Get Your Beauty Mess Together — For Good

Beautifying and grooming takes stuff, and that stuff takes up space. With endless lipsticks and nail polishes to go with every outfit, a wardrobe of shampoos for our unruly locks’ every mood, and enough hair tools that our under-sink cabinet is basically just one large ball of cords, we know exactly how it is to have way more beauty tools than you have room for

The answer? Well, yes, purging is involved — anything expired or something you haven’t used in a year should get the boot. After that, it’s all about efficient organization, and we’ve got you covered with pro tips on everything from getting your medicine cabinet in order to keeping your shower stall under control. Read on to for our organizing gurus’ tips — consider it your beauty organization bootcamp.


The medicine cabinet is a notoriously over-stuffed space, with narrow shelves that make it difficult to organize your supplies. Says Korinne Kubena Belock of Urban Simplicity, “To make the most of the space, store items you use every morning like moisturizers, body lotion, and toothpaste on the most accessible shelves. For a creative option, recycle small gift boxes or even shot glasses to organize smaller items like tweezers, nail clippers, bobby pins, and safety pins.” 

To contain upright items that have a tendency to topple, try a clear organizer. It’s especially handy for your nail polish collection — no more flying bottles! 

Restoration Hardware Cartwright Wall-Mount Cabinet, $279, available at Restoration Hardware.


Another tip for the medicine cabinet: Make use of space on the back of the door with magnetic organizers, such as these, that will corral smaller, skinnier products that are difficult to contain on shelves. According to the Stacey Platt and Sarah Hayon of DwellWell, this space is perfect to house anything from lipsticks and liners to those always-missing tools (think tweezers, nail clippers, and bobby pins). 

The Container Store MagnaPods, $9.99 each, available at The Container Store.


One of the worst parts of our morning, hands-down? Wrestling with the cord-monster that is our pile of heat styling tools. The solution is to find a place for them, according to organizing expert Jill Martin (check out her launch of her line of organizing products on QVC on April 12th). “Get a bin and put it under your sink,” she says. “This will allow you to keep your tools contained in one area, without you having to tightly wrap every cord individually.” 

We love these cheery striped bins from Anthropologie — we’d say they’re cute enough to display if you’re lacking the space under your sink. For even more separation between tools, try a caddy such as this one

Anthropologie Candy-Striped Baskets, $48-$88, available at Anthropologie.


If you’re lucky enough to have a deep drawer to stash your makeup, you’ll want to equip this area properly to get the most use out of the space. “Get a good acrylic divider that gives you sections for your brushes, lipsticks and eyeshadows,” Martin says. “If you don’t see it, then you’re not going to use it! Make sure you’re able to see every item that you own.” Doesn’t looking at this super-edited tableau just make you green with organizing envy? 

The Container Store Acrylic Stacking Trays, $6.99-$17.99, available at The Container Store.


The key to organizing makeup and fragrances is to edit first, says Organizationalist Kim Parker. “Throw out the eye shadow or lipstick that you think is a really pretty color, but you’ve never worn it,” she says. “Plus, test out your perfumes. If the first scent you pick up is a sharp alcohol smell, and you can’t remember when you wore it last…trash it.” 

The women of DwellWell agree on the purging front. “Lipsticks, foundations, and other cream-based formulas are more subject to spoilage than powders,” they say. “Toss old items and replace them with new ones — you’ll find yourself with more room and better-quality products at your disposal.” And yes, maybe some room for new additions to that lipstick wardrobe of yours… 

Anthropologie Vestige Lipstick Holder, $28, available at Anthropologie.


For extra makeup items that you’d like to display, rather than store, these Jonathan Adler trays will make your beauty items look like art, rather than clutter, says Belock. No more excuses for wearing that same worn-out nude lippyeverysingleday

Jonathan Adler Carnaby Nesting Trays, $49, available at Jonathan Adler.


According to Parker, you’ll want to make sure that your everyday essentials (like your eyelash curler, Q-tips, and cotton pads) are easily within reach to avoid scrambling. A pretty way to keep these items corralled and at hand? Beautiful glasses — Parker loves the decoupage beauties like this one from John Derian, but she emphasizes that plain glass tumblers from your kitchen can end up looking just as lovely. 

John Derian Floral Bouquet Desk Cup, $145, available at John Derian.


All right, let’s get steamy. We’ve always wondered why the shower is one of the most difficult places to keep de-cluttered. The problem with all of your shower products? It makes the shower pretty impossible to clean quickly, meaning scum and mold tend to build up. Yes, that would be disgusting. 

“I suggest keeping only one of everything you use in the shower,” says Martin. “Because of the change in temperature, most products will lose effectiveness the longer they’re in the bathroom.” Before you freak out, worry not: Martin acknowledges that a girl needs more than one kind of shampoo around. For those extras, she recommends stashing them in another room (such as in a bin at the tippy-top of your closet) where the temperature is more consistent, and product ingredients are less likely to break down. 

Pottery Barn Double Corner Shower Caddy, $79, available at Pottery Barn.


Finally, for odds and ends such as first aid supplies, extra lotions and razors, the DwellWell team has a solution: “Instead of using floating shelves, try mounting seagrass baskets for storage space.” All of your products will be contained, and even better — you won’t have to dig around under your sink with a flashlight to find the Neosporin. 

For travel-sized goodies, Parker recommends keeping all of your minis in one place, either in or near your cosmetic cases, so that your getaway kit can be packed in a flash. A less cluttered space and the ability to get away at a moment’s notice? If you need us this weekend, we’ll definitely be spring cleaning. 

Pottery Barn Hannah Two-Basket Storage System, $149, available at Pottery Barn.

Click HERE to read more from Refinery29.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Confirm you are not a spammer! *