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 everywhere.

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. If you’ve been wondering how to store makeup brushes and products alike, 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. If you liberate yourself from surface clutter, you will instantly feel more organized as well.

Plus, you won’t have to worry about accidentally knocking your favorite eyeshadow pallet off the counter and watch it shatter into a million tiny pieces.

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, it goes into the toss pile.

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 - they make life so much easier.

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.

Want to know how to store makeup brushes? They make containers for that too! You can choose cylindrical containers that perfectly fit the height of your brushes.   

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 “everyday cosmetics.” That way your foundation, concealer, mascara, or whatever your essentials may be, will be easily accessible. Do the same with the makeup brushes you use regularly too.

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. Know How to Store Makeup Brushes

Want to know how to store makeup brushes? Sort them! 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 eyeshadows–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. It’s important to keep them clean so you don’t transfer bacteria to your face.  

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

Photo: thinkstock

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