Don’t you just hate it when you’re running late and can’t find your favorite blush or lipstick shade?
Makeup collections are expensive and expansive, sometimes containing more than 100 small, delicate items. Keeping it all organized can be difficult, especially because you don’t use all of your cosmetics at the same time. Keep reading to learn more about makeup storage options that can save you time, space, and hassle.
Storage & Organization
Your makeup collection is constantly growing and expanding as you experiment with new brands and techniques. The number and variety of tools and products can get overwhelming.
Utilizing a makeup storage tool not only keeps you organized, but can extend the life of your cosmetics and prevent you from losing expensive products.
The Lori Greiner deluxe cosmetic organizer pictured at left is the perfect example of a good makeup box. It opens up into an attractive and convenient display, but is cute and simple when closed.
At nearly $100, this one is on the pricey side, but it has the space to store more than 200 items.
We like this makeup organizer in particular because it comes with a built in mirror, is made of elegant wood veneer, and closes up to keep cosmetics safe and protected.
Rotating Makeup Caddy
The rotating caddy is one of the most convenient of all permanent makeup storage solutions. It’s like a spice rack, but designed just for cosmetics
In my opinion, rotating holders are most appropriate for teenagers who are starting to explore makeup. Most models are made of cheap plastic, but more mature options do exist.
The Lori Greiner tabletop spinning cosmetic organizer is one such model. Product details:
- Available on QVC.com
- Stores up to 100 items
- Features different sized storage areas
- Lends ease and speed to makeup application
- All products are clearly visible
- Made of easy-to-clean plastic
- Has fantastic reviews
Organizers with drawers
With their simplistic, accessible designs, drawer organizers are perfect for permanent cosmetic organization.
We love the Ikee cosmetic storage display (pictured at left) because:
- It’s made of durable acrylic
- You can see through it
- It’s easy to clean
- It looks great on a bathroom counter
Traditional drawer organizers are made of wood (I think I inherited one from my grandmother). They may appear elegant and classic, but tend to warp in humid bathrooms.
This acrylic makeup organizer is a two-piece set that features four drawers and a top section for lipstick and other essentials. The drawers come with removable black mesh liners that keep objects in place.
The Ikee model may be too small for some collections. To give you an idea of the size, you can fill up one of the lower drawers with Urban Decay’s “Naked” palette.
There are two main types of wall organizers, wooden models that are affixed to the wall and hanging organizers that are typically hung on a door or hook. Both offer lots of room, but are hard to clean.
As I mentioned above, wood isn’t the best material for a bathroom. That’s why wall-mounted cosmetic organizers are almost always found in bedrooms (but this is not always a convenient place to store beauty products). Think of this option sort of like an old fashioned dressing table without the chair.
Wall organizers that hang on the back of doors are great for teenagers and college students, but might not be appropriate for adults.
The 80-pocket canvas hanging jewelry organizer pictured at left is a good example of the door-hang variety. Product details:
- Available at ContainerStore.com
- Can be rolled up for travel
- Double sided; 40 clear vinyl compartments on each side
- Varying pocket sizes
There’s no searching through drawers with this organizer. Everything is visible and easily accessed. It does get heavy when you fill it up, however, so make sure to use a sturdy hook or hanger that can bear the weight.
This organizer is marketed for jewelry storage, but is perfect for cosmetics (especially blushes). It was featured on MakeupAndBeautyBlog.com as a cheap, DIY organization solution.
Speaking of DIY solutions, the options for makeup storage are endless! Just take a look at this adorable handmade creation made from mason jars (pictured above).
A quick note about materials:
Most cosmetic organizers are made of wood, plastic, or acrylic. As I noted above, acrylic is a great option for cosmetic storage. It’s durable, easy to clean, and attractive.
There’s really no reason to choose traditional plastic over acrylic. You can think of acrylic like “upscale” plastic. It looks better and it doesn’t break as easily. Hard, clear organizers are typically made of acrylic.
Wood makeup organizers can be modern, antique, attractive, or elegant – but they simply are not a practical option for makeup storage. Foundations, blushes, and the like tend to be messy. Wood stains easily and is hard to clean. Plus, wood tends to warp in humid environments. Stick with acrylic for your cosmetics and wood for your furniture.
Makeup is one of the most annoying things to transport. It breaks easily and can ruin clothes or the inside of your purse. I once had a single jar of white nail polish ruin almost everything in a suitcase when it broke during a plane ride.
That being said, it’s important to utilize a good, sturdy makeup case when traveling.
Ideally, you won’t be traveling with your entire collection. A basic case is the perfect option for anyone looking for a small, convenient bag that will keep makeup safe and organized.
Cosmetic cases come in all shapes and sizes, from designer options to wall hangers (mentioned above) that roll up into traveling bags.
This irresistibly cute polka dot model, available at PotteryBarn.com, is currently on sale for $39.99 (normal price is $69).
“Two are better than one,” reads the product description. The handled cosmetic bag features pockets and dividers to help you stay organized on long trips. The smaller pouch is perfect for essentials and fits easily in a purse or carry-on. Both bags feature a zipper and are made of 100% cotton.
There are a few downsides evident with this option:
- Soft cotton cases are not sturdy
- The cases are hard to clean
- Even with two cases, you’re not looking at much storage space
- The basic cosmetic bag does not double as a permanent storage solution
Travel cosmetic bags
Similar to the basic case, a travel cosmetic bag is a portable solution for your beauty products. This one is bigger and can carry a whole lot more – think of it like a purse or small suitcase, rather than a tiny bag you can carry inside your purse or suitcase.
We love this black, upscale travel case by MAC (find it at Macy’s). Its got three zippered, mesh compartments on one side and includes four removable bags (two big and two small) for convenience.
This all-in-one travel necessity features an adjustable shoulder strap and handle for easy carrying. The bag’s professional exterior features more zippered compartments for extra storage.
The MAC bag is lightweight, sturdy, and convenient. It keeps cosmetics safe and in place during travel. The downsides:
- May be too large
- Its simple exterior might be too boring for some
- Does not double as a permanent storage solution
Professional makeup case/box
Cosmetic boxes are a safe, convenient way to store beauty products – and makeup artists love them! Designs range from sleek and professional to cute and fun. Most boxes have ample room, which could be good or bad depending on what you’re storing.
The professional Soho train case pictured at left is durable and perfect for traveling, but may not look great on your bathroom counter.
It will keep you organized, however, with multi-tiered shelves that extend outwards on both sides (when open) and extra space at the bottom for large or irregular items.
The Soho box even features a security lock, which makes it perfect for girls living in a college dorm, apartment, or any habitation in which bathrooms are shared.
The only real downside to the makeup box is that you can’t see what’s inside until you open it. Like the MAC travel bag, this one is likely too big for many women.
Your cosmetic storage solution should depend on your unique collection and whether or not portability is a concern. If you’re looking for something that you can use for travel and at home, I suggest a professional cosmetic box. It may not offer an impressive display, but it is sturdy and convenient.
For most women, the basic case should suffice for travel. If for some reason you need to bring your entire makeup arsenal on a trip, the box or the travel bag should work perfectly.
Teens will be happiest with the spinning caddy or the wall organizer. College students will benefit from the wall organizer or cosmetic box.
For women looking to clean up their bathroom counters, I recommend a clear acrylic display like the Ikee model described above.