Learn how to corral your makeup and skincare essentials with these helpful tips.

By Rebecca Norris
June 08, 2020
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Makeup in plastic organizer on white shelf
Credit: Getty / Helin Loik-Tomson

These days, you may be looking at every corner of your home wondering what you can do to make it look a bit tidier. While kitchen pantries, medicine cabinets, and desk drawers are some of the first places you may focus on during an organization session, your beauty station is likely in need of a once-over, as well. Luckily, we chatted with an expert from Neat Method to understand how to tame your beauty arsenal and, best of all, keep it orderly for months and years to come.

Weed out expired products.

"The first step is to look for product expiration dates," says Neat Method social media manager and organization expert Chelsea Thomas. "Look for the open cream jar icon which contains the Period After Opening (PAO) number. The number listed in the icon will tell you how long until you should replace the product after it is opened."

Sort products by type and use.

Start by breaking your products up into makeup and skincare. Then, organize them by subcategories within each. Think face, eye, and lip for makeup, or day and night for skincare. If you want to get even more granular, further organize makeup by color and break day and night skincare into cleansers, toners, moisturizers, masks, eye cream, treatments, and so on. While it might seem tedious in the moment, breaking everything up into categories will make sticking to your daily skincare rituals and makeup routine much easier in the long run.

Create an everyday drawer or shelf.

If you have a vast amount of products, but only use a few regularly, consider crafting a separate everyday station. "If you have a lot of space, you can create an everyday drawer and store the occasionally used items in a lower cabinet or closet," Thomas says.

Store products in acrylic organizers and bins.

Now comes the fun part: Once everything is categorized, it's time to begin the storing process. Thomas recommends acrylic containers over cloth cubes or other porous organizers. "Not only do they look sleek but they're durable enough for leaks and spills," she says, noting that The Container Store is a great source for makeup storage, like the TCS 24-Lipstick Acrylic Organizer ($8, containerstore.com), as well as under-sink bins, such the TCS iDesign Linus Pantry Bins ($11, containerstore.com).

Create a labeling system.

Once your bins are organized and in place, you could call it a day, but you could also take things a step further with labels. "We strongly recommend labeling storage containers to easily maintain your system," Thomas says. "Due to branding, it can be difficult to differentiate what each container holds within one product line." Don't have a label maker? We love the Brother P-touch Embellish Ribbon and Tape Printer ($89.99, michaels.com). It features 14 fonts, over 90 borders, more than 400 symbols, and 25 patterns, so you can get creative with this part of the process.

Commit to keeping your products organized.

This is the most important thing to keep in mind whenever your organization project is complete: It takes commitment to keep your beauty station orderly. "It's a good idea to clean out or re-organize either seasonally—to swap out items that you may use more often for winter versus spring and summer—or consider doing it at least biannually, since [many] expiration dates are in six-month increments," Thomas says.


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