Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Tips and tricks Tuesday- Share your toys polish!

Polish exchange, image from 123 RF website.
I am really lucky to have a friend, we'll call her Esmeralda Pearlfinish, who's always liked nail polish. Thanks to my evil influence, Esmeralda's collection has grown in the last year, from under 20 polishes to almost 50. My tip for today is to share your polishes with a friend to save money and increase your polish stash.  Learn some of my tips on how to do this after the jump!

Here are some of the polishes I've gotten thanks to swapping. I must've been in Esmeralda's China Glaze section, because they're all from that brand. From left, Skyscraper, Marry a Millionaire and Sea Spray
To do a nail polish exchange, there are a few things you will need:
-friend who's willing to exchange with you
-empty polish bottles (preferabley minis, which I'll explain later.)
-pure acetone
-old glass covered containers (Examples: old spaghetti jar or baby food jar)
-labeling material

The basics are pretty simple. Using an empty polish bottle, pour a portion of your nail polish into another bottle. Have another empty polish bottle to pour an equal amount of your friend's polish into. Label each bottle so you know the correct name of your new respective polishes. Exchange.

There are a few things I would add to the simple method described above. One of the them is that, if you're reading this blog, you probably have a lot of nail polish. Don't worry about running out of a polish because you've traded some of it away. As I tell Esmeralda, I'll never use up all of this polish, anyway. Why not share some with a friend, and get something new for yourself in the process?

 Most people tend not to have a lot of empty polish bottles lying around, besides maybe some empty base and top coat bottles. Here are a few suggestions.

-Find a beauty supply store, in your area or online. Buy empty bottles for 25-50 cents each.
-Go to Ross or other discount chains and purchase a multi pack of cheap, small polishes. Empty all the polishes out into a old covered glass container. Rinse out bottle with acetone. Pour cleaning acetone into the same glass container. Reuse bottles for exchange.
- Check out some local garage sales and see if you can find some old polish there. Again, empty all the polish out into a glass container. Rinse out bottle with acetone.  Pour cleaning acetone into the same glass container. Reuse bottles for exchange.
-Empty out all the clear polish that you've gotten in box sets but don't ever plan to use into a glass container.  Rinse out bottle with acetone. Pour cleaning acetone into the same glass container. Reuse.

Some of the polishes I've partially swapped away. Essie Shine of the Times and As Gold as it Gets
My only additional note is that I prefer the mini bottles. There are a few reasons for this. First, they're the kind of bottle you're most likely to actually use up, anyway.  But also, they are better for dealing with smaller amounts of polish. What I mean is, when you only have 2 ml left in a 15 ml bottle, it's going to be really hard to get at the polish because it's all at the very bottom, maybe under where the brush even reaches. However, the same amount of polish in a 5 ml bottle is going to be way at a higher level in the small bottle. This means you will be able to access more of your polish in the smaller container.

More of the polishes I've swapped partially away: OPI Rainbow Connection and Wet n Wild  It's All In the Cut
On a related note, consider splitting the cost of an expensive bottle with a friend. Esmeralda and I both put in $4.50 when Lippmann was on sale, and now we are both the proud owners of half a bottle of Happy Birthday each. We have that option if there's ever a really expensive polish that we both want.This tip will help you save money because you're not blowing as much on any one bottle of nail polish. However, this method can also make you justify getting more polish because you're spending less. ;)


  1. I do this with a friend... but since I didnt have a lot of the empty bottles and the small ones are hard to come buy I purchased like 20 min bottles for 6 bucks... :) It's a great idea to share bc lets be honest... we wont use a full bottle maybe once or twice unles we really really really LOVE IT

  2. I'm in the middle of my experiment and it feels like I'm *never* going to finish that darn bottle, LOL! We're very lucky to have friends in our lives who are willing to trade and share. :)