The Beauty of Organization via Phyrra

The Beauty of Organization via Phyrra

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photos: we heart this and Phyrra

We are well into summer and I imagine you are either crossing the final items off your spring cleaning list or you are happily springing on past them! But hold on a minute, did you remember your beauty stash?

We’ve already shared Stef and Tyna’s envy worthy vanities (as seen above) and waxed on about the importance of having a little space to get your daily prep on. But no matter where or what your prepping space, organization is still key.

No matter how many powders or lipsticks you own, they’re no good if you can’t see them. And we all know it’s hard to get gorgeous when you can’t find your daily tinted moisturizer or favorite lip gloss. Those precious morning makeup minutes can slip away if you’re not organized.

To help us clear out the chaos, I contacted one of the web’s top beauty bloggers and friend of wht, Phyrra (that’s her, at left), for some tips on beauty organization.

Phyrra, a lover of writing and gaming, standard poodles and sci-fi/horror/fantasy, is also a make up junkie. Over at her beauty site, she’s popular for her Face of the Day (FOTD) feature, and she’s got a stash of makeup that would make anyone envious. So how does she get it all into its right space? And keep it in place and accessible when she needs it?

For the benefit of wht readers and beauty hoarders, I’ve boiled Phyrra’s genius down to a three step plan: The How, When and Why of Beauty Organization. Let’s get started!

The How:
Take stock of all your makeup. Throw away any makeup that has expired, is broken, has changed color or looks or smells bad. While you’re in there, make a pile of good makeup you never wear for friends to pick over ~ when they are done, toss the leftovers.

Now you know how much you have of each kind of beauty product. Purchase a container or furniture (or pull something from your home) that will hold the entirety of of your collection. It should have some shelves, drawers or space for containers for holding smaller collections like glosses or eye shadows. Keep in mind, the importance of having it all easy to access.

Phyrra as a beauty blogger, for example, is going to require a lot of space for her samples – which she categorizes and files in binders! She uses an Ikea filing cabinet called the Helmer ($39.99) for nail polish and a 10 drawer storage unit (above) for other makeup. Those of us with lesser volume may not need the same size as Phyrra but she has exactly the right idea.

The Why:
The key is always keep like with like, putting each category of product together and then finding a home for those items where you can easily see them and access them.

Phyrra says her biggest motivation for staying so organized is being able to find exactly what she is looking for when she needs it. Pretty simple reasoning. Knowing where your favorite lipstick and mascara is a simple thing, but that doesn’t take away from how powerful it is to be able to have what you want at your fingertips. A little organization saves time, dollars and sanity.

The Where
You can find storage solutions everywhere! The Container Store, Bed, Bath and Beyond and Ikea are a few of the usual suspects for great storage systems.

But you can get as creative as you like! Use mason jars, baskets and boxes from around your home. Shop Etsy, eBay, Craigslist and garage sales – they’re all fun places to find containers to repurpose for organizing. Additionally, recycling from these sources is kind to the environment as well as your pocketbook.

Need a few suggestions? A few simple, reasonably-priced storage options I like include:

* The YNGAREN Brown Jar with Lid (above, left) from Ikea, $5.99
* The LILLHOLMEN Glass Jar and Stainless Lid from Ikea $4.99
* A Vintage, Oblong Silver Tray by SouthSpringSt on Etsy $22

General Makeup
* Stacking Vanity Trays (above, right) from The Container Store $7.99 and up
* The KOMPLEMENT Storage Compartment from Ikea $20
* The Rain Expandable Drawer Organizer from Bed Bath & Beyond $12.99

Once you have a place for everything and everything in its right place, you will be amazed at all the extra time on your hands. And sort of thrilled at how neat and organized it all looks. Not to mention the benefits of lowered stress levels from nixing those panic stricken mornings. And that, dear readers, is the true beauty of organization.

Beauty junkies of wht – How do you store and organize your products? Share your tips, tricks and secrets in the comments!

22 thoughts on “The Beauty of Organization via Phyrra”

  1. Thanks, Phyrra and @jpal , for these tips. My ever-growing makeup collection is literally all over the place, and I love your ideas for getting things in order! I love The Container Store’s stacking trays especially. Great post!

  2. Ooh makeup organization my favorite topic! I didn’t notice – did you mention where to get those clear containers the lipstick is in in the pic above? Ive had a very hard time finding the right holders for that and those look perfect. I recently finally found my perfect system for my whole stash to fit in and it looks very similar to the drawers on top. It’s a four drawer cabinet on wheels that I found at office max for around $20. The drawers are clear too which helps – although not crucial now since I know what’s in each one. The top two are shallow which is good for the eye products and the bottom two are deep for the lotions and so lipstick can stand up. Plus my husband likes the rollers so he can place the laptop or magazines on top while he’s pot-sitting! (pretty gross – I probably shouldn’t admit that part!)

