Friday, July 9, 2010

My Stash, Let Me Show You It

I've been putting off doing a stash entry because I'm a bit embarassed about how large my collection is. I'm one person, with ten fingers and ten toes and many other things to do besides paint my nails, and my job certainly does not require my digits to be adorned in the latest lacquer trends, so it sometimes seems excessive that I've amassed such a large number of bottles of polish. But then I think that I get more use from this collection than things like my ski equipment—on any given day I could change my manicure or pedicure, while I am only able to ski a small portion of the year. Also, it's not as if I spent the mortgage money or the grocery budget on nail polish; I have just redirected some of my quilting and knitting spending (I am in no danger of running out of supplies for either of those hobbies, so it's not been any great sacrifice). Enough justification, let's look at the stash. Might want to get a beverage; this is going to take a while.

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What you see here is four Helmers from IKEA, plus a bit of overflow storage. My collection lives in my bedroom closet; as my stash has expanded, I've had to reduce my wardrobe, which is okay since I had a bunch of stuff I wasn't wearing anyway. Starting at the top left, there's a wooden fruit crate that once held clementines and now holds polish I can't use yet because I got it in swaps and my partner hasn't gotten my end of the swap yet and polish I am expecting to send out in swaps that are in the process of being finalized. I call this box "quarantine". To the right of that box is a white Caboodles case; there was a long stretch of time when my entire nail polish collection, including base and top coats, fit in this one case. I'd regularly go through it and get rid of things I hadn't used in a while. When I think of some of the things I jettisoned—well, I try not to; it's too depressing. Now, the case holds base and top coats only. Behind the fruit box and the Caboodles case, there's another fruit box and a small plastic tray; those both hold nail wheels and frankening supplies (for all this frankening I'm going to start doing any time now) and miscellaneous stuff like swap extras. To the left of the Helmers, on the floor, where they should not be because piling stuff on the floor is a sure sign things are getting out of control, are two transluscent cases (I bought several of these when I let my stash escape the white Caboodles) which have overflow base and top coats (which I decided are okay to overflow because I do actually use up base and top coats) and polish I'm thinking of using as contest prizes (they can overflow because I won't be replacing them as I would if they were for swaps). The light purple Caboodles below those has makeup in it, not nail polish. What makeup exactly I'm not sure, since I haven't opened it in quite some time. Lipstick and eyeshadow, I think. The Ulta Goth Glam sets teetering on top of the stack were destined for swaps and didn't fit nicely in my swap drawers.

So, let's peek inside the Helmer drawers, shall we? Starting with the Helmer on the upper left, the top drawer is Revlon (minus Street Wear), Catrice, LA Colors Color Craze, and a handful of Ulta minis that don't fit in the drawer where their peers are.

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Next is Borghese and Blue Cross seasonal with a couple LBC brands.

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China Glaze plus Kiko and six LBC brands.

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Color Club, Claire's, Essence, Savvy, Ulta 3, and six more low-bottle-count (LBC) brands.

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Drawer 5, also known as the one I dumped on the floor: Cover Girl, Essie, GOSH, H&M, Nails Inc., BYS and other Australian brands.

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L'Oreal, P2, Rimmel, Petites, Icing, Viva la Diva, NARS (I only have minis), and two LBC brands.

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Moving on to the top right Helmer, in the top drawer are Zoya, Rescue Beauty Lounge, Ulta, Chanel, Sally Girl, and three LBC brands.

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Orly and Pro 10 (which have to live in the back of a drawer because of their slightly too tall for the Helmer handles).

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Sinful, NYC, Milani, Hard Candy, Pure Ice. (I leave clearance stickers on sometimes to make myself feel like a smart shopper.)

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OPI.

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OPI (note minis stacked two high--not ideal) and Massini / Studio M.

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Maybelline (Colorama, newer Express Finish, Salon Expert, Wet Shine) and Finger Paints.

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Maybelline (Colorama, newer Express Finish, Salon Expert, Wet Shine) and Finger Paints.

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Maybelline (more older Express Finish), Barry M, LA Girl Rock Star, Funky Fingers, LA Colors Art Deco plus miscellaneous art stripers.

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Sally Hansen (Lacquer Shine, HD, Opal Nail Glaze, Beyond Perfect), Piggy Polish, and two LBC brands.

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Sally Hansen (Salon, Complete Salon Manicure, Insta Dri).

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Sally Hansen (New Lengths, No Chip 10 Day, Prisms, Maximum Growth).

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Sally Hansen (Hard as Nails, Xtreme Wear).

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Finally, the bottom left Helmer, starting with the top drawer: Love My Nails, BB Couture, Depend, and a lot of miscellaneous brands.

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Wet 'n' Wild, Revlon Street Wear, CHI, Nina, and one random singleton bottle of something I can't identify from the top.

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I didn't take pictures of the last four drawers, as they've only got polish I've got up for swap; I've already mentally removed those bottles from my collection. I'm planning to reorganize by color at some point. Much as I like to see all the matching bottles together, it slows me down when I want to pull a bunch of one color to do comparisons or paint a nail wheel, and I often overlook a polish that would have been a good one to include. I'm definitely at the point where I need to stop expanding my stash (or start working from home so I don't need so many clothes); look for more giveaways and maybe a sale in the not too distant future.

41 comments:

  1. you make me feel normal. thank you.

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  2. WOW!!!!!! that is amazing! all my nail polish fits in one shoe box....i thought i had alot! lol hahaha

    you are a great organizer!

    http://sweetkissmessage.blogspot.com/

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  3. Wow, you have an amazing collection. And everything is so well organized.

