Here's the whole collection in two pics:
Can you tell what my favourite colours are? LOL.
Here is all the polish put away in one Alex drawer. Nice and cozy!
I get asked quite frequently how I can purge polishes so easily. Like many of you, when I first got into nail polish, it was like an all-you-can-eat frenzy. I just had to have every polish I saw swatches of. I wanted the full collections. I wanted popular, discontinued and HTF polishes. I bought polish if it was on sale, even if I didn't like it that much. My stash ballooned like crazy. Then at some point last year, I was inspired by kittytokaren (of the excellent blog, Polish or Perish) to downsize my stash. I asked on NB for tips to purge your stash, and over the last year, I think I really have defined a personal stash policy:
- I only want to own polishes I love.
- I only want to own polishes I look forward to wearing.
- I do not want to own backups.
I am still struggling a little with #3. I have backups (single bottles) for Illamasqua Raindrops, OPI Absolutely Alice, and Lynnderella Ruby Red Ruby.
When I decide it's time for a little spring cleaning in my stash, I go through and sort it by colour. Say I have 3 turquoise cremes - there's no need for me to keep all 3, because usually when I want to wear a turquoise creme, I find myself reaching for the same one over the others. It is very difficult to move those other 2 polishes to the swap bin / purge pile, but if I'm totally honest with myself, I know it's the right thing to do for my stash. This is a true example of how Essie Turquoise & Caicos and Orly Gumdrop were dropped from my stash, in favour of Essie Greenport.
I also consider the following items:
- Brand (bottle shape and brush type): I tend to prefer thin brushes like Essie over OPI's pro-wide. I also prefer smaller bottles.
- Formula: Finicky polishes that can't be fixed with thinner tend to get the automatic boot from me.
- Colour: Is this colour group flattering on my skin tone / do I even like this colour. Answering this question honestly is how I got rid of every damn yellow polish in my stash.
I used to factor in sentimental value and how hard to find something was, but I am trying hard to ignore these items as reasons for keeping a polish.
When I decide to purchase new polishes, I always ask myself if I own anything similar and if it's something I can see myself loving. If the answer is 'no' to either of these questions, I usually don't even want to buy it.
I have yet to have any regrets! Well, I do regret getting rid of BB Couture Impact Driver *a little*, but I don't miss it so much that I would repurchase it.
As far as what I do with my purged polishes, I usually swap or blogsale the polishes here! It's surprising to see how your tastes evolve; some polishes that were on my first Top 20 polishes have been purged now (Orly Galaxy Girl was a favourite of mine, but suddenly, I no longer loved it.)
Purging and downsizing is not for everyone. I would not force yourself to do it, unless it's something you really want to do. For me, I just started getting so overwhelmed at the number of polishes I owned, I wanted to declutter this part of my life. Sometimes, I totally wish I kept every polish I ever purchased so I could have a more comprehensive collection from which to do comparison posts, but it's not a good enough reason for me to keep so many polishes :)
Phew, that was long-winded! Do you have any tips or tricks for purging? Do you have any challenging purges to share? :)