Alright Lovely. Time to rip off the covers and get real. We all know our makeup bags, drawers and tubs need some serious TLC. The goop that collects through our makeup stashes can be described as anything but pretty. It’s time to get our makeup stash looking Marie Kondo worthy and learn how to store your makeup like a pro. It is one of those jobs that is only ever thought about when there isn’t time to do anything about it. Let’s keep it simple so you don’t need to dedicate two weekends and then every other Saturday to keep it in tip top shape. It’s all about making it all easier to use daily.
Whenever my bathroom cupboards or drawers get too full I think of 27 dresses. Trying to squeeze everything in, shut the door and pretend its fine when you walk away. Even though you risk certain death (by avalanche of beauty blenders) next time you enter the room! But… thats Future Liv’s problem. And James Marsden wasn’t there to mock me about it so I feel like I got away with it for a little while longer.
How to store your makeup tools:
Think of your makeup brushes and sponges like a builder’s tool box. The main tools are in their belt, on them at all times. The rest are in tool boxes where they can be found if needed but they aren’t in the way of the essential work. I want you to look through your tools and separate your daily brushes and sponges from the rest.
Put these tools in a single canister or pouch thats easy for you to access. This way your daily basics can be grabbed in a rush and also easy to find when you wash them rather than feeling like you need to wash your whole brush collection each week.
The remainder of your brushes can be stored however you like but just not in your main easy access space. These are like your stilettos and fancy heels, not your daily converse, so keep them for your fancy makeup occasions rather than the basics. I suggest pencil cases so they can lay flat and away from dust.
What I do:
My favourite ways to store my daily brushes are in canisters. I found some pretty clear ones from Kmart (of course!) which are square and easy to put side by side without wasted space. Pic Below or click here to check them out.
When looking at how many brushes you need to have out for daily use, be ruthless. If you need more than one canister, you’re over doing it. I have one foundation brush, a blush brush, a disposable mascara wand I use for lashes or to brush up my brows and a fluffy eyeshadow brush. The only other tool I have is a beauty blender which sits beside of my canister so its easy to find.
Storing your daily Makeup:
I want you to divide your makeup in the same way. Your daily go to products in your easy reach area, and your fancier red-carpet-worthy beauty products on their thrones waiting for their time to shine. Learning how to store your makeup isn’t about throwing away lots of stuff, its about having your essentials in reach and knowing exactly where everything is if you need it in a pinch.
When looking at what you use daily, think realistically. Are you actually going to use a gel eyeliner every day to go a perfect wing, or are you more likely to wipe on eyeshadow with your finger? Either is fine, just be honest with yourself so it becomes easier to do your makeup.
I have one medium sized makeup bag that has anything I use daily that can’t fit into a canister or cup. This is things like Foundation, primer, powder, pot concealers, anything that’s a weird shape. This is what I would grab if I needed to look presentable in a flash, or if I needed to do my makeup on the run. Quick, trusty and reliable products that I can (almost) put on with my eyes closed.
What I do:
For me a makeup bag works better when working out how to store my makeup. This is because I am a klutz. Goober me knocks things over all the time in a rush so if they were all standing in a pretty line on a shelf I would smash, crash and destroy them before you could say contour.
I have this last twelve months alone, killed two foundations, a limited edition hourglass highlighter palette, a concealer in a glass tube and shattered several pencils. May they rest in peace, or pieces.
But if you aren’t as clumsy as me and you want to try popping them into your mirrored vanity or along a shelf, you do you. You should work out how to store your makeup based on what works for you in a hurry.
Storing Pencils, Mascaras and other long tubey things:
This one is something that really is important. Anything long and skinny, like an eyebrow pencil is so hard to find in your makeup bags because they always end up at the bottom and they all feel the same! It drives me nuts and happens mostly when rummaging through my handbag without looking and of course only pulling out the lip pencils I don’t want.
Learn how to pack for makeup touch ups and organised your handbag beauty here.
