Nail Polish Storage Solution: Ikea Alex

Temptalia Nail Polish Stash

Ikea’s Alex ($119.00) is my new storage solution for my nail polish. I stopped by Ikea earlier this week to investigate some potential storage solutions. I originally decided to finally grab some Helmers to control my nail polishes, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

See, every time I go to Ikea to buy the Helmer, I am completely put off by how flimsy it feels. Maybe the floor models are absolutely brutalized and feel less sturdy than newly assembled Helmers, but I just can’t convince myself to buy them. (I’m also not keen on the color selection–all of our furniture is black, with the exception of our office desks, which are beech). Enter in Alex, which was this six drawer unit on display next to the Helmer!

The Alex is actually a product series, and there are quite a few variations. I considered the taller versions for makeup storage, but I couldn’t commit because they only come in white–and for $119 a pop, I won’t compromise on color. I reckon that you could probably DIY some kind of paint job, though, if you’re creative enough :) Anyway, the six-drawer Alex that comes with casters does come in black.

There are three shorter drawers and three taller drawers. Since I expected to get Helmers, I didn’t bring any polishes with me for height tests. I crossed my fingers and hoped that some of the shorter bottles would fit.


I think this unit would work for the majority of beauty buffs, both as makeup storage and/or nail polish storage. I will caution you that if your collection only consists of taller bottles (think China Glaze and OPI), you will only be able to use the bottom three drawers for storage. The top three drawers are too short (but they fit Chanel, Dior, Illamasqua, RBL, etc.). I was sad to learn that Essie is just a touch too tall to fit in the smaller drawers… like 2 millimeters too tall! Zoyas are also too tall.  (Edited:  It seems like Essies will fit with a little maneuvering – seems like you can’t have them right against the sides.)

It does seem to hold quite a bit of polish. I only have four drawers with polish, and none of them are completely filled. I didn’t count this time around (I will do more micro-organizing by color when I have more time), but last time I posted, I had 669. I would guesstimate that there are around 700-750 polishes in this at the moment.

For those with modest nail polish collections, this could easily work — the bottom drawers definitely hold enough (the bottom drawer looks like it’ll hold 17 [China Glaze] bottles across x 10 bottles deep for 170 bottles in total). The shorter drawers will work for shorter brands, if you have ’em, but they can also hold makeup, hand creams, nail files, etc.

Ultimately, for me, I really love how sturdy the Alex is.  It’s heavy without polish, and the drawers slide in and out with ease.  I also love the look of the drawer unit:  it’s sleek with clean lines and matches the rest of my furniture.  It holds a good amount of nail polish, and there is some room for me to grow!

See more photos!

Temptalia Nail Polish Stash
Shorter drawer: Chanel, NARS, Dior, Lippmann, Butter London, Illamasqua, RBL, Lancome, MAC

Temptalia Nail Polish Stash
Taller drawer: Zoya & Essie

Temptalia Nail Polish Stash
Taller drawer: Orly, SpaRitual, Barielle, Milani, Nubar

Temptalia Nail Polish Stash
China Glaze

Temptalia Nail Polish Stash