Whether you keep your makeup and cosmetic products on the bathroom counter or a bedroom vanity, chances are you’ve noticed bottles, jars and tubs pile up throughout the weeks, months and maybe even years.
Use this guide to organizing your makeup and cosmetics for a clean, efficient and well-stocked counter and vanity, without the hassle of sorting through piles of blush, lipstick, mascara and lotions.
What To Throw Away
Before you begin organizing your makeup, lotions and face washes, you’ll need to remove items you no longer want, or are no longer effective. There’s no sense in taking up space with items you can’t or won’t use.
Sort through your collection and throw away:
- Mascara: Mascara that is older than six months can contain bacteria, and may not work as effectively as when purchased. It is suggested that you throw out any mascara that has reached this age.
- Liquid Eyeliner: Like mascara, liquid eyeliner can also harbor bacteria, and should be replaced every six months.
- Foundation: If you do not use foundation every day, this product can last up to 18 months. Past that, the formula will break down and change color, potentially causing skin irritation and uneven coverage.
- Brushes: Wash your brushes at least once per month to remove dirt, makeup and bacteria. Replace them at least every two to three years.
- Concealer: This makeup favorite should last you up to one year. After that, toss it.
- Powder: Unlike liquid makeup and cosmetic products, powder can last you longer than the traditional 18-month toss out period. Keep powder products up to two years. After that, be sure to replace them.
- Sponges: If you use cosmetic sponges to apply foundation or lotion, wash them after every few uses, and replace them every month, if not sooner. Some makeup artists suggest using a fresh sponge with every makeup application.
- Face Wash: Always replace your face washes after one year.
- Lipstick: Lipsticks and lip balms can be kept up to two years. After that, you should replace them, no matter how much you like the shade.
- Powder Eye Shadow: Like other powder makeup items, eye shadow can last much longer than liquid products. Keep powder eye shadow up to three years before replacing.
- Anything Expired: Any makeup items, lotions or cleansers you have owned for 18 months or longer should be thrown away. While you may have been saving that pricey eye cream for special occasions, it has lost its potency and may be breeding bacteria. While you can use makeup and cosmetics slowly, be sure to use them within this year and a half time frame.
How To Organize Your Cosmetics
The key to reducing clutter and upping efficiency in the bathroom or at your vanity is storage. Take a trip to your local Container Store, or pick up simple storage options from a retail store near you.
- Combine your best-loved, most used makeup into one container. If you use several products every day, rather than keeping them scattered throughout various bathroom or vanity drawers, compile these items into a decorative bowl, box or bag. This can be one of the few items left on top of your sink or vanity. Find a stylish container of some sort that blends with your room décor, and can fit your daily powder/foundation/mascara etc.
- Put rarely used or special occasion makeup aside. Just like the designated container for daily use makeup, expensive, sentimental or unusual colors and products should be placed in a drawer, shelf or cupboard. If you do not use an item more than once every six months, place it in this container, and store it out of sight. There’s no use for taking up valuable counter space with items you rarely use.
- Sort your remaining makeup by type. Using the existing drawers in your bathroom or vanity, or a storage system you purchased, sort your remaining makeup by type. Use drawer separators to keep things organized. Group together:
- Blushes and bronzers
- Eye shadows
- Eye liners
- Foundations and concealers
- Highlighters and other contouring/accentuating products
- Don’t hide moderately used items. Consider purchasing clear drawers or boxes so you can easily view their contents. You’re more likely to forget you own something and allow it to expire if you can’t see it hidden in the back of a drawer or bottom of a bag or box.
- Consolidate where you can. When possible, purchase face washes, primers or moisturizers with added benefits besides their intended use. Many washes can moisturize, many moisturizers can add sun protection, and many primers offer anti-aging benefits. With multi-purpose items like these, you’ll need to buy fewer products, helping to clear up counter and drawer space.