Lucy's Guide to Looking Like a Million Dollars

How to Swatch Your Nail Polish Without Using Swatch Sticks

The more nail polishes you own, the harder it gets to keep track of all your polishes and remember what each one looks like. Many manicure enthusiasts use plastic nail swatch sticks to swatch their polishes and organise them. However, for those who can't find swatch sticks or prefer not to use them, there are many other DIY options available. If you're in the market for some new OPI nail polish colours, why not start swatching and organising using one of these 4 methods?

In a Notebook

A swatch notebook, more commonly known as a swatchbook, is one of the easiest ways to swatch your nail polish. To make a swatchbook, all you'll need is a notebook of your choice. The best notebooks have thick, unlined pages, so art sketchbooks usually fit the bill, but any book will do. Once you've got your notebook, all you need to do is paint a coat (or two coats for certain polishes) of each colour in the book and write the name of the polish underneath. You can also keep loose paper in a binder if you like to organise polishes by colour. To neaten things up, try using a stencil or painting the polish onto adhesive label and sticking those into your swatchbook.

On the Lids

Another great way to use sticky labels is on the lids of your polishes themselves. This is ideal for those who are more concerned about seeing what a polish looks like before using it than they are about finding a colour quickly. Check your local stationery shop for small, adhesive labels that fit onto the lids of your polishes. Then, all you need to do is paint the labels with polish and stick each one to its respective polish lid. If you find some polishes have particularly small lids, you can also try sticking the labels onto the base or side of the polish.

On Keyrings

Many polish enthusiasts thread their nail swatch sticks onto ring binders so they can flip through them easily. You can achieve a similar result with keyrings. Paper keyrings are affordable and can be found in most office supply stores. All you have to do is paint the polish on one side of the keyring and write the name of the polish on the other side. Repeat for each polish you own, then thread them onto a larger binder ring. For added organisation, use one binder ring for each colour.

On DIY Swatch Sticks

If you love the look of swatch sticks but can't find them anywhere, you can always make your own using blank false nails and wooden craft sticks. To turn these two simple components into a nail swatch stick, simply paint the false nails with polish and fix them onto the sticks with craft glue. You can then either store the sticks in pots, or punch holes in them and attach them to binder rings.