Makeup Looks

How to Organize Your Makeup Bag Like a Pro

There are only so many hours in a day, so it’s understandable that organizing often falls to the wayside. Between juggling work, exercise, friends, family, and a social life, cleaning up the clutter can’t always be at the top of your to-do list. But organizing your makeup bag doesn’t have to be intimidating or time-consuming. And in fact, a little order can go a long way toward a morning routine that goes smoothly without fail (no more searching through everything for your favorite eyeliner! No more shattered face powder or palettes!). Below, we’re sharing nine tips to help you pare down your makeup bag and pack it like a pro.

MAKEUP ORGANIZATION TIP #1: take inventory

When looking through your makeup bag, dump everything out onto a clear surface to really sort through what you have. This isn’t as daunting as it seems—and we promise that organizing your makeup is much easier when you know exactly what you’re working with. First off, decide what you want to keep and what you think can go—for example, if you have multiples of the same shade of blush, you can store the extras elsewhere to save space. Also, make sure to take a mental note of the products that you’ve had for longer than a few months—makeup products have an expiration date, so toss anything that’s been in your makeup collection for too long or isn’t working as well as it once did. Lastly, store the products you use daily in your makeup bag so that you can use them even when you're on the go, but stash everything else neatly in a drawer at home.

MAKEUP ORGANIZATION TIP #2: PROTECT YOUR BLENDERS AND BRUSHES

Have you ever looked at your makeup blenders and brushes and wondered why they seem so ratty? Well, if they’re stuffed into a bag with lots of other makeup products, they could get bent out of shape. Not only can their bristles become misshapen, but they can also become really dirty—and you don’t want to use dirty makeup brushes to apply makeup onto your clean skin! When storing them, make sure they have their own bag to help protect the bristles—after all, to make magic happen on your face, your tools need all the TLC they can get. P.S. Don’t forget to wash them regularly!

MAKEUP ORGANIZATION TIP #3: LEAVE THE HEAVY PRODUCTS AT HOME

If your shoulder has been hurting from how heavy your purse is, you may want to remove your arsenal of primer, foundation, concealer, and setting powder from your bag before heading out for the day. While these products may be part of your morning makeup routine, they don’t need to be toted along for the day’s adventure. You don’t need a full range of face makeup products for minor touch-ups throughout the day, a slim concealer, like the L'Oréal Paris True Match Super-Blendable Multi-Use Concealer, will do the trick.

MAKEUP ORGANIZATION TIP #4: STICK TO ONE LIPSTICK FOR THE DAY

Just like you don’t need to cram a million face products into your carry-along cosmetic bag, you also don’t need to bring all of your lipsticks with you. Instead, toss in only the color you’re wearing for the day. Since you likely matched your lippy to your look, there’s really no reason to add multiple lip products to your bag when you know you’re not going to switch from a nude to a purple halfway through the day.

MAKEUP ORGANIZATION TIP #5: STOCK UP ON MULTI-USE PRODUCTS

A great way to pare down your travel makeup bag is to look for products that have multiple uses—think: all-in-one contour sets, eyeshadow palettes to create an entire eye look, and so on. For a multi-use concealer and contour palette, try the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Total Cover Concealing and Contour Kit, which comes with four pigmented shades to sculpt and conceal your complexion to perfection. Similarly, rather than pack multiple different single eyeshadows, grab the L'Oréal Paris Paradise Enchanted Scented Eyeshadow Palette, which comes with 12 different shades that all work beautifully together.

MAKEUP ORGANIZATION TIP #6: USE CLEAR BAGS WITHIN YOUR BAG

If you carry a slightly larger makeup bag, instead of digging through it and risking spilling your prized products on the floor, organize all of your goodies into smaller, clear makeup bags that will make finding specific products a lot easier. Try pairing all of your liquid formulas together, all of your eye products together, and all of your face products together—you get the idea.

MAKEUP ORGANIZATION TIP #7: KEEP THE ESSENTIALS ON HAND

What’s worse than messing up your eyeliner, mascara, or liquid lipstick, and not having the proper products to clean up the mess? To make sure that you can fix a makeup faux pas at a moment’s notice, keep a few cotton swabs and a miniature bottle of micellar water in your makeup bag for quick clean-up on the go.

MAKEUP ORGANIZATION TIP #8: use cotton pads to prevent shattering

After you’ve spent your hard-earned money on a gorgeous new palette or face powder, there’s no worse feeling than pulling it out of your makeup bag only to find that it’s completely shattered. Even when you aren’t traveling, day to day movements can cause your makeup to bump up against each other, break, and spill. But preventing this is easier and quicker than you may think—all you have to do is lay a thin cotton round (cut to the right size) on top of the palette/powder, then shut the compact as usual. Having this protective cotton layer will help prevent any breakage.

MAKEUP ORGANIZATION TIP #9: organize by size

Another great organizing tip that works for just about any situation is organizing by size. For example, instead of tossing all of your products into your makeup bag every which way, group them together by size. Put all of the square and circle-sized palettes—face powder, bronzer, blush etc.—next to each other, lined up in a neat row. Similarly, group together the long, slender products, like your eyeliner, mascara, lipstick, lip liner, and brow gel. This organization system is particularly helpful when you have a smaller makeup bag that doesn’t allow for the bags within a bag method.  

Now, you have all of your daily makeup organized—good for you! Up next, learn our top tips for packing your makeup bag when you’re going on vacation or a trip of any sort. Here’s How to Pack Your Makeup When You Travel.