Beauty organization for even the normal person can be overwhelming — but for the ladies (and men!) who work in the beauty industry for a living — it can be staggering. And for those of us who love beauty, getting rid of perfectly good beauty products can be painful.
So how do beauty experts organize their ginormous product collections? I asked them share with us this month.
I myself am in a constant state of beauty product organization — which I will do a full post on soon — but I wanted to share a few items I think are awesome for getting your beauty products organized:
Now let’s see what the beauty experts have to show for their product organization!
Claire Ashley // Makeup Artist and Beauty Vlogger
I finally have figured out a system that can accommodate my collection (and obsession) of beauty products! As a beauty vlogger on YouTube, one of the biggest perks is receiving products from PR agencies to review. One huge challenge that comes with the gig is figuring out creative ways to store it all in my small apartment. This recent 9-drawer IKEA Alex drawer purchase has been a life saver for organization and storage.
Inside of the drawers I picked up some organizer trays to help me schematize colors, shades, and brands. I find that a lot of desk and office related organizers translate to great beauty storage options!
Another method I use for storage is converting an over-the-door shoe organizer into a beauty supply holder. I like to think of it as my own little CVS! This works well in holding hair products and styling tools too. I also recommend the clear plastic so that you can see what you’re grabbing. It really is ideal if you are living in a small space or a college dorm room.
Nadine Matar // Hairstylist at PR at Partners K Street in Washington D.C.
You know those people who feel legitimate joy at the idea of organizing a junk drawer or cleaning out a closet? I’m one of those. I love giving things a place and purpose. Working as a full-time hairstylist means the hair section of my beauty closet is it’s own animal, so I’ve chosen to stick to makeup for the sake of brevity.
I keep all of my makeup at a small desk that was originally going to be donated, but I decided to turn into a pseudo vanity.
My skincare lives front and center, on top of my desk, grouped by category, but is by no means tucked away. This is the one area where chaos overrides organization. I channel Carrie Bradshaw when it comes to skincare storage — I want my money where I can see it.
The most visited section of my vanity is a drawer that holds my daily makeup and the things that I pull for most during that season. I keep a cute tray in the drawer to help contain some of items so I can see things clearly and grab them easily. You can find mini trays anywhere — my favorites have been picked up during travel, but H&M and CB2 have great options as well.
The center of my makeup storage world is my Makeup Train Case. When I was a baby hairstylist and hired for my first freelance gig, the makeup artist no-showed. I ended up doing the model’s makeup with a combination of her makeup and mine. From that moment on, I started building my kit. It’s not as extensive as one that a full-time makeup artist would work with, but it’s always growing and has everything I need for a good beat. This case is the Mary Poppins bag of makeup kits. It’s compact, easy to transport, and somehow is never too full, even when I put everything I own inside of it.
I love storage that is also functional in daily life. I keep a range of makeup bags that store products at home and are ready travel at a moments notice. The large pink bag is full of everything I need when traveling, so it never has to be repacked and is always ready for a last minute out of town gig or adventure. My favorites come from H&M — they’re durable, affordable, and there are constantly new colors and styles available. The specific bags are no longer in stock, but here are a few that are similar:
Laurie Leopold // Founder of 312 Beauty, former Beauty Editor at Clementine Daily
I’m getting ready to move soon and I’m so looking forward to a new way of organizing my beauty products. I love displaying products – they’re like little works of art that I get to play with every day. In my bathroom, I do have a medicine cabinet which makes it so easy to store hair products and skin care.
I use makeup bags when I travel but for home, I use a glass and copper metal organizer that I got from Target to store the makeup I’m currently using. I like the different compartments and the fact that it doesn’t take up much space.
I also use empty candles to store brushes and mascaras or other tubes. Candles are the best! I love the Nars candle for brushes – it’s bigger than a standard Diptyque so I can store a lot of brushes in it, even the wide-handled Real Techniques. I do recycle my Diptyque for other beauty products though. The small size is perfect to store q-tips and perfume samples. If you’re going to burn a luxury candle, you owe it to yourself to keep it around after the fact, right? At the moment, I’m working on future beauty storage with the Overose Nudesse candle.
I also use a West Elm white lacquer tray to hold perfume, face mists and jewelry. I tend to group things together by behavior, and those three are the final things I do after getting dressed.
I also have what I’ve dubbed my makeup archive where I store products I’m not using at this very moment. I switch out my makeup quarterly with what I call my beauty wardrobe. I order acrylic stackable drawers from Amazon. The topper is also something from Amazon but it’s not the perfect fit. Note for those ordering online: look at the measurements first even if it’s the same brand and looks identical. It’s minor, but if you’re anything like me, it can become major after enough time. The topper may not make the move with me!
Lara Ramos // Founder of The Glossarie and Senior Account Executive for COVERGIRL
Beauty organization is basically a way of life at my house. With new stuff coming in the door daily (zero complaints!), it’s essential that things have a home. Typically, I put all products to be tested in one drawer that I pull from on a weekly basis. For things that I have swatched or tested and won’t keep in my routine or write a post about, I have a reusable grocery tote in my closet that serves as my donation station. (If you know me in IRL, you know I force beauty products on you when you come to visit — you’re welcome.)
The biggest need for organization is for all of the products I love that float in and out of my routine depending on season and mood.
For my active routine, I keep my color cosmetics in this glass and metal organizer from Target and I keep my skincare and hair products in the corresponding tray version. This works like a charm because it keeps me organized and it keeps a max on the number of products that I can use at a time. When these things start to get jammed or overflow, it’s time to edit.
I keep my lip collection and some tried and true, complementary eye and face products in a drawer under my sink. I love how the clear makeup tray keeps everything together, but I can see all my products and easily choose a lip of the day.
This gifted pencil cup has lived a dozen lives, holding makeup brushes, single pot eye shadows, Q-tips, and now makes a nice home for all of my rollerball scents.
For my ever-growing at-home manicure and pedicure products, I rely on these Ikea SKUBB boxes. If you don’t have them, I highly recommend. You can use them for everything under the sun (including pacifiers) and I love that they collapse flat when you’re not using them and you can really stuff them to the gills.
Kate Bryan // Founder of The Small Things Blog
My nature is to sprawl out. I’m not a naturally organized person, so it requires a great deal of effort to organize and STAY organized with time. Since I know I like to spread things out and like a lot of my items that I use on a daily basis to be visual, I opted for organized but accessible storage for my makeup.
I found a jewelry box and a pen/pencil organizer from a home goods store and used them to stash the most frequently used palettes and brushes. I love the spinning pen/pencil cylinder because I can just spin it around to get to a small brush in the back.
I also have a more traditional makeup organizer to hold eyeliners and foundations that I use the most. My vanity table has 1 drawer and it is completely full other items I use somewhat regularly. I receive a lot of samples from brands, and I always try things out for a good while before I recommend them, so I often have a few items in my drawer that I’m testing out.
Have a good question for the beauty experts to answer? Leave it in the comments or email it to hello@with BEAUTY EXPERTS in the subject line.