Makeup Storage and Organization + Best Acrylic Palette Holder

makeup storage

Ever bought a beauty product, just because it came in a stunning packaging, thinking “hmm.. this will look so pretty sitting on my vanity!“?

Sigh… me too. 

I’ve loved beauty products ever since I spent my very first paycheck, (in its entirety, I should add) on two bags full of drugstore makeup in my local Walgreens. Now, many years later, my collection has grown ….. a bit. I’ve also acquired quite the taste for all those gorgeous products.

I did notice though, that a lot of the products I buy, don’t get used nearly as often as they should. I took a long look at my entire collection and decided that I need to cut back.

Yes, this is still a BEAUTY and lifestyle blog, but the thing is this: I let the fact that I have a blog dictate how I spend my money. And yes, if you have a blog then you know that to some degree, this is normal (almost to be expected). If there is a new exciting product that comes out I almost always feel that I have to have it. To test it, photograph it, use it and, eventually, share my opinion.

Empty candle jars are great for storing brushes, liquid lipsticks, mascaras, eye and lip pencils. I also love storing my little perfume samples in them, as well. 

The problem starts when I find myself willing to spend hundreds of dollars on a beauty product I’m not necessarily interested in, just because I think it’ll look pretty in my photos.

There. I admitted it.

So, last week, I decided to go through my entire collection and only keep products I actually use or want to use. I got rid of a bunch of old, expired products, gave away some new ones I didn’t even realize I had and dug out some favorites I…. forgot about.

I also removed all my products stored hidden in my vanity drawers and brought them out to daylight. I got a bunch of these acrylic makeup organizers that I found on Amazon and organized all the products I decided to keep.

I got about three [sets of two] of these stackable acrylic drawers and store products from different “categories” in each one. I ended up liking these better than my MUJU organizers, especially the fact that the price-point was quite different. In the first one I keep my moisturizers, primers and lip balms, which I so desperately need at the moment (almost halfway through my Accutane treatment, though! yay!).

In the next one, I keep things like concealers, correctors, eye primers. Then there are powder products, some lip products. The last one will usually hold a few backups or makeup products that I’m testing/reviewing at the moment.

Something that I’ve always struggled with in the past, was eyeshadow and face palette storage. I’ve heard of people using letter/mail holders for that, but I like when everything looks extra neat and “matchy-matchy” on my makeup table/vanity.

When I was buying these stackable drawers, I also found this palette holder and ordered three of them. I finally found what I was looking for. These fit all of my favorites: Tartelette palettes, UD Naked palettes, Hourglass Face Palettes, Tom Ford, Charlotte Tilbury face palettes, Lorac and ABH palettes. That same holder also has a place for six lipsticks and a few slots in the back that are perfect for storing foundation or other face products. Best thing is, it fist perfectly on top of these stackable drawers so it actually looks like a one, large makeup storage unit.

I also like keeping a few of my “essential” beauty products in the same palette organizer, as it makes it easy for me to grab them in the morning, and put them right back in their place.

makeup storage

For my MAC lippies I love this little lipstick stand I found at Marshalls (or TJ Maxx, they both always have a ton of them). This isn’t really ideal, as the shades aren’t easily visible, but it looks nice and organized and I usually carry some of my favorite MAC lipsticks  with me, in a “handbag makeup bag”, so I know where to look for those, if I’m in a hurry.

The main difference I noticed since I moved all my products from desk drawers and got rid of everything I didn’t use, is that now that I actually see what I have. I don’t tend to use the same products over and over again. I actually switch things up and don’t have to spend twenty minutes looking through my drawers trying to find that lipstick or eyeshadow palette.

makeup-storage

Top: the palette organizer I fell in love with. Bottom: acrylic drawers. Drawers come in sets of 2 and you can stack them up as high as you want; the palette organizer fits in perfectly and stays in place. 

I wish I could say that I’ll never buy anything again, just because it looks pretty, but I’m definitely going to try. This year, one of my goals is to be more mindful and not create unnecessary clutter. I think that over the last couple of years I’ve gotten a lot better (no more impulse beauty shopping for me). However, I sometimes feel this strange pressure to get my hands on some beauty products, just because someone else (read: my bloggers/IG friends) has them.

