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How to Marie Kondo your nail polish collection

We’re pretty sure you have at least one nail polish in your collection dating 10 years back. 

Real talk — have you ever successfully finished an entire bottle of nail polish? It’s a real challenge, ending oftentimes with dried, cracked nail polish. Hands up if you’ve ever tried reviving it with some nail polish remover? Guilty as charged. The cycle never ends because we just keep buying new ones in newer, trendier shades.

What you’re left with is a huge nail polish collection that will only keep growing until you decide to Marie Kondo it. There’s no better time than now to do it, since you’re stuck at home anyway.

But don’t worry — we’ll hold your hand and guide you through this turbulent experience. Observe:

Lay it all out

Image: So Nailicious

In true Marie Kondo fashion, you must first dump out all your nail polish bottles. Doing this step allows you to properly inspect each bottle, and you can then decide whether to toss them or not. The easiest way to is by separating and categorising them according to its colour family — blues, pinks, reds, purples, greens, nudes, neon and etc. This is followed by top and base coats —  satin, matte, shimmer and glitter. Don’t forget to separate gel, regular lacquer and tints too. You’ll be able to see everything clearly.

Spot the duplicates

By now, you’ll be able to see all the shades you own and feel ashamed. You might notice some duplicate shades — or too many red nail polish shades. Make a mental note to not purchase any more, and then begin narrowing it down. Identify the shades that are quite nearly identical, and discard the ones that cannot be saved. Here’s a tip: leave your nails bare in case you to do some side-by-side swatches.

Arrange into piles

There should be three piles: one to keep, one to gift to friends and family, and another to discard. Nail polishes generally have an expiry date of one year after opening. Some of your bottles might still be in good condition – aka the formula hasn’t separated or dried up – but if you haven’t used it for half a year, it’s time to toss or pass it to someone else.

Photos by Jealous Weekends and Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Jolin Lee
Unlike most modern-day millennials, Jolin does not need caffeine or alcohol to power through the day (and night). Her eye for beauty is as sharp as her eyeliner flick, and she can spot your unblended eye makeup from a mile away.