No Space for Makeup? Here’s the Storage Guide You Need

Whether the issue is too little space or too many products, finding a way to store all your makeup is hard. Trust me, I have spent too many hours trying to fit my makeup in vanities and small shelves.

That’s why I’ve created this ultimate guide to makeup storage for small spaces. After reading this guide, you’ll be ready to find a home for all your favorite beauty products, even if you have little to no space.

Know Your Storage Space

Step one is realizing you need help with your makeup storage space. So, pat yourself on the back for at least starting your journey towards a tidy makeup area. 

Fix this messy vanity with a makeup organizer
The before picture. How embarrassing!

Now it is time to start getting practical about how much you can expect to achieve in this quest. The first problem you must address is understanding how much space you have to work with.

If your things have been sprawling across a vanity or dresser, it may be hard to see how much storage space you truly have. But it is time for a fresh beginning. So get to work, starting with clearing away your makeup area. So you can see your space easily.

Define Your Area

With an unobstructed view of your area, you are ready to proceed. Your makeup place could be anything from a large bathroom to a small shelf. Regardless, you need to know the dimensions of your area. 

Knowing those dimensions gives a general indication of how much makeup you can store in an orderly way. It also indicates how many larger containers or organizers you can add to your storage space. 

At this stage, you don’t need to be exact in your measurements. You just need enough of a concept of your space to know if you need to expand it or get rid of some products. 

Downsize Your Collection or Expand Your Space

If you are like me, you may have spent years with a disorderly collection of cosmetics. And if that is the case, soon after you decide to get organized, you’ll likely come to the same unfortunate realization. 

Some people simply own more stuff than they can possibly store in the space they have allotted. In this scenario, you have two options.

The most obvious choice is to get rid of some of your cosmetics. After all, in the process of clearing the area, you may have found some products you haven’t used in years. 

Your other solution is to look to other storage areas. Are there any drawers or cabinets in your home that you rarely use? Why not repurpose them for makeup storage. 

Keep All Items in Order

This point may go without saying. But since you just cleaned up what was likely a messy cosmetic storage space, don’t go back to your old ways.

Take this as an opportunity to maintain an organized space. With that space, you can develop new habits that keep your makeup area clean and efficient.

Organization sounds like a daunting task to many. But it is easier than you might think. All you need to do is follow a few key principles.

Like with Like

Store like with like. That means that lipstick goes with lipsticks, eyeliner goes with eyeliners, and so on. Right now, it does not matter if you know how you will store these items. All that matters is that they are together. From now on, that is how they will stay.

Store by Use 

You should also think about your daily makeup use. Consider which items you use the most out of your entire makeup collection. These items should be the easiest ones for you to access. Your storage strategy should reflect the way you use your makeup most often.

Match Items to Containers

With your makeup in new groups and a clear idea of the items you use most, you can begin to think about how you want to store these items. Everyone’s makeup collection is different. So, buying a general makeup organizer might not be your best option, as it will invariably have spaces and compartments you won’t use. Instead, match the products you have in the highest quantities to specific containers. With that in mind, now would be a perfect time to discuss some of the many containers and organizers you can use. 

Use Containers and Makeup Organizers

You could just leave everything out on your table surface, but I feel it’s worth a little effort to instead make your vanity a nourishing space that makes you feel great. So why not make use of the many storage systems made to perform this task? Here are some of the most popular options around:

  • Brush holders
  • Drawer organizers
  • Countertop trays
  • Makeup storage cases
  • Rotating storage pieces

Let’s take a closer look at what each of these solutions has to offer you. Then you can decide which is best for your space and your makeup set. 

Brush Holder

Remember the like-with-like storage concept? If you have a lot of makeup brushes as a part of your collection, this is the ideal time to use that method.

Brush holders offer a dedicated space for all the brushes you may have. Some of these holders sit flat on a surface and hold the brushes as they point upward. Others are vertical fixtures that have slots at different levels. 

Drawer Organizer

If you use a drawer for a large part of your makeup storage, it is a good idea to get a drawer organizer. These organizers come in many different sizes materials and colors, but all are designed to fit neatly in the bottom of a typical drawer. 

