Do you spend more time looking for your makeup than applying it? Then it might be time to get organized!
Organizing your makeup will save you both time and money. You'll know what you have, limiting double purchases, and you'll know where it is, saving you time on those busy mornings. Storing your makeup correctly will also protect it and prevent cracks, crumbles and spills.
It can be overwhelming to even get started, so we've broken it down for you. Grab a cup of coffee, clear the next hour and get ready to organize!
1. Take Inventory
Especially if you're overwhelmed, the first step is to take stock of what you have. So take everything out (we recommend on top of a garbage bag to contain the mess) and take a good look.
Start by tossing anything that you don't use or has expired. This will keep your collection fresh, hygienic and make it easier to find what you're looking for. Here's a basic guideline for how long you should keep makeup before throwing it away:
If you have unopened products that you just don't use, you can donate those to a local women's shelter instead of tossing them.
Once you have your "keep" pile, separate the remaining products into categories: face, eyes and lips. If you have an average-sized collection, just these three categories should be fine.
If you have a larger amount, you'll need to break it down further. For the face, you can separate into primer, foundation, concealer and blush/bronzer. If your collection is really big, you might need to categorize even further into colors, textures, etc.
While you're working through everything, set aside your everyday products and touch-up essentials. You'll need these for our next step. This is also a good time to get all of your products clean and in good working order, so wipe down those compacts and sharpen those pencils before you put it all away.
Another quick tip: keep track of anything you toss that needs replacing.
2. Choose Your Storage Tools
Now that you know what you're working with, you can decide on storage. You'll need 2-3 things: a makeup bag, professional makeup cases and separate storage for brushes (this one is optional, depending on the case you choose).
Your makeup bag should be big enough to fit your daily essentials and things you would need for touch-ups. One of our favorite things to keep in there are cotton swabs - they can be used for just about anything, like smudging a smokey eye or cleaning up lipstick.
Professional Makeup Case
Your makeup cases is where you'll store the rest and is a long-term investment. A quality case will protect your makeup, make traveling a breeze and last you for years to come.
The number of cases and size of the cases will depend on the size of your collection; There are a variety of sizes to fit every need.
Beyond size, the cases should be durable, heat resistant and easy to clean. Look for rubber liners that are easy to wipe down. They should also be compartmentalized, ideally with a few different tiers for smaller items.
You also want cases that are portable, especially if you travel for work. If that's the case, look out for at least one case with sturdy, smooth wheels and an extendable handle.
You can keep your brushes in your makeup case if you'd like, but we prefer a separate brush case. It's way too easy for bristles to get bent, broken or smashed when you keep it with the rest of your makeup.
There are specialty cases for brushes or, our favorite, a roll-up style bag. This keeps them neat and clean and the bristles straight.
3. Put it Away
Now it's time for the fun: putting your makeup away.
Start with the makeup bag, as this is the easiest part. Remember how you set aside your everyday essentials during the sorting process? Now it's time to grab those, put them in your bag, and zip it up. Done!
For your makeup cases, it's really up to personal preference, but we have some suggestions.
We like to work our way backwards, keeping first-step products on the bottom and the latter ones in the top tiers. That way, you can completely open your case, working from the bottom and closing up shop as you go. The bottom also lends itself to bigger products, like foundation, while the smaller top tier is perfect for blushes and shadows.
While most of your makeup should go in the case, we like to set aside the smaller items, like tweezers, eyeliner, etc. and keep them together. They can easily take over your makeup case with clutter, so we suggest storing them in a pencil case within your professional makeup case.
When your makeup collection starts to get overwhelming, it's a great time to get a case and get organized like the pros. All it takes is a free afternoon, quality makeup storage and a commitment to getting your collection cleaned up and organized.