Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Swatch you doin'?

Hello lovelies! Today, I want to talk about swatches and how we keep track of our pretties. But first I want to brag a little bit. This last week has been crazy! I got into a bit of a financial bind, and my son had a national wrestling tournament to attend. He is 14. Anyhow, I sold off over 25% of my stash to make enough money to take him! Crazy right? NOT AT ALL! So worth it! He won 1st place, and now he is ranked 1st in the nation for his age and weight class. (proud momma moment)

 
Ok, now what you all came here to read about... something polish related! :) Let's talk about nail polish swatches. I wanted to share with you today how I store my swatches, and keep track of my polishes. I started out swatching on nail wheels. What a disaster that was for me. I tried matching numbers on the wheels to numbers I placed on small stickers on my bottles and then numbers in my book (I will get to my book later in the post). It was to much. A friend of mine offered me to join in a group buy of swatch sticks from an eBay seller, and I took the plunge and ordered 600. They were 50 for just under $3 a piece I believe.  I then decided on a method of storage for all the sticks once they started piling up. Here is what I came up with.
 
These are curtain rings found at any department store or Lowes. I paid $1.57 at Wal-Mart for them a package, and 12 come in each package.
 
 
I then started swatching most of my polishes. I paint the underside of the stick, and let me explain why. By painting the underside, you can see what the polish would look like with a shiny top coat. You can then paint a matte coat on top of the paint and the reverse side shows what the polish looks like with a matte coat. Here is one of my rings (China Glaze)
 
 
 
After I started swatching and putting the swatches on the rigs, I was then struggling as to how to arrange them. I decided to stick to arranging them by brand, then by color as they were on my polish shelf/rack. For a few brands, I have four or five rings. Each ring holds approximately 18 sticks comfortably. I then needed a place to hang all these rings, and something that wasn't going to cost an arm and a leg. Ideally I wanted something that would hang above my polish shelves. I thought, curtain rings for the swatch sticks, why not a curtain rod? So off to Wal-Mart I went, and the hubby hung it from two studs above my polish shelves.
 
 
Once it was hung and I alphabetically arranged my rings, I could not decipher which ring was which brand. So, I bought some labels at Wal-Mart, and broke the nail part off from a few nail sticks and labeled the first stick of the first ring of each brand. Allowing me to see each brand.
 
 
Finished product.
 
 
Now, this is a page from my "Holy Book of Polishes" (named by my kids and husband). I have a binder where I keep track of what polishes I have, which I have owned, when I have updated it, which I need to swatch, when I have gifted, swapped, or sold a polish, etc. This is an example page from the book, and actually what my Emily de Molly page looks like.
 
 
In this photo you can see that I have a tab for each brand. I then list the polishes I have purchased in each tab it belongs. For brands I only have one or two of, I have a tab titles Misc. Mainstreams and a page titled Misc. Indies. I also have a corresponding swatch ring for each.
 
 
There you have it. My swatch stash and my holy polish book! How do you store your swatches. How do you keep track of what polishes you have and have had? Post down there in the comments and be sure to follow me via Bloglovin and/or my Facebook page! If I can hit 150 followers on Facebook I will host another giveaway! :)
 
 

15 comments:

  1. I love the look of your set up! My collection pales in comparison, so I don't even have as much as a swatch of them. I imagine if it grows, I'll have to be just as organized.

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    1. I didn't start worrying about swatches until I hot about 200. I then also started with just a little line notebook for my polish book as well.

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  2. great post Jen! I have a polish book- but I never update it- I have trained myself to update my spreadsheet- so at least I know what I've got. I've been using swatch wheels and hate them and you've inspired me to get the sticks :)

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    1. Ebay has a great deal on the sticks, the only drawback is the wait because they come from overseas.

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  3. I love your storage! I do swatchicles of my collectio,too, and right now I just keep them in their original screws but I'd really need something like this!

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    1. It was super cheap! I am a thrifty gal! Hubby is promising me a new polish rack for Valentines day. He is now promising me a matching swatch rack. That would be nice, but he is so busy I doubt he will have the time.

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  4. Those curtain rings are really what I was looking for! Thanks for the idea :)

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    1. And cheap!!! I found them on accident while buying new curtains for my new house when I moved back in August!

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  5. OMG your curtain rod is GENIUS! Currently I use the same swatch sticks on ball chains, organized by color, and there are so many sticks on each chain it's impossible to sort through them. I have them all chucked in a plastic shoe bin, so I never look at them anyway. All my new swatch sticks I keep in a pencil holder until I use the polish, and I mean to add them to the chains, but for now they just live unsorted in the bin. I keep a list on Google Docs, also.

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    1. It was an accidental solution really. When I moved I was shopping for rods and curtains. I saw the hooks and thought... hey those would work for my new swatch sticks that are coming!!!LOL. Then when trying to decide what to hang them on I just decided to go back for a curtain rod when I picked up more rings.

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  6. This is fabulous!!! I'm sharing with my fans! ~Ana

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    1. Feel free Ana! Thanks for stopping by! :)

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  7. I ran into your photo of your swatch rod on Pinterest and sure glad I did! I use the same curtain hooks as you and have been wondering just how I should store them. Am definitely going to show this to my hubby so he can help me mount a curtain rod above my desk that way I can get them off my bulletin board.

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  8. I keep all my polishes logged in an app on my phone which makes it so helpful when I find a color I must have at the store. As for swatching, I also had them on wheels and color coated and numbered. I hated it because every time I would get rid of a polish I would still have that color on the wheel and that annoyed me. Ha ha. I'm thinking about buying the swatch sticks but when you have such a vast collection and you start thinking about the cost of the sticks, I become hesitant but then spend that much money on more nail polish. Ha ha. Congrats on your sons acomplishment!

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