If you're a product enthusiast but also an organizational fiend, we feel your pain. It's a twisted dynamic that often feels like a tug-of-war between your lifetime supply of lipsticks and your desire to keep your space clutter-free. But what if we told you there is a way to keep all of your products neatly tucked away? Yep, according to pro makeup artist Jordan Artistry and certified professional organizer Darla DeMorrow, you can make your space feel minimal without foregoing your beauty product obsession. We've narrowed it down to 15 of our favorite methods below.
Meet the Expert
- Jordan of Jordan Artistry is a professional makeup artist.
- Darla DeMorrow is a certified professional organizer, owner of HeartWork Organizing, and author of Sort and Succeed.
Read on to learn some of the best ways to store your beauty products.
Invest in a Vanity
Not only will doing your hair and makeup on your vanity make you feel like complete royalty, but it’s also a great way to organize your products. "Having a dedicated space for makeup means that you can lay out all of your goodies and see at a glance what you have while you are getting ready," says DeMorrow. Many of them come with tons of drawers, which allow you to compartmentalize your products.
Use Drawer Organizers
Drawer organizers help with grouping certain product types together. They can also help keep your items from rolling around in your drawer. Jordan touts drawer organizers because they allow you to stack your products vertically, which saves space. Plus, on many models you can buy extra pieces, so your storage can grow as your beauty collection grows. Winning.
Buy Clear Organizers
We're fans of clear organizers that allow you to see your products—after all if you're able to see it, you're more likely to use it, and if you can’t see it, you likely won't touch it. "When you are rushed for time or stressed with important decisions, you just want to grab and go, not hunt and peck, and clear organizers can help with this," says DeMorrow. "Mason jars in different sizes are great for organizing all the little vanity and bathroom items."
Jordan advises to always store cosmetics in a temperature and humidity-controlled space. Avoid placing products in poorly ventilated bathrooms or in direct sunlight, as this can disturb the product’s quality, effectiveness, and reduce the shelf life.
Use a Mirror With Shelf Space
Your favorite stuff won’t get lost in the shuffle of everything else you own so easily if you set it on top of your mirror. Make your mirror work for you by making it the prime spot to place your go-to hairspray or whatever products you’re loving at the moment. A mirror like this is also perfect for last looks when you're heading out the door, and allows you to do a quick touch-up if necessary.
Use an Extended Shower Caddy
It’s worth getting an adjustable shower caddy with more space to keep all of your hero soaps, body washes, scrubs, cleansers, and hair products in one place. It’s even more game-changing when you categorize each product batch by shelf. DeMorrow says you can also permanently mount stone or acrylic corner shelves with epoxy adhesive.
Store Your Brushes in a Holder
Storing your makeup brushes is an ongoing qualm—they can pile up, they dirty up quickly, and then there's the perpetual question of how to make sure your kabuki brushes don't get lost in the shuffle. Go for a holder that has different compartments—this way you can keep your eye, lip, and face brushes separate.
To avoid contamination, Jordan recommends covering your makeup brushes when not in use, especially if they are left in areas such as the bathroom or dusty rooms.
Hang Your Backup Products
We know you like to be prepared by having a stash of backups of your favorites (you know, in case they suddenly go out of stock). And while this reassurance is necessary for many, it can quickly become an issue when it comes to storing them. Try hanging such products on an over-the-door storage rack—this will remind you that you do, in fact, have a backup (versus being tucked away, which may cause you to buy duplicates due to forgetting you already own backups).
Put Most-Used Items on a Lazy Susan
Tight on space? Look no further than a lazy Susan. "If you have a 12-inch cabinet and a lazy Susan that fits inside, the things that would normally be lost in the back can be revealed with just a flick of the wrist," notes DeMorrow. "Lazy Susans are also brilliant for difficult corners, where space is often completely wasted."
Store Makeup Sponges on a Sponge Stand
Makeup sponges can become a breeding ground for germs and bacteria, especially if they are not cleaned and stored properly. Jordan recommends storing them in a sponge holding stand. "Stands help sponges dry efficiently and not get contaminated by touching other surfaces," she notes.
Store Nail Polishes on Picture Ledges
We all know that one person who likes to have as many nail polish colors as their local salon (no judgment if that's you). But storing your rainbow of polishes can become a burden when there's a lot of them. Instead of throwing them all into a tub, use a picture ledge to display them as if they were art. DeMorrow also says to consider which area of your home you do your nail care in. "If you would buff and polish them someplace other than where you store your supplies, make sure you have a caddy with handles so you can easily tote your nail polish and tools, and then put them away again," she says.
Label Your Drawers
As any beauty lover will know, drawers start to all look the same when you have a ton of product to sort through. That's where labeling comes in—make simple labels for face products, eye products, and lip products. Or, if you like to sort your products by brand, you can create a new label for each brand's drawer.
Store Most-Used Products From Left to Right
Have a simple makeup routine? Line your products up in your drawer from left to right and in order of what you use sequentially for quicker morning makeup routines, and DeMorrow says this will let you save your brain cells for more important decisions later in the day. After all, who needs decision fatigue before breakfast?
Organize Eyeshadow Palettes by Tone
On days that call for a specific look, it can be difficult to sift through your dozens of eyeshadow palettes. You'll appreciate having your eyeshadow palettes grouped by warm tones, cool tones, and neutral tones when you know exactly what type of eyeshadow style you're trying to achieve.
Bubble Wrap Fragile Products While Traveling
Traveling with your makeup can be a daunting task, from narrowing down which products to take to figuring out how to strategically pack them so they take up less space and stay safe. Jordan's tip for ensuring your beloved powders and glass products remain crack-free? Wrap them up. "I recommend bubble-wrapping or wrapping a thick, protective fabric around fragile products such as eyeshadow palettes, highlighters, and glass bottles. Then place the wrapped products in a waterproof bag," she says.
Put Individual Eyeshadows in Ice Cube Trays
If your single eyeshadows often get lost in the shuffle, it's time to dedicate an entire space just for them to keep them organized. Enter ice cube trays: They're great for all shapes and types of eyeshadow, from powders, creams, pots, and jars to oddly-shaped square and diamond-shaped ones. What's more, these silicone trays get bonus points for being easy to clean.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Shelf life and expiration dating of cosmetics. Updated February 25, 2022.