I used to love “collecting” makeup and I think there’s still a huge part of me that wants to treat makeup in the same way as others treat collecting stamps or comic books or Pokémon cards (is this still a thing?). But I think that as this blog (which originally started as a beauty blog) shows, I now want to focus on different things, as well. I also want to make sure that I actually use the products I spend my money on.

With all of that being said, I’m still a huge makeup junkie and can’t imagine my life without my beauty stash. I am thinking of challenging myself to not buy anything new until my birthday in April though, whaddayathink?

Yeah.. I might fail miserably, but I’ll give it a go.

What about you guys? Do you actually use everything in your collection? What was the last time you had a good beauty stash clean-out?


  • I wish I could stop spending so much on makeup but I can’t help it! >.< btw your vanity area is so nice and neat I really need to take care of mine it's a hot mess lol
    http://makeupwithmona.blogspot.com

  • I’m thinking I might need these because I am running into a very similar problem. I bought a couple different storage things from Homegoods a couple years ago but I feel like they take up more space than actually hold things, so this seems like it would be helpful so I can bring things out of the dark!

    And I hear you loud and clear on spending too much on makeup. I actually had a makeup blog before the one I have now that had “makeup” in the name so I felt so much more pressure to focus on the makeup aspect. I would hit up every local drugstore near work and home and buy every new product so I could be one of the first people to talk about the new stuff. I spent so much money on stuff I don’t even use. It’s a such a shame. But I have gotten much better in the past year. That doesn’t mean I don’t have a burning desire to buy every single Charlotte Tilbury product, though lol

    Katie | http://www.overthemoony.com

    • I did the same thing! A lot of the “units” I had were mismatched, that’s why I like that these are stackable.

      OMG I used to do the same thing! If I couldn’t find a certain new product, I’d drive around to every single drugstore in the area to find it. So much time and gas wasted haha. That’s why this year I want to change the way I buy and use beauty products. Still love them, but don’t want to feel like I obsess over them. I totally get what you mean! It’s such a conflicting feeling haha ;)

  • Samileen

    I think I always keep buying organizers, since the collection is getting out of control. And I absolutely love these…
    Also, Love your new blog layout and its so much similar to the kind of layout I’m in the process of designing. Ekks Cant wait to get back to blogging. Happy New Year love <3

    Sam || Beautydetour

    • They’re really great, especially since these can be stacked together.

      Oh awesome, can’t wait to see how your blog is going to look like, happy new year Sam! <3

  • ohmygosh, your photos are so aesthetically pleasing! i’ve always wanted the muji acrylic drawers but they’re so expensive! i think these ones from amazon will be a good alternative. thank you Paula! x

    http://www.erinazmir.com

  • I love using acrylic organizers to store my makeup so that I can easily see all of the products! Thanks for some price friendly suggestions if I need to buy more!

    Renae | renaekarissa.com

  • You’ve stored all your products so beautifully Paula! I love the look of these acrylic drawers, they look incredibly chic and minimal. Lovely post.
    – Ambar x
    http://www.herlitteloves.co.uk

  • The Sunday Mode

    I really want to give my collection a good clean out just in general, but I am after some great acrylic storage too so this post was perfect!

    Julia // The Sunday Mode

  • Such a great post and I agree with you: I sometimes find myself thinking that a certain packaging would look beautiful on my blog before actually considering what the product is or its price!

    http://fannyanddailybeauty.com

  • That looks so great. I feel like my cupboard could do with a make over like this!

  • This is literally goals! How organised and pretty is this!

    Jenna

  • I wish I had all of my makeup organized like this…I also love certain packagings,but haven’t bought anything yet just because of that – even though there have been things I don’t use that often that I bought because I read they were good or saw them on a blog..

    xoRosie // Rosie’s Life

    • Good on you Rosie! I’m so guilty of doing that, so far I haven’t bought anything this year, but it’s only been 10 days haha :)

  • Wow I so wish I had that much makeup. I love how organised it looks too. These photographs are so so pretty. JEALOUS!
    The Pale Tails
    – Beckie x

  • I definitely have the same problem with buying products just because they’ll look pretty in photos….it’s one of my goals this year to be more mindful of that, too. You’ve inspired me to start a bit of a clearout this weekend!

