Your Guide to At-Home Makeup Organization from a Pro

Are you a beauty junkie wondering the best way to organize your makeup?

You’re not alone. A 2015 study by Stowaway Cosmetics and Poshly determined that the average woman owns 40 makeup products—our guess is that today's numbers are even higher. Cosmetics come in bulky packaging that doesn’t seem to stack or store in any uniform way, leading to overcrowded cabinets, countertops and drawers. For the beauty-obsessed wondering how to organize makeup at home, you've come to the right place. 

We’ve compiled the ultimate guide to makeup organization, according to Grishan Roof of Depot Chopra—makeup organizer to celebrity makeup artists, pros, and beauty queens with limited space. She’s even been called the “the Jedi master of makeup organization” by Rihanna’s makeup artist, Priscilla Ono. Here are Grishan’s top makeup organization ideas you can implement at home right now.

At-Home Makeup Organization Checklist:

1. Treat your space like it’s prime real estate.

Before you begin organizing your makeup, first do an edit of your collection. This is a cathartic exercise in minimalism. Ask yourself the following questions for each makeup item: Is this expired, or nearly expired? Do you love/need this? Do you have duplicates or similar products already? If so, keep the best three for each category, and toss the rest (but peep Step 10 first).

2. Organize makeup intuitively.

Now that you’ve condensed your collection to your absolute favorites, it’s time to organize your makeup. The fastest way to find something is to group items by category: Face, Eyes, Lips, etc.

3. Break each category down into sub-categories.

Although some people tend to organize sub-categories by shade (neutrals, warm or cool tones) or by finish (matte, shimmer, glitter, etc.), Grishan tends to organize makeup by brand because it saves more space and is just visually more appealing. She then proceeds to arrange by shade or finish.

4. Figure out how you’d like your makeup organized for optimal flow.

Some people prefer to have pristine, minimal counters with all products hidden away, while others want to see their beautiful products on display. This is entirely personal. At Grishan’s home studio, she likes to organize makeup in various ways. While cosmetics and tools intended for her professional kits are stored and organized in custom closets and shelving, her personal makeup is neatly kept in a vanity.

5. Invest in makeup organizers to bring order to your space. 

Now that you’ve got all your sub-categories sorted, it’s time to order makeup organizers that fit your space. Grishan recommends clear bins so that you can easily view and locate your products without having to rummage to find anything. The Depot Chopra Amazon store lists all of Grishan’s favorite makeup organizers, from drawer inserts to kitchen tools adapted for the vanity — take a peek for inspiration. Oh, and don’t forget to measure your drawers and shelves. (Discover more of Grishan’s makeup organizer favorites in her CNN feature)

6. Take advantage of modular systems.

Aside from being aesthetically pleasing, modular systems are more versatile and will adapt to your ever-changing needs. One of Grishan’s favorite makeup organization tips is to use a modular system that leaves room for your collection to grow.

7. Label everything.

In Grishan’s house, every single product (seriously, everything) has a home designated with a printed label. If you’re organizing makeup in clear containers, it may seem counterintuitive to need to label as well, but trust and believe…labeling cuts down on search time immensely. **amazon store link to labelers

8. Location matters.

Protect your investment by keeping cosmetics away from extreme temperature and direct sunlight. This will prevent your products from premature expiration and reduced efficacy.  Cabinets may be a better option than open shelving if you live in an area where earthquakes commonly occur.

9. Continuously edit your makeup collection.

Take stock of your beauty inventory each time you add a new product. Treat it as an opportunity to remove the weakest link and optimize your collection. Make this a regular practice and you will never feel overwhelmed.

10. Recycle any unwanted makeup.

Keeping makeup out of landfills is a major step in responsible makeup consumption that often gets overlooked. According to Suzanne Carter of MYO Cosmetic Cases, only clean makeup packaging can be recycled, not the product inside—all traces of makeup must be removed first. Organizations like TerraCycle and Pact Collective offer beauty recycling programs for North America. You can return makeup packaging for upcycling at a Pact Collection Bin (locate one near you), or try their Mail-Back Collection Program for brands including Westman Atelier, ILIA Cosmetics, and Victoria Beckham Beauty.

Whether you’re a professional makeup artist or a beauty enthusiast with a growing collection, makeup organization can be tricky! We hope these tips help you get started on your journey towards a more inspiring makeup collection. Having organized hundreds of kits, Depot Chopra is the ultimate source for all things makeup organization. Grishan downsizes and organizes professional and at-home makeup kits for the world’s top makeup artists, including depotting products to take downsizing to the next level. Her books are open to anyone in the Los Angeles area, and she has waitlists open for any city!

If you’re in need of makeup organization but feel intimidated by the process, join Depot Chopra’s waitlist here.

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