December 23, 2011

My nail polish shelves & collection, plus some storage of nail art/supplies

Hello, Beautiful!

It's almost Christmas and I can't wait! This year my son is going to have an awesome Christmas, mostly because I didn't give him half his presents early like I normally do, lol. I'm really bad at keeping surprises... especially when it comes to gifts. I almost have to wait until the last minute to buy something for someone or I end up telling them! But thankfully I was pretty good and only gave him 5 or 6 things early, so he'll still have plenty to open on Christmas morning.

I don't have plans to post anything until after Christmas, except to post on Christmas with a pic of our tree and all my son's gifts under it (which I did last year).  So for now enjoy this post until after Christmas.

In this post I'll show you my nail polish shelves, as well as some ways I store/organize my nail art supplies and other nail supplies. I wanted to post pics of my entire makeup, nail, and hair room but I just haven't had the time to finalize all the organization. I'll have full pics soon, including a video tour. For now, enjoy these pics and enjoy your day!

Here is my current polish collection, except for about 20 or so bottles that need to be swatched before they can find a home on my nail polish shelves. In total, I currently have over 1,950 polishes.

Here is the main polish wall, which I wanted to keep white so the polish colors really popped. I didn't think I'd have to wrap my shelves to the other walls.

Here is the one side (left); the rest of my makeup/nail/hair room is pink.

Here is the other side (right)

Now for some organization/storage....

These draws sit under my manicure table. 
I didn't buy them this way; I had many of those Sterilite 7-Drawer roller carts, which I used when I had my web store. I had nearly 30 of them, so I broke them down and combined them into what I needed them for; keeping the smaller drawers together mostly.

The first looks like this on the outside:

The top drawer has all my stamping plates, stampers, and the old credit/store/gift cards I use to scrap the plates with; I will have a better way to organize this soon, but for now it works.

The next drawer down holds all my nail polish strips and stickers. There are some missing (some of the newer Sally Hansen Salon Effects).

Next drawer down holds all my blank nail wheels. I buy them 100 at a time from eBay.

Next drawer down holds miscellaneous nail art supplies. I have tooth picks for water marbling, some card board I use as my polish palettes when I'm doing nail art, some masks, tape, and that white thing with the days of the week on it is from a pill box organizer. I use that as templates in my nail art folders where I sketch out my designs; I find they are a great size for that!

Next drawer down holds my nail art polishes and pens. I don't have many of them because I generally use my nail art brushes or stamps, but I do use them from time to time.

And the bottom drawer holds my acrylic paints, which I use in nail art. Many bottles are missing from some craft projects my son was working on.

The second drawer that sits under my manicure table looks like this:

These are my fun drawers. You'll see why I like them...

Top drawer holds most of my glitters; I like to keep them in some sort of color order.

Next drawer down holds the rest of my glitters, as well as all my bullion beads.

Next drawer down is for all my rhinestones.

Next drawer down is for all my sequins.

Next drawer down holds pretty much everything else; from feathers to fimo clay slices and full sticks, to pom-poms, to bows, to googly-eyes, more.

The bottom drawer holds all my acrylic nail art supplies; the color powders, mixing palette, molds, cleaner and acrylic solution, etc.

I have another set of larger drawers I keep next to my manicure table. Here's what that looks like:

On top I keep a bottle of polish remover (100% acetone), glass bowl (where I soak my polishes off -- usually glitters), funnel (so I can put the polish remover back in the bottle and not waste any), and q-tips (which I use to remove polishes too). It's all very messy and needs to be cleaned!

The first drawer is where I put my back-up bottles of polish. Sometimes I buy an extra by mistake and other times I buy extras because I love them (like the new Finger Paints flakie collection). There are bottles missing from this drawer but that's because I recently pulled them for an upcoming giveaway I'm putting together!

The middle drawer is where I keep all my hand and foot creams, scrubs, exfoliants, etc. I got tired of my dog running into my shelves and knocking them down so they got throw in a drawer.

The bottom drawer holds the rest of my polish removers. Most are 100% acetone, but I have some non-acetone versions. 

My manicure desk isn't super clean right now, but I'll show you some of it. Right now it's all pretty much pushed to one end until I finish cleaning the table:

I'll show you some things in pics below...

