Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sourcing for Nail Polish and Other Manicure Supplies

This certainly isn't a new idea, but have you ever tried going to a nail salon supplier to find nail polish?  There are two suppliers in my area that I'm willing to drive to that will sell to individuals without a nail tech license.  The benefit of going to these places are wholesale pricing and a large inventory of "salon, professional" quality supplies.  I'll review one store, that I try to get to, on a monthly basis. 

Skyline nail supply is located in Falls Church, VA in a dumpy, run-down, ethnic strip mall.  This place is always busy, at least when I go there.  There are trucks dropping off and picking up merchandise by the pallet continously.  The front of the store is littered with cardboard boxes and inside is somewhat a disorganized mess.  The shelves are rougly organized by nail polish brand and the individual colors are all mixed up on messy shelves.  Essie and Station nails dominate the store.  There are rows upon rows of dust covered old Station nail polish its gross!  China Glaze and OPI share a section, Zoya and Orly share another.  Color Club is shoved in the back and for the longest time they only had neon Color Club to choose from.  CND is there too but covered in so much dust I don't want to touch it.  Other than nail polish, you can by nail files by the case, tubs of lotions, cleansers, scrubs, and giant message chairs.  Cuticle remover and cuticle oil too come in massive amounts!  Oh they also have an endless array of fake nails and acrylic and gel nail supplies. 

I'm sorry I don't have pictures of the inside but the owners are Vietnamese, which I am not, and I didn't want to start snapping pictures and get kicked out!  Can you imagine getting cursed at in Vietnamese over nail polish?  OMG! OMG!

Here's a recent haul from early April.

Left to right: CG: Foie Gras, Dance Baby, Electric Beat, Seduce Me, Hook and Line, Orly Rose Colored Glasses, CC Gingerbread, Candycane, Zoya America, Dita. 

All China Glazes are $3 each.
Orly $4
Color club $2
Zoyas $4  (They have a bad selection of Zoyas all mainly reds and pinks.)

OPI are $3 each, but If you haven't noticed I don't buy OPI because they are owned by Coty a parent company that tests on animals and same with Essie, owned by Loreal.  This may change in 2013, as I wonder if these companies will have to comply with European regulations to stay competitive. 

I have bought some old nail polishes from here that were no longer good and I got burned (both Zoyas).  There are no refunds or exchanges allowed.  So I only try to buy new collections here because I know that they are fresh.  When the Hunger Games collection came out March 23, Sally's was ransacked and there was nothing left.  At Skyline they had the whole collection in cases, so there was plenty to go around and they were $3 each, not $5.99 at Sally's or a whopping $7.99 like they are at Ulta.  They also still have a bunch of China Glaze and Orly Christmas sets still left over.  There kits are cheap too, for example if you wanted the whole China Glaze electropop collection, there are two sets of six, so each set is $18, still $3 per bottle.   And they come in the plastic box that you see on Amazon or Transdesign.  They also let you take apart the sets too.  The guy in the store said to me if I only wanted to buy two I could take apart the set and leave the other four behind.  I said "Really?  Won't that ruin your set?"  He said, "No worry, I will sell the four later."   COOL!  I thought.

So put up with the dust and be super nice, (because the prices are not marked) and have fun shopping for hard to find salon polishes on the cheap. 

Do you ever go to wholesale nail suppliers?

If you missed this morning's half moon mani post click HERE.  It is awesome, so don't pass it up!


  1. OMG i didn't know there was a skyline in your area! there's one that i always go to over here too! it kinda seems like yours is better though, cause our selection is really inconsistent. sometimes they'll have new collections/lots of good brands, other times they'll have nothing! the one over here doesn't have zoya or color club though, just opi and china glaze (on the good days). i'm not vietnamese either, although i know how to speak it, and i've noticed that the people there are a lot nicer to me if i speak in viet haha! maybe you should learn some phrases to get on their good side :D

  2. WOW, there is a skyline in Cali?! I wonder if there is a franchise? What a discovery! That's a good idea, I should pick up at least 10 words in Vietnamese!

  3. omg that's sounds like such a great place to buy polish supplies!!! im produ of you for hauling reasonably!