how to pack nail polish for moving

How to Pack Nail Polish When Moving

In Nails by Angie Canning

I‘m back!  Whew!  It has been four days shy of a month that I’ve posted here on VanityRouge and girl I have missed you!  If you don’t follow me on social media you may have missed my brief announcement that we were moving and then the posts pretty much came to a halt.  I didn’t intend to be gone for this long, but I seemed to have forgotten how much moving an entire family takes out of ya!  Packing up, switching schools, trying to figure out where the most important places are (like Marshalls, Sephora, oh wait maybe the grocery store and of course Target!), and then unpacking and trying to find a place for all of that crap that came with us has definitely been an adjustment! 😉  We are so excited to be close to family again that it is all worth it and we are becoming more settled in day by day.

Today I’m typing at my desk in my new makeup studio and if you could see me now I don’t have on a lick of makeup and I’m surrounded by empty boxes since I just unboxed my photography lighting (woohoo!) and for the first time I’ve gotten out my trusty Canon to snap some pics for this post (eeek!) and girlfriend it feels oh so good!

To ease back into posting, and before I inundate you with reviews from products I’ve been testing, today I’m showing you how I packed my nail polish collection for the move.  Keep in mind we were only moving one hour north of where we used to live so I was able to pack my entire makeup and polish collection personally into my car and transport it to the new place.  I got lucky so it wouldn’t have to sit in a scorching moving truck for two days!  So for those of you who need to transport a major polish collection securely without having to wrap each polish tightly in bubble wrap then keep on reading and hopefully this might help you.

Press Sample

Packing Materials

I had a closet full of boxes, bubble wrap, tissue paper and foam padding to work with so if you have access to packing materials you can recycle like this go for it!


boxes to use when packing nail polish for moving

In my stash of boxes I found the best ones to use were medium sized boxes similar in size to the POPSUGAR Must Have box.  I also preferred boxes with a “clamshell” like opening (for lack of a better description).  You know the ones that have the flaps to tuck in on the sides.  I tried to pick boxes that weren’t too deep so that there wouldn’t be a lot of extra vertical space when the polish was set inside.

You may notice that I have only three boxes I am sharing with you in this post for illustration purposes.  However, if you knew I’ve been beauty blogging for four years you would be correct to assume that is not all of the polishes I am having to unpack.  But we’ll not get into the numbers, because at this very moment I’m floating down a river in Egypt known as de Nile…


I first checked the height of the box in relation to when a nail polish bottle was set inside.  If the box was too deep I would line the bottom with bubble wrap or foam first, but if it was close I wouldn’t worry about the bottom.  Next I lined up the polishes, bottoms down tightly together in equal rows.

using recycled packing supplies and old cardstock is perfect to use when packing nail polishes for moving

Now comes the fun part!  Taking pieces of old cardstock weight scrapbooking paper I cut long strips the length of the box and I made sure it was tall enough so it would be over the height of the glass on the bottles.  I then set those strips in between the rows of the polishes in one direction.

old scrapbooking cardstock gets re-purposed in packing up my nail polishes

To make sure the glass bottles wouldn’t knock against each other in between the rows I simply hacked off little squares that I could set in between the polishes going the other direction.  I did not care if the squares didn’t look pretty – as long as they did their job I was happy!

how I safely packed my nail polish collection

This is how the polishes looked after the cardstock was in between each of them.

packing up my zoya nail polish collection

Many of my Zoyas all in rows!  Don’t they look pretty?

packing up my zoya and formula x polishes for a move

Spot any familiar bottles?  Zoya, Formula X, essie…

a mish-mash all packed! Formula X butter London, MAC and essie

MAC, essie, Lakur… spot any others?


This may surprise you, but the padding you use isn’t the most important.  I didn’t want to wrap each polish individually so I used padding materials like tissue paper, large bubble wrap and packing foam sheets that I had on hand to take up the extra space on the bottom and top of the box so the polishes were secure all around.

large bubble wrap is great to use when moving nail polishes

Large Bubble Wrap

bubble wrap and recycled tissue paper work great at taking up extra space in the box

Bubble Wrap + Tissue Paper

this foam packing sheet worked perfectly to pad the bottom and top of this box for transporting polishes

Foam Sheets

Did It Work?

I am happy to say that I didn’t have a broken polish in the bunch when I got to my destination (and this was after loading and unloading it twice!)  Also because the polishes were separated into several smaller boxes it was actually easier to move, because nail polish bottles start to get heavy really fast!  The entire process was not as time-consuming as wrapping up each polish and it makes it a breeze to unpack as well, since I don’t have to unwrap anything.  It ended up being the easiest beauty product to pack for me, and I dreaded it the most!

Additional tips for moving your nail polish collection:

  • Go through your nail polish stash prior to packing it all up and see which ones you can give away to friends or donate.  You will bring a smile to someone else’s face and you will save yourself some work having to move a polish that you won’t use anymore!
  • Before lining the polishes up in rows inside the box give each lid a twist to make sure it’s on tight in case the box gets tipped over in transit.
  • Try to group similar polishes together so they fit more tightly, but as you can see I had a box of many brands together and it still works great.
Do you have any tips to share about moving your nail polish collection?  Have you moved them overseas or across the country and have they lived to tell about it?  Please share below!

PS – I’m so happy to be back dahling!  Let me know what you want to hear about next and I’ll put it on the calendar!

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