Decluttering in 2017: Nail Polish

One of my goals this year was to declutter my makeup/beauty product collection and weed out things that I just don’t use anymore.  However if I’m being honest, I’ve been trying to declutter my nail polish collection for over a year now but never been successful.  Instead I just bought more… #logic

It took me quite a few hours to go through it all and sort out what I wanted to keep, what I wanted to give away and what needed to be trashed.  My collection only became this big a few years ago when I suddenly became obsessed with nail polish and would paint my nails every week – and usually buy a new polish every week too.  However, I haven’t been painting my nails much at all lately and when I do, I gravitate towards more neutral colours – I find darker and vibrant colours too much work upfront and to maintain.

Things I learned through this process:

  • I’m weirdly attached to my nail polish – probably more so than any other beauty product I own
  • I’ve wasted hundreds of dollars on nail polishes I’ve either never used or used once and never again
  • I hate the price stickers that Winners puts on their polishes
  • Photographing nail polish is hard
  • Trying to do flat lays on a hard surface is next to impossible and unbelievably frustrating
  • Even after decluttering all of these polishes, my collection is way too big.  My goal is to cut what I’ve decluttered it in half by next year.

Anything that’s going into the trash is either beyond salvageable with lacquer thinner or is dried/used up.  Anything that was still in great working condition was put into my giveaway pile which I hope to distribute amongst family and friends.  Initially I hoped to donate them but there doesn’t seem to be any places here that accept used beauty products – even if they’ve only been used once, although I can understand why.

I had hoped to share my nail polish collection in this post but it just became way too long – so keep an eye out for that sometime next week!



Left to Right: Revlon – Quick Dry Top Coat; Essie – Feed Me: Essie – Gel Setter; Deborah Lipman Hydrating Hardener


  • I really like the Essie Gel Setter Top Coat but I find it thickens up to the point of being unusable about halfway through the bottle which is kind of annoying.
  • I love the Deborah Lippman Hydrating Hardener – I used to use it as a base and top coat!  I wish DL polishes were more accessible here.

Polishes – Mini’s

Left to Right: OPI Mariah Carey Liquid Sand Collection – Get Your Number, The Impossible, Stay the Night, Can’t Let Go; Sally Girl Unknown; Essie – Bikini So Teeny, Essie – Mojito Madness, Sephora Unknown


  • I used one of those Liquid Sand Collection polishes once or twice yet somehow they’ve all become really thick and gloopy.  They’re all really pretty but have a very gritty texture and are a huge pain to remove.
  • Essie’s Bikini So Teeny is such a great periwinkle blue for Summer – I will likely buy a full-sized replacement of this.
  • Essie’s Mojito Madness is a beautiful lime green polish with a fantastic formula.   I rarely wear green polishes but I’d recommend this one if you do.


Left to Right: OPI by Sephora – Indigo Blasted; Sally Hansen Diamond Strength – Sweetie Pie; Julep (no name)


  • Sally Hanson Sweetie Pie is probably my favourite nail polish of all time.  It’s the perfect peachy pink, has a great formula and is long-lasting.  I’ve been unsuccessful trying to find it in-store but Nail Polish Canada sells it (although it’s currently out of stock)  so I might just have to place an order when they get it back in.



Left to Right: Fiji; Coat Couture; Scarlet O’Hara; Starry Starry Night; Fear or Desire


  • I found the formulas on Fiji and Starry Starry Night horrendous – some of the worst I’ve tried
  • Coat Couture was a polish I bought because I saw it on StashMatters blog and fell in love with it.  She said the formula was crap but it looked so pretty I had to test it out for myself. She was right. 🙁
  • Fear or Desire on the other hand, has a fantastic formula but I’m not big on orange polishes.


Nails Inc. Sugarloaf Sunset; CND Vinylux – Regally Yours; Zoya – Indigo; Deborah Lippmann – Since I Fell for You; Essence Colour & Go – Chic Reloaded;


  • Essence Chic Reloaded is the one and only Essence nail polish I’ve tried – it’s a cool shade but it chips like nobody’s business.
  • Zoya Indigo is one of the most disappointing polishes I’ve ever owned.  In the bottle it appears to be the most amazing dark blue with beautiful holographic glitter specks throughout it – it almost resembles a perfect starlit sky.  Applied it just looks like a dark blue and the glitter doesn’t shine through at all.  It’s an okay formula but I was expecting more from it.

