Organize Your Makeup Like a Pro

By GalTime.com Makeup Artist Kristen Arnett
As a professional makeup artist, not only do I have to organize a massive amount of product, I have to be efficient, clean and current. I actually have a small room devoted to my makeup supplies! Whether you have loads of lipstick and liner, or just a handful of essentials, getting everything in order will leave you feeling lighter and "beautifully" re-energized. You might even discover a treasure (or two) that you'd forgotten about!

Divide and Conquer: To start, you want to de-clutter. Sift out any makeup that falls into these categories: "I bought that so many years ago," "I can't remember when I last wore it," or "It's broken/almost gone, but I can salvage it." Now, put it in the trash. All of it. I know it's hard, but makeup doesn't age well like wine. Instead, it can become filled with bacteria. (And who likes getting zits, or a case of pink eye?)

Next, determine which items are daily staples. These are the products you know you look great in, like that reliable black dress. Also, decide on some "accessory colors." These are the shades you apply depending on your mood and/or outfit. Throw these color options in for variety.

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Put the leftover makeup that you just can't part with in separate boxes or bags. You can dab and swirl these when you have time to play around. (No sneaking things that should have gone into the trash!)

Storage Solutions: Divvy up your makeup by type. Eyeshadow in one pile. Mascara in another. You get the picture! Put each pile into its own clear box or bag. Containers like these let you really see what you've got to work with, with the added benefit of being portable. I use accessory boxes from The Container Store, which are budget friendly, made in the USA, and stackable with lids.

For larger items, like extra cotton pads and sponges, I use clear shoeboxes. I also like basic, see-through bags. I use them for my own personal stash of makeup. Plus, they're easy to drop in your purse or suitcase when you're on the run.

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Speaking of "on the run," when I'm at photo shoots, or on a plane, I put anything that might leak into spill-proof and incredibly durable Eagle Creek Pack-It bags.

I suggest keeping brushes in their own bag so they don't pick up germs and color from your cosmetics. We makeup artists use brush rolls to keep them separate and clean, and to keep the bristles from becoming distorted.

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You certainly don't need to invest in anything overly fancy, and I've even seen sites that teach you how to make your own! The most important thing is that you have your brushes lying flat in a closed bag, not in a cup where they can collect dust and bacteria.

Wipe Out: Makeup can be hard to keep clean, but it's important to try. Every so often, give everything a good wipe down with a cleaning cloth: the compacts, the tubes, and the containers you keep it all in. Also, be sure to clean your brushes on a regular basis. Use a gentle soap (one that doesn't have sodium laureth sulfate) and warm water. Gently squeeze out any excess H20, re-shape, and lie flat. Letting them dry upright can cause the hair to shed.

What's your best tip for keeping your makeup bag fresh?

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