A Fun & Smart Glossary to Makeup Organization That You Need to Know

Makeup Organization

I couldn’t have been more than five-years-old. I remember looking at my mother’s striking pose as she was finishing her morning makeup routine. I just kept staring at her because she looked so beautiful. Like a movie star with her perfectly exquisite features and silhouette. Then, as always, she would nod. It was a gesture to herself of approval; that she looked just right and she was ready to begin her day.

It’s no secret, I love makeup. It’s my creative play. I started experimenting on my dolls and my younger sister, learning how to precisely apply the strokes of color with young finesse and imagination.

My skills flourished, being able to turn a natural morning look into a dazzling evening face. As my self-confidence grew rich, I could walk out the door with a healthy glow and no make-up at all. I knew that when I could do that, I had arrived. I felt radiant and so good about myself from the inside out.

Disclaimer: This blog post may contain affiliate links. Keep in mind that I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you when you click my links and make a purchase. However, this does not impact my opinion in any way. I only promote brands I believe in and products that I use and love myself. I try my best to keep things fair and balanced to help you make the best choice for you.

Why Do We Love Makeup?

I’ve always delighted in make-up and I know so many other women who do too. From the process of applying it to coming up with creative makeup organization ideas. But what is it that attracts us to makeup? Just why do we love it so much? And no, I don’t believe it’s because we feel like we have to wear it. There is more to it. Here are some compelling reasons why we love makeup:

  • Enhanced Natural Beauty – makeup isn’t just about hiding imperfections, but rather about highlighting your natural beauty. Besides, enhancing what you’ve got is much more enjoyable than hiding what you don’t like.
  • Applying Makeup is Therapeutic – the process of putting on makeup, especially as part of a morning routine, is quite therapeutic. The routine combined with repetitive movements is both a soothing and calming way to start your day.
  • The Variety – the wide variety of makeup products to choose from means that there’s always something new and exciting to try (why we need makeup organization tips). Plus, there is something for everyone to love. Walking into a makeup shop can be overwhelming though, so check out this Trish McEvoy Collection.
  • Experimentation – being able to test out new products and try new looks with them is, at the very least, playful. Makeup is like art and it is fun to experiment with different types, styles, and looks.
  • Feel Good Factor – the best thing about makeup is that it boosts confidence and makes you feel good about yourself. Best of all, you can wear as much or as little as you want – it’s all about feeling good and comfortable in your own skin.
Makeup Organization

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Easy Morning Make-Up Routine

Although applying my makeup each morning is a therapeutic routine, I make sure the process runs even smoother by keeping my makeup organized. This means that I can take my time and thoroughly enjoy this easy morning makeup routine.

Here are my favorite “7” essential tips for an easy makeup routine. They’re my daily go-to. If I do nothing else, I’ll do this because it delivers a simple day look in less than 15 minutes and with only 6 basic products.

  1. Make sure to incorporate a fine skin-care routine. Thoroughly cleanse and prep your face first, that’s your canvas and you want it to glow.
  2. Use an upper eye base, brightener, and shadow primer. It corrects darkness and discoloration of the eyelid and instantly creates a vibrant and bright look. Bonus- you can wear it alone, without shadow, which is a great time-saver.
  3. I apply a magical instant eye lift. It’s an under-eye treatment AND brightener that feels like a facelift. It’s by Trish McEvoy. She calls it the ‘Triangle of Light’ because it conceals darkness. And, I promise it does!
  4. I like to use a water-light foundation with complete coverage. If it has a built-in primer, you save time again!
  5. Instead of powder blush, I use liquid cheek color for a fresh look. (There’s also a cheek AND lip cover, two products in one!) If you tap and blend with your fingers, it’s mistake-proof.
  6. I use mascara that curls my lashes. It shouldn’t clump, saving you time from having to un-clump. 
  7. I finish up with a neutral lip gloss. It’s quick and clean looking.

Makeup Organization in 13 Steps

If you’re like me, and you love collecting make-up products, then you’ll know your collection can easily become disorganized. When that happens, it’s time to reorganize. Whether you need to organize your vanity or make-up drawers, the process is mostly the same. But just like all organizing, makeup organization requires regular upkeep, so make sure to do this at least every few months. Follow these simple makeup organization steps to get your collection in order:

  1. Remove everything from your vanity, makeup drawers, make-up case, or makeup planner.
  2. Lay everything out on a large flat surface so that you can clearly see what you have in your collection.
  3. Throw out any old, expired, or unwanted products (use the makeup expiration guide below).
  4. Get rid of all your free samples, as these items are rarely used before they expire and really just take up space.
  5. Test out all the makeup products that you’re on the fence about to determine whether to keep them or toss them.
  6. Keep makeup products that are your favorites;  the ones you use regularly (daily) or love to use when you go out at night or to special events.
  7. Use a non-toxic, natural, or organic spray to clean all the drawers or containers you keep your makeup in.
  8. Wipe down all your remaining makeup with a wet cloth; especially if the packaging is dirty or grimy.
  9. Cut out paper towel sheets and place them on the bottom of your vanity or make-up drawers. I like using paper towels as they’re easy to replace when covered with spills and dirt.
  10. Add some clear or acrylic organizers or plastic containers (you may already have some in your kitchen) so that you can separate your makeup into categories and still clearly see it all. If you’re shopping for containers, remember to measure the drawers carefully and twice.
  11. Label each individual container with removable labels according to each of your makeup categories.
  12. Place all your makeup back in the drawers and group them together either based on product type or use.
  13. Use a makeup case/planner to store your daily essentials. Makeup organization is easy when everything has a place. You can then pop it in your handbag and take it with you when you’re on the go.

