Nine Genius Ways to Organize Your Makeup

Krista Diamond |

If you love makeup, you don’t want to just store your products; you want to show them off. That being said, sometimes your Pinterest-inspired makeup organizing dreams don’t look so beautiful in real life. If you’re one of those people with a bathroom countered that’s littered with tubes of lipstick and mascara, it’s time to organize your makeup.

We’ve already explored how to store your makeup in a storage unit, but here are nine genius—and easy—ways to store and organize your makeup collection at home.

1. Invest in acrylic cosmetic storage drawers. Every self-professed beauty guru on YouTube and Instagram has them. The much touted varieties go for hundreds of dollars, but you can find versions that are just as beautiful and much, much cheaper, like this great option on Amazon. These will keep your makeup organized and allow you to see exactly where each product is.

2. Use a mail organizer. You’re not restricted to makeup-specific products when it comes to organizing your foundation, eyeshadow palettes and everything else in your collection. A mail organizer is a genius way to organize your makeup. For larger palettes—you know, the big, awkwardly shaped ones that don’t fit into drawers—try a magazine holder.

3. Shop your local thrift stores for uncommon objects that can be used to store brushes. Be creative! Delicate tea cups, vintage vases, mason jars and pots for plants can all be used to organize your makeup brushes. Fill your favorite container with coffee beans or glass pebbles (the same ones you’d use for the bottom of a fish tank) and stick your brushes in. You can also repurpose old candle jars. Once a candle is finished, boil water and pour it into the jar. Remove the remaining wax and voila!

4. For bigger collections, upgrade your storage. This is kind of obvious, but it must be said. If your makeup collection is too much for your current vanity, get thee to Ikea and purchase an Alex drawer unit. It’s small enough that it won’t overwhelm even the tiniest of apartments, but it offers a ton of storage space.

5. Use magnets for storage. Put magnets on the back of your flatter products (eyeshadow, blush, etc.) and follow this tutorial to create a magnetic storage board.

6. Spice it up. Get a stylish spice rack, like this gorgeous copper one from World Market and use it to store products on the wall. You can store nail polish, or other bottled products like foundation and primer.

7. Put your best products forward. Showcase your most beautiful products on your vanity or bathroom sink and keep the less aesthetically pleasing stuff out of sight—but not out of mind—by storing it under your sink or on the back of a door with an over-the-door shoe organizer.

8. Get a lash storage case. Did you know that false eyelashes can be reused? If you handle them gently and clean them with makeup remover in between uses, they can last for weeks or even months at a time. Storing them in a lash storage case—like this gorgeous champagne gold one—will help preserve them and will keep them organized.

9. Know when to throw out makeup. The first rule of organizing is to reduce clutter. Yes, this even applies to makeup. Most makeup products have an expiration date, but as a general rule, powder products have a longer shelf life than liquids. Powder products typically keep for about two years while liquids last about six months to a year. Times differ by product. Mascara has the shortest lifespan (three months) and blush has the longest (two years). Consult this chart for more details, but use your own judgement too. If a product has changed color, consistency or scent, toss it.

Pro tip: Make your makeup last longer by cleaning beauty tools, keeping products closed and storing everything at room temperature. If you have to store your makeup in a storage unit, keep this in mind.