This one seems pretty straight forward but when you grab a canister for your brushes, grab one for your pencils and tubes too. If you keep the lids on your pencils so you can turn them tip side down when you store your makeup then you can see at a glance the colour, name or brand you are picking up.
I also think its important to get a clear canister for this part if you can. When you sharpen your pencils they get shorter and shorter so when they are small they end up sitting in the bottom of the canister. Over time you can’t see them to find them easily because the aren’t peeking over the rim.
The items I have stored in here are my eyebrow pencil, lip liner and a brown and black eyeliner pencil. Its all I use through the week (or I often go makeup free) so I don’t need my 4 variations of red lipliner or the smudgey grey pencil vs the longwear one. If it’s not essential, get it out.
How to store your Makeup Palettes:
This is something that can be a real pain in the butt. Makeup palettes are big, often in all different shapes and sizes and they just take up space or block vision to other items. For your daily essentials, there is a good chance you actually only use one or two of the powders in your go-to palette but if you can’t pull it apart you are stuck with trying to store it as a whole.
I find if they are slid along the side of your makeup stash they work best or use your brush and pencil canisters like book ends and keep them upright that way.
The most annoying thing is when they are either slid under other things or they are just plonked on top because you have to move something whenever you want to use the bottom product.
Easy Storage for your makeup palettes:
If you are a bit of a palette collector like I am and you don’t know what to do with them all, try looking at some stationary options to stand them up in. Things like CD racks (for those of us who remember CD’s!) and standing files are a really easy one to use. These items below are easy to pick up at Kmart, Target or your closest stationary shop and are usually less than $5 each.
Personally I have too many to fit into one of these. Doing makeup for a living means you need to cover all your bases which means I have a number of palettes for different things and I need to access them quickly. So to fix this problem I opted for a dish rack. The one I got was from an Australian online boutique called Hunting for George and its copper coloured (YAY!), has plenty of space for everything and even a spot at the back for my beauty blenders. I think they were originally designed to dry your knives and forks but beauty blenders and brushes work just fine too Haha!
How to store your makeup that you don’t use daily:
Now that we have you set and ready for the daily routine, you probably have a tonne of little things left over that don’t have a home now. To store you makeup that you don’t use daily, you need to be able to keep it clean, organised and out of heat or sunlight. Heat and Sunlight are the enemy when it comes to beauty products. It can completely melt lipsticks, make your foundations and concealers smell horrible, even nail polish is effected by the heat.
So once you have found a place you can keep them safe its about breaking them down into categories as to what they are. Shoving them all in a shoe box and walking away isn’t going to make it easy (or very pleasant) to use when you want to do something outside the norm.
Extra Makeup storage ideas:
The most trendy way to store your makeup is in one of the Kardashian inspired Acrylic Drawers, but normal stationary drawers do the same thing without the price tag. I was given some of the Acrylic drawers from Ettica.com.au as a gift once and I must say they are pretty and I can see things easily, but its sitting in a cupboard with the door shut most of the time so I don’t really need it to be pretty. Instead, if it was me, I’d opt for something like the set up on the right. These drawers are made for stationary, are clear so you can see them easily and come with a handy little spot for a label. I found these at Officeworks and for less than $20.
If I had a nice area where I did my makeup like a dressing table or cute little nook where it could all be on display I would probably reach for the Ettica acrylic drawers instead. But it’s purely an aesthetic choice.
The thing you should consider before buying either of these is how much makeup you actually have and the height or width of any larger items like palettes. There is nothing more frustrating than ordering online or making the trip out to only find when you start organising that it’s not going to work. Shallow drawers are great for things like pencils, brushes, even individual eyeshadows and blushes. But you probably won’t be able to lay down a foundation bottle or put a loose powder in it. For this make sure there is a larger drawer somewhere or you have another idea in mind for how to store your larger makeup.
I hope you have found a few tips in this post of how to store your makeup like a pro. There is something so satisfying about being organised (even if its just thinking about it! Haha!) so why not get your beauty stash in tip top shape.
Do you have any storage tips? I’d love to hear them!