Advice for a beginner on starting collection

Mar 7, 2008
288
48
Hi everyone! I've tried searching and I couldn't find a similar post, but if there is one, please point me in that direction. :smile:

What advice do you have for someone just starting their collection?

What do you wish you had done differently, if anything?

So many of you are very experienced and have been nail polish enthusiasts for years. I have a lot to learn and I've thoroughly enjoyed reading many of the threads and various blogs. I'm very interested in your advice, as I find with anything in life it's best to ask those with experience. I've always loved nail polish but I've never had more than a handful - usually in the more traditional colors. I appreciate any advice you have to offer.

Thank you!
 

ByeKitty

Literally amazing!
May 8, 2010
11,579
3
Europe
I'd say start out by trying a few brands to see what brushes and formula you prefer, and choose a few brands to put your focus on, otherwise you'll have too little overview since there are so many new collections released every year...You don't have to be too strict though, do try to play around a little. I never thought I'd buy Essence polish (really cheap Euro drugstore brand), but I got a bottle for Christmas and found out I loved the formula.

I think every nail polish enthusiast should have at least one shade of red, one nude and one sexy dark vampy color. Of course it kind of depends on your everyday style though. If you always wear pastels, would a black nail polish make sense? I also love grey polish.. If you choose well it can even be office appropriate, but it's edgy nonetheless.
 

Phédre

O.G.
Nov 20, 2007
8,739
6
45
Antwerp
Welcome Silverfilly!
I would get good basics to start with: handlotion to moisturize, glass file, remover, good basecoat and fast dry topcoat.
For nail polish, check out your wardrobe and see what colors match. I agree with ByeKitty, a red, a nude or pale pink and a dark vampy are good to start, but just go with colors you like!
You could try a bolder color on your toes first and see how you like it. Or do one accent nail to get used to it. Just try and have fun!
 
Dec 19, 2009
2,220
0
Swatching on wheels/boards and starting a spreadsheet early. I used to be able to keep track of my collection easily (when it was at about 75 polishes), I could rattle off the names/colors/finish of all of them, but once you go over the 100 mark everything starts to get fuzzy... Or maybe that's just my brain capacity :lol:

Also, don't buy polishes just because of the hype. Not worth it! Don't buy a polish you won't wear (there's a reason I don't have pinks or vampy colors) and don't let disapproving glances stop you from wearing a polish you like.
 

ashleyjena

O.G.
May 8, 2010
3,073
2
Connecticut, USA
cheetah_pita said:
Swatching on wheels/boards and starting a spreadsheet early. I used to be able to keep track of my collection easily (when it was at about 75 polishes), I could rattle off the names/colors/finish of all of them, but once you go over the 100 mark everything starts to get fuzzy... Or maybe that's just my brain capacity :lol:

Also, don't buy polishes just because of the hype. Not worth it! Don't buy a polish you won't wear (there's a reason I don't have pinks or vampy colors) and don't let disapproving glances stop you from wearing a polish you like.
I totally agree with this! It's a real pain in the butt to swatch and spreadsheet record 100+ polishes so starting early would definitely be beneficial.

Try out some brands and colors you're interested in. If it doesn't work out you could use makeup alley to swap it out.
Invest in some sort of storage and start organization early as well!

Have fun!!!
 

coronita

Sipping ginger ale
O.G.
Jun 21, 2008
3,545
16
Jersey
I started out by going to the store and just picking up colors I liked or called out to me. Don't be afraid to try out polishes just because of the price point. So what if it is 99c? It could probably end up being your best/most favorite polish!
 

taco

Member
Jun 1, 2006
3,887
0
Use sales to try out colors you are not sure of. The Rite-Aid 40% off wetnwild polishes makes the core line 60 cents, makes it easy to try a lot of colors and you may be surprised at how great a cheap polish can be.
 

knasarae

The K Is Silent
O.G.
Apr 23, 2007
33,246
842
Boringsville, USA
Swatching on wheels/boards and starting a spreadsheet early. I used to be able to keep track of my collection easily (when it was at about 75 polishes), I could rattle off the names/colors/finish of all of them, but once you go over the 100 mark everything starts to get fuzzy... Or maybe that's just my brain capacity :lol:

Also, don't buy polishes just because of the hype. Not worth it! Don't buy a polish you won't wear (there's a reason I don't have pinks or vampy colors) and don't let disapproving glances stop you from wearing a polish you like.
Amen and hallelujah!
 