In this polka-dot organizer I keep all my toe separators, cuticle pushers, orange wood sticks, cuticle oils/creams that are in tubes/pen form, nail polish remover pads, tweezers, clippers, and some hand creams/foot creams I use often.

In the next polka dot organizer I have most of my nail files and buffers. Some are missing because they are in other boxes or on another table where I recently did my nails.

I keep all my nail art brushes and dotting tools in this organizer (which always falls over, so I will be replacing it very soon).

And that's pretty much it for now. 

There are a lot of nail supplies that are just not organized in any specific spot, but will be soon. Such as this basket of back-up glitters, bullion beads, fake nails, and other stuff...


  1. So how about I move in? I'll live as your slave so long as I get polish perks!!!!!!

  2. OMG, this is crazy...I am so jealous!!

  3. @ Nail Polish Anon: LOL! Everybody's welcome! :)

    @ Sarah: I blog from my makeup/nail/hair room because I can't get over the fact that I actually have a room like this. It was always a dream of mine to have something like this and to see it actually come true is amazing.

    Plus, I get tons of inspiration for blogging when I'm around all this nail polish and makeup... and pink and rhinestones, lol.

  4. All I really have to say is WOW!!!

  5. OH MY GOD! I have a little over 800 polishes. I seriously thought I had a lot. I LOVE this room!!!!! It's my dream room...

  6. omg! This is nail heaven!!!! :) I love your organizational skills!

  7. WOW!! I have never seen a collection like this ever!!! Amazing!

  8. omg you have so much nail-everything o.o I'm pretty sure the amount of nailpolish, tools, decorating stuff you own is probably much more than what most nail salons own O.o it'd be nice to have a room like this in the future!

  9. Oh my goodness, I am literally DROOLING looking at your nail polish shelves! I bet you have more than any manicure/nail polish store, haha! And they look great all arranged like that. :)

  10. WOW!!! This room is nail-paradise!! I have told you when you show the main polish wall in previous post... When I grow up I want to have a room like yours XD

    Merry Christmas!!

  11. wow! So many nail polsihes and so much other nail art things! Looks like a paradise :D

  12. I've been looking for small jars, and I don't know if I am wrong but those jars that you store glitter and sequin and almost everything in between, are those come in like a packaged? I want to know where I can buy small jars like that for cheap prices

  13. Can I live in this room and play with everything in here? *DROOL!*

  14. One word... WOW!!! I'm so jealous. This is freaking awesome. Maybe one day I'll get there!

  15. @ ngocupham: Yes, most of those jars I purchased at Wal-Mart! Here's a link to what they look like in the pack, but they cost more at Jo Ann's unless you have a coupon:

    They come 24 per pack and I believe costs about $6 to $8 a pack at Wal-Mart. If you look at the pic of the rhinestone drawer, you can see one full set of 24 sitting in the container lid that they all came in. In the glitter drawers I have each one of those jars sitting on their side because I have to many glitters; I can fit 44 in one of the lids instead of just 24 laying them flat. In total I think I have 8 packs of these rounded jars.

    The containers in my sequin drawer are different; the majority of them are little rounded jars that are slightly taller. I got them at Jo Ann Fabrics and I can't remember the price but I believe they were $12 a pack but on sale for $6; I bought two packs. I like them but honestly not as much as the other jars.

    Then there are the jars I purchased at the Dollar Store, which you can see in my sequin drawer as well. I store them upside down so I can see what's in them, because they have a clouded white lid. I don't really like these jars because they can be messy when opening them, but they were really cheap and they work until I buy more of the jars I really like!

    I also don't like those nail wheels were currently my fimo clay slices are housed. I will transfer all them into jars eventually.

  16. OMG *falls over dead* your polish room is amazing and so wonderfully organized! Good job on hanging on to those presents and Merry Christmas!

  17. Wow! I dream of a room like this!!!!

  18. I loooooooove your collection!!!! *.*

  19. I am having a good time reading about my polish shelves on MUA. Someone posted a link to this blog post and one person said she feels bad for me... when someone asked why, another person suggested she feels bad for me because of "all" the plastic surgery I had and even went as far as linking to my surgery page, LOL!!! I nearly peed my pants laughing... "all that plastic surgery" makes me sound like Joan Rivers or something lol. I've had 3 things done; and one was a medical reason (the nose). Gotta love how people talk! Makes me smile!