  3. I love this!!! I was fairly good about keeping my products organized when we moved, but now it’s all gone to pot. :-( I’ll definitely be using these tips. PLUS, it’s an excuse to go to IKEA, always a good thing!

    Although, I am curious. How do y’all keep track of your makeup to you know when it’s expired? I’ve heard of some writing the month and the year on the packaging with a sharpie, or keeping a list in with the makeup and just cleaning it out once a month, but what do y’all do?

  4. @turboterp – those stacking trays are great! thank you for the reminder!

    @mel for lipstick I couldn’t find the exact ones in the photo but these are great too and hold 18 each! You can order them online
    I agree that a clear organizing system works great – you can see everything!

    There are probably a lot of ways that work depending on the person but for me a good way to keep track of when cosmetics expire would be to put a small piece of masking tape on the container and mark it with a sharpie for when it will expire – rather than when you purchased it. That way you won’t have to figure it out and it will be easy to replace as the time approaches. If you don’t like to mark up the packaging (I know a huge draw to the cosmetics these days is their beautiful container) – then a list in the drawer that you check every so often would work too. That is just harder to upkeep.

    1. Thanks for the tip! I have no problem marking up my makeup, the masking tape is a great idea. And you’re right about the date, I can just see myself trying to do the math and just giving up. :-)

  5. Thank you both, Phyrra and @jpal, for your very helpful tips. I need all the help I can muster to get my stuff in order.. You have no idea. It’s a fricken sin- my cabnets are deep and full of stuff.. who knows what’s in there.. Sometimes it’s fun looking and finding hidden treasures! What I need to start is a vanity or some sort of mechanics tool cart on wheels.LOL!

  6. I totally hate to be a Debby Downer, but, *please* do NOT throw out your “good” makeup, if your friends don’t want it. Consider donating your good stuff (*except mascaras, or other things with tips that hold bacteria) to your local women’s shelter – including samples or even those partially used shampoo/conditioners that didn’t work for you.
    Women seeking help rarely take toiletries with them when they leave so your donations can really be a boost. Here in the US, reach out to your local YWCA’s and if you are in the UK, check out Give and Makeup – – who works with the national org Tefuge to help out women there.
    On a lighter note, if any of you lovelies wanna come organize my stash, feel free. ;)

    1. Thanks for that info Paula. I’m pretty good at donating used clothes/housewares etc to a few local organizations. But I didn’t know of a place that took gently used bath and beauty.

      I bookmarked for the next time I clean out the vanity. As a makeup reviewer I have a ton of stuff that could go to good use.

    2. I save all of my hotel goodies and other samples for the homeless and our military troops.

      I also have donated anything I may not want to a friend who does missions in Africa. Believe it or not . . . the kids she works with have NEVER SEEN THEM SELVES . . . I give her anything with a mirror in it and it is like giving gold. Can you imagine never seeing what you look like?

  7. Wonderful piece @jpal! Thanks to you and Phyrra! These tips are really helpful! I don’t have a vanity, just a shelf in a cupboard, but all those little organizing trays and jars would be great to store everything since it’s just a shambles right now.

  8. @irene I love finding little treasures too! that’s why you don’t want to be TOO organized ;-)

    @kari glad you found this helpful! I use a cupboard too – a shelf – the jars and containers make it possible to work with the space…but I have to say it is really easy for things to get out of control so no one should beat themselves up! it can be fun to put it back together and rediscover all the products that are there!

  9. I am embarrassed to say that my ever-growing makeup collection is housed in a Snap-On free standing tool box (about 5′ tall!). The drawers pull all the way out and are shallow so you can see what you have.
    I also like to store my brushes upright (so the bristels stay pretty) and I have found that empty paint cans do the trick. Thanks for the tips @jpal- I always love your organizing posts!!

  10. This post came at a great time. My makeup collection is kind of something i don’t want to touch but maybe this post was a sign that I need to attend to it haha! I know a lot of it needs to be thrown out too. Helmers are great for nail polishes and are very easy to assemble!

  11. @hollyO, I give my extra loot to friends too :P

    My makeup used to be organized in sterilite drawers, which worked pretty well. Now it’s in makeup bags under the bathroom sink :( It’s not working as well… I definitely need to get some good storage solutions from IKEA (I love that place!) and I need to get rid of stuff I don’t use (I probably have over 100 lipglosses…)

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