Reorganising My Vanity & Beauty Storage

Since I did my huge declutter at the start of February and pretty much moved everything into my ‘main’ rotation drawers, I’ve essentially tried to squeeze most makeup to in or on my dressing table. My dressing table dosen’t quite have the storage that I need in it and I have grand plans for when we move – but for now I’m working with the furniture I’ve got and trying to make the most of the drawer space.

Dressing Table

My dressing table is from Ikea and is called the Ransby. I don’t believe it’s made any more however as I recently looked up rebuying it in white. There are two slim drawers and two deep drawers on either side. In the middle there’s a flip top lid with a mirror which never gets used, in the middle I house my more expensive costume jewellery that doesn’t get worn as frequently – e.g Swarovski/Bauble Bar etc, as well as a few special pieces of jewellery that are inherited – to be honest this rarely gets opened. It’s felt lined so it’s great for jewellery, but I also like that it’s not so obvious that there’s anything there so if we ever got burgled, hopefully they won’t steal my most valuable glitzy stuff!

I’m starting with a before shot in the featured image that’s not a scene that happens normally. The day previous I had 20 minutes to get ready and leave the house and I did not prioritise putting anything away, I prioritised blending my eyeshadow beautifully and picking out 4 different palettes to use together! So this is a rags to riches story for my dressing table today – and the finish result was blow.

I’ll start with inside the drawers. To start with the top left hand side features mostly by base products – foundations, primers, concealers, bronzers. Whilst the right hand side features single shadows, eye primers, blushes and highlighters – at the minute it’s a bit empty with stuff that should have gone back in. The bottom right hand side is my least favourite drawer, it’s impossible to keep tidy – it’s all things hair with styling products, oils, grips, bobbles and accessories. It’s very difficult to organise and keep tidy as everything just falls over – my plan (as I’m writing this part of this pre-organisation) is to take out some stuff from this drawer and only keep the items I am currently using to hand. The bottom right hand drawer is mostly eye palettes. I keep the odd bit of skincare in there handy such as micellar water/wipes when I have them as well as cotton pads and nail polish remover but it’s largely eye palettes. This is normally pretty well organised but over the past few weeks I’ve found myself reaching for pretty much every palette in my collection and it’s just got out of shape really quickly.

In an ideal world I’d like to have all base products on one side and all all eye stuff on the other but the drawers aren’t quite big enough to do this. At the moment not everything fits in the drawers neatly and whilst I’ve tried to cram everything in (and I’m still hoping I can!) but if not I’ll take out things which I may not want to get rid of but are currently too dark such as concealers/foundations – which tends to be where the worst clutter of these drawers form.

At the moment I have some plastic drawer organisers I’ve had for a few years, at the time they were the best I could find without spending a small fortune. What I don’t love about these is that they have a lip/angled sides so they feel like they’re wasting valuable space, so I recently purchased some new ones from B&M Bargains which are a perfect fit. I did underestimate how many I could get in though – I could have definitely gone for a few more, but I’m going to see if I can work with what I’ve got for now.

My long term plan for when we move is that I’d like to get a long style table with one narrow drawer for the stuff I’m generally using and then have a large multi-drawer unit along these kind of lines for splitting everything down close by (which will also hopefully be big enough to house skincare, makeup and perfume out of rotation too!).


Top Left Drawer

This is the drawer that I always find most stressful – I have a lot of foundations – my skintone changes a lot between summer and winter and I’ve been known to go from my very palest at around a MAC 20, all the way up to a MAC 40. Whilst I normally sit at a 30 during summer unless I go somewhere intense like Egypt or Turkey, I don’t like to get rid of anything as I know at some point I will need to repurchase it. This drawer always tends to get disorganised because the storage for the foundations has always been a bit too small to house them all.

I used the one large acrylic tray to put in all the foundations, foundation samples, BB creams I have into that one large pot, it’s full and I need to work on finishing some up! The smaller tray down the front houses my primers – I found quite a few deluxe sized samples rolling around in the drawer I’d compltely forgot that I had, I also put any illuminators and strobe creams into this tray. The remaining gap I filled with the three face powders I currently have and all the concealers I seem to have amassed. I feel like I’m not living my by own rules and having one on the go and I’m chopping & changing too much – I hope to seriously cut these down and find that lots of these become empties at the same time.


Bottom Left Drawer

This drawer was forever carnage – I had too many products and I rarely find myself using half of them any more. I had multiples for things like blow dry lotions which rarely get used, I decided to get rid of the biggest versions of products I use rarely to minimise the space that’s in the drawer. There’s also been a handful of hair products that have been on my ‘Products I’m Trying To Use Up’ edits multiple times over the past few years and I never manage to finish them. I decided to admit defeat and in total decluttered 6 products from this drawer. I moved my brushes, clips, grips and bobbles over to the right hand side of the drawer instead of the left so it was easier to reach into from my chair,


Top Right Drawer

This is the drawer which has had the biggest rejig. Since I’ve had this dressing table I’ve always kept my eye makeup in that drawer, but my highlighters/bronzers/blushes have grown quicker than I’m able to use them up. So I decided to put all of the other finishing base products into this drawer and used the three slimmer style trays to separate.

