Organize Your Make Up

I’m not gonna sugarcoat this.  I have a problem.  It begins and ends at Sephora.

I have too much make up.  Too too much.


Here’s the thing..not only do I love make up, I am relentlessly fickle.  As soon as I find something I love I am immediately on the search for something I love more.


The thing about being fickle, though is that I am also weirdly loyal…I find something new, but can’t seem to say goodbye to the old…which leads me to today and a big old pile of cosmetics…

The organization of all that make up consisted of multiple bags filled stuffed under my bathroom sink.  I am not proud.  I had an “everyday bag” and then lots of other bags where barely used products went to die.

I am also a victim of buying essentially all the same colors ALL THE TIME!

I went on a search for a make-up organizer and was honestly appalled at the prices of some.  APPALLED!  BUT I happened to come across this Caboodle that might possibly be the exact one that I had in 8th grade at Target.

Now, when you have an organizer, start by separating your stuff into piles…foundation, skincare, eye shadow, liner, bronzer etc…

When you look at everything in piles it’s easier to see how many of the same thing you have…at least that’s what it did for me…

I threw out everything that was over a year old…AND I threw out anything that was a duplicate, saving only the best of the best.

Here are my piles…the before and afters.

Staring with skin care:

I was able to get rid of over half of my stuff…half empty creams that I always told myself I would finish finally got the boot.

I saved a heavy cream, a lighter cream, my night serum, eye cream, eye firmer, alpha hydroxy pads and my night-time treatment.  These are things I use everyday.  And yes, I am going through a bareMinerals faze right now.


Next up foundation…

I am not a huge foundation hoarder, so this one was easy.

I ended up keeping two, a cream and a powder foundation.  My skin tone doesn’t vary too much between summer and winter, so I don’t have to keep other shades,  But if it’s older than a year old, get rid of it.

Now powder and concealer…

I kept one concealer and a radiance powder, a clear powder and a Philosophy powder that I love in a pinch.

Next up bronzer.  I use bronzer everyday…

You can see I only got rid of one.  But I only had 3, soooo…


Here’s my blush collection…

It definitely needed to be  downsized.  I saved my favorite Nars, a Tarte sheer stain, and my illuminating stick from Benefit.


Now onto eye shadows.  Things are starting to get a little scary…

As you can see I had a lot of eye shadows in varying shades of brown.  I decided that since I invested in a good Stila palette I wouldn’t need all those individual shadows.  It was hard, but I did it.  Also in there is my favorite everyday eyeshadow, MAC All That Glitters... and I also kept a smaller palette for traveling too.  So that’s still a lot of colors, but much less space.


While on the subject of eyes…here are my eye pencils:

I had a bunch and really I only use one or two.  I downsized to a nice brown, a black, a liquid and a chubby.


Moving onto mascara.  Here’s one item that I am not bad about throwing out…reason being is that I either love mascara or hate it.  My initial stash wasn’t so big, made up of recent purchases that I was ready to purge…

You can see my two favorites are Voluminous False Lashes and Benefit BadGal.


Next up are make up primers.

Two of these are samples, so they take up very little space. Plus I am not a HUGE primer person…I use it when I remember.  I’m trying to get better about that!


And now probably my most embarrassing addiction.  Lip gloss.

I really must be stopped, especially considering that they are all basically within 2 shades of sheer pink from each other.

Disclaimer ~ this does not include the lip glosses that are safely stashed away in all my purses.

As you can see I kept 10, which we all know is still too many.  BUT my latest favorite is the Buxom from bare Minerals.  It’s not sticky and goes on smooth.  The color I like best is Dolly.  It says it’s a plumper…I’m not so sure about that, but it does have a slight tingle when you put it on.


Now.  Let’s get to caboodling…

All my stuff fits in one place (except skin care)…HALLELUJAH!

Plus there is even extra room, which I will desperately try to not fill up.

For my skin care I am storing it in a roomy canvas zip up container that I got as a freebie.  I try and get rid of the free make up bags that always seem to come with giveaways, but having a few on-hand is a good idea.

While it was hard to say good bye to all my old stuff, having just the essentials feels freeing.  We all know that chartreuse eye shadow I bought was never gonna see the light of day.

