One of my biggest challenges as a makeup junkie is to use all the products I actually own. Yes, I lead a hard life, obviously. My motto is, though, if I own it I should use it, and all my makeup storage solutions centre around that. If I can’t see it, I won’t use it. Simple. Therefore, I try to organise my beauty stash so I’m actually able to see everything when I open drawers and there isn’t a jumble of products inside. Here’s how I do it.

Whenever I see Pinterest and Instagram “solutions” for makeup storage I’ve to laugh like a madwoman at that. Those little dinky acrylic holders and trays? Please! I’ve too much stuff for that. My weapons for storage are both Ikea and Muji.


Go big or go home

nail polish storage solutions
A glimpse into my tall Alex drawer that houses all my nail polishes.

I store the bulk of my makeup in Ikea Alex drawers. The tall Alex features all of my nail polishes and nail stuff generally, because the hight of the drawers are great for storing nail polish bottles upright. Line the drawers with anti… mats from Ikea so nothing slides around and use dividers for the drawers. I usually try to have a system that’s based on brands and then by colours, but sadly that goes out of the windows really quick when I add new polishes to my collection… which happens kinda regularly. For budding nail polish junkies out there – invest in swatch sticks. And you’ll always know what colours you own already.

Look into kitchen organisation

Ikea makeup storage solutions
Inserts for kitchen drawers from Ikea that make my wide Alex drawer much less cluttered and more organised.

The wide and squat Alex drawer system houses nearly all of my makeup products. I’d much prefer if all the drawers were the tall type, because the low ones aren’t that great for storing products upright, and we’ve already established that you need that to easily recognise what product is what. I’d love to store everything in their boxes, but alas, sometimes it’s just not practical and more bulky. I use kitchen drawer organisers for my blushes, and containers from cheapie places for highlighters and bronzers. Eyeshadow palettes are in one drawer, together with eyeshadow singles. (We’ll come to cream eyeshadows later.)

MAC lipsticks storage hack
Best thing that happened to my lipstick drawer ever: Ice cube trays for my MAC lipsticks.

Lipsticks are always, always upright so I can read the label. The best thing I’ve discovered this year beauty-wise are that ice cube trays are great for storing MAC lipsticks upright. I try to organise them by colour family. There’s also a drawer dedicated to items I’ve still to use, want to gift away and back-ups. My drawers are labeled, btw. (I’m getting old and can’t memorise everything. Now shut up and tell the kids off my lawn!)

Makeup storage solutions and hacks
I’m old. My mind is a sieve. My drawers are labelled. So there.

Shopping tips

Tall Alexes are great for nail polishes. Swatch sticks save repeated buys. Lining mats and drawer organizers from the kitchen section are great helpers for storing everything neatly. Ice cube trays are great for storing MAC lipsticks upright.


See-through is the way to go

Muji makeup storage solutions
Muji acrylic storage solutions: One houses my liners and everything in stick form, the other my cream eyeshadows.

Muji specialises in all kinds of acrylic storage, which is nice for any hunter and gatherer because you“re actually able to see what’s inside your different storage containers. That’s the reason that one of my Muji drawers houses especially pretty nail polishes, and the other one is for cream eyeshadows only. One reason for that is that cream eyeshadows go bad easily (they dry out), and if I want to even approximately finish them is to use them continuously. The other is that I actually love cream eyeshadows and they’re a staple in my skincare routine. They’re my solution for a quick and easy look, easy and quick to apply and effortless but accomplished looking. Muji also offers container systems that aren’t acrylic, but made from a non-seethrough and light material that are cheaper. I used to own one until my collection outgrew it.

Shopping tips

Acrylic storage drawers for makeup
My cream eyeshadow drawer system from Muji.

Invest a see-through drawer system for products you want to use up!


Repurpose containers

Candle jars for makeup storage
I like to store my brushes in old candle jars or pretty cups.

Candle jars for brushes are the most popular repurposing tip in the beauty world (here’s a tutorial to make them nice and clean.) I’ve also used pretty boxes from subscription services like Glossybox that are sturdy and fit nicely into my Alex drawers. Btw, forget all those pretty trays to store either nail polish or perfumes. Both are better stored in a dry, cool and dark space. (Honestly, would you like to regularly dust them?!)


Revolving Makeup Storage System

Astrid’s here for the last part! I’ve the same problem as Dorit but I don’t have space for an IKEA drawer, sadly. I only have one table for my makeup, and my ultimate goal is to actually create a makeup capsule collection (mine will still consist of the best color and texture from each color family, no such thing as “only” 3 lipsticks 😛 ). My issue is I tend to forget the colors I don’t use often. Cue the Shela’s Versatile Rotating Cosmetic Organizer!

This makeup storage organizer has 6 vertical sides with different partition type in it, space on the top with holders size for lipstick, brushes, and all the upright things, and it rotates quite smoothly.

Revolving makeup storage system: Shelas Versatile Rotating Cosmetic Organizer
Revolving makeup storage system: Shelas Versatile Rotating Cosmetic Organizer, top view.

And here you can see it rotating

Even though I find the partition could still be better, i.e. the partition for tall items, the only place I can fit taller bottle of foundations and creams. It is still the best solution to organize my makeup into selections I would like to use for a season. There are enough space for multiple shades of things, yet, you can easily spot items there (very handy if you intend to finish a certain product!).

You can get it at for 29.95 € (per 20.07.2017) or the white option. I got it there, and the company is quite good with shipping etc. within Germany (I don’t know about other countries but there’s other European branches of the online store).

Let me know if you’d like a thorough review of this particular product, I might write a whole post on it then :). Otherwise, do you have your best makeup storage solution that we haven’t thought of? Do share!

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Beauty junkie with about 20 years of beauty experience under her belt. Editor, writer and twindly's PR heroine. Has an unbelievably large nail polish stash and a passion for skincare. Gets a kick out of pretty powders.

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