Whether you have an overflowing collection of makeup or just a handful of products you use daily, it can be challenging to keep your makeup area organized and clutter-free. If you’re wondering how to store makeup without a vanity, we’ve got you covered with sustainable, planet-friendly organization ideas for everything from makeup palettes to those free lipstick samples you don’t want to waste. So read on for our best, Stasher-approved storage solutions, and get ready to bring some serious organization to your makeup drawer.
Sorting & Organizing Makeup
First thing’s first: take stock of everything that needs organizing. Empty your makeup bag or drawer and lay everything out on an old towel in case of spills or smudges. While your makeup bag or drawer is empty, it’s a good time to wipe it down with a nontoxic all-purpose cleaner and let it air-dry while you organize. Also empty your brush holder and give makeup brushes and sponges a bath with warm water and baby shampoo (or actual makeup brush cleanser, if you’re fancy), then lay them out to dry.
On the old towel, sort your makeup into piles based on the type of product (think: eye products in one pile, lip products in another, and so on). Then, within each pile, sort the products by how often you use them. This is a great opportunity to check expiration dates and throw out old makeup (which can irritate the skin and eyes), and also clean each product with soapy water or all-purpose cleaner.
We’re big fans of cutting down on waste, so if there are any unopened products that you haven’t gotten around to using and don’t think you will, consider giving them to a friend or family member to enjoy. In general, used makeup shouldn’t be shared for hygiene purposes, but used nail polish, hairspray, or other hair products are safe to be shared.
Choose Your Makeup Storage
With your makeup cleaned and sorted, now it’s time to choose how you’d like to store your products. Clear storage options – like stackable clear organizers or Stasher bags and bowls – allow you to see what products you have so that you can rotate unused makeup, while labels or dividers keep your collection tidy and sorted.
Store Makeup So You Can See It
If you often leave your makeup strewn on the bathroom counter so that it’s easier to see and access later, you may benefit from switching your makeup storage to clear containers. That way, all of your products can be tucked away and organized in their own compartments, but you can still see everything and grab what you need quickly. And if you’re the type of person who forgets what products you have when they’re out of sight, out of mind, clear containers help you remember what you have, what you need to use up, and what needs to be repurchased. (Win, win, win.)
Our favorite method? Using clear Stasher bags to organize makeup either by type or frequency of use. Here’s how it works: to organize makeup by type, revisit those piles of products you made earlier, and determine the Stasher bag size you’ll need for each product grouping. For example, you might decide on:
- A Stand-Up Mid Bag to corral foundation, concealer, bronzer, and powder
- The Half Gallon Bag for large eyeshadow palettes
- The Sandwich Bag for lipsticks and glosses
- A Quart Bag for mascara, eyeliner, an eyelash curler, and other eye makeup
When choosing your Stasher bag colors, opt for clear if you want to maximize your ability to see each bag’s contents. (Travel tip: the clear Stasher Sandwich Bag can be taken through the TSA security checkpoint as a designated liquids bag, saving yet another single-use plastic bag from our landfills.)
Rotate Unused Makeup
If you have a large makeup collection and find that good products are going unused – or going bad before you remember to use them – consider rotating your makeup products every once in a while so that your lesser-used items are towards the front of your makeup drawer. Visual cues are important for memory, so you can also remind yourself to use up any oft-neglected products by putting them all in a clear Stasher bag right next to the mirror where you do your makeup or skincare routine.
Use Labels & Dividers
There’s something supremely satisfying about having everything in its place – especially if those places are neatly labeled. If you’re using the Stasher bag method to organize your makeup, take your organization up a notch by labeling each bag’s contents with a non-toxic chalk pen. If you’re using bins or drawers to organize your makeup, try inserting acrylic or bamboo drawer dividers to break up the drawer into smaller sections. That way, your makeup isn’t floating around in the void of the bin or drawer, and can instead be grouped by type or frequency of use.
Try Stackable Containers
Stackable clear acrylic containers are also useful for makeup storage, because they’re fairly space efficient and can either sit on the bathroom counter or in a cabinet. These stackable storage solutions can come with drawers or be open-faced, and they help corral your makeup into one spot, taking advantage of unused vertical space by stacking upwards. If you have a lot of larger beauty products and you’re unsure how to store makeup palettes to see them, these are perfect for you. By opting for clear storage containers, using labels, and rotating lesser-used makeup into the mix, you’ll be able to see, appreciate, and use everything in your collection, ultimately cutting down on product waste.
Storing Makeup in a Small Space or Without a Vanity
When it comes to figuring out how to store makeup in a small bathroom without a dedicated vanity, the key is to utilize vertical space. That means opting for those stacking bins we talked about earlier, as well as back-of-door storage, floating corner shelves or a corner bookcase, hanging mesh storage, or even a DIY wall-mounted magnetic makeup organizer. Once you start zeroing in on that unused vertical space in your small bathroom, you’ll probably realize that you have a lot more options than you thought!
Keeping your makeup collection organized and out of the way, but still accessible, can feel like a hassle... but it doesn’t have to be! The key is to make things super easy for yourself with translucent storage like clear Stasher bags, labels, and dividers so that every item has a dedicated space and is super quick to find, use, and put away.
Now it’s your turn — show us how you use Stasher bags to organize your makeup and tag us on Instagram @stasherbag!