Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

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

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232 thoughts on “Nail Polish Storage Solution: Ikea Alex

  1. Allison

    you dont have any opis?

  2. Ali

    excuse me while i pick my jaw up off the floor.

  3. Sally

    I love how you said “AND THEY DID! AND ALL THAT POLISH WAS ORGANIZED!” It made me laugh so much, like the end of a fairytale or something! Hahaha.
    But it looks amazing! I love that successful feeling of being (mostly) organized :]

  4. Rachel

    Hello! this year my makeup and polish collections increased, and I decided to buy helmer to accommodate all in it because I read about it in many blogs that was so great, but I was really disappointed, the drawers are long and when you open all to the end, they fall if you don’t hold them… so my next investment will be vika alexa! thanks for your great blog!! kisses

  5. Jean

    Oh, my, God!!! I need one for my makeup! It’s driving me insane either not knowing where things are or knowing where they are but having to sort through piles of the things!

  6. Xtina

    That is a cool organizer… and that is a TON of nail polish. Do you ever throw anything out?

    • If it’s bad, I will throw it out (well, properly dispose of it – since it’s nail polish), but generally, I do what I can to pass along items I no longer need to local shelters or organizations that can put them to better use.

  7. Alex

    you have enough nail polish to last 100 lifetimes. i envy you for that.

  8. Bethy

    Want! I want this SO VERY MUCH!

  9. Jessica

    wow that is a ton of nail polishes!!

  10. Jennifer Lam

    OMG, so many nail polish. = HEAVEN

  11. Dana

    Looks great! I don’t have nearly as many as you but mine are always a mess. I think I’ll go to Ikea this weekend :)

  12. Jeannie

    That is A LOT of nail polish, lol.

  13. Melissa

    I have the white alex and made a desk/vanity out of it. Tons of storage! alburn10 on makeupalley for pics.

  14. Rosanna

    love it:) how tall and wide is this thing?

  15. yaniskidz

    Christine, Love your collection!
    I have the helmer (in ivory) for my makeup organization and actually works quite good, I have inserts from IKEA antonius that fits ok, not perfect but better than anything else I tried. I have another helmer (in red) in the desk and that cabinet is really convinient. It’s a pain to ensamble but once you do one the second one is easier (and I bought them 1 year apart from each other).
    For my polishes I have just a Antonius basket with a handle and works perfect for me, I just have only like 50 polishes, not that I will ever 700 polishes. but beautiful collection!

  16. Lyn

    OMG Your collection is gorgeous!! I love the little branded symbols on top of some of the nail polishes (specifically chanel & dior)

  17. StellaWho

    Ouufff I think I’d be obsessed with filling out the drawers~!

  18. Brigette

    WOW! Thank you so much for sharing.. This is a perfect way to organize Nail Polish. :))

  19. Ashlee

    Awesome. Oh can I borrow some polish? Lol I have less then 2 dozen

  20. Liliane

    Wow, nice collection! :)

  21. Great post!! I have been looking for something similar for my nail polish storage that also matches my dark furniture. I bought a train case for easy transportation but its already full:-) Can you tell me how tall this one is? I’m really interested in getting it!

  22. Cheyenne *DemureAllure*

    I don’t have much polish yet, but I buy like 8 every other week…haha my obsession. I wonder if you can order this online?

  23. Eileen

    Fantastic … the drawer set and your polishes!!

  24. Juliana

    WOW! But you only have 2 hands… ^^

  25. Isabella


  26. Doreen

    Omg! !! That’s alot of nail Polishes!!

  27. Cat

    I like the looks of this one, but I really wish it came in dark brown! I ended up getting a red Helmer even though it’s not my favorite shade of red. It fits perfectly under my desk though. It does seems flimsy, but it’s not too bad, and it holds nearly all my polish quite well.

    Besides ChG For Audrey, what are some other colors you like to wear?

  28. Lauren

    holy jeebus that is quite a collection of nail polish you have there! im loving the drawers too. i think i need to meet this alex!

  29. jerilyn

    wow… thats a beautiful rainbow of nail polishes! what do you do with the colors you don’t use? wow!!! im so amazed…lol… i want i think i’ll be picking up that drawere at ikea too!

  30. Kat

    Wow, so impressive!

    Maybe you could get dividers as well so the bottles in the drawers don’t shift around when you pull it out, or use a rubber mat on the bottom…if you have this problem. If not, fab! It looks really nice!

    I am drooling over the colours =)’

  31. VJNS

    Are you serious? You’ve got more nail polish than a department store…lol. I love it!!!

  32. Maria

    I bought the same “Alex” + the tall one both in white and I adore them there perfect to house my crazy collection of makeup, and make it look neat =)

  33. Eleonora

    OMG that’s so awesome!

  34. zb

    That is a seriously amazing collection of polish. My little plastic drawers from Staples look so tiny by comparison. Thanks for the great photos and review!

  35. cheryl

    i hope my little army of nail polishes grows to be as big as yours!!!

    though it looks like you can’t acquire any more china glaze polishes, cos then they’ll have to invade the other brands’ drawers :p

  36. Allison

    qhy dont you have any opis anymore?

  37. Annamaria

    omg…your collection is fenomenal! You should have a couple more hands to make it justice andwear alittle bit more ahahaha

  38. Mel

    Got love Ikea. I have the malm 6 drawer unit for makeup and jewelry (built in mirror on the top). The malm dressing table wasn’t sturdy. I agree with you, the Helmer unit is flimsy and would not have storage as much. Good choice with the Alex unit.

  39. Ruthless

    I was also let down by the Helmer, although I did purchase it because it was inexpensive. It is flimsy, but on the plus side it has wheels and is easily moveable

  40. anna

    do opi’s fit in this?

  41. Holy crap thats so freaking gorgeous!

  42. Wow, it’s beautiful! 😀

  43. Michelle

    I know I am late, but this is absolutely FABULOUS!

  44. Paige

    Where is the video if your 2010 makeup collection? With the chrome drawers? I can’t find it. And, I am sooo showing my cousin this, she has so much nail polish!

  45. Hi

    How many Chanels will one drawer hold?

    Thanks :)



  46. lauren

    wow i need one where can i buy one

  47. Stephanie

    hello (:
    so how many polishes in total are there?
    did it fully fill up the alex storage?
    hmm, are u gonna buy 1 more of that alex storage if there are more and more polishes coming?
    do u think this would be a better option? –>


  48. alyssa

    That is a MASSIVE nailpolish collection. haa ill be there very soon.

  49. Loved this post. I linked to it with photos and full credit at my Storage Geek blog.

    Hope that is ok, cheers, Melissa aka The Storage Geek

  50. Ohmygoodness! I just had to shop my sister this post. She thinks my collection in massive (pushing 80 bottles) but this is amazing. Seriously envious right now. I was trying to decide wether or not to get a Helmer myself, but I have all black furniture too. This would definitely do the job.