Julep & Sally Hansen

Julep: Sasha; Mandy; Unknown, Brooke

SH: Deep Purple; Blue It; White On


  • Julep Sasha and Mandy are great shades and great formulas – but I have almost exact dupes for them in Sally Hansen and I prefer the SH brush.

Revlon & Orly

Revlon: Vixen; Fashionista  Quo by Orly: Twinkle Twinkle; Night Sky;  Orly: ?;


  • Hated those two Revlon polishes – so patchy!
  • Twinkle Twinkle is a beautiful metallic pink/silver shade but it looks really off with my skintone.

OPI / Sephora by OPI

Casting Call; Who’s Spinning Tonight; Designer Fig Leaf; No Name; Swimsuit…Nailed It!; The One that Got Away;


  • Designer Fig Leaf has a great formula and is a really pretty olive green but I never wear green polishes

China Glaze

Highlight of My Summer; Turned Up Turquoise; Flip Flop Fantasy; Shut the Front Door; Creative Fantasy; Graffiti Glitter

All of these polishes aside from Shut the Front Door and Graffiti Glitter are beautiful colours but have horrible formulas which is why I’m letting them go.

I honestly could not believe how much work this was – I hope to never let my collection get this big again.  In fact, I’ve made a promise to myself to go through it again at the beginning of next year and get rid of anything I haven’t used.

Are you a nail polish junkie like me?  Tell me about your addiction below!


  1. Honest Reviews says

    I hate the price stickers that Winners puts on their polishes – me too!!!! I have to remove those Winners stickers from everything, and it takes forever because of all the cuts in the stickers.

    Trying to do flat lays on a hard surface is next to impossible and unbelievably frustrating – my trick is to use some scotch tape. I do this for all the round items that I wanna take photos of (in flat lays).

    • prettyrufflife says

      Oh thanks for the tip about the scotch tape – that’s brilliant! Definitely will give that a try next time!

      Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  2. Chris says

    Aww so many pretties! But I can see why you’re letting them go. It may come as a surprise to you, but I, too, hoard nail polish. ?
    I’ve yet to try a Julep, can you believe it?
    ITA on getting rid of the polishes with annoying formulas. Unless the color is super unique/awesome, what’s the point?!

    • prettyrufflife says

      I had no idea that you liked nail polish? 😉

      I’m surprised that you haven’t tried Julep – although I suppose it’s not the most accessible here in Canada anymore. I think Sephora used to carry them but no longer does. I used to get their subscription box for a while that was fun but it’s so easy to get overloaded with polish that way.

      Thanks for reading! <3

  3. stashy says

    Great job!
    I’m not too attached to nail polishes but my firmly held belief that none of they ever really “go bad” prevents me from letting them go… 😛
    Haha I agree, the stickers at Winners are the devil.
    I think my plan of attack for my purge is to get rid of all minis – I hate nail polish minis! And then polishes that I hate, and ones I haven’t worn in the past 2 years. That should be a good starting point! (and yeah, that Coat Couture is going in the bin for me too – I’m on the fence about getting rid of Starry Starry Night [horrendous formula, I agree] but I might keep it for reference)

    • prettyrufflife says

      I hate nail polish mini’s too – they’re always so hard to apply! I’ve made a point to stop buying them.

      I definitely have some older polishes that have stood the test of time and still perform well – and then some that I’ve used once and are not that old and the formula ends up gloopy. Totally agree that older doesn’t mean they’ve gone bad – totally depends on the polish!

  4. Polished and Inspired says

    Oooh, so many pretty polishes you’re getting rid of! Essie’s Scarlet O’Hara looks super pretty, as does Zoya Indigo, Too bad Indigo was soooo disappointing! The Sally Hansen Deep Purple looks nice too – apparently I’m really into the dark polishes you own, haha! I’ve never noticed Deep Purple in stores, so I’ll have to keep my eye out.

    Good job purging so many nail polishes! I know how hard it is, it’s like letting go of all your babies, haha!

    • prettyrufflife says

      It was tough to get rid of some of those because many are really good polishes – but I just don’t tend to wear darker polishes anymore. Plus I suck at applying them so I find lighter shades more forgiving.

      Those SH polishes are so cheap but impressive quality-wise! 🙂

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