How To: Store and Organize Your Makeup

{Makeup storage Before}

Edit and discard. As someone who ruthlessly edits her closet, the same holds true for my makeup. I don’t believe in makeup taking up valuable space if I don’t use it or love it. Unorganized makeup tends to be dirty makeup and products languishing away at the back of a forgotten drawer can go bad before you get a chance to use them. Remove every item of makeup and appraise it accordingly-toss anything you don’t use or makeup that has gone bad and expired. If you have any products from M.A.C. set them aside to be recycled. For every six original M.A.C. container you recycle, you can receive a free lipstick, lipglass, or eye shadow of your choice (*note* Viva Glam products are not eligible for recycling or for your free item). For more information on makeup expiration dates read Clean House.

Prime real estate. Heat and humidity are the destroyers of cosmetics and perfume. If you have ever left a beloved lipstick in the hot confines of your car you know this to be true. Bathroom cabinets and closets may be convenient but a dresser drawer in the bedroom or a shelf in the hall closet is ideal.

Divide and conquer. Separate your makeup by occasion-what you use on a daily basis, and your special occasion makeup and ala carte items. You want your daily makeup favorite’s front and center at your fingertips, ready to go. I like to organize my makeup in clear plastic bins and organizers specifically designed for cosmetics whenever possible. The Container Store is a makeup aficionados dream.  You can also use shallow, low containers made for silverware, or simply use a drawer lined with a drawer liner or shelf paper.

Like with like. I group all my like products together: powders, bronzers, blushes, concealers, primers, lipstick and lipglosses. For lipsticks and lipglosses, I store them upside down so their shade name is visible. To keep things streamlined, I always prefer eye shadows in pan form to keep in palettes organized by different looks, i.e. day colors and evening colors. I also know makeup artists that divide their eye shadow palettes by colors, i.e. greens; blues, etc. select whichever method you prefer. Lip pencils and eye pencils can be separated and stored in pretty glasses or old candle votives. When I worked at M.A.C. we organized the products behind the displays and schematics in glass beakers and the efficient and functional aesthetic has stayed with me.

Brush basics. Some people like to store their makeup brushes in upright cups or safely tucked away in a brush roll or belt (yours truly). Whichever method you prefer is fine, so long as your makeup brushes are kept out of the high humidity of the bathroom. For more on brush care read How To: Care for Your Makeup Brushes.

Keep it clean. Makeup can get messy easily so be sure and keep makeup remover or baby wipes nearby.  For stubborn spills I swear by Goo Gone. It smells like citrus scented turpentine but it works! Make a habit of wiping your products down and keeping them organized. Straighten up on a lazy Sunday to clean up after the busy weekend and prepare for the week ahead.

All the extras. To make applying your makeup even more painless and efficient keep the following items close by: makeup remover wipes, garbage can, Q-tips, coffee filters, rubbing alcohol, pencil sharpeners, tweezers, tissues, velour puffs, hair ties and clips. The aforementioned steps may look like a lot but it will help keep your makeup necessities clean and organized and get you out the door faster. Or allow you to sleep in longer. ;)

{Makeup storage After images from}

How do you store your cosmetics? Do you keep your makeup organized and clean? Are any of you still using a Caboodle?

P.S. Kim Kardashian’s makeup storage is perfect except it’s stored in her bathroom.

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9 Responses to How To: Store and Organize Your Makeup

  1. Great post- Its so true. Good storage is essential- as is keeping an eye on things when they go out of date! Brush care is essential!xx

  2. Jessica says:

    Oooh – I feel guilted into doing a better job at keeping my beauty products tidy – not to mention cleaning those darn brushes!

    I was just thinking how convenient those Caboodle kits were!

  3. Jessica says:

    p.s. I’ve been working on a new blog! I’m sure I’ll keep Style Obsession for awhile, but I was starting to feel uninspired and a little restricted. Thus: :-)

  4. Danielle says:

    I reallllllly need to rethink my storage. I have old stuff that needs tossing. And I keep losing elastics and bobbypins. I also have a tendency to leave things in the bathroom (gasp). I totes need to revamp my system.

  5. Teri Roughen says:

    Hi Bre-
    This post is so good. I am also one who edits constantly. So, my makeup stays pretty clean. I know when I’m in a rush sometimes I will just throw things back in a drawer and have to go back and clean and organize. I have envied those makeup bins on the Kardashian show. Any idea where to get them? I’ve looked and can only find the small ones. There’s might be custom made, right? Thanks! Teri

  6. I’m glad I am doing all of the above, except for the very first one! I can’t bear to throw out makeup so readily! Even if I don’t like a certain product, I’ll keep it around, in case I find a better way to use it some day. And this has happened before! Then I’ll be glad I didn’t throw it out. But of course there are those that are downright ridiculous… but I’ll still keep them around… to make comparisons. Haha

    Thanks for the tips! =)

  7. My current makeup storage definitely looks like the “before.” I need to weed through my old stuff for sure!

  8. Anna says:

    i love this post. i’m constantly editing. all amazing tips. thanks for sharing, love. I hope you had a fabulous weekend. I’ve got a new outfit post inspired by Marilyn Monroe. Love to hear what you think. xo

  9. Connie Ailey says:


    I was just wondering if you had any experience with the Jane Iredale makeup in the pressed powder as foundation? I bought some a couple of weeks ago, and I keep running to the mirror to see if I have any makeup on! I’ve never seen anything so shear?

    Enjoy reading your posts so much – Just wondering what you thought!!

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