    I also love when people say it's too overwhelming or overkill for them.... well good thing it's in MY house and not in theirs LOL.

  20. Wowsa!!! Amazing stash, setup and organization! Thanks for sharing :D

  21. I am beyond jealous of your collection!

    Just out of curiosity, what is your favorite brand of polish? I was a big time fan of O.P.I. Then I started being obsessed with Orly. And now, I swear by China Glaze. What do you have the most of and what do you truly believe is the best polish (quality/formula-wise)? You are, after all, the polish guru!

    I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas!


  22. @ Sweet (and Sour) Lou Lou: I'm far from a polish guru, lol, but I guess I do know something about polish :)

    I honestly don't have a favorite brand. Like you, I jump from what brand I feel is the best. Although I do think OPI makes the best glitters, while Deborah Lippmann's creme formulas are wonderful. Zoya and China Glaze are neck & neck for me, same with Orly and the Sephora by OPI line.

    But for me, I don't wear polishes for more than a day or two (usually), so long wearing formulas aren't what I'm after. I go for pretty colors, easy application, and great glitters!

  23. Wooooooow, almost 2000 nail polishes! That's kind of crazy wooooooooow
    I wonder what's your favorite brand?
    And how could/can you afford them all? O.O

  24. @ Irsada's Beauty-full World: I don't really have a favorite brand, but I think I get most excited for OPI or Sephora by OPI when they launch new collections; their glitters are my favorites!

    Also, as far as how could/can I afford them all...

    I should start off by saying I'm in no way a rich person (very far from it). I'm just a really cheap person! Growing up I didn't have any money; I started working when I was 14 years old because I knew my family didn't have money to buy the things I wanted as a teen (I wanted brand name clothes back then, I wanted Red Bull too, lol). I've learned to work hard for my money, and as long as my bills are paid and I have what I really need then I can spend the rest of my money any way I choose.

    My polish collection didn't happen over night, so while yes, I've spent a lot of money on nail polish over time, I didn't spend it all at once. It took time to build it up to where it is now, and I add to it every now and then.

    As I said, I'm a really cheap person. I shop sales and clearances like it's my job! I almost never buy a polish full price, unless it's a new collection and there is no way to get a discount. But for example, I waited to buy some of the OPI Muppets Collection when JcPenney had Buy One Get One Half Off sale!

    I mostly shop sales, clearances and use a coupon whenever possible. I also love to shop blog sales, yard sales, flea markets, and take old polish friends & family don't want. I love discount stores like Ross (where I've purchased 98% of all my Color Club polishes), and online sites like 8ty8Beauty. I also take advantage of Groupon and Living Social deals when they have store deals -- like $20 for $40 worth of products. That's how I grew my Deborah Lippmann collection! I've only purchased 1 bottle of Deborah Lippmann polish at regular price, all others were purchased using coupons or in HSN value sets!

    A lot of polishes have clearance/sale stickers still on them, but I do try to remove them (because I don't like stickers to block the bottle). Keep in mind I also had a web store and had beauty products arrive at my house in bulk; I acquired nearly 300 bottles of polish just from that.

    I don't spend money on much else. Some people use their money for clothes, purses, shoes, jewelry, salon visits, going out drinking, eating out at restaurants a lot, cigarettes, games, iTunes or things like Farmville, travel, etc. For me, makeup and nail polish are what I choose to spend money on.

    Everyone has a way to prioritize their money; I live within my means because I am a great shopper (finding the best deals and clearances possible). So as long as my family has food on the table and my son has everything he needs (and then some), I have no problem spending the occasional $20 on nail polish here and there.

  25. People on MUA can be SO judgmental and mean spirited. They are jealous and have nothing better to do than try to distract from your hard work and dedication to your art and passion. I've has three "things" done, and bet, if they could afford to fix what's bothering them, they would too. Just what I think. It's obvious you take great pride and care of your hobby, and I think it's fantastic... also a great hobby to have. A pack of cigarettes cost $6.00+, a bottle of wine $12.00 or a pair of pants $'s all about putting your money towards what makes you happy - and hopefully it doesn't rot your liver or lungs in the process!! I think you're awesome and should be super proud of what you've done!

