When it comes to storing your beauty products, we understand how overwhelming it can feel — especially when your foundation is a completely different size and shape than your favorite bronzer, eyeshadow palette and hair brush. But since throwing everything in a bathroom drawer is only easy in the short term, we’re here to share some more systematic, beautiful and sustainable solutions.
To help us out, we tapped two professionals: Amy Vance, Owner of Eco Modern Concierge and Julie Coraccio, Professional Life Organizer. Both say that successful organization (beauty products or otherwise) starts by taking a step back. Before you give your products a new home, “sort like products together,” Amy suggests. Yes, this means you should corral all your bits and bobs from different rooms into one place. “This way you can see everything you have. Then you can begin purging what you don’t need or want.” After you have a better idea of what you’re really going to be working with, you can move onto actual organizing.
Below, we’re breaking down Amy and Julie’s best tips for every part of your beauty routine, from bidding adieu to your overused makeup bag to a creative spin on displaying your fragrances. Ready to organize? Let’s get going.
Move Aside, Makeup Bag
Makeup bags are small and portable, which is why they’re great for traveling and touch-ups on the go. But for the more permanent makeup items that stay at home, bags might not be your best storage solution — especially if you find yourself emptying out everything just to find one tube of mascara.
For Julie, easy access is absolutely key. For everyday favorites, Julie suggests repurposing an old cake stand or tiered cookie holder. This way, everything is neat but still visible. Besides, there’s a good chance you haven’t used your cake stand since that one baby shower you hosted…
Arrange items by the order in which you use them, so each tier has a specific purpose — with foundation and face products on the bottom tier, blushes and bronzers in the middle and smaller eye products at the very top. This is also an opportunity to show off the ornate packaging that’s normally hidden away.
Tackle the Hair Ties
Hair ties and bobby pins have a habit of showing up in the most unexpected places: at the bottom of laundry baskets, on the floor next to bathroom sinks, in a pile of dust bunnies underneath the bed (but never in the right tote bag – what’s up with that?). To avoid losing any more, we’re all for putting hair tools in one central place.
Have some drawer organizers that don’t fit your current kitchen? According to Amy, these are the perfect solution. Similar to how dividers split up silverware, they can also store brushes, combs, scrunchies and barrettes in your vanity drawers or on the top of your dresser. If you don’t have any old ones to upcycle, try these sustainable bamboo ones that add a nice organic texture to plain white drawers.
Now, arrange and rearrange until you find the perfect Tetris of product — so that it’s accessible even when one hand is busy creating a messy bun. Use any space that’s left over in the drawer to tuck away hot tools and hairspray so your dividers don’t move around.
Carve out Those Candles
Zipped-up makeup bags can cause makeup brushes to get all bent out of shape — plus the lack of breathable air probably isn’t great for them either. To save your bristles from despair, try storing your brushes upright so they can fan out into their natural shape.
“Make sure you store makeup brushes in containers that aren’t too large for the amount of brushes you have,” Amy advises. To start organizing, first group them together in like sizes: smaller eye brushes in one container and larger face brushes into another.
While you can certainly buy brush jars that are made with brush height in mind, Amy suggests upcycling. “You can store them in things you have around the house and make it still look aesthetically appealing: like in a cup, vase, or used, cleaned out candle jar.”
How To Clean Out Used Candles: After you’ve used up a candle, carefully pour boiling water into the candle jar. Let the water sit for a few minutes so the wax melts and floats to the top. After discarding the wax and hot water, you can use a knife to gently scrape off any excess wax.
Play Show & Tell
Some beauty items are too beautiful to hide away in drawers or cabinets. For these items, it’s all about incorporating them as part of your decor.
Both Amy and Julie recommend displaying perfume bottles on top of your counter. For this, you can turn to more under-used basics from your kitchen: a teak cutting board, marble cheese board, coffee tray or spice rack. But if your perfume collection is on the larger side, you can’t go wrong with a lazy susan. This way, you can just rotate to find your desired scent.
For everyday body lotions and oils, decant the product into tinted glass jars will dress them up, and can make them all the same size, making it easier to store them. That said, you don’t have to buy brand new containers. Sometimes, all it takes is a little creativity and some crafting material from home. “You can use fabric to decorate or have fun with washi tape,” Julie suggests.
Looking Toward the Future
The best way to ensure your new system sticks? “You have to stay on top of it,” Julie says. In other words, declutter and reorganize your products on a regular basis, whether that’s every few weeks or every change of the season. “Your life may change and needs might change, so if you’re organizing and decluttering on a regular basis it will help.”
If you find that your new storage solution isn’t what you need, don’t force it on your lifestyle. You can always search around the house for other storage devices to repurpose, like pretty shoe boxes, old decorative plates or baskets. No one storage solution is perfect for everyone, so go ahead and play around.