How to Declutter & Organize Your Makeup (+ Best Makeup Organizers)


makeup organization ideas

Do you have a drawer full of blush, eye shadow, mascara, lipsticks that is stuffed full and you have a hard time finding anything?  Or do you have everything sitting out on top of your vanity on full disorganized display?? If this is true, you need makeup organizers!  

Keep reading below to learn about the best makeup organizers, for inside drawers, on top of your vanity or dresser, or separate organizing units.  They will make everything look so much neater and you will be able to find what you want to use in a matter of seconds!!

declutter and organize your makeup

How do you declutter makeup?

Getting rid of items that aren’t used or wanted anymore is so exhilarating and makes me so happy!  

So, the first step is to take EVERYTHING out so that you can see the insane amount of makeup that you have.  Then begin sorting everything into piles based on what they are, eyeshadow palettes/kits in one pile (you have more than you thought, right?), lipsticks in another, blush in another and so on.  

Take a look at everything sitting in front of you.  For the average person (not makeup artists), I would recommend keeping NO MORE THAN:

  • 2 big eyeshadow palettes or 5 small eyeshadow kits
  • 3 blush containers (that are different shades or colours)
  • 2 foundations (unless you mix a few together, or have some based on summer tan or winter pale skin)
  • 3 concealers
  • 2 mascara wands
  • 8 lipsticks
  • 2 bronzer palettes
  • 2 eyebrow kits or pencils
  • 5 lip liners
  • 2 primers
  • 4 eyeliners
  • 2 powders for setting makeup

There are other makeup products that you may own, but the products listed above should cover a large portion of your makeup.   

So now that you have an idea how many items you can save, start going through the makeup piles and determine what you can get rid of.  If you don’t like something, just throw it out and if there is something you rarely use, throw that out as well.  

Side note: Gifting to a family member or donating is not recommended, unless it has not been used or opened yet.  Sharing makeup in general could result in you or the person you are sharing with getting an infection.  So anything that you are getting rid of will need to be thrown away.

Makeup should be thrown out after a certain amount of time anyway! Even if you are really enjoying it, you should throw the makeup out based on the recommendations below. You can always go out and buy the same product again.

makeup bag organization

Recommendations for when your makeup should be tossed:  

Any makeup that is used around the eyes should be replaced every 3 months, as this is the most likely area that moisture will build up and could mold or grow bacteria that you wouldn’t want to transfer into your eye.  This would include eye shadows, eye liners, mascara, and even concealer if you use the wand that goes into the bottle.

You should throw lipstick away a year after you began using the lipstick.  This is another product that could grow bacteria from your mouth, so a year should be the absolute max.

Everything else, such as foundation, blush, primer, bronzer, eyebrow kits, etc….should be thrown out 2 years after the date that you began using them.

Is there anything else that could go?  If you are keeping something that you like but that you only wear a couple of times per year, it may be worth getting rid of and buying a new one when you want to wear it again.  Older makeup doesn’t apply as well anyway!

How can I organize my makeup?

Now that you have decluttered, it is time to decide how you would like to organize your makeup.

There are many different ways to organize makeup and below I have listed different types of organization strategies that work for different spaces and what the best options are for each.

What is the best makeup organizer?

The best organizer really depends on how much space you have and how you want it to look.  There are cabinets that use floor space, there are gorgeous options for organizing makeup on top of your vanity and there are many drawer organizers to keep makeup hidden but sorted nicely.  

Stand Alone Makeup Organizers

The #1 stand-alone organization unit for makeup would be the Winsome Halifax Storage/Organization Unit and this is because it is well-made, looks nice, and can fit a lot of makeup.  The second option would be the adorable AGTEK makeup cart.  It is so cute and feminine and could be stored in your bathroom or even in your room!  It’s a very versatile piece that can be used for storing many different items.

Winsome Halifax Storage/Organization

This storage unit has 7 drawers for storing all of your makeup, makeup brushes and sponges, or really anything you want.  It comes with 4 wheels on it, 2 of which can be locked, so it can easily be moved around. You can also remove the wheels to keep it in one place.  It is made of composite wood.

The storage unit is 35.25″L x 21.25″W x 6″ H overall with the casters on and 33” tall without the casters.  Each drawer is 15.9″W x 11.7″D x 2.5″H.  

If you buy two units and put a board across, you could create your own makeup vanity with tons of storage!  Just put a nice mirror and lighting above it and you are all set!

