Is your make-up collection a bit all over the place? We get you, so is ours. Dozens of zippy cases and random boxes filled with a lipstick you forgot you had, a million kirby grips and a dried up mascara. Well in the spirit of a new year, new start, we asked some of the most organised beauty experts we know about exactly how you should sort out your products. Bookmark this and never mourn the loss of a forgotten lipstick again.
Categorise your make-up
“Begin by separating your eye make-up, lip products, cover-ups and blushers,” says the leading make-up artist Mary Greenwell. “And then you can further separate the cream and powder textures, so you have one pile for your powder eyeshadows and one pile for your cream shadows. This way, you know exactly what you have and can organise it properly. Chuck out any lipsticks that smell waxy - it’s a sign they’ve gone off - or mascara’s that have dried out.”
Head to the stationary store
“Pencil cases are great for liners, mascaras and lip pencils,” says Benefit Cosmetics UK ambassador Lisa Potter-Dixon. “You are able to see everything and fit loads in them. Have one for your liners, one for mascaras, one for brow products and one for lip pencils.”
The make-up artist Adam de Cruz puts his pencils and felt tip liners in a pencil roll from art stores, and Greenwell loves the washable plastic cases, too.
It’s one of de Cruz’s favourite places to buy storage for make-up. “At home I have those frosted Muji drawers that you can stack - and loads of them. They are great for foundations and concealers.
"In the eyeshadow boxes I separate them by colours and textures, and put them into a clear or net zipper bag. I recently bought 60 in one go, but they are still very useful on a smaller scale! So in one zipper fill with matte shades, and metallic in another. I have drawers full of them."
Pillboxes are useful, too
Especially if you have lots of lipsticks. For the method, here’s Potter-Dixon’s advice. “Cut the end of the lipstick off and put it in one of the sections of the pill box - then squash it in with the handle of a knife. Don’t melt them as this makes the oil separate meaning you’ll never get the same colour pay-off. This is great storage for lipstick horders.”
But always remember to write the lipstick names on the bottom of the box with a Sharpie - especially if you need a refill. Of course you do.
Candle jars, version 2.0
For make-up brushes, keep them in a open-top jar or container, standing upright. Re-use candle jars (Dipytique’s look ridiculously chic), with one container for blusher and foundation brushes, one for eyeshadow brushes and one for tools (such as eyelash curlers and tweezers).
Get out the freezer bags
Fan of glitter but hate the mess? Pick up some freezer food bags, suggests Potter-Dixon. “Put each glitter product into a bag and seal, so just in case there’s a glitter explosion, it won’t go all over your carpet.”
Pop the bags in - yes, you guessed it - a frosted Muji box. What do you mean you don’t have that much glitter?
Make your own palette
If you’re not that fussed about the packaging your eyeshadows and blushers come in, you can create your own master palette. “Prize out your eyeshadows from its casing using a flat metal spatula, and then place them into a magnetic empty metal palette. I like the ones by Make Up Forever.”
It’s a method that Potter-Dixon uses, too. “I’m obsessed with the empty Z Palettes for blushers & eyeshadows. It’s good to put everything in one place, but it’s not one for girls who love packaging though as you bin that.”
Nail it with your manicure kit
Have tonnes of nail colours all over the place, so you can never just find that red you’re looking for? We hear you. We asked nail Extraordinaire Marian Newman how she stores her varnishes. “It is a bit of a myth about keeping polishes in the fridge. Polish is full of solvents so keep them cool in a drawer. You need to stop the solvents escaping so make sure the caps are all tight.
"All my storage, both small kit and major kit, is with a variety of products from Roo Beauty.” Newman’s even designed several of the storage solutions herself, so if it’s good enough for a backstage pro, we’ll take one, too.