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 firstname.lastname@example.org, visit 5 CORNERS at 129 Katipunan Ave., White Plains, Quezon City or call 0920-9276480.