Is it exaggerating to say that a nail polish organizer saved my marriage? Maybe. But if you’ve ever thought, “What’s one more polish?,” this post is for you.
The best thing I did when my partner started giving my overflowing polish bin the side-eye was order some specialized nail polish storage. It instantly reduced how big my collection looked. Plus, now I can see all my shades at a glance and store the organizer out of sight.
When I filled that storage, my partner told me, “So buy another organizer. They’re easy to store.” The freedom to just buy that color-changing nail polish you’ve been eyeing might be better than winning the lottery.
I bought myself this Makartt Universal Nail Polish Case years ago and I loved it so much I bought a second one last month. This plastic nail polish briefcase holds around 48 bottles of polish, 24 on each side, and stores them in a compact, efficient way.
The plastic isn’t completely clear, but you can easily see through it to identify your colors. The organizer opens on both sides so there’s no need to remove the top level to get to the polish underneath, just close the container, flip it over, and open the other side.
It fits all my nail polish brands except (Smith & Cult) and there’s an adjustable row so you can create a larger compartment for tools, nail files, or particularly tall polishes.
A handle on the top of the case to make it easy to carry and it stands upright on its own when you set it down. Keep it mind that with this much polish, it can get a little heavy when full but I’ve never had a problem with the latches opening on me in transit.
I do sort of wish I had bought their larger version which holds 60 nail polishes, so that’s definitely the one I’m buying next.
Find more Makartt Universal Adjustable Nail Polish case information and reviews here.
If you prefer your polish to be in reach, this Five-Tier Polish Display by JackCube is a good option. This rotating stand holds around 350 bottles of polish while still making every polish visible by spinning the stand around, 360-degrees.
The stand itself is made with sturdy, clear acrylic and minimal metal railings so it doesn’t make a big statement on its own or distract from the polish. I like that the top tier is a shelf that can be used for larger objects or more nail polish. Each side is 11.3 inches wide and the display is 20.2 inches tall.
They also have a three-tier version.
Find more 5-Tier JackCube Rotating Nail Polish Display information and reviews here.
That is not a typo. The NOVA I Nail Polish Cabinet by Mayakoba can fit up to a whopping 468 bottles of nail polish. You’re not going to find anything else with that much storage on this list. If you’re looking for storage for your nail salon or nail room if you’re a home nail artist, this is the option that will give you the most space.
This over six-foot-tall cabinet is built to be accessed on both sides so the 12 extra-wide shelves can fit two rows of polish bottles to be viewed from the front and the back. They’re wide enough to fit a row of nail polish and a row of dip nail powder jars behind that. This also means that there’s room for your non-standard polish bottles like Smith & Cult bottles which are significantly wider.
There’s a locking cabinet below for storing larger items and beauty organizers for nails tools.
It’s probably a given that this huge cabinet is too large for casual nail polish lovers looking for something they can hide away in their closet, but if you’ve got the polish and room for it, this cabinet will lend a professional vibe to your space.
Find more NOVA I Nail Polish Cabinet information and reviews here.
The ButterFox Large Nail Polish Holder is big enough for home storage but is compact enough to work as a travel bag. It has two compartments in one bag that stack on top of each other.
In the lower section, there’s space for up to 50 nail polish bottles with flexible dividers that can adjust to fit different sizes of lacquer bottles. The cover for this compartment is the bottom of the top compartment. This section has a couple of strap slots made for bottles like slip solution for extensions or a nail polish remover pump dispenser bottle which is so much more convenient than traditional bottles. There’s a zippered mesh pocket to hold smaller items and storage space on top of that pocket.
The lid has five pouches shaped to hold nail files, brushes, and manicure tools. These pouches are covered by an opaque flap to better protect your tools as well as keep dust, glitter, or pigments on your brushes from transferring to the rest of the bag.
There’s a sturdy handle on the top of the bag for carrying but there’s no shoulder strap so keep that in mind. It’s black with purple zippers but it also comes in black with red zippers, pink, and purple.
Find more ButterFox Large Nail Polish Holder information and reviews here.
