A Girl’s Guide to Organizing Her Makeup: 15 Tips & Tricks

Are you sick and tired of having your makeup area look like a tornado hit it? It’s time to find some solutions and get your pretty self organized, ladies! With just a few simple tweaks, your makeup setup and routine can go from drab to fab. Here’s a fantastic girl’s guide to makeup storage, including 15 organizational and creative tips and tricks.


Vanities Come in All Shapes & Sizes.

Framed magnetic makeup board

Although we might have a reactionary idea of what a typical “vanity” looks like, the truth is that, to be effective, a makeup vanity need simply involve a place to store beauty items and a mirror. Even the chair and lighting are optional (although very highly recommended). Keep this in mind as you work to create your ideal vanity workstation.

Use a Large Mirror.

Framed magnetic makeup board

It’s not simply a matter of vanity, actually. Using a large mirror when applying makeup helps to provide maximum light to your face and allows you to gauge yourself as an entirety. Imagine the difficulty of balancing out your facial if you can only see one eye or lip at a time.

Shelf as a Successful Vanity? (You Betcha.)

Framed magnetic makeup board

You might be short on space and unable to accommodate a full makeup vanity in your bedroom. That’s okay! With a little creativity and style, you can turn a simple shelf into a pristine vanity for all your beauty needs. Mount the shelf at the appropriate height, pair with a small stool, mount a mirror or two and some lighting, and you’ll be on your way. (Notice the cute wall-mounted baskets for miscellaneous beauty odds and ends? Genius!)


Tuck the Vanity Out of the Way of Traffic.

Framed magnetic makeup board

We don’t all live in a house that has an ideal makeup vanity setup, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get a little creative to make the most of the space we’ve got. A simple vanity table, tucked into a nook or out of the way of major traffic, will provide privacy and that “getaway” vibe, even amidst chaos.

Take Advantage of Natural Light.

Framed magnetic makeup board

Someone told me once that if your makeup looks good in natural light, it will look great in any other kind of light as well. One way you can ensure your application passes the “natural light test” is to position your vanity in front of a window so entering natural light will fall onto your face straight on.


Light it Up (from the front).

Framed magnetic makeup board

Having light that comes from more than one place/angle is far better than working by the light of a solitary overhanging chandelier, which inevitably casts unflattering shadows over the planes of your face. If at all possible, opt for nice, bright, warm light, mounted as much in front of your face as possible.

Here Comes the Sun.

Framed magnetic makeup board

Because it’s the purest form of light on earth, sunlight is what the best kind of lighting mimics. Choose bulbs that most closely resemble sunlight; these will be labeled something like “natural light” or “daylight spectrum.”


Store Makeup Supplies in a Kitchen Utensil Tray.

Framed magnetic makeup board

The long, slender sections of a utensil tray are a perfect fit for eye liner, mascara, lip wands, combs, and other beauty products. A pencil organizer would work well to keep your makeup organized, too.

Get Creative with Upcycling.

Framed magnetic makeup board

These old candle holders were fodder for the trash can until a bit of creativity turned them on their sides and glued them into this functional, chic lip gloss-holding pyramid. Isn’t this so pretty? I love the color gradation.

Keep Everything in Sight on a Tiered Platter.

Framed magnetic makeup board

The tiered idea is genius because it holds three times as much makeup product as the shelf space it takes up. Many varieties of a tiered platter organizer are available (think cupcake tiers from a kitchen store, a tiered paper organizer from an office supply store, etc.).

DIY a Tiered Platter.

Framed magnetic makeup board

If you’re short on cash or simply like to DIY your stuff for a custom look and feel, makeup organizing tiers are easy to make yourself. Check out Pinterest for hundreds (maybe millions?) of ideas. I happen to love this unassuming tin can version. “Swanky” indeed.

Choose Velvet Lining.

Framed magnetic makeup board

A great way to help your makeup (or jewelry, as shown here) containers stay in place when you open and close the drawer is to line the drawer with felt or velvet. This way, you can use a variety of fun storage containers without having to worry so much about their “perfect” fit and sliding around in the drawer itself.


Store Brushes Upright.

Framed magnetic makeup board

To prolong the life of your makeup brushes, here’s an easy tip to storing them upright: Choose any container you like and fill it 2/3 full with Color Fill (found in the floral department of craft stores such as Michael’s), rice, or even bean bag filler. Then pop your makeup brushes into the color fill, brush-side up. The filler will keep them upright and easily accessible.

Repurposed Office Supply Organizer.

Framed magnetic makeup board

We all know that jewelry and makeup supplies come in varied and odd shapes and sizes. One cost-effective and practical option for storing such a collection is to use a spinning office supply tray. The longer slots (for pens/pencils/scissors) work well to hold your brushes, and the shallower compartments are perfect for earrings, lip gloss, or other beauty miscellany.

Magnetic Magic.

Framed magnetic makeup board

Free up your vanity shelf space with some simple – yet genius – magnetic magic. Find a beautiful picture frame and replace the glass with metal (or paint the existing glass with several coats of magnetic paint). Then glue magnets onto the backs of your makeup containers. Viola!