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How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes

Makeup organization is important, but keeping your makeup brushes clean is even more so. For health and hygiene, it’s essential to keep cleanliness in mind. Cleaning your makeup brushes regularly is not as tough as you think.

The most important thing to remember when you’re cleaning your brushes is not to get the ferrule wet. The ferrule is the metal piece at the base of the hairs. If you get this wet on any brush it will loosen the glue and you’ll start to see stray hairs falling out. Your brush won’t last much longer after this starts to happen.

Here are two easy ways to clean your makeup brushes:

  • Spray your make-up brush with a brush cleaner and then swirl the head around on a clean towel. Do this until there is no more makeup or color coming off at all.
  • Cup your hand under running water to create a little pool; add brush cleaner,  mild soap, or baby shampoo, and then swirl your brush around in the water in your palm.

When you finish washing your brush, reshape it gently and lay it to dry on a surface that won’t flatten one edge of the brush. The best way to do this is by resting it over the end of a counter or sink so the brush head isn’t on a flat surface.

Makeup Organization

How to Know When Makeup Has Expired?

Did you know that most makeup products will have a PAO symbol on it? PAO stands for Period After Opening. The symbol will have a number and the letter “m” within it. The “m” stands for month and the number indicates the number of months you can use it after opening. For example, 6M means that the product is suitable to use for up to 6 months after you open it. Once it exceeds 6 months, it has expired and it’s time to toss it. A regular makeup organization routine will help you keep track of this.

Here’s the actual shelf-life of every cream, powder, and pencil you own, so you know when it’s time to treat yourself to some new products.

Makeup Organization


Makeup has been my art form from a young age and my love for it has just grown more over the years. Every aspect of it, from application to makeup organization is something I truly adore. This is why I’m thrilled to announce the launch of my Instagram Shop and partnership with Trish McEvoy. In my shop, you’ll discover a wide range of her phenomenal make-up products, which I personally use daily.

Do you love make-up too?


Makeup Organization

Comments 12

  1. I am terrible about makeup – I don’t use hardly any, and I know I would look better if I did LOL! I have so much admiration for people who have it all figured out. I loved the expiration infographic… pinned that!

    1. You look lovely as you are. No one has to wear make up and I really believe that it’s only to enhance what we already have, not change us.

  2. So many great tips and ideas, Ronni! I can tell how much you love your makeup and skincare routines. It’s inspiring! The handy makeup expiration chart is excellent too. One of my clients had a lot of makeup and needed help, not just organizing it but determining what was still good. I researched an expiration chart to help her make decisions. Recently, I let go of an eyeshadow called “Queen Linda” that I loved, but it was old. Your chart reinforced my choice to let that go. Thank you. It looks like I might need to try some of the great products you suggested, like the “magic eye lift.” Wow!

    1. The magic eye lift is my favorite, favorite product. Honestly,I feel like I just had a facelift. The brightener and where it’s placed make the entire face glow and lift.
      I do love the make up and skin care routines. To me, it’s like painting on a canvas. I love the colors and the design. I especially enjoy enhancing what we already have.

  3. Great tips! I love the Make Up Expiration Dates infographic. I’m definitely sharing it on social media! I am a big fan of going through makeup and getting rid of them when they are not being used or have dried up. I made makeup shelf life reminder labels on my blog that people can print on 1-page sheet labels to add them to their makeup containers, so they remember the date they purchased the make-up. If we remember the date we purchased the item, we can then discern when to get rid of it easier.

    1. I do exactly the same with spices, eggs, frozen items and more. It’s so much easier than having to go back and keep track. Just like food, when certain make up items, such as lipstick and creams, are past their expiration date, they tend to smell old.

  4. Ronni, I need you to come teach me how to apply make-up! I love the way it makes me look but have little patience for playing with it. When I compete at dance competitions, the make-up artists create this amazing (yes, it’s over the top but it’s stage make-up!) look.

    This post is wonderful because you encourage people like me to take a little step out there and create a nice, confident day look. I also love the make-up expiration sheet that you included.

    1. You’re a competitive dancer? How wonderful. What kind of dance do you enjoy?
      I’d love to show you make up tricks once the world becomes visitor friendly. I can always help you out virtually. I think you’re pretty fair right? It’s much easier than you think. All you need is a routine. Like everything else.

  5. Thank you for all your time saving tips! I like to feel put together even if I don’t leave the house because it can set the tone for how I go about everything else. These days I have so little time so I’m on the hunt for ways to make makeup application easy and quick! I’m also surprised many of my clients aren’t aware that makeup and skin care products expire. Your guide makes it really easy to keep track. Thanks for sharing!!!

    1. It can be challenging for young moms to find time for make up. The mornings can be a real scramble. I can remember even though it was a long time ago. Many of my young clients feel the same way.
      The most important thing you can do is have a great skin care routine. That’s you canvas. Then pick 3 to 4 items as your basic go-to for a quick and easy makeup routine. Even if it’s just lipgloss, you’ll feel better.

    1. Makeup is definitely creative play. I’ve always loved it because it felt like I was painting on a canvas where I could create so many different looks. I even did my sisters make up for her wedding a long time ago.
      I think the info graphic with expiration dates was a hit! I’m glad so many found it useful.

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