Very few things make my geeky little heart as happy as organisation. Only in some areas of my life though, you should see the state of my desk drawers. And ask my mother some time about the state of my bedroom when I was a kid. But I digress.
When it comes to hair and beauty storage, organisation makes me very happy indeed. Because of the very nature of hair and beauty items – and the fact that they are very often used when one is already short of time – I find it absolutely infuriating if I can’t find things because they’re not where I expect them to be. Far too often in the past I’ve lost precious minutes of my morning routine grappling with the contents of a bag or a drawer, looking for the 2018 hair and beauty hide and seek champion.
As well as it being a pain in the arse in terms of finding things when you need them, there’s also the consideration that make-up varies in price from the inexpensive to the seriously not at all inexpensive. When you’ve invested in some of the sort of stuff that makes your bank account cross its legs in fear when it notices you approaching the beauty aisles at John Lewis, it needs looking after. I tend to find that if I store things carefully they last longer and stay in better condition both inside and out.
So, back in May, my patience finally expired and I decided to do something about it. I thought I’d share with you my organisation system and how I store things, in the hope of it being helpful. I also know that I love nosying at how other people store their stuff and what’s in their collections – I imagine some of you do too, so consider it a public service. 😉
A photograph of my “makeup collection” as it was a couple of years ago shows you what I had to start with. As at May this year, I had a slightly bigger bag, but the principle was the same. Everything was piled in randomly and squashed down so that the top would zip up, before chucking it on a shelf until the next time I wanted it.
I started doing some research into makeup storage options, and what I can only describe as a world of organisational joy and wonder opened up before me. Hyperbole? Me? Well maybe a bit. But you’ll see why!
After a good root around on Amazon and the help of a company called ByAlegory (links at the bottom), this is what I have now, on The Shelf, which is immediately above my vanity desk.
The left hand end holds my palette collection:
The dividers in this organiser are removable so you can have as many or as few compartments as suits you. It also functions standing up, so you can have the palettes stacked horizontally if you prefer. This didn’t work so well for me as some of my palettes are quite a bit wider than the unit, so were forever at risk of falling out. This seems to work for now so I’m sticking with it. 🙂
Next to the palettes are two organisers, one tiered one for lipstick at the back (which is standing on an old jewellery box to raise it up and make the contents easily visible) and one at the front which is intended for lip gloss but which, as you can see, has everything from lip gloss to concealer to mascara to eye primer to lip exfoliator in it! It’s an incredibly useful size for all manner of things that come in tubes.
And here’s the right hand end. My hairbrushes and combs are in the tin in the back corner. The tin was a Christmas present one year. It came stuffed with Sanctuary goodies, and once I’d used them up I thought the tin was so pretty that I had to find a use for it. So I did. 🙂 Next to that are my most used hair products day-to-day, and in front are my compacts.
Powders, bronzers, highlighters and blushes. On the far right is a little cat who is supposed to be used for holding rings on his tail, but I use him for holding spare hairbands, and he’s perfect for the job. At the back of the compacts and in front of the hair products is a tube of mascara I’m currently testing which refuses to fit in the slots where the other ones live, so it’s out on its own! If today’s performance is anything to go on, my beloved Clinique Lash Power is in serious danger of being usurped. Watch this space!
Moving down from the shelf onto my desk:
The brush pot I initially bought turned out not to be equal to the task for various reasons, so these days my brushes and such are housed in a fairly motley assortment of containers, but it works! Forgive the grottiness of the brushes, washing them is one of tomorrow morning’s jobs!
On the left are two empty candle jars, one from Melt and one from Diptyque. In the middle is a Beauty & the Beast coffee cup which was a gift from a very dear friend. It has “Brave and Beautiful” around the rim inside in gold leaf, and is far too pretty to use as an actual coffee cup. The frosted glass pot on the right holding all my eye and lip pencils cost me about £3 from Wilkos. It’s actually a tealight holder and had a string handle glued around the top, but I was able to remove it with a little care, and it’s much prettier without.
In addition to the storage on the shelf and on my desk, I have this delightful thing on the desk to the right of my vanity mirror.
It’s a spinning carousel, which moves very smoothly and easily, even when fully loaded you can turn it with one finger. It has four sections and as many layers as you like – the shelves are removable and you can put them wherever suits you best.
I try to have it organised in a sort of logical way, so that as I turn it round I reach things in the order that I need them. First up (in the picture above) is skincare, with some earrings and my eyelash curlers in the top.
Next is more skincare, with my foundations and some primers and concealers in the bottom, and an assortment of bits and pieces in the top, including the remote control for the light above my desk.
Next is my loose powder, setting sprays, a quick-shot brush cleaner for changing colours on the fly, and some Chanel moisturiser and primers that don’t fit anywhere else! On the top is nail oil, beauty sanitising spray and my lovely lavender linen spray (absolutely magic when you’re having a bad night).
The last section holds perfumes and a little shelf of Birchbox items that I either haven’t got round to testing yet or need to rehome.
The carousel holds an absolutely staggering amount of stuff. Thinking about how much shelf space it would take to tidily store everything makes me come over all funny. It’s a wonderful piece of kit, and it doesn’t look half bad either, obviously depending on what you put on it.
A relatively recent addition to my storage is this wonderful thing:
With the help of my lovely husband who mounted it on the wall for me, my hairdryer and straighteners are safely stored away in a heatproof unit, up on the wall and out of the way, but where I can still easily reach them from my vanity desk. Such a simple invention, but genius!
My other toiletries, spare shampoo and shower gel, and exciting things like razor blades, toothpaste, handwash, the first aid kit plus spare makeup and empty Birchboxes live in an Aladdin’s cave of a cupboard next to The Shelf. I’m going to spare you a photograph of that one. Organised it may be, but tidy it isn’t! It does the job though, and having spares of everything health and beauty related in one place is hugely valuable. We can see straight away when we’re about to run out of something.
So there you have it – the organisation of my beauty world! As promised, here are the links for the storage items above. I highly recommend the acrylic company, ByAlegory: the storage units are really lovely quality and very sturdy. The carousel is made by Boxalls rather than ByAlegory, but the same goes – it’s solid, sturdy and does exactly what I need it to do, and does it while looking good. 10/10!
- Palette Organiser
- Lip Gloss/Tube Organiser
- Compact Organiser
- Lipstick Organiser
- Hairdryer and Straightener Tidy
DISCLAIMER: This review is not sponsored by ByAlegory, Boxalls or Direct Online Houseware, and I have no affiliation with any company. I have not been paid or otherwise compensated for this review, and I (or my very generous husband) pay for every product I review. All opinions are my own unless otherwise stated.