These units can take some time to put together, so make sure you set aside an afternoon to put it together.  They are very useful in cleaning up and organizing a space once put together.

Side note: Ikea has a similar unit that is very popular, but is more expensive.  So this is the better value.  

AGTEK Makeup Cart

This is the cutest organizer!  It can be used in many different areas of the house to store different types of items.  The cart has three tiers and is 15.35″ x 11.42″ x 27.5″ overall.  There are 7 colour options to choose from.  It comes with 4 wheels (two of which lock) so that you can easily move it around or keep it in one place.  

It does have to be assembled when you get it but once assembled, can hold a lot of different products.  I would still recommend buying some cheap containers to put on each tier, to separate your different types of makeup.  Brushes and sponges could lay directly on one of the tiers and any palettes can stack on top of each other.   

Countertop Organizers (for vanity/dresser)

The buildable acrylic makeup organizers such as the hbLife Acrylic Jewelry and Cosmetic Storage Drawers Display are amazing and can fit a decent amount of makeup and other products, such as nail polish.  A second option if you want something pretty and don’t need as much storage space is a rotating makeup organizer.  They look so beautiful on a vanity!

hbLife Acrylic Jewelry and Cosmetic Storage Drawers Display

This acrylic makeup organizer has 4 tiers that click together and is 9.5″ L x 5.4″ W x 15.8″ H all put together. 

The first tier is 8.7″ x 5″ x 3.15″
The second tier is 9.5″ x 5.4″ x 4.3″ (3 medium drawers: 9.5″ x 5.4″ x 1.2″ each)
The third tier is 9.5″ x 5.4″ x 4.3″ (3 small drawers: 4.5″ x 5.4″ x 1.2″ each; 1 large drawer: 4.5″ x 5.4″ x 3.7″)
The fourth tier is 9.5″ x 5.4″ x 4.3″ (3 small drawers: 4.5″ x 5.4″ x 1.2″ each; 1 large drawer: 4.5″ x 5.4″ x 3.7″)

The tiers can either be stacked on top of each other or they can be used side by side or completely separate.  In total there are 2 large drawers, 3 medium size drawers and 6 small drawers.  The area at the top can hold 16 different small products.  You can store any of your makeup products, nail polish, makeup brushes, hair elastics and clips, jewelry, and more. 

There is an anti-slip black velvet padding inside each of the drawers to prevent your makeup from sliding around.   If you primarily have large eyeshadow palettes, this may not work as well for you.  The length is 9.5 inches for the drawers, so anything longer would not fit.

360° Rotating Makeup Organizer

This organizer would look so beautiful on your vanity or dresser.  However, it will not contain ALL of your makeup.  This would be best for mascara, lip stick, lip gloss, perfumes, lotions and nail polish.  Anything that can stand up on it’s own.  

There is one area that is slightly closed in, so would hold some makeup brushes, eyeliner and lip liner.  It does provide flexibility with where you place the shelves, so that you can fit both short items and taller items in the organizer.  

The organizer is 12” tall and 9” diameter and made of clear acrylic plastic .  You can easily see what is in the organizer just by spinning it.

STORi Clear Plastic 6-Compartment Vanity Makeup Organizer

This organizer would also look nice sitting on top of your vanity or dresser.  It is clear plastic, which allows you to fully see what is stored inside and it displays everything nicely.  There are 6 compartments, the tallest being at the back and getting smaller towards the front of the unit. 

The back can hold medium size palettes (if you are okay when the palette being stored vertically).  The front can fit smaller items, such as lipstick, makeup sponges, nail polish, etc…  

The overall size 8.38” L x 6.25” D x 4.25” H.  The compartments on the left are slightly larger than the compartments on the right.  It is fairly compact but fits a lot of different products. 

If you have a large collection of makeup, you may want to want two of these units to sit side by side.  It is not recommended that you overfill the organizer, as the weight of makeup products leaning against the sides may break the container. 

Makeup Organizers for Inside Drawers

Listed below are the best drawer organizers.  They serve the same function, but one comes with 17 containers and the other comes with 13 containers.  They both have grips on the bottoms so that they don’t slip around in the drawer(s). 

