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Let’s face it: Most of us are probably guilty of owning way more makeup than we could ever feasibly use. So if countless tubes and compacts and jars are starting to take over your vanity, it just may be time for a cosmetics clean out. Step one lay everything out on a white bed sheet or towel; the clean background will make it easier to see what you have, as well as compare colors and textures. Step two, get rid of anything that you haven’t even picked up in a year. Don’t think about it, or get emotional, or lament over how much money you spent on it—just do it!
After you’ve eliminated anything old and gunky, put everything in a box and keep it somewhere other than where you do your makeup. (So, if you always get ready in the bathroom, keep the box in your bedroom.) Anytime you need something, take it out of the box, and move it into the bathroom. Do this for three weeks, after which you can discard anything that’s still left in the box.
Now that you’re finally left with a streamlined and edited beauty stash, what’s the best way to organize it all? Your best bet is to separate it according to products for eyes, lips, and face, and then again by subcategory according to particular product. The finishing touch? Find a makeup organizer in which to house everything, ideally one that’s not only practical but pretty, too. These top makeup organizers fit the bill.
Best Overall: Boxy Girl
No matter your makeup storage need, this brand has got your covered. Their extensive array of organizers includes all kinds of different stackable drawers and trays. They also come with convenient dividers, so that you can mix and match and customize everything to create an entire organizer that’s perfectly suited for your specific organization needs. Everything is made of heavy duty acrylic that looks just as good as it performs, and they even have jewelry organizers, too.
Best Budget Buy: Caboodles Adored Train Case
Yep, that’s Caboodles as in the Caboodles boxes of your youth that marked your first foray into makeup. But while the brand still has those fun cases, they also have an entirely grown-up collection, too. Take this rose gold train case: The exterior is totally sophisticated, and the inside totally utilitarian, with four spacious trays plus lots of interior storage to keep all of your makeup loot organized and stored away.
Best Bag: Sephora Collection Fold-Out Organizer
When it comes to portability and versatility, stashing things in a makeup bag is your best bet (not to mention that it’s also a choice option for small spaces). That being said, bags often come with the hazard of becoming a totally bottomless pit, and require lots of time spent sifting through everything in order to find the one thing you need. That’s not the case with this compartmentalized bag. Two zippered pockets on the inner flaps house all of your cosmetics, while the back wall has built-in brush storage, saving space and keeping your brushes from getting crushed.
Best Acrylic: Legacy Dream Luxury The Diamond Beauty Case
Made from premium acrylic, this looks almost identical to it similar and much pricier counterparts. It also comes with helpful care and cleaning instructions, plus a cleaner and scratch remover, so you can easily keep it looking brand new. (Also nice: It comes fully assembled). Best of all, it stores a TON of makeup; the top tier holds 12 to 16 palettes or 12 to 16 fragrances, while each of the two (deep) drawers can house 40 compacts and six palettes, stacked.
Best for Countertop: Sanipoe 360 Degree Rotation Makeup Tower Organizer
With seven adjustable layers, this tower takes up a minimal space on your countertop, yet still holds plenty, thanks to the four trays. Plus, the trays can be adjusted at different heights, so you can easily make all of your cosmetics fit. The bottom also rotates, lazy Susan style, making for easy, 360 degree access to all of your beauty bounty, and the whole thing can be washed, too.
Best for Travel: Calpak Hardshell Cosmetics Case
Like a personal little suitcase just for your makeup, this features a hard (yet lightweight) shell, and two roomy zippered compartments on the inside, along with a third zippered mesh accessory pocket. With a cushioned top handle, removable and adjustable faux leather shoulder strap, plus an elastic strap for placing over the handle of your luggage, there’s no shortage of different ways to take it with you on your travels. Bonus: If, for some reason, you’re traveling and don’t need to take makeup with you, it’s also ideal for packing overnight essentials or an extra pair of shoes.
Best for Brushes: byAlegory Makeup Beauty Brush Organizer and Drying Stand
When it comes to makeup organization, tools, and brushes in particular deserve their very own space. Not only are they a totally different shape and size than all of your other cosmetics, but you also don’t want to risk them getting smashed or crushed, particularly if you’ve invested in a pricier set. Enter this vertical stand, which holds a dozen brushes, and is designed with three different hole sizes, so everything from your large powder brush to tiny shadow brush will fit.
Made of a high-quality acrylic (and available in either black or clear), each brush hole also has a silicone plug to help grip the brush handle and prevent slippage. Not only is it a great storage solution, it also doubles as the perfect drying rack for post-brush washing.
Our writers spent 5 hours researching the most popular makeup organizers on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 30 different organizers overall, screened options from 20 different brands and manufacturers, read over 25 user reviews (both positive and negative), and tested 8 of the organizers themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.