It can be hard to pass up all the latest Fall offerings that are currently appearing at the likes of Sephora and Ulta, and online almost everywhere. And if you wear makeup then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t treat yourself if you feel like it. But before you do, to ensure that you actually get your money’s worth from all that cool new stuff you should take a long hard look at the makeup you already own, and get that organized before you bring anything new home.

Why Your Makeup Needs to Be Organized

Good cosmetics aren’t cheap (or not usually anyway) and so it only makes good fiscal sense to ensure that they are properly stored and organized. It’s also important to your health, both mental and physical.

Expired makeup and/or dirty makeup tools can ruin your skin and lead to infection, while the stress of digging through a cluttered makeup bag in the morning to locate the cosmetics you need to get out of the door looking just the way you want to wastes time and often leaves you stressed to start the day, which is never a good thing.

With the goal of proper makeup organization, care and storage in mind here are some of my top tips.

Set a Time to Get Your Makeup Organized

A makeup organization project is just like any other home organization project. You need to make a plan and you need to set aside time to execute it. In this case it should be just a few hours – unless your collection of cosmetics is very large – but it should be dedicated time nevertheless.

Getting Started

Begin by gathering together all your makeup, including any you have stashed away in drawers, purses etc. Lay it out in one place.

The first thing you should be on the look out for is something many of us don’t actually realize is there; an expiration date. Many cosmetic items have one, and it looks like this:

The numbers are reasonably self-explanatory, but you do have to know when you purchased the items. Going forward this should be something you note down, but for now your best guess may have to do, bearing the following in mind as a general rule of thumb:

  • Mascara: 3-5 months
    Foundation: 3 months
    Liner + Eye-show: up to 1 year
    Moisturizer: 1 year
    Lipstick: 2 years
    Glycolic Peels: 3 months
    Retinoids: up to 1 year

Obviously any expired makeup should be tossed right away. Not only will its colors and pigments have faded but it may also cause skin irritations or, in the case of items like mascara or eyeliner painful eye infections can be caused by past their prime products.

Only Keep What You’ll Wear

After you have removed expired makeup from your collection, it’s time to part with anything you really don’t wear. Grab some tissues and makeup remover for this one, as you may have to swatch extensively to determine just what long forgotten shades os eyeshadow, blush and lipstick look like.

Be honest with yourself. If you have only ever worn a lipstick once, you are never going to. If it’s new, you could consider donating it to a friend, or, if prefer to do something more charitable, to Cosmetics for a Cause, a nonprofit that solicits donations of new unused cosmetics to benefit women in distressed life situations improve their self-esteem and as a result, become empowered and successful. If it’s used toss it too, as used cosmetics have no real sanitary purpose.

Create a Storage Plan

Once you have pared down your collection, it’s time to find a way to store it neatly and in a way that prolongs its useful life. On the latter point, most cosmetics DO NOT belong in the bathroom. The damp and humidity will spoil them, and if you are going to pay $30 for a lipstick it deserves the same respect as a $30 blouse.

There are lots of different ways makeup can be stored. A clear organizer is a great choice for storing staples. This one is a great example. It’s one of the best reviewed makeup organizers on Amazon and it’s easy to see why. It’s nicely sized, can even accommodate your brushes and is adjustable in height.


If you are looking for something a little more creative in terms of decor, stay tuned, as I will be covering that in another post later this week!

Make a Plan to Stay Organized

Once you makeup collection is decluttered and organized, you’ll need a plan to keep it that way, and much of that plan will involve exercising restraint at the beauty counter. Only buy what you really need. Can you really make use of five eyeshadow palettes at once? Probably not. Only buy what you know you’ll wear.

Finally, when you do make a purchase, note the date down. Keep a chart someplace near your supplies and check it often. As makeup passes its expiration date, throw it out.

Just Organized By Taya
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