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POLICE FILES: Ikea Helmer – the full story

June 16, 2010 by pam

When my polish collection started growing so fast that keeping my bottles in my trusty old Krispy Kreme tin box was no longer possible, I started looking around for a good storage unit.

In the perfect world, I would have my beautiful bottles lined up on tiny shelves on my walls but nope, that’s just not possible, not in a world of dust and potentially strong earthquakes.

I started looking around for racks but there were none readily available in stores here and ordering online and shipping bulky racks from abroad would be too crazy.

I looked for cabinets too but didn’t find anything that was the right size and that would hold a lot of bottles.

Finally, I thought I hit the jackpot at True Value. I found a multi-drawer storage cart on sale – it cost just a little over P1000.

I built the damn thing, using an old flashlight because I didn’t have a hammer.


But I soon realized that its drawers were too close to one another to hold the bottles in an upright position. I ended up using just every other drawer. I took out five of the drawers to create space for the bottle tops.

But that wasn’t the end of the problem. Taking out five drawers meant the five remaining drawers had zero protection from dust. Every single week, I would come home to find my bottles of polish sad and dusty. It pissed me off.


I wiped them clean every single week. The bottles, the drawers. I lived like that for months – until I discovered the Helmer.

The Ikea Helmer, countless nail polish bloggers and members of MakeupAlley’s Nail Care Board all agree, is the best nail polish storage unit there is. It’s pretty, it’s sturdy, it can store a lot of polish, it doesn’t take up too much space and it’s the perfect size.

The big bonus for me was its ability to protect your bottles from annoying dust.

Although Ikea doesn’t have a store in the Philippines, there are a couple of Ikea resellers here and I sent a message to my favorite, 5 Corners in White Plains, Quezon City, which I visit pretty regularly.

The response was fast and I was told that although they don’t have any Helmers in their store ready for purchase, they can order one for me. The Helmer is sold at $39.99 in the US but 5 Corners sells it for P3500. It’s more expensive, sure, but I didn’t mind, especially since they were bringing it in just for me.

I needed to make a 40% deposit and wait between three to four weeks before I can pick up the unit from their store. It sounded good to me. White and silver are also available but I ordered the red one.

I made the deposit and just a little over two weeks later, my sexy red Helmer arrived.

I waited a couple of weeks before I could start building it. My schedule was really crazy and I had to leave for Australia.

The day after I got back, I finally opened the box.

This is how the Helmer looks unassembled:


But thanks to my cousin El and to my metal-bending abilities, we were soon able to turn it into this:


In the top drawer, I put my bottles of Chanel, Lippmann Collection, Dior, China Glaze and Zoya. This is also where my MAC and American Apparel polishes will go.


In the second drawer, I put my OPI, Essie, Orly, Diamond Cosmetics, Nubar, Misa, Butter London and Nars.


In the third drawer, I put my Sally Hansen, Revlon, L.A. Girl, Eyeko, Arezia, Color Club, Borghese, Tony Moly, The Face Shop and other Korean and drugstore polishes.


In the fourth drawer, I put my bottles of Polish from Australia along with one bottle from Korean brand Nature Republic – the only bottle I have that is so tall it couldn’t be stored upright in the Helmer.


In the fifth drawer, I put nail treatments and top coats, Konad, Nic’s Sticks, fake Hello Kitty nails, weird glow in the dark nail polish from my cousin El, color charts and packaging I just couldn’t part with yet.


In the sixth and final drawer, I put my popsicle swatch sticks and materials for swatching – everything from fake nails and more popsicle sticks to my beloved glue gun and extra glue sticks.


I love my Helmer.

I love that my nail polish collection has a new home and that my bottles will stay dust-free.

Next on my shopping list? Rubber mats so my bottles won’t slip and slide when I pull open the Helmer’s drawers.

Want your own Helmer? E-mail, visit 5 CORNERS at 129 Katipunan Ave., White Plains, Quezon City or call 0920-9276480.


