Makeup Organization: 7 Life-Changing Storage Tips

March 09, 2021
Deven Hopp
By: Deven Hopp | by L'Oréal
How to Store Your Entire Makeup Collection

Many of us have a lot of extra time on our hands right about now and tackling some home organization projects is a great screen-free way to fill it. 

Because our beauty product obsession simply can’t be quelled, we’ve become quite the makeup organization experts (after many trips to The Container Store, that is). If getting your vanity or medicine cabinet in order is on your to-do list, read on for seven tips on how to best store makeup brushes, blushes, lipsticks, nail polish bottles and more.

Opt for Drawers Instead of Countertops

Store your makeup in drawers to keep it out of direct sunlight and away from life’s inevitable messes. This will keep your counter space decluttered and preserve your favorite products. When you liberate yourself from surface clutter, you will instantly feel more organized, and you won’t have to worry about accidentally knocking your favorite eyeshadow palette off the counter and watching it shatter into a million tiny pieces. Been there, cried about that. 

Clean Out and Categorize

There’s no use in organizing expired makeup, so start by sorting everything into two piles: a save pile and a toss pile. There’s also no use in keeping makeup you never wear. If you can’t remember the last time you used it, it goes into the toss pile. For products that are empty, recycle them to declutter and help the planet by cutting down on beauty waste.  

The save pile can be sorted into as many categories as you need. We recommend grouping items together by use, like eye products, face products, lip products and so on. You can get as specific as you want with your groupings, but this is the easiest way to start.

Save Space With Stackable Containers

Each product category should get its own compartment, so you’ll want to opt for trays and boxes that fit together and stack easily. Bonus points if those containers are clear because it will make finding products from your favorite brands so much easier. You can find clear plastic organizers that fit the bill at any home improvement or beauty supply store. If you prefer the look of wood or lacquered plastic containers, label your trays and dividers so you know exactly what is inside each.  

Separate Out What You Use Regularly

Store your containers in order of what gets the most use. If you don’t wear eyeshadow 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” bin. This way, your foundation, concealer, mascara — or whatever your essentials may be — will be easily accessible. Do the same with the makeup brushes you use daily, too.

Store It So You Can See It

While we love to stare into a sea of lipsticks as much as the next person, it poses a big problem when you’re trying to find a specific shade. Our tip? Store lipstick upside down so you can read the color name on the bottom of the tube.

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.   

Organize Your Makeup Brushes

 The best way to store makeup brushes is to sort them by type. Brushes can be divided into two categories: face and eyes. Keeping them separate will save you from losing your eyeliner brush amongst the bristles of your fluffy powder brushes. For the health of your brushes, be sure to store them standing upright in jars or in a special brush holder.

Clean Out Often

Every six months or so, go through and clean out expired products and makeup you haven’t used since your last organizing spree. To keep your Marie Kondo-worthy collection in top shape,  go through your trays and move any misplaced products back into their rightful home at least once a month.
Photo: Chaunte Vaughn

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