The first on the left houses all my highlighters, whilst the middle one contains blushes and the right hand side bronzers. I do have a few too many blushes and bronzers so hand to overflow into the section at the front. I used to house my Urban Decay Shapeshifter palette in the drawer below and I found I wasn’t reaching for it – so I’ve moved it where it should be with bronzers and highlighters. I hope over the next few months to be able to cut these down and the front can just contain my brow products – for now I’ve kept it to my one brow pomade and two powder palettes.


Bottom Right Drawer

This drawer housed all palettes before as well as things like micellar water and nail polish remover/nail buffers etc. I decided to keep my cotton pads in here and eventually Micellar water – my current bottle is broken so I’m keeping that on top currently so it doesn’t leak. Like I said in my overview, this had become really unorganised as I was pulling out different palettes every day, so it kinda went back to how it was.

At the front I’ve turned all  my larger palettes on their side so I can see their spine – I pretty much can tell which is which from the spine to find the one I’m looking for, but I’ll probably aim to keep the one I’m reaching for most laying across the top of them flat so it’s easy to find the one I’m using/reviewing. At the back I have my singles/old style Stila Magnificent Metals, MAC pigments/Glitters and any other loose glitters. I also have some of my smaller palettes at the back here, but I realised as I was organising I had more palettes which were not living in here and had been put into my storage cupboard. I’m hoping to find a way to squeeze these in.

For the back where all the singles etc are, I’d like to find two deeper more square holders. At the moment everything is kind of overflowing and if I start routing around in there things will soon go everywhere, I was working. If I can’t find two the right shape, one larger one will be fine!


The top of my table feels quite mismatched at the moment and when we move I plan to make changes, but I don’t see the point in investing in these pieces until I know what space I have available in our next home.

The right hand side of my top is all things lips, in the back corner I have tall lipstick storage which is perfect for liquid lipsticks and glosses. At the minute it’s got my now minimalised gloss collection as well as any lip crayons. My lipsticks sit in my Vanity Decay lipstick tower which I absolutely adore – I don’t believe they’re operating any more which is a huge shame as I had some other items I wanted to get from them. My liquid lipsticks are currently in a weird limbo for storage as I’m wearing and reviewing every one as part of a gigantic liquid lipstick comparison week – so they’re not sitting as part of my main vanity so I can track which have been worn an which haven’t.

In the middle section I have old glass candle pots which store different things. But first there’s a large pink bowl which contains all my beauty sponges. Then for the candle jars, on the far left hand side is eyeshadow crayons, I had a good declutter of these when I did my clearout and now only have a handful as I don’t use them all that often. Next along is pencil eyeliners whilst in the middle sits my Primark Shadow Shields. The next one along is my my lip liners, which is an impressive collection for someone who rarely uses lip liners. The final class pot contains my mascaras I’m currently using (always limited to two open at a time!) and trying, liquid liner and brow pencils – basically the pot that I’ll use most of the time I do my makeup so it’s all easy to find. There’s then one pot which sits between my ‘everyday’ pot and my lipstick tower which contains tools – tweezers, lash curlers, nail scissors.

Then finally on the left hand side of my vanity is my acrylic drawers, I hate these passionately and have always planned to get some muji ones but again at the moment it’s kind of a waste of time at this moment of time. On top of these drawers sit my brushes in classic Ikea plant pots – I always planned to spray paint these a different colour and I’ve never got round to it, I ended up freshly cleaning these all and even if they’d not been used they’ve all been refreshed.

The bottom set of acrylic drawers store all my liquid shadows, I have them organised by brand, top left is Colourpop and one Urban Decay, the top right is Barry M, whilst that middle drawer is all Stila. The bottom drawer is my Cabella pigments and Colourpop Supershock shadows.

In the top drawers I now have one spare large drawer, the top left houses mostly skincare samples/sachets etc, whilst the top right is lip care. The next drawer down is a bit of an odd drawer it houses makeup which has no other natural place – a Laura Mercier base palette for example.


Shelves and Skincare Storage

I’ll skim over this as quickly as possible. When I set out to do this post I never intended to include this as part of it, but it ended up getting tidied up at the same time – and it’s not worthy of it’s own post. I have two narrow shelves and a cupboard (which is hard to get in shot as the bed is in the way). The cupboard is a fairly recent addtion after I felt like I needed some more space – it was a cheap one from Ikea and is nothing special, when I bought it last year I knew we wouldn’t be in the house too much longer and was buying a cupboard to fit a specific nook in the wall so didn’t want to spend a fortune on something that might not fit in our next home.

In terms of the shelving, the top drawer was housing something which was pretty much just decorative stuff. In the pictures below you can see that there’s now two pots added – the one on the right is completely spare, whilst the left held decorative mascaras. The bottom shelf contains the perfumes I’m currently trying to reach up as well as current favourites. On top of the shelving there’s a basket which did have all my worn liquid lipsticks from my comparison, but it now contains all my unworn liquid lipsticks.

