3 ways to sort out your makeup stash now that you’ve got some extra time

3 Ways To Sort Out and Organise Your Makeup Stash

The isolation activity you never knew you were looking for

Beauty Crew Editor / April 17 2020

Well, we all just got a lot more spare time at home on our hands, didn’t we? So, all those annoying admin jobs you’ve been threatening to do “when I have time” suddenly feel like they…should be done. If you’ve already Marie Kondo-d your wardrobe, cleaned and organised your bookshelf in height and colour order, and have sorted through your pantry, it sounds like it’s time to turn your attention to your makeup shelf/drawer/cupboard, because we guarantee you that guy could use a biiiiig clean up (and possibly clean out) right now. 

Here are three ways to kickstart that makeup overhaul:


Throw out the old stuff

Though we’d prefer not to believe it, makeup products can go off – some quicker than others – and that’s not a great thing for your face. Products that have a build-up of bacteria or ingredients that have soured can cause skin reactions like breakouts, rashes or itchiness. Best case scenario is that they don’t work or blend as nicely as they once did. As a general rule of thumb, things like mascara and liquid liner only last about three months; foundation and concealer shouldn’t really be used a year after opening; and your lipsticks, powders, lip and eyeliners, and eyeshadows can last up to three years. Have a look to see if there’s a best before date on your product, or there should be a symbol that looks like an open jar that will have a number and the letter ‘M’ to indicate how long until it should go in the bin. For example, 6M is six months of use after opening, 18M is 18 months and so on. 

If it doesn’t have either and you can’t for the life of you remember when you started using it, it’s probably time to bin it. 

If you want more info on when it’s time to chuck out your beauty products, hit play on the below podcast episode of Get Lippy:


Organise and neaten

There is nothing that can give a woman anxiety quite like a disorganised makeup drawer or cupboard, and while we once had to settle for random drawers or tubs to help the matter, we’re now spoilt for choice when it comes to products designed specifically with makeup storage in mind. Take the Étoile Collective Ultimate Vanity Glam Beauty Box for instance. This badboy has SIX tiers of drawers of varying depths, so you can put everything from a single eyeshadow pot or a liquid foundation in it. It’s also got removable dividers in some of the drawers so you can organise even more. A Type A’s dream! 

Small acrylic boxes, like the Glamour Treasure Box or Kmart 6 Cube Storage Organiser are also great for things like lipsticks, lip glosses and lip balms, or even for storing your cotton pads, tweezers, spoolies – all those things you just don’t know where to store. And if you don’t have the room in your cupboard for a box, why not try one of The Daily Edited’s Clear Travel Cases. They’re a bit easier to store, and you can still see what’s going on inside.


Clean your brushes

How often do you clean your makeup brushes? How often do you make excuses not to, like because you need to use them and don’t have the time to let them dry post-washing? If you’re not wearing makeup as much right now because you rarely leave the house, you have literally run out of excuses. Ideally, you should be washing your brushes every fortnight, max every month. With a build-up of product, the accumulation of bacteria from your face and even the small particles of dust and dirt in the air, an unwashed makeup brush is a) not working as well as it could to buff, blend and perfect, and b) it’s putting all that gunk back onto your face, which can lead to skin reactions and sensitives. So, wash your brushes. One of the easiest ways is with a brush cleaner and a brush washing mat, like the Sigma Spa® Express Brush Cleaning Mat. The beautyblender Solid Brush Cleaner works a treat to really get in there and clean brushes and sponges of EVERYTHING, including foundation; and the Daiso Makeup Brush Cleaner – which retails for a ridiculous $2.80 – is known amongst beauty enthusiasts for being one of the best.

Post-wash, if you can store your makeup brushes in a way that limits exposure to the elements, even better. The Étoile Collective Brush Holder has a clever lid to keep the bristles away from dust and dirt in the air, which we think is very, very genius. 

Looking for more tips on how to get your beauty products in order? Watch as Chloe Morello walks you through how she stores her skin care products.

Main image credit: @zoeydeutch

Carli was BEAUTYcrew’s Editor from launch in 2016 until May 2020. You can find her words right here on BEAUTYcrew, and previously on beautyheaven.