How I Swatch & Organize My Nail Polishes

Today I'm back with an exciting post for you guys, one that has been requested a bunch of times and is long overdue! Here is all about how I swatch and organize my nail polishes and swatches!

Over these past five and a half years that I have been blogging, my nail polish collection has grown significantly and what used to fit in a medium-sized square box, now takes up all of three drawers and a corner in my nail room.

Ergo, that called for some re-organization and documentation of the polish swatches. Up to a few months ago, my swatches were all onto nail wheels but with my collection ever growing and me being OCD with having all the colours one after the other by shade, that method of keeping track of polishes has become obsolete. I also used to keep a spreadsheet with all my polishes and their corresponding swatch number as well as collection, name, etc which I used to update every single time I got a new nail polish.

However, I needed a new, more practical and more OCD-satisfying way to organize my nail polishes so I started checking out Youtube for ideas and this method with swatch sticks and rings fit my criteria well. Thus I went on Ebay and started looking for swatch sticks and 79mm binder rings to get the best deal possible. After a couple of weeks, I got all of the supplies I ordered and I started swatching away. The swatch sticks I order come in packs of 50 and the rings came in a pack of 10.

It took me all of four days to go through my entire collection and swatch it as well as give away the polishes I didn't use any more. I always go for two coats for each polish followed by a cheap UV Gel top coat to seal them in and preserve them for longer. Then I just cleanse them with gel polish cleanser to remove the tacky layer of the gel top coat. However, I only use a top coat on regular polishes, never on mattes and textured polishes.

For labels, instead of splurging on a label maker, I type the information I want for each polish in a MS Word document, 'draw' a box around it and try to keep it within the dimensions of the swatch stick. When I have a full page, I then print them on a sheet of sticker paper and cut around the boxes before I stick the label on the swatch stick.

In the meantime, when I get a new polish, I temporarily write the name of the polish with a thin marker on the swatch stick and then take it off with rubbing alcohol when I have the labels ready.

Lastly, I sort my swatches by colour so I put the colours from lightest to darkest and put them on a separate ring for each colour family. I then hang them at the side of my polish cabinet with some cute flower and butterfly shaped wall suckers from Lidl.

On the other hand, I prefer to organize the polishes themselves by brand, so whenever I pick a colour from the swatches, I just look at the name and I know for example that my OPI's are all in the top drawer so I just go straight there and pick the colour I want! 

How do you organize your polishes? Any more organization ideas for displaying swatches and polishes?

7 comments on "How I Swatch & Organize My Nail Polishes"
  1. This is nice. So good to be organized. .

  2. I do things the other way around, swatches by brand but on my shelves by colour. I do like how you do it though, very organised :)

    1. If your polishes are exposed I guess it makes more sense to organize them by colour :) Mine are tucked away in drawers and I guess that's the main reason I prefer to organize them by brand and swatches by colour :)

  3. This is such a great idea! I have never thought about swatching my polishes but I need to try this as my polishes are currently in a big mess!

    Sarah | What Sarah Writes

    1. Swatching is a good way to keep track of what you have Sarah so I'd say go for it! :)

  4. Stunning!

    p.s. read how I met Victoria Beckham on

    Diana Cloudlet

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