Saturday, October 11, 2014

Take Control of Your Make-up: Tips for Cosmetics Organization

I like make-up. Therefore, I have a lot of it! And because I have a lot of it, of course it is usually a mess.

The stuff I use on a daily basis is generally scattered all over the bathroom counter and sink. I usually am getting ready for work in a rush, so I don't take the time to put it away. The stuff I don't use on a daily basis is all thrown into a bin in the bathroom linen closet, and there is absolutely no organization whatsoever happening in that bin. Basically, I have absolutely no idea what I even have, which means I might be most definitely am spending money on make up I don't need!

So, I decided to fix that yesterday.

I pulled down my make-up bin from the shelf. It was kind of heavy and it was definitely overflowing.

I subscribe to a few different beauty boxes each month (like Beauty Box Five), and some of them send a new cosmetic bag each time. I love getting them, but I really don't need 287 cosmetic bags. They are quite useful for some things (I carry three of them in my purse to keep it organized, for instance), but they are still piling up. Then there are the cosmetic bags I get at make-up counters when I buy something and get their free gift. Oh how I love the free gifts at make-up counters! But I still don't need more cosmetic bags...

My first order of business was to go through each bag and sort what was in it. Whenever I get new stuff, I usually try it out right away, but most of it goes into the bin because I don't need to open a new mascara or eyeliner right now. Only things I need right now (and sometimes products I fall instantly in love with) get put into my current make-up bag.

I sorted everything into categories, and here is the result of that exercise:

Um. Wow!

In case you're curious, I had over 30 lipsticks/lip glosses, 19 eye/lip pencils, 7 mascaras, 5 blushes, 17 eye shadows, 30+ random creams, and a handful of hair products. And exactly one nail polish. This made me laugh, because every time I get a new nail polish, Bria (my teenager) makes off with it pretty darn quickly. I don't even know how this one escaped her keen eye for nail products!

Oh, and I also had 22 cosmetic bags in that bin.

Once I sorted into categories, I threw away anything that was used up. I had several lipsticks that were down to the point of needing a lip brush to use them. I decided to just throw them out, because honestly? I have plenty of other lipsticks and just don't need to bother with that. I threw out a couple things because some shimmery powder stuff had exploded all over it and it just wasn't worth keeping. I also realized that the majority of the mascaras had been used up--I have a bad habit of using things almost up and then throwing them in the bin when I start another tube. I promise to reform myself and use the garbage can instead.

I also threw away a handful of the bags that had seen better days. Many of them I've had for several years, and we all know how icky they get on the inside when used for a prolonged amount of time. And then there was the shimmer explosion, too.

After I got rid of the obvious garbage, I got really honest with myself about some of the products that I knew I would never wear. For instance, I rarely wear eye shadow, and when I do, it's usually a very neutral color. I had some really crazy eye shadow colors in there, so I have a pile to give away to others if they want them. If not, I'll just throw them out so they stop cluttering up my make-up bin and my life.

Once I was down to the things I was going to keep, I put each type of cosmetic into its own bag. All the lipsticks and lip glosses (lipstick is my favorite) went into the biggest bag I had, and the other categories each got a medium-ish bag. I put about half the bags into my give away pile, and kept a couple that weren't full. I also gave a couple to my girls to help them sort their own toiletries.

Now my make-up bin is nice and organized, and I know where to find everything!

The make-up I use most often (some of it I found in the bin) is in this larger bag that sits on the bathroom counter.

I also took the time to go through my nail polish and get it all in the same spot--a shelf in my medicine cabinet above the bathroom sink. But, like I said, most of the nail polish in this house is in a very large cosmetic bag in the girls bathroom that belongs to Bria. Good thing, because I don't have enough room in this cabinet for all of it! you see that luscious blue one in the front row there? Isn't it gorgeous? I got it in the October 2014 Beauty Box Five the other day, and I had to put it on immediately. I'm not even generally one who likes to deviate from my red nail polish, either. But I'm loving that blue!

It's Nanacoco brand nail polish in the color Magic Kingdom. A quick look at the other colors on their website shows me they have some really beautiful and different nail colors. Love! Also, Bria totally tried to steal this one from me, but I wouldn't let her.

Also in October's box:

An awesome new dual-ended hydration lock Chapstick that I was happy to see because my lips are starting to react to the chilly fall weather. I'm loving it.

A jar of  Bella Pierre brand cheek and lip stain which I tried out, but only on my lips. I like how smoothly it went on and the fact that it is a stain means it doesn't come off easily.

A sample tube of LashEm Picture Perfect Eye Wrinkle Reducer. I'm 40 now, you know, so this was welcomed eagerly into my nightly regimen.

An Extend Your Beauty cosmetic tool by Spatty. This is a fun little tool that allows you to dig into all of those almost gone tubes of make-up to get the last bits out. I'm excited to have it, even though I already threw all of that away earlier today. I will use it on my favorites.

The value of October's box was approximately 40 dollars, but you can get a box for as little as $8.25 a month. It's a wonderful deal! To find out more, click here: Beauty Box Five.

But you have to promise me that if you start getting these beauty subscriptions that you don't let it all get out of hand the way I did! Keep it organized and clutter-free, sisters!

Do you have any great tips for keeping your make-up organized?

Find all of the posts in this 31 Day Challenge here: A Place for Everything: 31 Days to Less Clutter and More Peace.

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Lara Neves
Lara Neves

Lara is mom to three daughters—two teens and a tween. She loves to share her parenting and homemaking triumphs and failures here at Overstuffed! She was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2015 and has been fighting it ever since. When she isn't working on her mother of the year award, you can find her reading, singing, or taking photos.


  1. That's a LOT of makeup girl!!!!! Have I ever tried to sell you any Jamberries?!?!?!?!? Seriously, you may as well support my Jamberry habit - we've got great nail lacquers! :-) :-) :-) Seriously though, I have the exact same problem of rushing in the mornings. It doesn't matter how well I plan ahead the night before - I somehow can't get it together to leave myself time to straighten up the bathroom counter!

  2. I did get rid of about a third of it, if that makes you feel any better. :) I do like my make-up! And I have to keep a lot around for stage performances since that requires a whole different set of stuff.

    I haven't tried Jamberry yet. I would probably never wear the patterns--I am just not that fun. But if they have solids, I think it's a way cool concept. Also, I have approximately 2 million friends who are selling it now!

  3. Isn't that weird? When I signed on as a consultant in December, no one had even heard of them really! Now it's like taking over the world! There are some solids, but there are WAY more patterns. I'll have to work on you for the lacquers. Those are also fantastic. :-)

  4. Thanks I really can use some ideas for organizing my makeup stash, I don't want my husband thinking I have too much ;)