Giom 17 Pack Desk Drawer Organizer Trays

There are 17 containers included which are all clear frosted acrylic.  The sizes are:

1 large tray that is 9.6″ L x 6.4″ W x 1.9″ H

2 medium trays that are 9.6″ L x 3.2″ W x 1.9″ H each

2 small trays that are 6.4″ L x 6.4″ W x 1.9″ H each

4 smaller trays that are 6.4″ L x 3.2″ W x 1.9″ H each

8 mini trays that are 3.2” L x 3.2″ W x 1.9″ H each

With so many different sizes, you can mix and match to fit your drawers and most makeup products would fit.  Large eyeshadow palettes likely will not fit, but they can be easily be stored on their own outside of containers.  

Your makeup sponges or other small items could be stored in the smaller containers.  The medium containers would be good for mascara, eye liner, lip liner, nail polish, etc….and the larger size would work well for small to medium size eyeshadow palettes, brushes, longer lip glosses/lipsticks, lotion, etc.  

The trays are easy to clean for when they get gunked up with makeup products.  They could be used for many other items as well, like kitchen utensils or cleaning up your junk drawer!

SMARTAKE 13-Piece Drawer Organizer with Non-Slip Silicone Pads

This package comes with 13 containers that are clear plastic and have non-slip silicone pads on the bottoms.  The sizes are:

2 large trays that are 8.9” x 6” x 2” each

3 medium trays that are 9.7” x 3.3” x 2” each

1 medium tray that is 5.9” x 5.9” x 2”

4 small trays that are 5.9” x 2.9” x 2” each

3 mini trays that are 3” x 3” x 2” each

Bonus, these are designed to be stackable, so they can be used outside of the drawer and stacked on your vanity or dresser.  They are also easy to clean when they get messy with lots of different makeup products.  

Makeup Organizer Bags

For storing makeup at home or for travel purposes.  The best bag for traveling would be the Teamoy Travel Makeup & Brush Case and the best to use at home would be the Relavel Travel Makeup Train Case.

Relavel Travel Makeup Train Case Makeup Cosmetic Case

This makeup bag comes in 6 different colours in the small size, 1 in medium and 2 in large.  The small size makeup bag holds plenty of makeup products to easily take along with you.  This makeup bag can hold makeup, toiletries, shaving products, jewelry and more!  

If used only at home, it is compact and keeps everything in a contained space, but it doesn’t allow you to see everything as nicely as acrylic organizers.  Having said that, it is nice to zip it up and no longer see the mess. It would also squeeze into a cabinet easier than having everything separate.

There are dividers in the bag that can be removed to make room for larger items.  The bag is 10.3” L x 9” W x 3.6” H overall and is made of high quality Oxford Fabric and a nylon lining.  It is also waterproof!  There is a handle on it, making it easy to carry around and it is sturdy.  One downside is that the dividers don’t stay in place well if you are using it while travelling.

Teamoy Travel Makeup Brush Case

This makeup case is primarily for traveling, but could be used at home for some makeup.  It is on the small side at 6” x 3” x 9”.  There are 6 different colours to choose from.

The bag is water-resistant and made of nylon fabric.  Inside there are elastic areas to hold your makeup brushes in place.  There are also adjustable dividers to keep your different types of makeup products separate. 

This makeup case has two layers inside, as well as zipper areas at the top of one layer for even more separated storage.  Each layer has cushioning in between to protect your makeup.  It also has a handle to make it easier to carry.  

Despite the 9” length, it can’t fit anything larger than 8.5” due to the padding, so this may limit some of the brushes you can bring along with you.  

This brand also has medium and large makeup case options so more storage possibilities!  It can fit more than it appears, but is still better for using to hold a smaller amount of makeup when travelling.  One of the larger sizes would be preferred if you are wanting to store all of your makeup in it at home.

How to organize jewelry and makeup together

Are you looking to store your jewelry and makeup in the same space? 

I would recommend using the hbLife Acrylic Jewelry and Cosmetic Storage Drawers Display, since there are many drawers with a lining in the bottom to keep your jewelry flat, untangled, and from slipping around.  There will be plenty of space remaining for all of your makeup and makeup brushes.

How should I organize my skincare?

Skincare and makeup should be stored in the same space, since they are products that are often used together. 

Since skincare products tend to be in taller containers, I would recommend the 360° Rotating Makeup Organizer.  You can fit many different items in this spinning organizer. 

For everything else that doesn’t fit, you could purchase either the drawer organizers or the STORi Clear Plastic 6-Compartment Vanity Makeup Organizer and set it beside the rotating makeup organizer.  They are all clear and beautiful and will complement any space. 

Do you have any other questions about how to declutter, organize and store your makeup and other cosmetic items?  Leave me a comment below!

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