  1. lelila says:

    you got yours for 2 weeks lang? aww, we waited for a month for ours, I’ve yet to receive it actually. Excited for my own helmer! You have a lot of polishes na! When did you start collecting? I started 4th quarter of last year lang

    • pam says:

      A little over two weeks naman :) I ordered mga May 12 and got it before the end of the month.

      Yup, over 300 bottles na.. I started late November last year but I’ve always been into polish since college pa. I would pick up a few bottles in Rustans and when I’m traveling but nothing crazy, not like now.. haha!

      • lelila says:

        almost same time lang pala tayo nagstart. pero mas addict ka nga. haha.

        i just got word that the box I was waiting for at the end of the month was delivered at my place today, woohoo, andun mga inaantay kong polish.

        • pam says:

          hahaha! nag-wane na siya ng konti, i think.. i haven’t been buying as much as before. ang hirap kasi ijustify kasi ang dami ko nang colors na similar.. kahit sa australia, i kept asking myself, “wala ka pa ba ng color na yan?” eh ang sagot lagi eh “meron na” haha!

          yaaaaaaay! post haul pics please! i love nail polish porn! :)

      • melvel says:

        300 bottles? My golly!

        Actually, I’m scared to count how many I have. Probably not as much since I’ve not been buying anything lately. And I set limits for myself and I really try to comply with my personal limits.

        • sol says:

          mel, pwedeng conteder ni belle si pam, at the rate she’s going haha.

          and speaking for myself, check this out!

          • pam says:

            yaaaay sol! i looooove the pic! :D nail polish porn! :D

            haha no way, belle is in a different league.. sya steady ang shopping eh :) i’ve slowed down na, i swear!

        • pam says:

          around 300, might be more na.. haha i don’t want to count rin.. and i swear, i’ve slowed down na.. :D i’m going to set a monthly polish budget na.. :D pero may fine print yan for sure – like when i’m traveling and when there are special releases that i absolutely have to get.. haha! :D

          • sol says:

            haha. nasa 150 pa lang siguro ako including those i just got, by next week, mga 170 kase i’m expecting some more polishes pa. hay kaloka!

          • melvel says:

            Ako naman, my limits are not by amounts. It’s more of, do I have a color like this already? Or is this dupe-able (for expensive polish). I’ve basically learned not to buy a color just because it appears to be hard-to-find or is positively reviewed online. Didn’t get Nouvelle Vague precisely because I have For Audrey already.

            But the real reason why nagtitimpi ako is because I’ll be in the U.S. later this year. There, I plan to hoard all those brands I can’t get here (Hot Topic, Finger Paints, Claire’s etc.)

            • pam says:

              that’s what i’ve been doing too – i keep asking myself if i already have dupes of colors i want to buy and that has cut down my nail polish shopping a lot.. :) i still find it hard to resist blues and greens though.. and lately, yellow polish..

              i’m going to the states too in october and i am looking forward to nail polish hunting while i’m there :) finger paints!! omg!

  2. Nikkiz. says:

    Wow! Good thing I didn’t get that multi layer drawer from True Value too! I use baskets from Daiso for my polishes which I stack inside my vanity table cabinet.

    • pam says:

      I thought the multi-layer drawer from True Value would be perfect pero di kasya yung polishes if you put all the drawers. I gave it away na hehe :)

  3. shoutingwind says:

    I want to try nfu oh cuticle remover. the best daw yun!

  4. pilar says:

    I started reading your blog a few weeks ago and I gotta say, I LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog! Your passion for nail polish is infectious, entertaining and educational. Keep it up! :)

  5. ThRiSzHa says:

    wow!! I want this one.. I have lots of polishes and Im having a problem on how to store them.. for the mean time I store my 500+ polish in a plastic container the same container likes urs and just put them under my bed… weeeeeeeeee.. I will try to look for this helmer.. btw, i want to follow ur blog… but i dont see any follow option…

    • pam says:

      you’ll love the helmer! you might need two though :) i think one helmer can hold just around 500 polishes :)

      i’m trying to figure out how to add a “follow this blog” widget here. that’s a blogger feature and i’m using wordpress :( will figure it out..

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