Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Swatchicles

What are Swatchicles I hear you cry?  Well, this post should explain! 
 
As your nail polish collection grows it can be difficult (if you're like me!) to remember exactly what you have hidden away in drawers so for this reason I like to swatch all my polishes on my Nail Claws, also commonly known in the nail world as Swatchicles.
 
 
Swatchicles are colour swatches of each polish which are stuck onto lollipop (popsicle) sticks to help you keep track of your collection, colour match your polish and compare similar shades.  The nail comes from the combination of the words Swatch and Popsicle, because these are swatches of colour attached to popsicle (or lollipop if you are based in the UK like me) sticks.
 
For me they are the easiest and most practical way to keep track of exactly what I have in my stash.  Nail wheels are fine if you aren't planning on adding to your collection but as soon as you do you either have to start the whole wheel again to add the new shade into the right place or you have to live with your colours being out of order (something my slightly OCD attitude will not allow).
 
These swatch sticks are also very simple to make, and generally a lot cheaper than buying nail wheels or stands with ready made swatch sticks included.  Here's my speedy guide on how to make your own should you wish to:
 
 
All you need are lolly sticks, false nail tips and double sided sticky pads.  I buy my lolly pop sticks and nails from eBay or Amazon depending on who is cheapest but a craft shop, for the sticks, or beauty supply store, for the nails, would also work.
 
I buy the nails I use in a size 2, these are a good fit to the sticks and give a nice large area of colour once they're painted.  Some people use larger nails but I find this size is big enough and I like the fact they end up being in line with the lolly stick.
 
 
To create your Swatchicle simple double over a sticky pad, attach it to the top of your stick and then place your false tip over the top, give it a little squeeze and you're ready to paint.
 
 
On your stick you can then write any information you like to have handy about the swatch, generally I do Brand, Polish Name, Polish Number and number of coats I've done on each swatch.  This means when I choose a colour I know exactly which bottle type and drawer to look for to locate that polish.  Once they're all painted and labelled they're ready for matching and comparisons.
 
 
As you can see, I have quite a collection forming which I keep in Tupperware pots for easy access, they look nice and colourful sat on my mantelpiece, like little pots of nail shaped flowers. :)
 
 
Having all the colours I own easily accessible and beside each other means that I don't tend to over look colours just because they are older or hidden at the back of a drawer, it also means I can store my polishes by brand rather than colour family which makes it really simple to find the bottle I want as fast as possible.  It also means I can easily compare similar colours to see which best suits my needs (and outfit) that day.
 
 
I tend to save up my new buys and paint the sticks in bulk, that way I can get a little production line going and by the time I get back to the first stick it's ready for it's second coat.
 
 
So, there you have it, an introduction to Swatchicles!  Do you swatch all your polishes? How do you store your swatches?  If you don't swatch, how do you organise and keep track of your collection?

13 comments:

  1. This is the first time I've heard of this idea and I LOVE it! I'm starting to paint my nails for the first time in years (started a few months ago and have a couple of hundred polishes already) and I've been wondering how I could swatch colours together without, as you say, starting another nail wheel for each colour family and then getting annoyed when you really want to put a new colour just between two you've already painted on the wheel.

    I already have lolly sticks (UK here as well) and sticky pads from previous crafting so I just need some false nails.

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    1. Try eBay and Amazon, I often find it's cheaper to order in bulk (of all the sizes) from China than to just buy the size you want. The last lot I bought were about £4 for 50 of each size (1-10), I'll probably only use sizes 1, 2 and 3 but it still works out cheaper than just buying individual sizes. x

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  2. What a fantastic Idea , i will now be doing the same with my collection, thanks for sharing ! :D

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    1. You're welcome, I look forward to seeing yours!

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  3. This is brilliant, I fancy putting mine (when I get around to doing it) onto metal rings so I can hang them up and rearrange at my will. I hadn't thought of putting them in pots and displaying them. What a great idea!

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    1. I've seen it done with rings too and that looks great as well, I think as long as you can move them about and they aren't in a set order it's ideal for growing collections.

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  4. These will never not be terrifying :-). I love those shoes <3

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    1. I do too, so much I have them in about 8 different colours. :D

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  5. What a brilliant idea! I too have only got back into nail polish in a big way, over the last 6 months or so. Ebay here I come :> I'm so glad I had a look at your blog lol xx

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    1. Thank you, glad I could be of use! :D

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  6. I do this but I use plastic spoons with the spoon bit cut off, as I couldn't find that many lolly sticks!! Where did you get yours from? xx

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    1. I've had them from eBay craft section, Amazon or sometimes I pick them up in person from Lakeland. You get them in most craft sections, generally in packs of 50 or 100.

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  7. I ordered 100 lolly sticks from ebay for £1.60 + 70p postage. Can't wait to start painting now lol xx

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