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Makeup Wars: Beauty Storage Solutions

I Bought It Myself

 photo makeup-wars.jpgThis week on Makeup Wars we’re sharing how we store our massive makeup collections. I’m the first to admit that beauty bloggers are not the typical consumer. We are hoarders, we collect makeup and will ignore any warning to throw away powder makeup after 3 months (seriously, I don’t know where some of the guidelines come from. Nothing really can live in powder. Sharpen your pencils, they’ll be fine below. Mascara you should probably toss for real every 3 months though.)

Yes, I have more blushes, eye liners and lip glosses in my bathroom right now than a “normal” person would use in their entire lifetime. And my husband will laugh at me for sharing how I organize it all. Why?

beauty organizationThat’s why. That’s a small part of my office floor. Things that are waiting to be tested end up all over the place after I take pictures, and I just don’t have a system for organizing it all.

too much makeupMy bathroom isn’t much better, I have a pretty messy vanity area when you take into account the items I use every day, things that I’m currently testing, and stuff that hasn’t yet found a home.

But, when you look behind closed doors, I actually am pretty organized!

how to store nail polishThe most organized spot is probably this closet, which is found in my office. This is about 2/3 of my nail polish collection, I probably have well over 2000 polishes. For real.

To store my polishes, I’ve taken the original single shelf out of the closet and put in an Ikea Ivar System. I love that this is super adjustable, I move the shelves around as needed. I have this same set up, but taller. Cheap and perfect for my needs!

On the shelves I have 2 drawer sizes from The Container Store. I’ve found that while these drawers are stackable and stable for shirts and other lightweight items, for something heavy like polish you only want 2 or 3 units at a time. Putting them on shelves like this makes everything steadier. I use the shirt and accessory drawer for polishes. These are tall enough for even my OPI polishes (my bottom 2 drawers are both filled with OPI), but don’t leave a lot of extra space unused on top. The sweater drawer is what I use to hold items like extra remover, lotion, etc.

I organize these drawers by brand, really because that’s how my mind works. I don’t think “I want to wear a purple polish”, and then go to a purple drawer. Instead, I tend to think “I want to wear OPI Lincoln Park After Midnight” and go to the OPI drawer.

how to store makeupUnderneath that messy bathroom vanity, I have 7 drawers. There are 3 on each side and 1 shallow drawer in the middle, I thought I’d show you what I have in 6 of those drawers (number 7 is on the bottom left and is where I store things like extra Venus razor blades. Kind of boring.) These drawers are pretty well organized, though sometimes things will get moved around a bit because my 2 year old likes to play with my “makeups”. I took these pics today without cleaning up. It’s hard to tell from the size of these pics, but everything is well contained within their own little organizers.

1. This is the middle drawer on the top, I put things that I use pretty much every day here. It has my favorite concealers, my lash curler, my daily translucent powder and a few blushes.

2. This is a drawer that I need to purge. It’s mostly eye liners and mascaras. I use shallow drawer organizers from Target to keep the 2 separated.

And yes! Most of the mascaras need to be thrown away, after I’ve tested a mascara for 4-5 days it gets put here and I honestly haven’t thrown things away for about 7 or 8 months (I’m not actually using them, which is probably good, they’re just taking up space). Why does this happen? Because I test the mascara and put it in the drawer, in case I want to go back to it in the next few months. Why would I throw it away immediately? That’s silly. But they tend to build up and I haven’t had time to purge them in a while. #keepingitreal (And there are multiples because of different colors and waterproof vs regular.)

3. This is my single eye shadow drawer, it’s on the upper left. I use those same drawer organizers from Target here. I have the products sorted by brand.

4. This drawer has extra face products. BB Creams, primers, blushes, concealers, you name it! They’re all there.

5. Eye shadow palettes and my loose powder shadows. Again everything is in an organizer and I can easily find what I’m looking for.

6. My lippie drawer. I have Glossybox boxes to organize here, but I need a new system. I haven’t figured that out. Currently there are 4 clear drawer organizers on the bottom and a 5th sitting on top, they all are sorted by brand and gloss/lipstick (except for a few thrown on top by my toddler). It is actually fairly easy to find what I’m looking for. Those curlers to the left are there to distract my 2 year old, she ALWAYS goes for them!

How do you organize your stash?

 photo makeup-wars.jpg

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About Me

Iā€™m a doctor, a mommy and a bit of a beauty addict. If you let me, I can take 2 hours to get ready in the morning. Really. I'm on a quest for faster beauty that works!

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  1. 9.30.13

    I'm so happy to see someone with more than I have and not super neat. All those neatniks make me jealous. I love that the Sherrieblossom Icebox is helping me organize but I think I need 3 more!

  2. 9.30.13

    I would love a built-in vanity like yours. Beautiful, in spite of the clutter šŸ˜‰

    I hope to remodel our bathroom in the next year or so and when I do, I'm hoping to put in some kind of shelving system like the IKEA one you have.

  3. 9.30.13

    I need to check out those drawers from the container store, they look awesome!

  4. 9.30.13
    Phyrra said:

    I love seeing how you organize!

