The 7 Rules of Makeup Organization You Need to Follow

An ever-growing cosmetic collection can be cause for celebration, yes. But it can also lead to chaos on your bathroom counter. Lipstick rolling onto the floor, blush spilling into the sink, missing mascara—chaos. Over the years we’ve tried to tame the makeup mayhem that comes with having a product obsession that simply can’t be quelled. And after many trips to The Container Store, we’ve become quite the makeup organization experts. Here are seven rules that will lead you to organizational bliss.

how to organize makeup

1. Pick Drawers over counter tops.

Store your makeup in drawers to keep it out of direct sunlight and away from life’s inevitable little messes. This will keep your counter space decluttered and preserve your favorite products.  

2. Clean out and categorize.

There’s no use in organizing expired makeup, so sort everything into two piles: a save pile and a toss pile. There’s also no use in holding on to makeup you never wear. If you can’t remember the last time you used it, into the toss pile it goes. The save pile gets sorted into as many categories as you need. We recommend these eight: eye shadow; eyeliner, eye pencil and brow pencil; mascara; primer and foundation; concealer; powder, blush and bronzer; lipstick; lip gloss and lip liner. Feeling the urge to organize further? Split up the contents of each category by formula: liquid, cream and powder.  

3. Save space with stackable containers.

Each product category should get its own compartment. Pick trays and boxes that fit together and stack easily. Bonus points if those containers are clear. You can find clear plastic organizers at any home improvement or beauty supply store. If you prefer the look of wooden or lacquered plastic containers, label your trays and dividers so you know exactly what is inside.  

4. Separate out what you use regularly.

Store your containers in order of what gets the most use. If you don’t wear eye shadow on a daily basis, don’t stack that tray on top. Pull out the products you use every day and make the top tray your “every day face.” That way your foundation, concealer, mascara, or whatever your essentials may be, will be easily accessible.  

5. Store it so you can see it.

The only problem with staring into a sea of lipsticks is finding the shade you’re looking for. Store lipstick upside down so you can read the color name on the bottom. The same principle applies to powders, shadows and compacts. If the top is clear, store them right side up. If not, flip them over so you can see the label. Avoid stacking individual products on top of each other so you don’t have to dig for the shade you want.  

6. Sort your brushes.

Brushes get divided into two categories: face and eyes. Keeping them separate will save you from losing your eyeliner brush in the bristles of your fluffy powder brushes. Store them standing upright in jars. Fill the bottom of each jar with coffee beans, rice or pebbles so the brush heads won’t touch each other.  

7. Edit often.

Every six months or so, go through and edit out expired products and makeup you haven’t used since your last edit. Once a month, go through your trays and move those eye shadows–that have mysteriously taken up residency in the blush tray–back to their rightful home. Your monthly sweep is also the perfect time to clean your makeup brushes and tools.  

How do you store your makeup? Share your organization tips below.  

Photo: thinkstock


    About the Author:When Deven's not behind the scenes producing our photo shoots, she's behind her computer writing about everything from nail art to new lipstick.