    Kelsey | beautybykelsey.com

  • Omg haha, I wish you’d posted this a week earlier! I just bought myself a Muji acrylic organizer and didn’t even think to check Amazon!

  • Biana Perez

    I need to purge a few of my less loved makeup items and make room for the stuff I actually use! I too have an acrylic organizer and love it!! xo, Biana –BlovedBoston

  • The Gossip Darling

    I love this!!! Your makeup collection is stunning. I keep purging and trying to clean out my stash!!

    Mel | http://www.thegossipdarling.com

  • I’ve been looking for makeup up organizers! Such stunning photos babe! Everyone has those plastic containers and I find myself wanting something a little more chic. My search continues!

    xo

  • I have the exact same drawers and lipstick holder, they’re seriously amazing! I just gifted the top part of your storage to my mom on Christmas, she’s been getting into acrylic storage too and I’m very excited haha. Love your decor too, everything looks so neat <3

    | http://www.noirettediary.com |

  • kate_winford

    I just recently did a beauty stash clean out – I still did not get rid of enough but I made a dent into my collection. I want my collection to be smaller so that I can enjoy what I have and really use everything in my collection. Right now, I have so many products that I love that haven’t been used in months!!

    Kate | katelovesmakeup.com

  • Chantalle

    I recently did something similar and cleared out my drawers and placed products I actually liked and used regularly into clear acrylic drawers. Found a lot of unused, unwanted and expired products to say the least! I am definitely guilty of buying certain products because they are overly hyped or will look good for Instagram, such a bad habit and something that I am working on this year not to do! x

    Chantalle | http://www.ceceandgrace.blogspot.com.au

  • I love what you do to your new layout, Paula! It’s so neat. And the aesthetic of this post makes my OCD sings in happiness, because; so, so, so, organized from colors and those placements. Acrylic storages from Muji is literally the best, too. They had year-end discount and I picked them up. Candle holders are so great for brushes but your idea of storing tube products definitely needs to be applied once my collection grows. Thank you!

    Selene Addicted

  • I totally agree with you about feeling like I HAVE to buy things for photos. I think I’ve gotten much better at this recently as well, and have definitely streamlined my collection. After reading this though I’m thinking about cutting a bit more back! The double stacked drawers look amazing!

    x
    ameliasaysthis,com

    • I’m really looking forward to stopping this “trend” haha :) So far I haven’t bought anything just for pretty photos, but it’s been only two weeks, so let’s see haha ;)

  • I really needed this post! I was planning to go to muji next Monday to look for some acrylic cases since I bought a lot (for me) of makeup products in the last weeks and I need a place to store them ^_^ THANKS!

  • Charlotte

    I love how you store your MAC lipsticks. I only have a little collection compared to you but I always like to rearrange mine and this has given me some ideas!
    Charlotte / Charlotte’s Picks

  • sanya majid

    your storage is gorgeous!

    http://www.desire4beauty.wordpress.com

  • You have majorly inspired me to get better organized! I’ve got a Prime order coming this week! :)

  • Maria R

    I am just currently thinking about getting my make-up organized. As I have a really small collection, I thought it is not necessary, but now I think I really want to get organized!
    http://www.mariarttr.blogspot.com

  • Trish Seren

    I used to have mine all on top of my drawers but two things happened, I preferred a simpler, cleaner top and my room gets so hot that my make up suffers.

    Now I keep them in drawers, using some plastic trays like the above. The only thing I’m yet to find is a lipstick holder that’s flat and not levelled so it’ll fit in my drawer!

  • Nikola Hessová

    I definitelly should organize my collection…I have so many things, because I also got many of them for testing them out. I bet I will find many things I’ve never used…unopened..expired…poor makeup…Thanks for inspiration. I love how you also organize it according to colors. Love it. So aesthetic and neat.