  5. 9.30.13

    That's seriously what my counter looks like while I'm photographing but I have to clean it up or my hubby will boot me out haha

  6. 9.30.13

    It certainly is hard to organize a large collection! Those drawers from the Container Store look perfect. I must get over there and check out some more storage ideas! šŸ™‚

  7. 10.1.13
    Beauty411 said:

    I love your nail polish organization! Mine is all over, waiting to get moved into the Helmer. Never enough hours in the day!

  8. 10.1.13

    You need a SherriBlossom unit!

  9. 10.1.13

    Your polish collection – wow! I'm impressed. And I need to know, is that soapstone or marble on your bathroom counter? I am debating both for one of mine.

  10. 10.1.13
    Anonymous said:

    Cool idea of organizing make up cosmetics by Brand !

    -Aline Myers.

  11. 10.1.13
    Cw said:

    Wow thanks for sharing! As a reader of your blog for almost a year I always wondered what do you do with the products that you weren't so thrilled about and now I know. You've got quite a collection and that is impressive. I think my skin would break out if I tested so many different products.

  12. 10.1.13
    JoElla said:

    Granted my bathroom isn't as nice, but I find it refreshing that you showed your vanity 'warts and all'. No matter how many times I clean up my vanity, it always ends up looking like a combo of Neiman's and CVS blew up in there. Kinda like an organized chaos. I also love your nail polish storage. I really need to do something about mine.

    Also I always giggle when I see or read 'bloggers are hoarders blah blah blah' because when I look at my own stash, I have to admit, perhaps, I have a wee bit more than the average bear šŸ˜‰

  13. 10.1.13

    Loved seeing your stash! I really want an e-diva, but they are just too expensive for me to justify the cost. I'd rather spend that kind of money on make-up! So I recently bought some 12"x12" business paper organizer drawers from Meijer. They were about $12 each and I bought two. Then I bought acrylic drawer organizers, about $3 each, for some of the drawers. I stacked the two drawer sets on top of each other and put the drawer organizers in, and I am SOOO happy with the results. Happier than I think I might have even been with an eDiva because I could pick more specifically how I wanted each drawer organized. I hope to post some pictures on my new blog soon!

    In general, I have 6 drawers. Top one is all brushes and tools (eyelash curler, tweezers, nail clippers, etc). Drawer two is moisturizers and the foundations, concealers, and powders I use every day. Drawer three is mostly blushes and bronzers, but I do have a stash of BB creams and tinted moisturizers in the back. Drawer four is drug-store brand/cheap eyeshadows. Drawer five is high-end eyeshadows (yes, I have an eyeshadow addiction like you have a nailpolish addiction) and also a tiny little organizer thing from Target to hold mascaras (try to keep those to only just a couple in use because you have to pitch them so quickly) and another one that I think is supposed to be a bracelet organizer for eyeliners. My final drawer is all lippies, mostly lip gloss because that's my other obsession. I do have an actual bathroom drawer that is for my 'extra' foundations because I go through those so fast I like to keep some in reserve. And an actual bathroom drawer full of only hair products. Anyway, that's how I organize my stash!

  14. 10.1.13

    CW- About 90% of what gets sent to me gets given away to friends. Things I didn't absolutely love or weren't quite right for me go into a big giveaway box and my friends are free to take it home whenever. If I used most of a product and I'm not planning on keeping it then I'll just throw it away. I've tried finding shelters or other charities, but they won't take anything that has been opened, let alone swatched or used. šŸ™ And yeah, if I was continually trying out new products my skin would break out too! I'm only trying new skin care every 8-12 weeks now, so I have a lot of time to adjust in between. The rest is just makeup.

    JoElla- I did post the clutter pics on purpose because i'm a normal person (and one without much time, I work full time as a doc, I have a toddler, I blog AND I write for Babble, that's a lot of hours and not time left over!), though there's now a forum post dedicated to this post saying I make some of them very uncomfortable because I'm so messy and hoarderish (Hi there GBCN people, you do know your forum isn't private, don't you?) Though the pics are small so the organized bits look less organized than they are. Sigh. Anyways, I always had more than the average girl, but then to be a beauty blogger for almost 7 years and have products sent to you for free all the time? Would you throw this stuff away? Probably not! LOL Of course I hold on to it! And as much as I purge, more stuff just shows up on my doorstep, often without me knowing that it's coming. It's just… there. And needs to be stored. Ah, the life of a blogger!

    SirenPrincess- I'd love to be able to use some of those drawer systems, but I think it would just clutter up my bathroom even more! I've heard they have some great ones at Home Goods too!

  15. 10.1.13
    Anonymous said:

    Your stuff looks pretty organized. I doubt DH would believe anyone actually has more than I do. Maybe I should start blogging to justify all the makeup I have! Mine is not organized at the moment but you've given me some super ideas. Great post, thank you.


  16. 10.4.13
    JoElla said:

    People are "uncomfortable" serious? As in really serious?! Wouldn't it be nice if we could have so much extra time? šŸ˜‰

  17. 10.5.13

    Yes, seriously! I have an impeccably clean and organized home (hello… married to an engineering professor!) and chose to be "real" and share the 2 areas of clutter (and it's just clutter, everything is well dusted and cleaned) in my home.

  18. 10.5.13
    Kendra said:

    This entire post made me feel normal. So.much.makeup