Monday, 8 June 2015

My Swatch Stick Collection And How I Organise Them (with lots of rainbow photos!)

Happy Sunday guys!

I have something different for you all today. But hopefully something you’ll love! This is a post about how I organise my nail polishes… Not the actual bottles themselves, but my way of keeping them all in one place so I can choose and compare my polish colours. This is a post about my swatch sticks!!

Certain polishes look totally different on the nail than they do in the bottle (darker/lighter/shimmery/etc) and so the best way to see the ‘real’ colour of the polish is to have it on a swatch. Some people choose to use the swatch wheels and they’re okay if you have a small collection and don’t need to compare colours, but since my collection is reaching ridiculous levels, I sometimes need to compare hot pink #15 and hot pink #19. Swatch sticks are the perfect way to do this. They’re also really helpful for when you need a certain shade of blue, since they’re all organised by colour and they have a space for you to write what the name of the polish is (I also write how many coats I applied to get the opacity on the swatch).

I got my swatch sticks from eBay. They come in sets of 50 with a long screw that you use to arrange the sticks on and in a clear zip lock bag that you can store your unused sticks in. The price is between $1-$5 for a set with postage which I think is a great price. I initially ordered 10 sets because my collection was already growing quite large and I wanted to keep some spare for when new polishes arrived, but I have since gone back and ordered another 12 sets over the last year. 

I have had several annoying orders, however, where the ends were round and different to the square ones I needed, even though I messaged the seller and asked if they were square and was told they were. LIES! So make sure you are aware that some sellers are not aware of what they are selling (or don’t completely understand English). I tried to get refunds for them but would have had to send the sticks back to China and therefore lost money on postage prices so I am stuck with 400 sticks I cannot use… Grrr! 

This is how my sticks (that I use) look. They are made of clear plastic and I know some girls paint under the plastic so it looks like they have a ‘top coat’ on, but I painted mine on over the stick. I prefer to see the ‘true colour’ of the polish and how it will look on my nail since some of my holo’s and shimmers look warped when painted underneath.

There is plenty of room to write the name of the polish. I write the brand, name and how many coats are applied to the stick on them, as sometimes I just don’t have time for that 4-5 coater purple. No matter how pretty it may be! I originally printed out tags and attached them with tape, but the tape has started peeling up on corners and edges with the constant rubbing from the sticks in front and behind it. So I abandoned that idea and now just write them on with an extra fine point sharpie. It doesn’t rub off easily from the plastic and looks just as nice as the labels. If you do go the label route, I’d suggest getting adhesive paper so you don’t need to add tape.

I organised my collection by colour and then added my duo-chromes and mixed glitters at the end since they’re technically more than one colour. I know some people group them by brand but the reason I got swatch sticks was to compare colours to each other so a ‘rainbow swatch collection’ suits my needs better. I used the screw to attach them and have 50-55 on each stick as some sticks are thicker thanks to the paper label and tape addition on some of them. I know some people like to use the rings to sort them also but I want to keep mine upright in a box so I can easily see what colours are where so the screw suits me better. Hehe. Screw.

 The screws that come with the swatch sticks to connect them together

 How I store my swatch sticks. Upright and in a basket for easy access

My other favourite thing about the swatch sticks is that you can lay them over your nail to see how colours suit your skin/look over a certain colour. So I can have my nail painted dark green and see how that certain silver glitter looks over the top of it without having to paint it onto my nails. That’s the reason I ordered the clear sticks and not the frosted ‘natural’ coloured ones.
 Black - Dark Grey

 Dark Grey - Silver - White

White -  Nude - Brown

Brown - Dusty Colours - Light Pink

Light Pink - Medium Pink

Medium Pink - Dark Pink

 Dark Pink - Raspberry Purple

Light Raspberry Purple - Violet

Violet - Blue Based Purple

Blue Based Purple - Dark Blue - Light Blue

Light Blue - Teal

Teal - Light Teal - Light Green

 Light Green - Dark Green - Yellow
Yellow - Gold - Peach

Peach - Light Orange - Red

 Red - Dark Red - Maroon

Maroon - Assorted Glitters & Duo-chromes (sorted by brand)

So that's my collection and how I sort my swatch sticks :) Some of the colours might look out of place but that's because of my camera is making the colour show up wrong. On the sticks, in natural light they look beautifully rainbow.

Some of my bigger colours (pink/blue/purple) are sorted by undertones or they look strange all mixed in so I separate them to make them look more organised. It's also a lot easier when looking for a red based purple, for example.

I hope you liked seeing all my swatches, and this inspired you to order some sticks and start your own. Trust me, it's a lot easier to start now than have to do 500 at once like I did!!

Have a great week guys xox


  1. Wow! Thanks so much for sharing this! I am definitely going to have to start organizing my nail polish like this, so much easier :)

  2. Thanks for sharing! I was searching on the internet for different storage solutions (will soon switch from the interchangeable swatch table to swatch sticks with 1000+ polishes) yours definitely is in my top 3:)!

  3. You are a God I wish we had spoken yesterday (that really wouldn't have happened, as #1, you don't even know me and #2, I live in the states). So anywho, I literally spent about 12 hrs. typing in: organized OPI polish swatches grouped by color, I was on pintrest, I Even popped on insta, but, figured it would take forever to find with all the nailies that I have grouped around. Any who around 3am this morning I finally gave in to defeat. As, I am a nail tech and am extremely organized, I have also done this same thing with my polishes. I just wanted to have another opinion on color ranges and made sure I was getting it pretty spot on. As you know one color can look almost exact as the next. I used to write on mine, but then I saw a post with labels done and it looked so clean, so I decided to use a P-Touch label maker. It's a wonderful little machine. I buy the tape from Amazon, as it is much cheaper than in office supply chains and our gets to me on no time. It's laminated I get the 6mm or 1/4 in. White with black print. They look perfect. I also polished mine on top but I daw yesterday, they painted under the nail so you could see shiny or matte. What do you like best, as I am redoing all of Mt swatches for my salon. Ugggghhh. I'm also going to put small round labels behind to number them add it helps to keep them in the same place each time. And if they discontinue a color I can remove and just rewrite the new number not have to redo all the polishes. My insta name is Rockel7, I follow your posts sorry you got hacked. That's terrible. If you have a lady of your names typed out as well, that is helpful just look for the color and it will have the number right beside it. If you do on this most recent batch, would you mind emailing to me. How they are grouped? If not no worries. Thank you again. Love your work.