Perfume Shelf

There wasn’t too many changes to this, I took a few perfumes out of my rotation to declutter the area as well as tidying up some personal photos/hen party momentos. I have a bowl on the right hand side which features all my perfume vials and samples, I decided to take the cards away from these to tidy up the bowl and make it look less messy.

Skincare Cupboard

Shelf One

The top shelf previously had two old My Little Boxes in. The one on the left was home to body care products, whilst the one on the right held facial skincare. I decided to reorganise all of the shelves, I took the My Little Boxes away and decided to put all my facial skincare on the top shelf – I had some from my cupboard that was added into here. It follows a vague left to right pattern that matches order of routine, from cleansers, toners, serums, acids, SPFs and Moisturisers. towards the front I put some products in easy reach that I’d like to use up.

Shelf Two

Shelf two has a basket which holds all my face masks, yep there’s a lot. Whilst there was a random set of makeup brushes which I’ve had for ages an never opened (now rectified!). On the right hand side it was all the perfumes that are not in rotation/I don’t leave out as I use them too quickly. There wasn’t much change for my readjustment – the basket was reorganised so I find it easy to find what I’m looking for – with sheet masks at the back, jars on the left and tubes on the right. Underneath all my worn liquid lipsticks sit in a box, this isn’t intended as a permanent home and I may well put into my shoe cupboard. The same situation with perfumes, with a few added ones from my shelf.

Shelf Three

Last but not least was this place that was all my polishes that are unreviewed, but out of all my unreviewed ones are most likely to be reviewed. When we move I intend to destash a lot of polish. I decided to put this into my main cupboard with all my other polishes/gel polishes etc. and the bottom shelf is now body care. It’s mostly moisturisers, a few body oils, a few SPFs and after sun then several tubes of hand cream.


Phew, that was long – I hope you enjoyed that, it took up around 4 hours of my Sunday Reorganising everything! I still have a little bit left to do now with regards to my polishes, but it’s in a much better state overall.

Let me know how you store your makeup in the comments.

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Helpless Whilst Drying

Email: helplesswhilstdrying@gmail.com

28 thoughts on “Reorganising My Vanity & Beauty Storage

  1. That is one neat looking vanity! I bought the Micke desk from Ikea when I moved and love it. It has two drawers and I use one to store my daily makeup bits. Then I use a 4 drawer Malm to store my collection. I go in there every day to pick out color products such as blush, shadow, lipstick.

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  2. Looks great Rach! I really struggle to organise my base products as the bottles range in size so much! Definitely going to have a look in b&m for some of those dividers though so they’d work great in my drawers too I think! ❤️

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    1. Base products are so hard, especially when the packaging is un-nessarily fat, they can take up so much space! They’re such good value and come in some different sizes to what I bought too – I’m going to go back and get a few more to finish off!

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  3. IKEA vanities seem to be the standard for bloggers 😛 good on you for not having the Alex drawers like everyone else haha! I store my makeup on top of my drawers, I have a small makeup bag with my current and all time favourites products and a beauty basket with body lotions and perfumes in. I keep the rest of my makeup and my nail polish in one of the drawers 🙂

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  4. Honestly, I LOVE that you don’t own the Alex Ikea drawers! I really like the drawer that you have. I think it’s a really good size, plus it looks good too. I don’t have quite as much beauty products as you do but your post has definitely given me some ideas for storage, so thanks for posting!

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  5. You have an amazing collection! I love your vanity too, it looks like it has so good storage space. I’m going through a clear out right now too, and this is so inspiring to get it all done! Great post xx

    Hannah | luxuryblush

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  6. I loved reading this! I’m currently reorganizing my vanity (it’s taking way too long) and I’ve been super into reading how other people have theirs organized. Those acrylic drawers you have sitting on top of your table are next on my list of things to buy for organization!

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  7. I love it! I can’t wait til I have the space for a vanity. Right now I just have a wardrobe type thing with shelves that I put everything in. Yours is pretty nicely organized. It made me laugh because I’m glad I’m not the only one with a hundred hair brushes 🙂

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  8. As I’m looking at your post, all I’m thinking is: I wish I had an actual vanity! Mine was repurposed for my SO’s gaming station (it was just an Ikea 2 tiered curved desk but it is awesome)
    The majority of my makeup live in my spare bedroom closet stacked on rolling organizers. I don’t even sit down to do my makeup, I stand in front of a wall hanging mirror beside my closet. 😛 My 800+ nail polishes live in airtight shoe containers – I think about 100 fits in each. I also have some baskets of unopened items… right now I’m slowly digging into those!

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    1. When I get to a hotel and I have to stand I have a meltdown – That would drive me nuts to have to stand at home, I applaud you for letting go of your vanity but for me I would rather bin off Ben hahah 😂
      Do you have a selection of stuff that’s kept more handy or do you put everything away in the organisers every day?

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