  26. @ Anonymous: Thanks for your kind words! :)

    There are a lot of hateful people on MUA and it ruins it for everyone who is there for the right reasons. It's okay though because I don't have to deal with those people in my real life! I just think it's funny when people use the argument that people shouldn't get plastic surgery because they should be happy with the way god made them.... yet they are the same people who will wear hair extensions, dye their hair, wear makeup, false lashes, padded bras, spanx, etc. The fact is, almost everyone alters themselves in some way (especially if you're on MUA; you probably wear makeup), some people - like us - take it to a more expensive level, but that's OUR choice to do so. Just like it's also MY choice what I spend MY money on.

    I also think it's funny how there were comments like "my husband wouldn't like it" (or something to that effect) or "it would scare men away". I seriously laugh out loud when I read comments like that. I'm in no way leading my life to live under the commands or thoughts of a man. My husband is wonderful and I'm lucky to have him; he's in full support of my obsession. And even if I wasn't married (for nearly 8 years, by the way), why would I want a man that didn't support my hobbies?

    Ah, it's fun :) Anyhow, thanks again for your kind and support words. If I could do a virtual standing ovation for you I would :)

  27. HOOLLYYY!!! like a barbie dream house...for nail addicts! its fantastic!! haha i love it!! :)

  28. Wow, you have so much stuff, I envy you all the pretty nail polish bottles

  29. Crystal! I'm in love! haters will always be hating no point in taking any of that hate to heart, you do what makes you happy and you are so right as long as you have your bills paid it's your money and you can spend it however you like! I did have one question.. what are the dimensions of your room? I'm pretty close to the amount of polish you have and i'm debating if i wanna dedicate a room and do the shelves like you have of if i should just keep em in the helmers. I gotta admit it's so pretty to look at and so easy to find without having to hunt things down in drawers. Much love and appreciation!

  30. @ Manicure Addict: Thanks girl! :)

    As for the dimensions of my room... I used to know it off the top of my head and now I can't remember, lol. I took a tape measure to just the polish walls and the main wall (white wall) is almost 14 feet long. The side walls with the polish shelves are about 4 and a half feet long until they meet the window or door frame. Obviously the length of my room is longer than 4 and a half feet, lol, but I just measured the area dedicated to the polish shelves. I will be doing a video tour of my makeup/nail/hair room soon, so hopefully that will also help to show you the dimensions and such. Oh, and the top polish shelf sits about 6 feet up off the ground.

    And you're right; it is really pretty to look at! I have to admit that when my polish was on book shelves I didn't use half the colors I use now because I didn't see them like I can see them now. They are all nice and lined up. It's way easier to find a color I want and really fun to pick out a color too! I do have room to grow with space remaining on the shelves, but I also can add at least two more rows of shelves on the top if needed. I don't have any other room to really continue the shelves anywhere else in my room, but I don't see my collection growing that quickly anyway!

  31. If you used a different polish every day for, let me see maybe 6 years you'd use each one for one use only? Don't they go bad after a few years? There is no way you can use them. What do you do with them, just photograph them? Not being snarky but really, have you ever considered just buying what you can use and the excess, I don't know, going to starving people, or even clothes or something you might actually be able to use sometime? Or even putting a few bucks into therapy? There's lots of groups for anal retentiveness.

  32. @ Anonymous: Hahaha, oh Anonymous... you're so funny. Seems that you don't know much about nail polish. Nail polish never goes bad. I still have some from when I was in middle school and it's still good. Polish thinner is all you really need to keep a polish from getting too thick. I have enough clothes... you know, just for what I can use and not in excess (as you would say). I'm not anal retentive... I'm organized. There's a difference. Oh, and what I spend my money on is my business, not yours. Thank you very much!

  33. Oh, and @ Anonymous.... I see you posted on some beauty bash website about me(no, I'm not looking for what someone says about me, the links show up in my blog stats... or did you not realize that?).

    You said "it's not the kind of thing she wants on her blog - or to admit to, probably, but here's what I said to her".... well surprise, surprise to you (I guess). I post all my blog comments, unless it's spam (someone trying to sell something or link my readers to something completely unrelated). My readers aren't hateful, which is why you don't see rude or mean comments on my blog. I thought about not posting your comment only to keep the hate away from my blog because I live a be-love lifestyle, but I laughed at it more than anything. So did my readers. I got a lot of emails laughing about it too, so thanks for making a lot of people smile.

