One of the perks of being a beauty editor is getting to try a lot of skincare and beauty products. One of the downsides, though, is having to find a place to store it all. The continuous supply has forced me to become a serial purger, and to also be thoughtful in the way I sort and display my goods. Here I share my learnings and the best tips for you to organize your beauty products, too.
Check All The Expiration Dates
Things are about to get messy, but I promise it’s worth the temporary chaos. Pull out every single skincare and beauty products you own, and start checking the expiration dates. Your products should either have what looks like a tiny open container followed by a number (e.g. 12m) or a series of numbers. The 3M, 6M, 12M, etc. is how many months your product is good for once opened.
Korean products typically have two series of numbers. One is a manufacturer date, indicated by “제조,” and the other is the expiration date, indicated by “까지.” If you’re still unsure of the expiration date, contact the brand’s customer service.
Throw out any item that’s beyond its expiration, especially if it’s an item that you dig your fingers into. “Sour” products can actually make your skin worse.
Determine What You Actually Use
We’re not saying you have to throw it out that bright purple lipstick you wore once and might wear again if the opportunity arises. However, if you have products that you tried and hated, duplicates, or products that you know you’ll never use simply because you reach for something else all the time, it’s time to get rid of it. You can sanitize and gift it to a friend, or if it’s unopened you can donate it to a shelter.
After getting rid of expired items and figuring out what to keep, your stash should already feel lighter and more refined!
Divide and Conquer
Now divide and compartmentalize all your products into “like piles.” All nail polish should go together, all serums, all toners, all brushes, all palettes, and all lipsticks each get their own pile. You can further organize each pile by color family, brand, or type.
Now, from each of these piles, extract the items that you use the most often. These are the items that you will keep within easy reach—or even on open display. Everything else from those piles can go into organized storage containers that are labeled accordingly.
For items where you likely have multiples (lotions, lipsticks, cosmetic brushes, etc.), you’ll want small to medium-sized storage solutions. You can place these items in drawers, or on shelves, depending on your preference for making them visible.
As for organizational solutions, I personally like acrylic containers (available at IKEA, Target, Dollar Tree, Amazon, The Container Store, and so on) because they’re see-through. This prevents you from having to dump everything out just to find one product. Baskets, planters, mason jars, tins, repurposed candle vessels, and even large mugs or cups, are also great ways to organize and display your products beautifully.
Larger products like lotions, hairspray, and electronics (curling irons, electronic cleansing brush, etc.) can be placed in a hanging organizational rack on the back of your bathroom door. Alternatively, place like products together in large baskets.
Perfumes are tricky because they’re often housed in gorgeous vessels that you want to put on display. However, fragrances last longer when they’re kept out of the sun and when they’re away from moisture. If you have staple scents that you wear multiple times a week, keep it out for convenience’s sake.
For seasonal fragrances or those that you only wear for special occasions, it’s best to store them out of the sun and out of humid bathrooms. Place them in a box, lidded basket, tin or hat box that doesn’t let light through. You can tape a sheet of paper to the outside that lists which fragrances are enclosed.