Friday, January 17, 2014

How I organize my swatches

I have nothing to disclose.

I'm still not quite feeling back to my regular normal yet, so today I thought I'd share something different with you all. I've been using nail wheels for about a year now, and I just recently decided to switch to nail sticks so I wanted to talk a little bit about those.

I absolutely loved my nail wheels when I first got them - in part because I discovered that I just absolutely love painting nail swatches. I could do it all day long. I loved the wheels, because all of my colors were right there together where I could look at them and compare them. This worked absolutely wonderfully. At first.

 This worked pretty well. At first.

This is how I first organized my wheels. I separated my polishes by similar colors, then painted like colors on wheels. So I had 2 wheels for reds, pinks, 1 wheel for blacks, whites, etc. You get the idea. This worked absolutely perfectly. Until I got more polish, and I ran out of room on my wheels.

 We have chaos!!!!

That's when I let chaos happen and I just randomly started swatching all of my new polishes on the same wheel. It's kind of nice, because now I have a visual record of the order in which I got my polishes. But this also means that the colors are absolutely completely out of order which makes it almost impossible to look for dupes... or to find a particular color, for that matter.

Here's some more things about the wheels I don't like:
- they take up a lot of space
- there isn't much room to actually write on them, so I used key codes to track my polishes, and used a separate notebook to keep track of everything. This was a major pain.

This is where I'm keeping some of my wheels for now. This is my swatch wheels only, I've already stored away my old practise wheels. See? Takes up a lot of space.

I still love my wheels for practising on, but for actually swatching my polishes on, I've decided to switch to nail sticks. Hopefully this will go much better. There's already a few things I don't like about the sticks. First is the cost. I have 400+ polishes now so I easily spent $20+ just on little pieces of plastic, but hey that's my fault. The sticks I got come on little screws with a bolt on the end. I actually kind of like this, except I've found the sticks are kind of hard to attach to the screw. It's a little bit tricky. I know some people use keychains, but the screw seems easier to me.

 This is better... so far.

Also, I didn't look at one of my sticks well enough before painting it, and I found when I went to put it on the screw that the end was bent horribly. It won't be going on the screw, it'll be going in the trash and I'll have to make another one of that polish, darn it!

The sticks do have some benefits:
- take up less room
- easier to organize so it's easier to keep them by color, finish, etc.
- easier to compare polishes
- lots of room to write on!

I bought a bunch of these, just waiting for them to get to me. I'm probably going to organize them by color, so they will be much better organized than my wheels! :)

What do you use to keep track of your swatches? Let me know & thanks for reading!


  1. I love these types of blog posts! I used to have lots of swatch wheels as well, not as much as you ofcourse. It got to the point where I got so many polishes that I couldn't keep them apart just by looking at them (I never wrote on my wheels) so when I saw that Oooh Shinies! was using the swatch sticks, I converted to those :D I never want to go back, they're so convenient!

    1. they sure seem like it! I kind of wish I hadn't gotten all those wheels.. but I can still use them for practise :)

  2. Great post! I had the same problem with my nail wheels, At first they look great, but as my stash was growing it started to be a mess and I stopped swatching them. I don't want to siwtch to individual nail sticks, because they'd take more room in my opinion. There's so much plastic for no use. I can manage to write on the nail wheels, so that is not a problem. I was thinking to restart my swatching project. just with more wheels. Where i had one wheel for purple and lavender, I'll just need two... but now the wheel I have with both colours will go to the trash :(
    However that will gave me the opportunity to switch to white nail wheels, because I think the transparent ones need too many coats of certain colours to be opaque.

    1. It is kind of a pain switching over to the sticks. I'm probably going to reuse the wheels to practise on though, so no real waste. I like the white wheels but I think I like the transparent ones better because then I get a better idea of how opaque they are, so I'll know better how they'll look on my nails. Thanks for your comment! :)

  3. I have nail sticks too, wheels just seemed to big for my liking. I was a bit annoyed as my regular nail stick supplier changed the shape of the end (from rounded to square) and every supplier I spoke too said they were rounded (so I bought them) and then they weren't. Super annoying but what can you do, I'm not going to reswatch 200+ sticks just so they all match.... at least not yet!