Cosmetics may be an important part of your life, a pleasure and a bit of a hobby, or they may be a part of a quick morning routine. Either way, those pots and tubes and pencils have a way of cluttering up your bathroom, dressing table, purse, and your life in general. How can you best corral them and keep them both tidy and handy? Organizing makeup requires some thought, and maybe a few good tools.

Together or apart

The first essential question. is whether your makeup should all be organized into one central location, or whether you should have different parts of your makeup collection in different places.

If you put on your face every morning as part of your daily routine and perhaps touch up or add to your look for the evening, it makes sense to keep all your makeup in your bathroom or on your vanity table, whichever is the place you use for the process.

On the other hand, if you use makeup all through the day, adding color in the office bathroom or switching from day to evening looks in the Uber that takes you to your evening location, it makes sense to keep cosmetics in multiple portable makeup bags.

Cull your collection

Once you’ve determined where to organize your makeup, gather all the cosmetics you own and toss everything that is past its expiration date. After the expiration date, it’s likely that your item will contain harmful bacteria.

Not all cosmetics show their expiration dates, so be safe and toss everything you’ve had more than a year — except for mascara, which should go out after three months.

Chances are, old makeup will have hardened, changed color, or just gone out of style, so be ruthless. While you’re at it, toss colors you don’t really like. We all have that lipstick that seemed like a good idea at the time but never makes us feel pretty. It’s not doing its job, so harden your heart and throw it out.

Identify organizers

Cosmetics tend to be in tubes, pots, or pencils. Choose your organizer according to the shape of your items and the space you’re putting them into.

Purpose-made clear organizers are great for pencils, brushes, and lipsticks.

Drawer organizers work when you have just a few items. If you use just a few products and do the same process every day, you might want to make this part of your Get-Ready Drawer.

Desk organizers can contain cosmetics together with other get-ready items.

Makeup bags are most useful if you keep sets of makeup together. For example, if you have one routine for morning and another for evening, or one set of cosmetics for summer and a different one for winter, it’s handy to grab a specific bag and dump out the contents for use. This only works well if you will consistently put it all back in the bag and put the bag away.

Try it out

For the next few days, pay attention to your make up experience. Do you find yourself pawing through a drawerful of lipsticks in search of the right shade? Do you go to your purse for colors during the day and feel frustrated that they’re all nearly organized in your bathroom at home instead of with you? Is it hard to put things back in the places you chose for them?

If it’s not working, adjust the items so they work with your workflow. It’s always easier to change your environment that to change your habits. Make your space work with you.


Organizing your home is a creative, satisfying endeavor. Cleaning your home might not be. In that case, let A Beautiful Day help with deep cleaning or regular maintenance cleaning.