How to Organize Makeup

This can be neatly tucked away in a bathroom cabinet or quickly packed up and taken on the road. Win-Win!
This can be neatly tucked away in a bathroom cabinet or quickly packed up and taken on the road. Win-Win!

When it comes to girls and their makeup, there are a couple of camps. First, there are the ladies who only keep the basic staples on hand. Some concealer, a little mascara and a couple shades of lip color are pretty much all that comprises their makeup palette. But then there are the ladies who are serious about their makeup. They have options for day eyes, night eyes, blond hair, brown hair and everything in between. All of those bottles and sticks and tubes are intoxicating when perusing the makeup counter, but if your makeup stash is more like a collection, you would benefit from getting it organized.

Before you get started, be sure to throw out all of your makeup that's more than a year old, and make that six months for mascara. That way, you'll only be finding places for items that are still good to use. Even though we each probably have an eye pencil or two from our college era, makeup does have a shelf life -- though storing it in a cool, dark and dry place will help it last longer.


Your first step will be to sort like products into stacks -- eyeliners with eyeliners, powders with powders, and so on. If you have different color palettes within each category, then go ahead and group all of those together, too. Lay it all out on a big table so you can see how much you have, because now you're going to need to figure out how much room you need to store it. Turn the page for some great tips and tricks to keeping your makeup collection manageable.

Ways to Organize Makeup

Brushes stored like these could last you for years to come.
Brushes stored like these could last you for years to come.

A trip to an organization store will reveal all sorts of wonderful tools to store your makeup, but to save some money, start by using what you have. For example, what about all of those free cosmetic bags that come with special offers at the makeup counter? You can keep one in your purse, one in your bathroom and then one at work so you always have your basics on hand. They're also great for keeping like items together. Put all of your eye pencils in one and your makeup brushes in another. Inexpensive pencil cases are also great for organizing both of these things.

You can also invest in some stackable drawers to keep everything in one place and eliminate clutter. The ones with the clear fronts are great so you can see what's inside. Or you can label the drawers with their contents to keep them straight. There are also boxes specifically made for organizing makeup, but a tackle box from your local hardware store will do the trick, too, because it's the same concept. This storage plan is great for college students who need to keep it mobile or people who travel a lot.


If you keep your makeup in a drawer, silverware holders have perfectly sized compartments to keep like items together. Or use a series of small baskets that all fit together like a puzzle. You can choose from clear plastic or mesh wire, or spend a little more and get some beautiful teak or wood bins.

And don't forget your makeup brushes. Synthetic brushes come and go, but ones that use natural hair are expensive and last for years if they're cared for properly. Roll up bags with compartments for each brush are optimal, but at the very least, store like brushes together and separate from others. Toothbrush holders are great for this. You want to be sure to keep liquid makeup brushes away from powder brushes to avoid any cross contamination from bacteria -- which leads us to remind you that your brushes also need to be cleaned regularly. Every three weeks or so is ideal.

Related Articles


  • "21 ways to store your makeup." April 16, 2009.
  • Caboodles - Company Website.
  • "How to: Organize Makeup." Feb. 3, 2012.
  • "How to Organize Your Makeup." Feb. 3, 2012.
  • "Storage ideas for makeup/vanity products." Feb. 3, 2012.
  • "What are some ways to store all my products so that they are easily accessible, protected from light and heat and looks somewhat neat and orderly?" Feb. 3, 2012.