How to Create an Instagram-Worthy Makeup Drawer
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not An Organized Person. My bathroom drawers look more like a post apocalyptic destruction zone chockfull of lipsticks I’ll never wear, bold eyeshadow palettes on-point for the 2016 glitter smokey eye trend, and a dirty brush for every cranny of my face, should I need one.
But, like all humans, I want to be organized. So I looked for help online (thanks to google) and came across one organizational goddess Jen Robin. Robin is the founder of Life in Jeneral, a California-based professional organizing company that declutters your work or home to usher in your best clean and carefree life. Robin’s experience stems from her work as a celebrity executive assistant, where she mastered the art of the to-do list, time management, and creating systems for people with busy lifestyles.
It’s simple, easy, and effective. Jen Robin, fixed my life (slash cosmetics collection) and ahead, she will fix yours, too.
1. Gather all (all) your makeup.
Robin’s suggests combining all your makeup into one pile so you can see everything laid bare. Leave no stone unturned: Dig like your on your new boyfriend’s ex’s Instagram page! “Go through your purses, travel pouches, various bathrooms, miscellaneous drawers throughout the house, car consoles,” says Robin. This allows you to visualize everything you have in one place—both making you aware of duplicates and holes.
Sorting is a great skill for toddlers and also for adults! Now that all your makeup is in one location, you can start grouping all the items into specific categories (foundation, eyeshadow, lipstick, blush, etc.), explains Robin.
3. Get honest.
Now this is where it gets tricky. As you go through your makeup categories, do a quick smell test and toss anything that smells funky, looks separated, is broken, or is straight up expired. (Most cosmetics have an indictor—like 12M or 24M on a little jar—that tells you how long you can hold onto a product after you open it, that is 12 months or 24 months, respectively. Robin also suggests taking this time to test colors and textures of blushes, shadows, and foundations. Trying on lipsticks, swirl on highlighter. Now is the time to decide if you really love each and every item. “Be realistic and have your makeup collection be a reflection of who you are today,” says Robin. Which is to say: If you still haven’t mastered liquid liner, keeping around nine flicky pens, even if you spent a bunch of money on them, probably isn’t the best use of space. If you bought a killer red lipstick and have yet to wear it—but still really want to—move it to a place of prominence where you’ll be more likely to work it in.
4. Reflect on your routine.
Take a little me time. Consider your daily routine: Are you a five minute “fresh” face or a full-face beat type of person? The answer determines how you should organize your makeup in the most functional way.
Robin provided a few great options that will set you up for organizational success. “Keep the most used items in the top drawer separated by product type and backstock. Then put excess or less frequently used items in lower drawers,” she says. Another option? “Keep the five products you use everyday front and center and categorize the rest separately.”
5. Fill the gaps.
Now that you’ve gotten somewhat organized, where are the holes in your collection? Is your favorite foundation down to the last drops? Did you toss expired mascara that you’ve been rolling with a solid six months too long? Assess the situation and make a shopping list to round things out.