The right makeup can make you feel like you’re ready for whatever the day throws at you. But are you sabotaging your morning makeup routine with thoughtless organization?
Follow these easy tips for a smart way to organize makeup and a more streamlined makeup experience!
You don’t have to be a YouTube makeup goddess or anything to hit a point where you’re overwhelmed by your makeup.
Maybe like me you find yourself digging around in a bag every morning because your daily products aren’t easily accessible. You might find that you have different makeup and accessories scattered throughout different drawers and shelves in your house. My stuff was so scattered that I wasn’t even sure what all I had!
Because of this crappy makeup setup:
- it took me longer to put my makeup on,
- I ended up buying repeats of products I already had because I couldn’t find stuff,
- I was feeling less satisfied with my makeup ensemble since I was rooting through all the makeup I didn’t like to get to the stuff I actually used.
Lame, lame, lame, and totally unnecessary.
In order to optimally organize this makeup situation, we want to sort everything by usage scenario – how you use it and when. Everyone’s goals will look a little different based on their personal needs. My goals were to first:
- Throw away duplicates, old makeup, and anything that doesn’t make me feel fabulous.
- Organize everyday makeup so that it’s close at hand in the bathroom, no need to rummage through a bag for the essentials.
- Stock a bag of travel essentials that can stay in my suitcase, so I don’t have to spend time packing makeup every time I leave town.
- Keep stage and costume makeup, etc. in one bag so I can grab it on my way to the theater come performance times.
Stage 1 – Gather Everything Together
It’s important to see everything you have before you decide what to get rid of and what to keep! Gathering everything of a type is the first step laid out in the KonMari Method of decluttering.
Even if you feel pretty organized already, you might be surprised to see how much makeup you have stashed in various corners of the house. I had four different makeup bags floating around!
Stage 2 – Sort by Type
The only thing I use regularly is my daily face moisturizer with SPF 30 by Olay (not pictured), plus maybe some concealer. I did choose to hang on to these contouring palettes for those days when I want to feel fancy pants.
eyeliner, lipliner, eyebrows
Variety can be great, but if you’re digging through a bag full of pencils to grab the same two you use every day (guilty!), then there’s probably a better way to organize them! Also, if you’re using a normal, everyday pencil sharpener for your makeup pencils, do yourself a favor and ditch it. Makeup sharpeners are inexpensive and don’t end up breaking the soft tips of your eyeliner pencils.
Fun fact: since my hair has been pink for the last six or so years, my go-to eyebrow pencil has been the Brandy Wine lipliner by Wet n’ Wild. My mom even brought me a stash of them from the states so I wouldn’t run out in Germany!
Anyone else constantly on the search for the right shade of mauve? Keep an eye out for color compacts that are ancient, cracked, duplicates, or just not that flattering. Remember, sometimes good design means saying goodbye to what’s not working.
Once a mascara is past its prime, you’ll know it. Deep down, you’ll know it. Right in front of your eyeballs, you’ll know it. And every day you use it you’ll be a little sadder and clumpier. Life is too short to hang on to old mascara.
Again, I have way more of these than I actually use.
Set aside the brushes that you use on a daily basis. These are the ones that will live on the counter. Brushes used less frequently can be stored with the makeup they’re used for, and just get rid of the rest. The mini set of brushes in the Altoids can above is perfect for a travel makeup bag!
lip stick, stains, & glosses
I very rarely wear anything on my lips that isn’t lip balm. As much as I love the idea of a “bold lip”, I usually end up looking like a rodeo clown. So why do I keep so many lip colors??
Stage 3 – Throw Out
Out with it! Goodbye, colors that never looked right, ancient gummy lip gloss, extraneous bags, and crumpled packs of makeup wipes!
Stage 4 – Organize Makeup by Usage & Repack
Now that we know what we’re keeping, we’ll organize makeup based on its usage scenario. My categories are everyday makeup, stage and costume makeup, and travel makeup.
All of the makeup I use every day fits into this makeup organizer, and I love love love it! It’s translucent acrylic, and has tons of storage for my daily go-to items and then some.
I can separate out my liners and mascara from my brushes from my daily shadows. Since I don’t use much lip color, I filled most of the lipstick compartments with cotton swabs, bobby pins, and other cosmetic products.
I have a couple of makeup looks that I rock by default most days. Being able to just reach out and grab the things I need seriously cuts down on my morning dolling up time!
Spare makeup and stuff I don’t use very often is stored in the drawers, so I don’t have to go rummaging to look good. So convenient!
stage and costume makeup
I grouped all my theater and costume makeup into a chic, heavy duty carrying case along with the rest of my colorful eyeshadow palettes and some spare brushes. It’s so easy to grab the bag and take it with me to the theater when I’m getting ready for a performance!
Or, if I want to get fancy and play with different eyeshadow colors, I know exactly where they are. Funny, but it’s easy to find your makeup if you actually organize your makeup.
travel / on the go makeup
Of all the hacks to organize makeup, this one is my favorite. I keep a full set of my daily makeup in a small makeup bag that lives in one of my suitcases. Eyeliner, shadow, mascara, lip color, concealer, mini brushes, tweezers.
This mini makeup bag of essentials really streamlines my packing routine! You just make sure to restock it at the end of a trip and it’s ready to beautify you on your next adventure, without even having to think about what to pack.
I hope you’re thinking now about how to pare down and organize makeup for your own smoother morning experience. Knowing that you don’t have a bunch of outdated or unflattering crap will allow you to feel just that little bit lighter.
On top of that nice feeling, organizing your makeup with a logical user experience flow in mind will result in less accidental duplicates purchases and a more efficient beautification of your fine foxy face.
How do you decide when to get rid of makeup? How do you make your makeup system work for you?