What’s The Best Place To Store Nail Polishes?

by Gio
how to store nail polishes

How do you store nail polishes to prevent them from going bad too soon?

I know, I know, nail polishes tend to have long shelf-lives. That’s because they have no water and plenty of solvents – a toxic environment for bacteria.

But that doesn’t mean that nail polishes will last forever ,either. They can dry out, lose colour and solvents overtime. And when that happens, there’s not much you can do to save them.

What you can do is to prevent that from happening in the first place. Here’s how:

Where Should You Store Nail Polishes?

To prolong the shelf-life of your nail polishes, simply store them in a dark, cool place like a drawer. I keep mine in the last drawer of a cabinet in my bedroom, which is the coolest room in the house.

According to Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, executive vice president of OPI, a cool environment “will slow down the discoloration that happens as polish gets older”. Plus, this reduces solvent evaporation and prevents the formula from separating.

Should You Store Your Nail Polishes In The Fridge?

According to Weiss-Fischmann, the fridge is indeed the best place to store nail polishes. This will definitely make them last longer, but not everyone is in favour of it. The reason why I don’t store them there is because my fridge is pretty small and there’s just not room enough to store my entire collection there, unless I stop buying food lol. 🙂

But cosmetic chemist Mort Westman expressed a more serious concern about this storage solution. Polishes are highly inflammable and he believes it can be dangerous to store them in sealed place with an electric motor that could spark and cause the bottle, if it is left open or accidentally breaks, to explode.

I believe the risk of this happening is quite small, but just in case make sure the bottle is intact and tightly closed before placing it in your fridge.

Should You Store Your Nail Polish Bottles Upright?

Wherever you decide to store your nail polishes, keep the bottles upright. I used to just throw mine in the drawer but this made it a lot harder to shake the pigments back together.

Since I’ve started storing them upright, in neat rows, one next to the other, I don’t have this problem anymore. Besides, the shade you’re looking for is much easier to find when your stash is well-organized!

How do you store your nail polishes? Share your thoughts in the comments below.



Janessa August 21, 2012 - 12:32 pm

Wow, when I have my own house, apartment, or cottage, I’m getting myself a fridge just for makeup! :] I’ll be that crazy girl with a fridge full of inedible beauties. I didn’t purposely store mine in a dark cool area, but as it turns out, I do! It’s in a cabinet on wood blocks that ascend like stairs so that I can see all the colors at once (or at least the cap and 1 cm of nail polish).
😀 Is that Sinful Colors’ polish in “Green Ocean”? It looks so pretty!

beautifulwithbrains August 21, 2012 - 6:22 pm

Janessa, aww that would be so cool! I wish I had the extra space in my house for a second fridge lol. 😉 And that’s good that you’ve been storing them right all along! 🙂

I’m not sure. I’ve had to use a copyright-free photo I’ve found online as I’m without a camera for a few days.

Ana August 21, 2012 - 1:33 pm

I keep them in a big drawer, in a few smaller boxes.

I’m still searching for a perfect royal blue and a true gold, but I vowed not to increase my collection further because I think they’ll dry out before I get to the bottom of them even as it is now.

(All the colours in the photo seem so yummy.)

beautifulwithbrains August 21, 2012 - 6:24 pm

Ana, your collection sounds very neat and organized. And I worry about that too. They can last for years, but it’s so hard to finish just one bottle, let alone a few. After all, we only have two hands lol.

Ana August 22, 2012 - 12:03 am

That’s the reason I go for the Shrinkle mani 😀 (different colours on alternating fingers).

I actually get away with it.

beautifulwithbrains August 22, 2012 - 1:05 pm

What a great idea! Your nails must always look so cheerful and colorful! I will give it a try too. 🙂

Trisha August 21, 2012 - 3:38 pm

Hmm, I think I’ve got them in a good place, then. They’re on top of my dresser in my bedroom (the coldest place in my apartment, too). They aren’t shielded from the sun, but I don’t get much sun in this basement anyway.

beautifulwithbrains August 21, 2012 - 6:25 pm

Trisha, if you don’t get much sun in there, then it shouldn’t be a problem indeed. 🙂

Makeup Morsels August 21, 2012 - 8:42 pm

I store them upright in a drawer in my bedroom 🙂 I do think those nail polish racks look quite cool though! I actually didn’t know that storing them upright helped prevent them from separating, it’s just how I’ve always done it. Interesting tip about the refrigerator, thanks!

beautifulwithbrains August 22, 2012 - 1:07 pm

Makeup Morsels, you’re welcome. And I’m glad you’ve always stored them right! I wish someone had told me sooner that it’s much better to store them upright. 🙂

La Bisbetica August 21, 2012 - 9:29 pm

I store most of them in a drawer, only a little part of my collection rests in a metal box. They stay away from the sunlight, but I’m still worried because my apartment is often warm.

I should look for a nail polish fridge!

beautifulwithbrains August 22, 2012 - 1:09 pm

La Bisbetica, I worry about that the heat sometimes. My bedroom is the coolest room in the house but in the summer it is so hot that you can’t help but wondering if it’s gonna affect them anyway. I really wish I had the space for a nail polish fridge too!

Sophie August 22, 2012 - 12:49 am

I would think the cold from the fridge would make them thicken? I have them in lucite boxes, on the floor (no drawer space just now), away from the sun. As this is Florida, the AC is always on!

beautifulwithbrains August 22, 2012 - 1:13 pm

Sophie, mmm I hadn’t thought of that. I used to keep a bottle in the fridge when I was in high school (my collection was extremely small then) and I didn’t have any problems with it. But it could be a good idea to take the polish out of the fridge some time before using it, just in case it should have thickened a bit.

Sophie August 22, 2012 - 12:51 am

Also, I’m not a beauty blogger, but my collection has grown exponentially this year! LOL! They say when the economy is bad, women buy lipstick. I think this year nail polish sales have surpassed lipstick sales. Just a theory.

beautifulwithbrains August 22, 2012 - 1:15 pm

Sophie, I think you may be right. I remember reading on a blog (can’t remember which one sadly) a few months ago that nail polish sales had indeed surpassed lipstick ones. 😉 Seems like nail polish is the new lipstick indeed. 🙂

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