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Beauty Nails

What Is Dusty Hunting?

A fairly great dusty hunting day

As a fairly new polish junkie, I have missed out on a lot of past polish collections. There are even some shades that I remember seeing but, in my civilian ignorance, ignored because they were not pink or purple. HA!  Because of this, my lemming list is long and daunting. Fortunately, with a little bit of luck and determination (not to mention awesome friends!), I have been able to acquire quite a few of those coveted polishes. The best way to get your hands on discontinued polish is dusty hunting.
Dusty hunting is a fairly simple concept. Dusties are nail salons and beauty supply stores with old polish stock that sits so long in the store that it literally has collected dust. The idea is to track down these stores using the handy dandy Internet and/or yellow pages and hope they have something you are lemming. Not sure where to start? Here are some tips to help jump-start your hunting adventure:

  • Plan ahead. Visit several dusties in the area –  especially if you are driving a bit out of your way to visit one. Map out your route, and don’t get discourage if you don’t find anything right away. Chances are something will surprise you eventually. This is also a great thing to do before visiting another state.
  • Make a list of the polishes you are hoping to find. It has happened to me (way more often that I’d like to admit( that once I find a dusty with an awesome selection of hard to find polish, I forget what I wanted in the first place. Being excited about a find is great, but it can cloud your judgment. A list of your most wanted shades will definitely save you from some “d’oh!” moments later. Of course, no one’s saying you have to stick to the list. It is just nice to have.
  • Constant vigilance! In my opinion, the word  “hunting” should be taken quite literally. Comb their shelves and clearance sections very carefully. You never know where you might find that shade you have been lemming. It might be buried in a bin or hiding behind another brand. The more thorough you are, the better chance you have to walk away with something awesome.
  • Bring cash. It just makes things so much easier. A lot of dusties have a minimum purchase amount for credit cards, and the last thing you want is to have to buy more that you have intended just to meet that criteria. Plus, in my experience, I have been able to haggle a bit on the prices of shades if I pay in cash.

With these tips in mind, you are bound to have a great dusty hunting day. Remember to have fun. It shouldn’t be stressful!
One final note: as new polish collections come out, try not to buy everything up just in case it might become hard to find in the future. First and foremost, you should buy the shades that make you happy, even if they are not the most hyped. If you do, chances are you will end up with a ton of polish you don’t want that other people may not want either. Shop smart: look at swatches, read reviews, and test the polishes in person if you get the chance. You will be much happier with your stash in the longer, trust me.
Have you ever gone dusty hunting? What was the best thing you found? Discuss it in the comments or over at MakeupTalk’s Nail Talk Forum.