    Ever think you're the one with the problem belonging to a site that bashes others like that? Maybe you need to learn how to live a happier life, then you won't have to belong to a site that bashes beauty bloggers. Just a thought :)

  34. Wow, I have never seen anything like this before! You should open up a salon... I'd come visit!
    My collection of 400 which I thought was big now seems so small :D

  35. Crystal Valentine. I admire u. I've started my collection went i apply to nail school last year. as far as ur past. I couldn't afford anything either, and relied on a job as I got older. I've always said that i wanted a wall filled with polish, and shelves of color acrylic and glitters and gels all with glitters and shimmers. I love your collection. but I'm having a hard time being positive as nail tech because of family and friends. but I'll get to where I want to be.

  36. @ Boy Lover: I hope you can stay positive and not let others bring you down about your passion! I never understand how people can seem to feel so entitled to tell others how they should or should not live. Makes me laugh and feel sorry for others who have so much hate inside them. Just continue doing what makes YOU happy. As long as your bills are paid and all core responsibilities (food on table, kids taken care of - if you have any - etc.) then you have every right to lead the life YOU choose. Be love and stay positive! :)

  37. I don't know what to say!!! It makes me feel so good to see your collection. I have lots and lots too! Even if I don't get to wear all mine I enjoy looking at the bottles. I don't have as much nailart supplies as you. Omg!! I love your collection!!! Love those containers. I think you got something there seem they are better then the wheels. I must get these. Thanks so much for sharing :D

  38. I agree with nail polish anon;) Moving in would be great.I'd even take your dog for a walk:P

  39. Oh my goodness! So jealous of you!!!! <3 I want to live in a home like that!

  40. ooomg this is amazing. i want to show everyone!!

  41. That is amazing! I have 30 nail polishes and I thought I had a lot. Clearly not. BTW, it's helps a ton to organize nail polish by colour, not brand, better to tell what you actually have.

  42. Very nicely organized. It's obvious you enjoy your craft.

  43. @ Thanks! I definitely enjoy all things beauty related, and like to keep things very organized.

  44. I love the storage solution. That is fantastic!!! A two-part question: how deep are the shelves that hold the polish and is there a catch to keep the polish from falling off? Thanks for sharing!!!

  45. @ Brooke: the shelves are 2" deep. The polish doesn't fall off. We even had an earthquake here and they stayed put. The only time it falls off is if my dog comes charging in and his tail knocks them off.

  46. Hi i really enjoyed your posts almost because you present very well the products in multi angle photos to see also ingredients and swatches just really precious. Can i Ask you to take a photo of ingredients of nail polishes? because i have a page about composition and toxicity of nail polishes but i don't have the money nor the possibility (i live in France) to buy all nail polishes.I'm interested un Zoya and Dr Hemery's nail polishes

    thanks for your work (and i would love to suscribe to your birchbox snif)

  47. Can you store nail polish upright in the drawer cart or are they too shallow?

  48. @ Adrienne Walker: In the drawer carts I have they are too shallow - unless I use the deeper drawers - but then I feel that is a waste of space. The Ikea Helmer drawers are a popular choice for nail polish storage, as they can all sit upright.

  49. LOVE your collection! Just starting my own, have almost 100 at this point. I'm looking to get shelving that is affordable and wanted to know what you use? Looks like just a wooden board? How did you hang it?!?!

  50. @ Anonymous: I just used 2x2's from the hardware store (Lowe's) and just put them in with screws at an angle; not sure of the specifics - my son's after installed them and no idea how he did it.

  51. Don't read hater comments, just delete them; there's always going to be a few no matter what you do. If you are happy and not harming anyone with your hobby/passion/work/art then forget what anyone says! That's what I do with my 250 nail polish collection whenever anyones sees it; I tell them you like going to the movies all the time, well I like fashion and make up pretties! Don't mind other's when they don't mind even trying to understand or see things from your perspective. They don't pay your bills anyhow!
    By the way, I love, love, love your collection; enjoy it!!!!!


All comments are set for me to approve them before they post. I do this so I can read each & every one, answering any questions that may be in a comment. Please share your thoughts and questions below :)