Nail polish supplies aren’t limited to polish bottles so check out this Nail Polish Wheeled Train Case to fit all our nail equipment in one place. Lots of organizers offer space for bottles but this one has room for UV nail lamps, nail art and nail stamping tools, nail dipping powder, nail art brushes, and nail extension supplies.
The top section has a divider insert with slots for 45 nail polish bottles as well as a clear zippered pouch that fits in over it. Below that are two drawers with large open storage space for larger items (or more nail polish). The sections lock so you can keep the case secure during travel or keep your kids out of your nail glitter.
It’s larger than most organizers on here but this is on four 360-degree movement caster wheels and the two front wheels lock for stability. A telescoping handle makes it even easier to move around like a wheeled suitcase. If you like this style, most rolling makeup cases can be converted to nail polish storage with a tray divider insert.
The case is around 19 inches tall, 13.7 inches across, and nine inches deep.
Find more Rolling Nail Polish Train Case information and reviews here.
If you’re only looking for a travel bag, the Kiota Manicure Set Storage Case is a great travel companion. This one lunchbox-sized bag unzips to reveal two smaller matching bags, one shorter for accessories and tools and one taller bag designed to store 18 nail polish bottles.
There are two mesh pockets for organization and a foam base in the nail polish bag with cut-outs for your polish so your bottles will stay secure and not bounce around or clack against each other while you’re traveling. That does limit the size and shape of your polish bottles, but the foam insert is removable if you won’t want it.
It’s cute, convenient, and a good travel buddy.
Find more Kiota Nail Polish & Manicure Set Storage Case information and reviews here.
If you’ve got storage space that doesn’t work for polish right now, consider getting some of these Nail Polish Drawer Inserts from Polar Whale. They convert your drawers, storage bins, or your favorite makeup train case into dedicated nail polish storage. Each insert is made of supportive foam with slots cut into it with a channel running between them all to allow for larger or oddly shaped polishes to get the wiggle room they need.
They come in five different sizes and thicknesses. I’m featuring their larger which is 11.5 inches by 14.5 inches with 63 compartments. Their smallest is 8.9 inches by 10.9 inches with 30 polish compartments. You can buy these inserts in lots of one, two, three, and four.
Find more Nail Polish Drawer Organizer Inserts by Polar Whale information and reviews here.
This Sagler Nail Polish Wall Rack holds around 102 bottles and keeps polishes at your fingertips. The clear acrylic shelving goes with any decor and holds most brands including OPI and makes the colors of your bottles pop.
The six shelves have a small lip in the front to keep polish from being knocked off the front but it’s clear so you can see each bottle easily. At around 20.5 inches wide and 25 inches tall, it’s a good size for home or as a smaller rack in a salon.
It arrives completely assembled which I love. Mounting hardware is included to help you properly install it onto your wall.
Find more Nail Polish Organizing Wall Rack information and reviews here.
If you’re looking for a portage storage bag, the 2-Tier Detachable Nail Artist Storage Bag is a great travel companion. It’s loaded with compartments and organizers and zippered pouches. No space is wasted in this bag.
The two soft-sided cases function independently or they can be zippered together to form one large case for easier carrying. The top case has room for 20 polish bottles and three pouches on the lid, perfect for nail brushes, dotting tools, and other loose manicure tools. A clear plastic protector velcros down over these storage pouches to keep your items in place and protect the rest of your back from anything that might still be on your brushes.
The bottom case also has 20 nail polish slots but the lid of this one has a larger zippered pouch with a clear plastic side so you can quickly see what’s inside. To protect your polishes, the slots are soft instead of hard plastic to keep your bottles from bumping into anything hard.
I love that you can use one or two cases at a time so you can customize your travel bag based on what you need. If this teal color isn’t for you, it also comes in black, pale rose, and pink.
Find more 2-Tier Detachable Nail Artist Storage Bag information and reviews here.
The Lotus Nail Polish Trolley is a great option if you’re looking for a way to store a bunch of polish that’s easy to see without installing brackets into your walls. I love wall racks but I really hate hanging things up on my walls. It makes me so nervous that it’s going to fall, so I love alternatives like this that stay solidly on the ground.
