How to Create an Organized Makeup Drawer

Over the past few years, I haven’t been wearing a ton of makeup on a regular basis. And that’s because I don’t go anywhere exciting! For the most part, I do my makeup in about five minutes every morning, and I save the fun eyeshadow and eyeliner for nights out, which are few and far between these days.

Because I haven’t been wearing much makeup, I’ve accumulated a lot of old stuff that has expired and needed to be trashed. My makeup drawer was out of control and I wanted to give it some TLC to start 2022 off on the right foot.

My Messy Makeup Drawer

My messy makeup drawer

Here’s a look at the drawer in my bathroom where I keep all of my makeup. Years ago, when I worked on TV, I kept my makeup in a big bag so I could take it to work every day. Now that I work from home and don’t need to tote my makeup with me everywhere, I like keeping it in a drawer with organized compartments.

My messy makeup drawer

At some point, this was an organized makeup drawer, but it turned into a messy spot that bugged me every single morning!

Clearing It Out

Clearing out my old makeup

First things first, I took out everything, vacuumed the drawer with my Dyson, and wiped it all down. Just like any organizational project, you gotta take it all out to see what you’ve got and slowly put back only the things you use and need.

Cleaning out my clear makeup containers

I also used this opportunity to clean these clear containers that I kept in the drawer. They had a lot of hair, dust, and old makeup on them, so I gave them a good wash with soap and water.

When to Toss Old Makeup

When to toss old makeup

Okay, let’s be real…some of the makeup I own I’ve had for YEARS. Like well before Rory was even born. Eek! To really make this project a fruitful one, I looked up the guidelines for discarding old makeup and was pretty shocked at the results.

When to toss…

  • Lipstick: 2 years
  • Eyeshadow & Eyeliner: 3 months for liquid eyeliner, 2 years for powder eye shadow and pencil eyeliner
  • Mascara: 3 months
  • Face Makeup: 6 months for liquids, 2 years for powder

This led me to get rid of A LOT of stuff in my messy makeup drawer. I had tons of old mascaras, lip glosses, and lipsticks that needed to go!

How to Clean Makeup Brushes

Cleaning my dirty makeup brushes

Next, it was time to clean my makeup brushes. This is something you’re supposed to do weekly (say what?!) and I honestly couldn’t even remember the last time I did it.

There are lots of makeup brush cleaners out there, but a baby shampoo is a great option and we have plenty of that in our household. This blog post walks you through the cleaning of makeup brushes, step-by-step. It should only take a few minutes, along with plenty of time for drying, and it makes a big difference.

Getting Organized

How to create an organized makeup drawer

Now that my makeup was pared down and everything was clean, it was time to create my new organized makeup drawer. While I had these clear containers before, they never stayed in place when opening the drawer. To combat that, I used these mounting tabs that I had around the house. It feels like a sticky putty and I put a bit on the back of each clear compartment.

Sticky putty on the back of clear makeup containers

Mine was blue, which didn’t look great on its own, but once my makeup was in the drawer you couldn’t see the blue marks. You could always opt for these clear stickies to keep your containers in place.

My Organized Makeup Drawer

My new organized makeup drawer

Here’s a look at my new organized makeup drawer. It feels good knowing that everything in here is safe to put on my face. Not to mention, I don’t have to dig through the drawer for my favorite products.

My new organized makeup drawer

The clear containers are lifesavers for keeping items separated. I have my lipsticks all in one area, face makeup in another section, and more.

Keeping my organized makeup drawer looking good

And the sticky putty really works well to keep the containers in place. They’re not sliding around the drawer like they used to. I may have to use these in more drawers around the house!

In the back of the drawer, I have unopened backup items of my favorite products, along with my favorite eyeshadow palette. I also use a small case to keep my brushes all together. I’ve had mine for years, but this looks like a good one and it comes with all of the brushes too!

My 5-Minute Makeup Routine

My 5 minute makeup routine

Now, before we go, I wanted to share the simple makeup routine I follow every day, along with my favorite products.

my everyday makeup routine
  • CC Cream: I start with this CC cream that has SPF 50 in it. Not only does it protect my face from the sun, but it gives me an even skin tone to start my makeup routine. My color is “105N”, but it took me a few tries to get the right shade for my skin. (If the shade doesn’t work, they’ll send you another one to try out.)
  • Concealer: This is one of my “Ride or Die” products. It eliminates dark circles, covers up red spots, and makes me look much more awake. I use the color “Nude”.
  • Brow Pencil: Most days, I’ll fill in any sparse brow areas with this brow pencil and use the other side of it to fluff my brows. I wear the color “Taupe”.
  • Eyelash Curler: Before applying mascara, I give my lashes a good curl.
  • Mascara: I’ve tried lots of mascaras, but this is my favorite. It gives me sky high lashes that don’t clump. The only downside is it dries out pretty quickly, so I get a new tube every 3 months or so, which apparently is right on track with the expiration dates that I shared above.
  • Bronzer: I love this NARS bronzer in the color “Laguna”.
  • Blush: I actually just added this brush to my repertoire. I put a dab on my cheeks in the color “Puff”.
  • Matte Lipstick: I love glossier lip products. I usually swipe on this lipstick in the shade “Jam” to give me a nice base color for the day.
  • Tinted Chapstick: Over the lipstick, I put on this tinted chapstick in the color “Sweet Violet”. It gives some color to my lips while keeping them hydrated.

This is what you’ll find on me 95% of the time. The other 5% is when I want to look a bit more put together. I follow this eye makeup routine that I shared back in this blog post. It’s fun to get a little more glam sometimes!

My organized makeup drawer in the bathroom

So there you have it, my new organized makeup drawer, along with my favorite products. Now, tell me, what are your absolute favorite makeup products? Now that I’ve tossed so many old ones, I need to add a few new products to my arsenal. Tell me in the comments below.


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.