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  4. Omg, woah! Awesome collection!

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  5. Woooow!! You have sooo many bottles!! I love it! You drawers are so tidy! I pull for you! ;)

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  6. HOLY COW!!! I would like your collection, mine now seems tiny in comparison!

    I like how you leave the clearance stickers on, i am totally going to do that lol

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  7. oh my... that sure is a lot of polishes you've got... my collection seems a bit small with my ~400+ ones

    (your spreadsheet must be exploding :P)

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  8. I'm officially green with envy )

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  9. Proof that I seriously do not have a problem, that stash looks like heaven and I'd love to be let loose on it, except I wouldnt know where to start!

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  10. Jaw just dropped. I only have 1 Helmer. It is getting pretty full. Wow. I envy that collection. lol

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  11. Um, wow! I totally have no polishes compared to you! :)

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  12. wow that is simply amazing! Talk about a stash! My one little helmer is so lonely, I think it needs a sibling

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  13. *Polish-gasm*

    That's lovely =) I also like the look of all brands together, and the convenience of all colors together ... so my Helmers are by color & my unworn shoeboxes are by brand LOL.

    What IS the final bottle count, do you know? (or did I miss it while drooling over the pics?)

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  14. Love, love, love it - mine looks so similar (only haven't assembled Helmer #4 yet)

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  15. Ok so I'm normal 'now'. Thanks,
    WOWZA.
    Susie

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  16. Wow..great collection! I wish I had access to some of the brands you have, I guess I'll have to do some swapping/travel/eBay hunting. I need to show my boyfriend this post, he thinks 20 nail polishes is a big collection and my collection of about 50 is "massive" to him. I guess to the non polish addicts more than 50 is insane.

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  17. You are so lucky! How can you decide what to wear lol!!!! Do you know how many you have in total?

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  18. Holy Moly! They look so pretty all organized and sitting together.

    I had that white Caboodle nail case too! And, I leave my discount stickers on because it feels like I got a bargain....well, I DID!

    At what point did you decide to get your first Helmer?

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  19. I can honestly say you are my new nail polish hero/role model :))

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  20. WOW! You have a big colection :D

    xoxo**

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  21. OMG!! im so envy with ur collections!!!

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  22. Wow, I can't even feel jealous of your stash because that's too many even for me! :O Do you get ulta3 over in the US too, or are they from swaps?

    Please tell me what "other Australian brand" np you have, because I don't even know many Aussie ones, so I don't know what to search for! (I'm in Oz, and definitely want to get more Aussie brands)

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  23. oh.wow. *astonished*

    this whole collection can already last you a lifetime or two!

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  24. Thanks for the comments, everyone! It's good to hear from people who understand. :)

    Colette and tasha~, assuming my spreadsheet is accurate (I think it is), the bottle count is around 2050, including minis but excluding base/top coats and polishes on my swap list.

    Kimberly, I got my first Helmer when I decided that just buying another plastic case when the last one got full was silly (and when I admitted I was having fun expanding my collection and wasn't going to stop anytime soon). I had various containers of polish scattered all over the house and it was tedious to find a particular polish when I wanted it. Fortunately I don't live too far from an IKEA, so once I'd decided, it was fast to get one.

    Joan, I've never seen Ulta 3 in stores here; I got mine from a blog sale. The other Australian brands I have are BYS, Bloom, and Ozotic Pro (all from one swap).

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  25. wow I want that! haha!
    I don't have nearly as many. maybe around 100? not sure..? a lot are scattered around.. So it looks like I have less..but I feel like eventually I will need drawers like this! jealous..!

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  26. Woah! I love it!! 2050? And here I was starting to panick as I approach 700. =) Question - I noticed you have some of the older Sally Hansen Hard as Nails. I'd heard those are too tall for a Helmer, and this has kept me from getting one - do they actually fit standing up after all?

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  27. Wow! I love it!!!

    It's so tempting to sort by brand!

    Jbrobeck said it best!: "you make me feel normal. thank you."

    Yes, thank you!!!!

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  28. ABOP, those Hard as Nails with the matching caps are just a tiny bit too tall, not too tall to stand upright, but they do tend to get caught on the bottom of the drawer above when the drawer they're in is pulled out. I just keep them in the back of a drawer so they don't knock down polishes behind them when I need to get in that drawer (and of course they're wedged in by the polish in front of them, so that helps them stay put, too).

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  29. OMG! How many polishes! WOW! :) You have supplies even for your great-great-granddaughters hehe. :) Amazing, I have never seen so many polishes at one place, only in big stores, but I think you have it even more! :))

    And I thought that I have too many polishes (about 60).. I think - it's never to much, right? :P

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  30. Oh wow finally a reorganized stash! I love love love stash pics. :) Your look awesome! I'm thinking of getting Helmers in red next. :P

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  31. Love it!!! I showed my boyfriend and he said I can buy some more polish now, hahahha :D

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  32. WOW...I have two melmers stacked together and I only have three of the drawers filled... MOTIVATION!

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  33. are the helmets reinforced or attached in any way? My Alex is full and am considering adding 2 Helmers bc they take up less space, for the overflow Thanks!

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  34. @leeward1, no, they're just regular Helmers with no modifications other than I left the wheels off. They're pushed back against the wall behind them, and the top two are set back about a half inch (because of the molding along the floor that the lower ones bump up to). They haven't shifted at all in the years they've been there.

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  35. Thanks, Karen!!!! I appreciate your response on an older post!

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Thank you for reading and commenting! I greatly appreciate knowing I'm not just talking to myself here. :)