Friday, November 20, 2015

My Nail Polish Collection + How I Stay Organized!

This post is sponsored by Color Clutch. All opinions are my own.

One of the questions I'm asked the most is the dreaded, "How many nail polishes do you have?" As a nail art blogger, I have an absurd amount of polish, despite repeated destashes and reorganizations. So, I always fear the reactions I will get when I answer that question.

Thankfully, I know most of you guys will be supportive and understand (right?!). So here goes: I own around 2,500 bottles of nail polish!

After I answer that question, the next question is predictably, "But how do you store all of it??" Today I'll be taking you on a tour through how I store my polish as well as giving you some organization tips and tricks that have helped me.

My nail polish army
Firstly, the bulk of my collection is stored in IKEA Helmers. They're small, inexpensive metal drawer units that come in four colors. I alternate between red and grey, and currently use four units. They're decorated with stickers because stickers are awesome.

The thing I like about Helmers is that the drawers are super shallow, and the perfect height for a bottle of polish, so there's no wasted space! If you use this route, however, be sure to pick up some drawer liner. Otherwise, your polish will slide around when you open the drawers and that is not good for organization.

Within the Helmers, I have my polishes organized by brand and that's it. Some people will further sort by color or by collection, but I find it too hard to maintain.

Polishes on display 
I use the Color Clutch 18-bottle storage case to store some of my most treasured, expensive, and favorite polishes. The foam slots can fit almost every bottle shape and style, so I am able to include babies like:
  • Clarins 230, AKA Unicorn Pee, which was a gift from my fiance and the only polish he has ever bought me
  • Cirque Au, my favorite gold leaf topper
  • MAC Bad Fairy (you collectors know where I'm coming from here)
  • OPI DS Glamour 
  • Sally Hansen Pacific Blue (pour one out for my homie)
  • Lynnderella Connect the Dots,  the polish that started my addiction to indie polishes
  • A Chowder themed custom from my friend Michelle at Sonoma Nail Art
I keep it as a display piece on top of my Helmers, which don't usually receive much indirect light. But since they are all in the Color Clutch storage case together, if I need to move them, it's no problem.

Plus, if I had to leave my house in a hurry, I could just grab the case and go!

Have polish, will travel
I also have a nail emoji backpack that I use to transport things back and forth from my personal stash to my job as a nail technician.

I use the Color Clutch 8-bottle storage case to store a stash of seasonal colors to supplement the selection we have at work. It holds the bottles in places and zips them in securely so I can toss the case in my bag without worrying about breaking bottles or messy spills. Right now I've got some fall/winter shades loaded up from Essie, LVX, China Glaze, and more.

In addition to the seasonal colors, I always travel with my box of sanitized implements (nippers, clippers, pushers, and a rasp) and my box of tools (nail art brushes, silicone brushes, dotting tools, French brush, and a Crystal Katana). I also make sure I always have my Gel Play paints and Art Paints on hand. I keep the gel paints in a Lego bento box that I've repurposed for storage!

Odds and ends
My manicuring supplies at home are organized in an acrylic makeup organizer, which I keep stored on top of my Helmers. I filled the back compartment with rice so it would keep my nail art brushes upright, and have found the perfect slots for everything else (that acetone bottle fits like a glove!).

I also keep a three-drawer plastic organizer for all my miscellany: flocking powder, stamping plates, mini gel lamps, backup files and buffers, etc.

And of course, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention my magnetic nail art organizer on the wall, which I made from scratch (and wrote a tutorial for)!

So that's it, now you've seen inside the madness! Are there any ideas here that you'd like to incorporate into your own storage system? Do you have any suggestions for me of things that have worked well for you? What polishes of your own would you store securely in a Color Clutch? Share in the comments below!

This post has been sponsored by Color Clutch. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Chalkboard Nails! 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Tie dye your tips with this nail art tutorial and sneak peek from "Pretty Hands and Sweet Feet"!

Tie dye nail art tutorial by @chalkboardnails

Hey friends! Today I have a sneak peek into one of the tutorials that I contributed to our new nail art book, Pretty Hands and Sweet Feet. This design, as well as 20+ additional designs, can be found within its beautiful, full color pages.

I first tackled tie-dye nails WAY back in 2013 with my Rodarte-inspired design, but figured it was time to do a classic rainbow version, too.

I suggest using neon polishes for this look (I used the China Glaze Electric Nights collection) because they usually have a semi-sheer consistency that helps blend all of the colors together nicely. Plus, who doesn't love a good neon?

Tie dye nail art tutorial by @chalkboardnails

Start with a white base, and then use a medium length striper brush to add dashes of color spiraling out from the center of your nail. I began with my yellow shade, and then continued to build out the colors on either side of it (sticking with rainbow order, of course!). Don't forget a layer of topcoat to smooth out and protect your design.

This look is pretty simple to achieve, and the less precise you are, the more tie dyed it will look! So just have fun with it!

If you want to pick up PH&SF for a nail art lover or young adult DIY-er in your life, it is available for purchase now wherever books are sold. Here are links to some of the places that you can nab it:

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Contrary Polish Wintry Weather Collection

Contrary Polish Wintry Weather Collection via @chalkboardnails

These swatches are long overdue, but as we're headed back into winter anyway, I figured now would be a great time to share this seasonally-themed collection with you! The polishes are still available for purchase, so thankfully my tardiness has not affected their availability.

Meet the Contrary Polish Wintry Weather collection, a group of three chilly shades with shimmer and icy flakes!

Frozen Sky is a grey shade with silver shimmer and flakes. I used three coats for the coverage below.

Contrary Polish Frozen Sky via @chalkboardnails

Snowy Night is a rich, deep navy with white shimmer and flakes. I used two coats for my swatch.

Contrary Polish Snowy Night via @chalkboardnails

Winter Sun is a squishy, marshmallow-white with gold shimmer and flakes. I used three coats for the coverage shown, and found this one to be a little streaky when applying, so be sure to wait between coats for your previous coat to set.

Contrary Polish Winter Sun via @chalkboardnails

If you're feelin' these shades, head on over to Contrary Polish where they are available as minis for $5 and as full size bottles for $10. Which one is your favorite?

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

We wrote a book! Plus, enter to win it!

Huge news, guys... I coauthored a book! If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you may have seen this news teased already, but now I'm here to give you the full scoop. This project has been in the works for the past year and a half and it's so amazing to see it come to fruition. Meet Pretty Hands and Sweet Feet, a step-by-step nail art tutorial book perfect for the DIY nail art enthusiast.

I couldn't ask for a better group of coauthors to join me in this project: Sammy from The Nailasaurus, Lindsey from Wondrously Polished, and Katy from Nailed It. We also had the help of Penelope Yee who translated our designs into pedicure art.

In addition to the 25 full color, step-by-step tutorials, there are also sections dedicated to nail art tools, techniques, and inspiration. Not only is this a great book for nail art enthusiasts, but it's perfect for beginners, too. And um, just saying, the holidays are coming up shortly...

Plus... my hand is on the cover! HOW COOL IS THAT?!

The book is set to release on November 9th, wherever books are sold. If you want to get a jump on it, you can preorder from the following retailers:

And the good news continues... I've got 10 copies of the book to give away! You can enter using the widget below - entries close at midnight on November 12th, and it's open internationally. Good luck!

Pretty Hands and Sweet Feet