Don’t be scared.  If I can do it, so can you!

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  1. 1

    Yay, Shelly!!! I have 3 makeup bags. One for my purse, one of products I think I use regularly, and another of the stuff I *might* need someday and just can’t throw out. My problem…I’ll use something until it’s *almost* gone, then buy something new, but save the old one…it’s not empty. I need to get over it and do some organizing. Thank you!

  2. 2

    What a clean up!! I’m a little scared to enter my make-up bag, it’s like my safety blanket – - but I must!! This will require wine & cupcakes of course.

  3. 3
    heather says:

    Oh my gosh. You are so brave! I don’t know if I could get rid of my lip glosses. Paring down the rest wouldn’t be a problem though. I must do this.

    Great post Shelly!

  4. 4
    Jocelyn says:

    This post makes me feel so much better about the ziplock bag in the closet, the extra makeup under the sink, the bag of lipgloss in my room, and the day to day make up bag:-) I think it is time I throw out some of my stuff too, because you are right, I am never going to wear it. No matter what I think!!!

  5. 5
    Mary says:

    Ugh this just reminds me how terrible I am at being a girl, and how little make up I have. I’m going to use this post to look into the makeup you KEPT (obviously it means you like them heheh) and START a makeup collection haha. I think my days of just Burts Bees chapstick and face moisturizer need to be over….

  6. 6
    Chris says:

    I too am addicted to Sephora. Under my bathroom sink are various bags of makeup. I also keep a stash under the sink in the kids bathroom. You have motivated me to purge and organize the mess of makeup. Thank you! And I also am a fan of bare minerals buxom “dolly,” it’s my everyday shade.

  7. 7
    Shannon says:

    I have 2 drawers and a counter top full of my makeup. But everytime I go to clean it I just cant part with the stuff. In my purse that I cleaned out a week ago, I had 21 lipsticks/glosses…. now THATS a problem as those were only the ones from my current purse, not the stuff in my drawers and other purses! Geez… I can t be stopped!!! Sephora is my downfall too, especially being a VIB and getting special deals on things and free birthday stuff!

  8. 8
    Natalie says:

    Clearing out old products is therapeutic, although I somehow find it an excuse to go buy more :)
    Great to see you use Avon Face Perfecter too… I LOVE that stuff!

  9. 9
    Melissa says:

    I don’t have any make up. Well, 1 cover girl lip gloss in a light tan/brown, that I don’t even wear. Maybe you can come to my house & give me an intervention & help me get some stuff? I’m also certain I need to star a skin care regime.

    • 9.1
      Karen says:

      I am a makeup artist. Things to get: a good foundation either Pur Minerals,( big improvement over Bare) or a beauty balm (bb cream). Two faced or Pur (should be out soon) Color either a blush, pink for cool undertones or orange based for warm tones or bronzer. Urban decay eyeliner in a brown or black, neutral eye shadows in either shimmer(under 30) or matte over 35. A good brow brush to apply powder color to brows. Great mascara around $19 a tube, Tarte lights, camera, lashes. Neutral lipstick, lip gloss to match the blush, either pink base or warm base. Go to a store like Ulta or Sephora.

  10. 10
    Brenda says:

    This is so me. If I added up the amount of $$$ I spend at Sephora yearly, *shudder*, it would probably scare me to death(also, my husband, shhhh!).

    Good for you going through all that and being able to purge it. I might be able to attempt it, but not with my lip products. I’m much too attached, I’m afraid. I have different colors/brands for different moods.

  11. 11
    Sweetsugarbelle says:

    Come help me. After the makeup you can hit my cookie room!

  12. 12
    Pamela T. says:

    Oh, Shelly, this is really bad….. your “before” pile of cosmetics would sadly resemble my “after” pile if I had to purge all of my makeup! I currently have {brace yourself} 6 large and 5 small drawers of makeup and they are filled to capacity!!! I think an intervention is in order!!!


  1. [...] Organize Your Make Up Plus there is even extra room, which I will desperately try to not fill up. For my skin care I am storing it in a roomy canvas zip up container that I got as a freebie. I try and get rid of the free make up bags that always seem to come with giveaways, but having a few on-hand is a good idea. All my stuff fits in one place (except skin care)…HALLELUJAH! [...]

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