Five Minutes to Tame Makeup


make-updrawer coverThe makeup area.  Often, it is a neglected area for most women.  We are busy and the tools we use to get ready are often forgotten after we use them.  Working in clients’ homes has allowed me to see this as an almost universal problem for busy women.  The mornings are often rushed and we are bombarded with products.  Perhaps you don’t have a “Jersey Girl” amount of make-up to organize such as this:

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Maybe you just wear moisturizer and a little of mascara.  Most women fall somewhere in-between the two and do have to store a bit of makeup.  The amount of makeup we store, coupled with the cast-offs which we feel guilty purging because we spent good money on them, is the recipe for a drawer like the one pictured.

before make-up


However, the solution is one of the quickest organizing projects around!  I love projects with a quick reward.  Firstly, empty the drawer in its entirety.

pile of make-up


While the drawer is empty would be a good time to “take the time to line.”  The contents of our makeup drawers often spills so lining is a huge time-saving idea.  I can’t tell you how much eyeshadow and loose powder there was at the bottom of the drawer.

Liner make-up

I purchase all of my shelf-liner for personal and client use through Amazon because I love their selection of great prints.  Here are a few of my favorites: (Click here to go directly to the Amazon site.)

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Next, purge makeup that has clearly expired.  The recommendations for makeup storage are as follows:

* Powdery makeup such as blush and eyeshadow pods have the longest shelf-life because they do not contain water.  Their average shelf life is 3 years.  However, if the item has begun to crumble or disintegrate-toss it!

*  Lipstick too can last for up to 3 years. (Matte lipstick does dry faster/deteriorates more quickly). If the taste of the lipstick has changed-toss it!

*  Foundation has a life of one year-at most.  If you apply your foundation with your fingers, exposure to bacteria present on your hands increases and DECREASES its life.

*  Mascara is a BIGGIE as it should be replaced every 3-6 months and more frequently if you have had an eye infection or are prone to eye disease.  To maximize that three months, try to limit the amount of time the cap is off your mascara tube, thus reducing its exposure to bacteria.

* Makeup remover has an expiration date clearly labeled on the package.


Don’t be afraid to throw-away makeup that you don’t wear.  Keeping it in your make-up drawer/bag does not bring that money back…it just invites frustration.  Make-up is often trial and error and mistakes are all part of the process so…..TOSS IT!


From time to time it is recommended to disinfect the edges or jars, tubes and caps to keep bacteria at bay in your makeup.  Regularly cleaning brushes and applicators (once a week is the recommendation) is also very effective in maximizing their effectiveness, according to


Group the makeup by type and assess what you are storing.  Often clients have a lot of formal/night time type of makeup, yet only go to one or two events a year at which they would be wearing it.  Dedicate the most space, whether in your bag, drawer or caddy, to your workhorse makeup….the things you grab for every morning.  Clean all the cases and inspect what is left carefully.  It is also helpful to assess what needs to be replaced and start a ” makeup to-buy” list.


In arranging your newly purged makeup, ensure that it is easy to access.  Use bins to corral and separate the different type of make-up and allow you to quickly grab what you need.  This need not be expensive-simple dollar store containers or repurposed boxes will do the trick just fine.  This separation will enable you to maintain your newly organized space by giving items a home. Some of my online purchase recommendations are:


Found on Amazon here:

Another great counter option here for those with more to store:

Screen Shot 2014-08-26 at 3.27.29 PM


In five minutes, organized makeup can absolutely be a reality and go from this cluttered drawer:

before make-up


To this:  It is still a small drawer in a vanity, but you can see each product, they are grouped according to use and rarely used/expired items have been purged.

make0up after

Maximize the space you DO have to simplify your morning routine in five minutes flat!

Happy organizing!-Vacaville Organizer



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