Without a drawer organizer, it is easy for your products to move around as you open and close your drawer. This only leads to chaos next time you are trying to find your favorite mascara and eyeshadow palettes. Make sure to choose one with sufficient height and depth so that the contents don’t overflow and prevent the drawer from closing.

The benefit of a drawer organizer is twofold. First, these containers have a variety of compartments and dividers to keep different products in order.

They also keep your products out of sight when not in use. This can make for a much neater living area. 

Drawer Organizer Tray

Countertop Trays

Countertop makeup trays are a lot like drawer organizers. Both often come with different storage sections. The difference is that a countertop tray does not have the limitation of needing to fit in a drawer.

This allows countertop trays to be a bit more elaborate. They can include multiple levels of shelves and small drawers or areas to put your makeup on display. Look for one with a flat lid on which to stand your favourite makeup mirror (my reviews).

Makeup Storage Cases

There are many kinds of makeup storage cases. So, let’s cover a few of the basic options that might work well for you. 

The first kind of storage case is on the larger side. Some of these products are so large that they are essentially their own piece of furniture, with lights and a mirror. This can be a good option if you have a lot of makeup or you have a big enough space to house a large case. Smaller ones can come with wheels and locks.

Another option is the travel storage case or bag. These are much smaller and usually close with a zipper to keep your items safe as you travel. Makeup bags or even old jewellery pouches are even cheaper, and work well for items you don’t need everyday. But even if you don’t have a trip planned, travel cosmetic storage cases are a great way to keep your makeup organized.

Rotating Storage Pieces

Here is another solution for open surfaces. A 360 rotating storage piece offers several benefits to you as you store your makeup.

Firstly, all of your items are easy to find (especially with transparent plastic sides). And once you find them, the rotation allows you to retrieve them easily.

If you have space, this is a very efficient way to store your makeup. It is also an aesthetic element. When full of cosmetics, a rotating storage piece can be an attractive addition to your room.

Rotating Makeup Organizer

Remember Vertical Storage

Among many lessons I learned during my time in college, one relates to the topic of storage in a small space. If you live in a cramped bedroom with a ton of clothes and belongings, vertical storage space is your best friend. 

This philosophy applies to makeup storage as well. Vertical storage space allows you to store more items without taking up any more horizontal space.

Using vertical storage becomes a necessity whenever you have only a narrow shelf for your makeup. Look for items that will help you with vertical storage, such as racks at different heights, or wall hooks for hanging. Or combine it with an “over door” mirror (my reviews).

Get Creative with Household Items

Sometimes, when you have limited space for storage, you need to get creative. There are plenty of online DIY resources that will inspire you to use household items to store your makeup.

The Best DIY Makeup Storage Ideas

Store-bought organization containers work well. But the best part about taking a DIY approach is that it can cost you no money at all. Below, you can find a list of the most clever DIY makeup storage tricks. 

  • Put brushes in a cup or glass: This simple approach is great if you use just a handful of brushes.
  • Repurpose a shoebox: Add additional pieces of cardboard to create small storage areas within the box. 
  • Use round containers for round items: That round box of fancy cookies you ate would stop your lipstick from rolling away.

Those are just a few of the ideas you can explore. Remember that it is up to you and your budget, whether you decide to use containers, DIY ideas, or a mixture of both.

Before we wrap up, let’s touch on one more important makeup storage tip. 

Keep Items Accessible

You could create the most organized system for storing makeup, and it could still be almost useless. Why?

Your system needs to be personalised for you and the way you work. That is your products should be orderly and easy for you to access whenever you need them.

By keeping in mind your daily makeup use, you can devise a storage system that will save you from a lot of future headaches. 


Makeup storage is no easy task. But you are ready with the right tools to take it on. If you begin to feel overwhelmed as you store your makeup, just return to our review to help you along. For now, I will leave you with a short summary of this guide to makeup storage for small spaces. 

Makeup Storage Guide Summary

Know Your Storage SpaceYou’ll have a clear idea of what you’re working with
Keep All Items in OrderSaves so much time
Use Containers and OrganizersSometimes the best option is to buy a container made for the job.
Remember Vertical StorageYou’ll use your space more effectively.
Get Creative with Household ItemsDIY projects can save you money.
Keep Items AccessibleYou need to do more than store makeup. You need to use it too!

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