you can paint over or under the "nail". I painted mine under the curve of the "nail", so the polishes look like they would have top coat on. If I wanna see the original finish of the polish, I can just look underneath. There's plenty of space to write the name of the polish on the stick. 


Most people printed out little tags, but you can also write the names using a marker if you want. I went for the printed tag version because I already had most of my polishes typed up in my spreadsheet. I won't go into detail about tag dimensions or anything like that because mine were pretty random and they aren't all the same length. I didn't have a lot of patience to cut 300 tags so some of them are crooked. What I do want to mention is that I used sheets of self adhesive paper to print them out, so after cutting them I just slapped them on without using anything else. Another option is to use scotch tape or something similar to stick the tags on. 

I organized my swatch sticks by color and I separated holos, duochromes and glitters from the rest. Since I had 7 screws and didn't use all of my sticks, I had some space to expand and some of the collections are smaller than others. I do plan on finding a better grouping option, I know some people use rings but I haven't found those here yet. I photographed all of my swatch sticks so you can take a look if you are interested. 

neutrals (white, black, grey, silver, gold, nude, brown), yellow and orange

red, pink and purple

blue

light blue, teal and turquoise

green

holos, duochromes and layering shimmers

glitters
My favorite part about this organizing method is the fact that I have all my layering polishes together, so if I want to spice up a manicure I can easily pick out something. I prefer to have them like that and not separate some colors that I have less of. I hope this post was informative for you and if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask me in the comments. I will try to answer as best as I can! 







35 comments:

  1. CrisLitlleCornerMay 4, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    Waaaaa...ce de ai O.O

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  2. :X:X Omg! Cat de tare! Imi stralucesc ochii. :))

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  3. I have wheels but I would MUCH rather have sticks. You did a fantastic job! Love!

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  4. Very cool organization method!

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  5. Ive done the same thing with my stash so I know what you went through! Great job. I agree, sticks are way better to have cause as you said its just way easier to compare polishes together and find those that complement each other for a mani :)

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  6. Amber VanFossonMay 4, 2013 at 7:07 PM

    So when you found them on ebay, what were they called? Are they a specific brand I can search for?

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  7. Omg LOVE!!! I want to go order some now!! I am still on the fence about it but your post makes me want to go for it.

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  8. Destul de multe. Dar tot nu se compara cu colectiile bloggeritelor din afara.

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  9. Thanks! Nail wheels are ok if you don't have a lot. But after you reach double digits it's not practical.

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  10. Haha si mie imi plac. Tot timpul le admir!

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  11. Thank you, Mandy! You should definitely get sticks. It's so much better than wheels!

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  12. I agree! It was a bit frustrating until I painted and tagged them all but so worth it in the end.

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  13. They are from China, so no brand. Just search for "nail stick" or "nail tips". A ton of sellers have them. The one I've purchased from is called sinedy.

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  14. I imagine the pain of swatching your whole collection! It would take some time. But I think you would be so happy with the result!

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  15. Am trecut lejer de 160 de oje, spre disperarea sotului meu :))

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  16. This looks amazing :D

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  17. Amber VanFossonMay 6, 2013 at 5:20 AM

    Thanks. I will definitely be ordering some when I have the extra $$. I think those will work so much better for me than the wheels do. I am almost at the 300 mark.

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  18. All those colors, it's so pretty ! *___*

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  19. Gorgeous! I, too, am using up the color wheels, and what bothers me most is that I can't label each color. This is an answer to my OCD wish! So, after I assemble my new Helmer today, I'm going to go to ebay and order these swatch sticks. You did a great job, and I'm sure it's worth the time and effort. Thanks for sharing!

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  20. I made the switch to sticks (or spoons as I call them) myself after only buying one package of 5 wheels. The wheels were okay, but I realized right away I had too many polishes for it to work for me. Only problem is, I only bought 300 thinking it would take me awhile to go from 200 to 300, but I was wrong and now I need to order more. I'm just not sure how many more since it only took me about 3 weeks to go from 200 to 300 (is that good or bad? lol). I do like how you have yours grouped by color. I have mine grouped by alphabet order.

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  21. OMG nail polish porn :)))). You organised them really well, congrats. I have a few wheels for the moment and I'm trying to find time to do the swatches. Now that I saw your swatch sticks I kinda want them too. But I'll probably just gonna wait until I "consume" my wheels and reach 200 nail polishes :D.

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  22. Awesome post! Can you tell me who on ebay you bought them from?? Thanks!

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  23. Thanks! The seller I got them from is called sinedy, but unfortunately he doesn't have them in the store at the moment (I just checked). If you search for "nail stick display" you can find a lot of them for under 3$ for 50 swatch sticks. You should pick a seller that is top rated just to be safe.

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  24. Samantha van SoestAugust 16, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    I ordered 350 nail sticks just a week ago, still waiting for them coming in the mail ;) Do you have textured polishes, and if you do, do you still paint them underneath the false nail? Because you mentioned " If I wanna see the original finish of the polish, I can just look underneath."

    I loooove your stash!

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  25. Thanks! Yes, I paint them underneath too. That way I can see how they look with top coat (on top) and without it (on the bottom). I'm sure you're gonna love the swatch sticks!

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  26. OOOOOOooohhh, . These look amazing. As a relative newbie to varnish collecting, (I used to be a biter but I beat the habit just before last Christmas) my wonderful hubby bought me a lovely selection of colours. I had made a cardboard colour wheel but it's getting a bit full and my colourblind hubby is struggling with it. (I'm actually bedridden so it's either online shopping or send him to buy for me. If I use these, it could make things a lot easier for both of us! Thanks for the idea!

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  27. Hi how did you do the spreadsheet? I'm rubbish on computers could you tell me a step by step note on how and what u did for your labels? X

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  28. I did the spreadsheet with all my polishes as a Google doc. You just need a Google account and then you go to https://drive.google.com and click on create, then select spreadsheet. For my labels I used Microsoft Word and created a table in a Word document. The table has two rows, one for the brand and one for the name of the polish. I copied the names of the polishes from the spreadsheet to this table and printed it out on sticky label paper. These are sheets of paper that are sticky on the back. They can be found at stationery stores. After printing them I cut up the labels and stuck them on the swatch sticks. Hope this helps! x

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  29. For those looking for the swatch sticks you can find them here:
    http://www.tmart.com/50pcs-False-Nail-Art-Tips-Display-Fan-Clear_p159268.html
    I use them for all 350 of my Jamberry Nail wraps plus a set for all the Jamberry Lacquers. I do several in each lacquer color and then apply a different top coat to each one so it is easy to see what effect the different top coats have with each color.
    Here is a recent set with the Juniors line. Each set comes with 2 different patterns in the smaller child sizes, so the swatch sticks are perfect for showing them off!
    http://ronahorn.jamberrynails.net/

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