This trolley has eight tiers of four shelves. Each tier can hold around 28 polishes which comes out to 224 nail polish bottles total. There are two shallow container shelves on the very top which are perfect for storing orange sticks or nail polish remover clips.
The design on this is awesome for fitting non-standard bottles as there’s plenty of room for taller bottles and bottles that are wider than traditional ones can be inserted sideways as nothing has to close over it. The eight tiers and four sides hold so many organizational possibilities from by color to by brand.
The whole thing is on four 360-degree caster wheels making it simple to move this around the room. Storage of 224 bottles is going to be really heavy so you’re going to want those wheels.
Find more Lotus Nail Polish Trolley information and reviews here.
This Alcyon Nail Polish Case takes the normal take on a universal plastic polish briefcase and flips it on its head. Most plastic cases in this style, like the Makartt cases I own, have the polish bottles laying down flat so if you want your bottles to stay upright during storage, you need to have the briefcase sitting on its side. This case is much thicker and the slots are designed to set your polish in upright.
This means you can lay the case on its side and all your bottles will be right side up. Having polish upright also makes it easier to pick up your lacquer of choice. My one complaint about my cases is that sometimes trying to get a polish out of its little compartment can be a hassle, but with this design, you can just grab the top of the cap and pull it out.
The base has a removable foam divider that keeps bottles from banging into each other and protects the polish during transit. It says it’s universal but there will be brands that won’t fit in here. Particularly tall polish bottles or wide ones like Smith & Cult will cause you some trouble but most brands should fit just fine.
Find more Alcyon Universal Nail Polish Case information and reviews here.
For a more traditional makeup style train case, Shany has this Nail Polish Train Case from their Color Matters series. This hard, faux leather-covered train case has a lockable top compartment with 24 removable and adjustable compartments for nail polish bottles and a pull-out drawer with open storage space.
There’s a small mirror and six elastic loops on the top cover which are a good size to store short brushes or dotting tools. The lid and drawer both latch shut securely and the lower drawer can fit another 24 nail polish bottles with room on top for larger items. There’s also a long pouch along the back great for nail files and orange sticks.
I like that the open space gives you lots of options to store nail tools or larger nail polish bottles. This isn’t a good choice, however, if you want to be able to see all your colors easily and quickly. You can always paint a dot of the polish on top of the caps, but you still need to open it.
The hard case provides protection and the shape makes it easy to store, though it doesn’t use its space as efficiently as others. It comes in several fun colors including Vicious Blue, Sugar Gum, and classic Black.
Find more Shany Color Matters Nail Polish Train Case information and reviews here.
For a display on your manicure table at the salon or your vanity at home, this Tabletop Nail Polish Stand takes up a bit of real estate but looks so satisfying. The stadium bleacher-style stand is available in two sizes: three tiers which hold around 30 bottles and the featured six tiers which hold around 60 nail polish bottles.
The row shape means it can fit larger shape brands like OPI with no problem. It’s made of clear, hard acrylic so it’s sturdy, won’t clash with your decor, and allows you to quickly take stock of all your polish colors even though they are stacked. This stand does require some assembly.
Find more Tabletop Nail Polish Stand information and reviews here.
This Nail Polish Travel Case by Ver Beauty holds over 100 nail polish bottles in a format that we’re familiar with: the makeup train case. This more elgant, adult case has three layers of polish holders with removable dividers and a soft cork base to cushion the polishes and keep them safer during travel.
It opens to swing aside two polish trays (each with 16 bottle slots) to reveal a full polish tray with 45 bottle slots. Once you unbuckle that from the bottom, it lifts away to a third polish tray of 45 bottle slots. The dividers on any of the levels can be removed to make room for larger nail polish tools and accessories. The product says it can hold up to 148 bottles but by my count of the compartments on the picture, I’m seeing that you could fit more like 122–this is still a huge amount of polish.
It comes in this Rose Gold color as well as Black. The case is 13.25 inches long, 9.5 inches deep, and 14.5 inches tall.
Find more Ver Beauty Nail Polish Travel Case information and reviews here.
In a similar style to the Shany case, this Nail Polish Train Case by Frenessa holds around 24 polishes in its top section and has an open drawer in the bottom section for more polish, accessories, or tools.
