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How can I organize my makeup?

Storing your makeup isn’t really different from how you might store your food in the pantry. You want to have the makeup that you use regularly close at hand and you can put the special occasion stuff in more remote spaces.

If your makeup is a jumbled mess, here’s what I recommend:

Start by weeding it out. Makeup doesn’t last forever. According to this article on Real, mascara and liquid eyeliner lasts just three to four months; eye and lip pencils last three to five years; lipstick and lip gloss, two to three years; and foundation about two years. (I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure I own makeup much older than that.) Toss the makeup you don’t wear, particularly if it’s past its shelf life. If you’re wearing really old makeup, it might be smart to consider replacing it.

Separate the makeup you use daily. Once you’ve tossed the old and unloved makeup, pull out the stuff that you use most frequently. That makeup will earn the best real estate in your bathroom.

Figure out where to store the daily makeup. Depending on your bathroom (or perhaps you apply makeup in another room), you might store your daily makeup in the medicine cabinet, in a drawer in the vanity, or somewhere else. Just pick a place that’s near where you apply it, so you can save precious minutes in the morning.

Figure out where to store special occasion makeup. If you have lots of room where your daily makeup is stored, it’s fine to store all your makeup together. But if not, perhaps you can store the special makeup in a less convenient drawer or cupboard. Put that makeup together in an appropriately sized container, so it’s easy for you to bring out and put on.

Select an organizing tool for the daily makeup. A person’s makeup collection is very personal, so there’s no one-size-fits-all storage solution. I use mineral makeup and store the round containers on a shelf in my medicine cabinet, in the order I use them, left to right. I store makeup brushes upright in a Lucite stand similar to this lipstick and pencil cube from the Container Store, again in the order I use them. If you’re storing your makeup in a vanity drawer, then modular drawer dividers, like these no-slip interlocking drawer organizers from Rubbermaid, might be a terrific storage solution. Of course you can always store your makeup in a cosmetics bag, it can save you time in the morning to store your makeup spread out and ready to use, rather than rooting through a bag.

Photo by Matt Trostle via Flickr.

Janine Adams is a messy professional organizer who loves helping others create order. The co-founder of Declutter Happy Hour, she believes in having as much fun as possible in the organizing process. Check out her web site at Peace of Mind Organizing!

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