How I store and organize my makeup

Its an age old problem – at least for those of us with a beauty addiction. Where and how do you store all of your makeup and skincare products? In the last few years I’ve really picked up a lot of products, from sponsorships to Ipsy items, Sephora samples to actual purchases. The result is that I found myself storing my beauty products all over the place, and never reaching for new or different items because they just weren’t visible and/or accessible.

So this year, when I moved for my medical school clerkship, I decided it was finally time to sort out the problem and get my makeup and items all in neat order. Maybe its just me, but there is something so totally satisfying about everything having a home and knowing where to find the products I want.

The first step was finding the bits and pieces to store it all in. I knew I wanted lots of clear acrylic dividers to make it easy to see things, and I picked up most of those at the dollar store. Then it was a trip to Ikea to find the storage units I wanted. I know a lot of people like using the Ikea Alex drawers (Left) but I wanted something that I could have two of, and a little smaller. I was afraid that the Alex drawers were too tall, which (1) would look bulky and (2) would just encourage me to get more stuff. My goal was to only keep enough beauty products to fill the space I designed, no more, so I wanted to make it relatively compact. I also liked the idea of labelling things, so it was love at first sight when I saw Ikea Helmer unit (Right). I didn’t like the wheels but figured I could just not put those on. So off I went, and got two of those.


The next step was to find a desk or workstation that I could put over top of my drawers to give me a working counter space. I carefully measured out the height of the Helmer units without wheels, as well as the depth, and then kept my eye out for something that would suit my needs. I was lucky and came across a sale at AllModern, where I was able to snag their Leo Console Table for half price! It was simple, white – which kept with my aesthetic – and had the perfect dimensions. It is still available for full price, and I’ve linked it below.

Leo Console Table from AllModern, $149.99 here

I finally had the skeletons of my setup done! Given this was all being set-up while I moved homes and started my clerkship year, it took a while for it to all come together. I arranged my makeup into the 12 drawers, which I then further divided with my acrylic dividers and labelled. For anyone curious, the 12 drawers I have are:

  • Lipstick (which I’ve sorted by colour groups)
  • Lipgloss and stains
  • Blush and Highlighter
  • Eye Makeup
  • Face products (this includes foundations, powders etc.)
  • Body products (mostly just lotions and creams)
  • Face masks (I’m obsessed with face masks so there’s a lot in this drawer)
  • Skin care (a lot of my skincare I keep in my bathroom so this has my extras, samples etc.)
  • Hair products
  • Products to review (this is where any sponsored products go while I’m testing or waiting to review them)
  • Products to gift/give away
  • Samples (It’s so nice to have a drawer for all my foils and random samples, and it reminds me to try things out)

This was all fine and dandy, but quite a boring set up, so then came time for some of my final touches! I wanted somewhere to put my day-to-day basic makeup easily in reach, and I came across some products by Kate and Laurel that were just too perfect to pass up! They weren’t exactly cheap but the white and gold was exactly what I had in mind to match the rest of my room.  The first was the Industrious Desktop File Folder Organizer, which had a few slots that I knew would fit my palettes, a ledge on the front to put some bottles that I use often, and two drawers for other products. In the end these two drawers have my primer, setting spray, mascara, eyebrow products, and concealer, products that I tend to use every day no matter what the look I’m doing is. The other item I got was the matching white and gold Industrious Magazine Holder, which now stores my copies of Vogue.


To top it all off, I added a few little details using things I already had lying around the house. I put a few pretty bottles out, I put my makeup brushes in an old candle jar, and I used a big mirror that I originally had leaning in a corner and propped it up on the desk to be my makeup mirror. And are you ready to see the final results??

Drumroll please . . .

IMG_0953It may not look like much, but together with the white and gold accents in my room, its the perfect set up for me. It’s efficient, organized, and laid out exactly how I want. It also forces me to keep my makeup hoarding to a minimum! The only thing I would change is turning those silver accents into the same gold as the Kate and Laurel products, but I’m a student on a budget and we can’t all be perfect!

A close up of some other details include the desktop organizer with my day to day makeup, my magazine holder with my Vogue copies, and some of the labels I set up on my drawers.

And there you have it, the way I store and organize my makeup! I hope that gives you an idea of how I lay everything out and maybe even inspires anyone whose looking to find a better way to store your own makeup and products. Feedback or comments? Leave them below!

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