This train case has a tough aluminum casing and a lockable top drawer for security. A mirror sits in the lid along with six elastic loops for holding dotting tools and brushes.
The bottle organizing compartments are removable and customizable so you can adjust as needed for different shaped bottles. The metal handle has a comfortable curve for travel and the shape makes it easy to stow away out of sight.
As well as the featured purple, this nail polish holder comes in three other colors: pink, red, and rose gold.
Find more Frenessa Nail Polish Organizer Train Case information and reviews here.
The biggest factor in deciding what kind of organizer is best for you is whether or not you want something that will keep your polishes out for easy access and for everyone to see or something that you can store under your bed, out of the way.
Display organizers, like nail polish racks, are great because they give you easy access to your polishes at all times. You can see all the colors you have with a glance and they look beautiful too.
Not everyone has the space to display their polish collection out in the open, but luckily there are tons of storage options that allow you to stow all your polishes neatly in a container you can stash away under your bed or in your closet.
Storage options are also much more portable than display types making it much easier to tote your entire collection around your home or across town to a see client or just to do your nails with your friends.
Storage options also often have options to hold nail art tools and accessories like your nail brushes or extension supplies.
It’s recommended that you always store your polish bottles upright. When polishes sit for a long time, they are bound to have some separation so you always want to shake or roll the polish in your hands to evenly distribute the color.
When your bottles are stored upright, the color settles on the bottom making it much easier to redistribute with a shake. Redistributing is harder when the settling is on the side of the bottle instead of the bottom.
That said, I totally store my polishes on their sides. I know I shouldn’t, but that’s the storage solution that works for my living situation. Honestly, I haven’t had any problems.
There is enough nail polish in a standard-size bottle that if you polished your nails once a week, you could wear that one color for about a year. This is also another argument against deciding to use up what you have before buying the polishes you’re really into right now. It’s going to take you a long time to use up a polish.
Not really. While some consumer guidelines may say you should toss your lacquers two to three years after opening, the polish itself doesn’t actually expire and, according to Nails Magazine, can last indefinitely if stored properly.
When we think about things going bad, we tend to think of microbes like bacterial growing but the ingredients in nail polish include solvents like acetone and ethyl acetate. (Compound Interest breaks down the main ingredients in this helpful infographic.) These chemicals make polish an extremely inhospitable place where bacteria won’t survive so nail polish doesn’t “spoil” or become more harmful to use even after years,
However, it can become thicker or clumpy if stored incorrectly.
As long as you take care of it, it should last forever. Check out this Bustle article on nail polish tips for more info.
Temperature. Exposing your nail polish to extremes in temperature, particularly heat, is bad for the formula. Heat can affect the solvents that keep your lacquer a liquid causing it to thicken or separate.
This is also the reason why you shouldn’t store your nail polish in the bathroom–showering creates frequent changes of temperature and humidity which isn’t great for polish.
Keep your polish someplace cool and dark without big fluctuations in temperature and you’ll be golden.
Sunlight. If left in the sun, the color of your polishes will fade so keep them out of the sun. This goes for clear top coats too because sun equals heat.
If you’re working with gel nail polish this is even more important because sun exposure, if your bottles aren’t firmly capped, can cause your polish to cure inside the bottles and there’s no coming back from that.
Keep those caps clean. One of the biggest causes of thickening is evaporation. If the cap or neck of your bottle is gunked up with nail polish, your nail polish bottles won’t close properly. Without an airtight seal, your polishes will thicken over time.
If you have to struggle to open your lacquer or if little rings of dried nail polish fall out of the cap when you do–you need to clean your bottles. Take some non-acetone nail polish remover and wipe the inside of the cap and the neck of the bottle, careful not to get any remover in the bottle itself. Your polish will last longer and be easier to open.
Hope is not lost. Your lacquer can be saved.
Just add a nail polish thinner, which replaces the evaporated solvents, a few drops at a time until you get the consistency that you want. For regular polish, I recommend Seche Restore. For gel and shellac polish, go with Gelos Gel Thinner by LeChat.