How to Organize Makeup Collection


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When celebrities are in need of a serious decluttering intervention, they call The Home Edit. The Los Angeles and Nashville-based professional organizing team, led by Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin, have used their Midas touch on the Kardashian-West household, Gwyneth Paltrow’s Hamptons home, Mandy Moore’s pantry, Olivia Culpo’s bathroom, Shay Mitchell’s makeup studio, Lauren Conrad’s closet, and countless other high-profile projects (which they thankfully share with their 673k+ followers on Instagram). Their knack for beautiful design and ruthless editing makes for organization porn beyond your wildest Pinterest dreams. That’s why we were overjoyed they offered to come to the ELLE.com offices and tackle the horror that was our beauty closet.

We had about 1,200+ beauty products just…laying around. In piles. Some were opened, some were unopened. Some were new launches, some were from holiday 2015. We’re lucky to get sent countless beauty products from brands to stay on top of news and trends, but it was impossible to stay on top of everything with so much to sift through. So, the Home Edit came in and got our act together. Ahead, watch the day-long project go down and read on for some tips you can use to organize your own overflowing beauty stash at home.

Group all your products.

When starting out an organizing project, begin by removing all of your products and laying them out, then organizing them by category. This will help you understand just how much of each group of hair, skincare, makeup, etc. you have. “Defining those categories gives us a road map for how we’re actually going to organize it on the shelves,” Shearer says.

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Categorize products the way your brain works.

When it comes to beauty, you want to ask yourself: How do you get ready? If you do your hair everyday, you’ll want a hair category. If you always wear makeup, you’ll need a makeup category, and so on. You could even categorize items by your morning routine and your evening routine, or have a stash you always use for special ocassions you stow away.

Edit, edit, edit.

Once your products are categorized, the hardest—and most important—part starts. Teplin breaks it down: “You really want to look at each and every piece and think: Are you going to use this? Are you going to give it away? What’s the logical thing to make more space here? Are you going to get rid of anything?”

Another tip: if you’re holding on to something because you *might* use it or wear it someday, it shouldn’t be taking up space in your vanity or closet. You need to take stock of your feelings toward the item sitting around: Does it make you happy to see it or annoyed that you still haven’t used it?

“I think a lot of it is being brutally honest with yourself,” Shearer suggests. In her own house, she has a basket in her bathroom closet where she keeps all her “extras”: samples from Sephora, gifts, or anything that’s not an everyday beauty staple. “I can’t exceed that bin. If I start to exceed that bin, that means I’m not using what’s there in the first place. It holds you accountable because you know if it’s overflowing that you’re not doing yourself a service,” she says.

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Avoid “straightening up”

You want to make sure that you spend the most time on editing and taking things out, because then you don’t fall into the trap of just shuffling items around from one place to another to look cleaner but not actually make more room or encourage organization. “Shuffling things around is not sustainable. The only way to get the system correct is to do the work,” Teplin says, “We have finite spaces.”

Cut items out, for good.

After categorizing products and really evaluating them, Shearer says, “The only way to ever make a more organized and functional space is by getting rid of things. It physically has to come out.” She also offers this visualization for how much room you need to make: Think of it like eating. You only want to eat until your 80 percent full. Teplin elabr, “You don’t want to be so stuffed you can’t button your pants. You don’t want to be so stuffed you can’t close a drawer.”

You can find more of The Home Edit on Instagram and on their DirectTV Now show Master the Mess.



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