May 18, 2008
9,119
7
LA
I started out by going to the store and just picking up colors I liked or called out to me. Don't be afraid to try out polishes just because of the price point. So what if it is 99c? It could probably end up being your best/most favorite polish!
I completely agree with this. one of my favorite nail polishes was 2 pounds from primark. Some cheap nail polishes are amazing, don't be afraid to try cheap nail polishes, you might find one you really like!
 

GhstDreamer

Lady Philosophy
Authenticator
O.G.
May 13, 2008
14,598
1,828
Near carnage alley
Explore different brands and always cheaper brands (Revlon, WetnWild, Rimmel, etc.) if you want to venture beyond the traditional colours like pinks and reds. Definitely take a look at the swatches of polishes in this forum - that's how I discover DL Lady Sings the blues, A-England Tristam, etc. so you may find a colour or brand that you gravitates towards. Agree with cheetah-pita - don't just buy a finish, colour, LE collection or brand due to hype - I bought a shatter polish and gifted it away after realizing it doesn't look all that great and something I really wouldn't wear.
 

PolishQueen

Member
Sep 14, 2011
1,027
0
Israel
Think about what colors you like, you say you like the more traditional colors right now. well expand on those, corals are lovely to wear for spring and summer and theres a wide range of colors just in that one type. If you like pinks have you tried mauves or purpley pinks? Also look at the skin of your hands not every color flatters everyone, me i have very whte pink skin so orangey reds give me lobster hands so i can only wear cool tone reds. If you've been reading various blogs then you've probably seen swatches of some wild types of polishes, magnetic, flakie, , holos, glitter, duochrome, jellies, the list goes on think about the swatches you've seen and think about the ones that blew your mind, for me it was seeing a swatch of Nfu Oh 51 and Clarins 230. I would suggest making a list of polishes you would like to have, i'm sure if you ask anyone here they will tell you they have a wish list. Dont worry about liking pinks and reds and such, those are the colors that speak to you right now maybe in the future your taste might grow. I never thought i would wear blue polish yet now i have three and i really want a bottle of Deborah Lippmanns Across the Universe. lol I would suggest setting yourself a polish allowance because otherwise you'll find yourself spending way to much money on your growing collection.
 

kac2288

Member
Oct 19, 2011
514
0
lol I would suggest setting yourself a polish allowance because otherwise you'll find yourself spending way to much money on your growing collection.
Agreed! I think that's the biggest thing I regret is NOT setting a spending point or bottle limit.

I just started adding to my collection back in September or October and I can tell you the biggest influence on what I will and will not buy has been swatches online! I look here on TPF and on particular blogs. If there is a polish that's being hyped up by people, I look to the forums and to blogs to see swatches and reviews before I go splurge (usually is best for the high end brands - who wants to drop $22+ for a polish that is rubbish!)

You should try joining an exchange! I received a good amount of polishes - both ones I was wishing for and ones I had never thought about getting and love them all! It's nice to have someone out there shopping for things I might like.
 

kac2288

Member
Oct 19, 2011
514
0
Oh, another place I like to look is the Ulta and Beauty Brands clearance section. A discount always helps me try new things!
 
Jun 21, 2008
10,368
72
On an airplane...
:doggie: don't walk off of this forum! lol











No seriously...


Good luck with this! I am 200+ in and I am trying to redirect my attention to what sticking to what I like.


I do now that my polish affair started back with Essie when I wanted to collect all sheer pinks. I then branched out to pinker pinks and then more bolder pinks. I say start with a color you look first and then you will find your way on what brands and finishes you like. Figure out what you like and stick with it because if you don't you will end up with TONS of untrieds while still adding.



Another thing, start with the cheaper brands and work your way up
 

FillerAve

Member
Jun 11, 2011
1,506
0
My advice would be to focus on colors you really want to wear, versus those you think are pretty in the bottle but know you most likely will not end up using.

Also, I'd recommend not getting too brand specific. It can be easy to get so wrapped up in one brand that you end up getting colors you wont really use, or getting dupes of colors you already have by different brands.

Then again, I'm writing this from a practical perspective rather than a 'collectors' perspective (which is a line I teeter on daily). Mostly I'd say you should just focus on getting polishes you like and want, rather than getting wrapped up in trying to have a 'complete collection' or anything like that.

Oh, and rent/mortgage first, polish later :giggles: