There is something so fulfilling about buying new cosmetic products—no matter what they are, or what they’re for. We find them sitting there on a store shelf, or in a FedEx box at our door, and their sight evokes in us an unspoken feeling of new empowerment—signaling great things to come, from these components to add to our collection. We start out by removing these items from their packing and for a while, at least, use them with a modicum of care and reverence; putting the tops back on properly and returning them to a reasonable spot on our vanity. At some point–and often, it’s because of a rush-job scramble to get ready and out the door–maybe the alarm clock failed, or you overslept–but when under pressure, your best intentions for a structured vanity can go haywire. A vanity that is properly ordered to begin with will be far less likely to be severely disrupted, and what items do manage to get scrambled will be much easier to return to their rightful places.
Makeup Session Game-Changer
When your vanity is organized, the entire process of applying makeup becomes more of a pleasant, enjoyable pursuit. It typically results in your using more of your stuff, too, as a typical disarray prevents you from even knowing what all you have, even though you were the one who bought it all. Out of sight, out of mind, is how the saying goes, and it’s certainly true with a quagmire of makeup. An organized vanity represents an organized mind, and anyone who is always grateful for new methods of saving time will appreciate an organized vanity.
Appreciate or Evacuate
The very first thing to do is to toss out all of the old, outdated junk. With a few possible exceptions, anything you haven’t used in months should go. Be bold here, because the more room you can create for yourself, the more fluid your getting ready time will become.
For Everything a Place, and a Place for Everything
Sounds redundant, but you really need to appropriate an exact location for every item that’s kept at your vanity–big or small. The Container Store is a great source for all types and sizes of bins and containers that are wonderfully priced and make perfect organization tools. Arrange similar or companion items together in their own plastic bins. You might put all your skincare products together, all your eye shadows in one bin, foundation with powder, blushes and contouring products. Brushes can be kept together or right with the products for which they are used. And you don’t have to settle for the typical primary or white/black colors of most storage containers, as you can buy spray paint for plastics. Paint them to match your bathroom decor–gold, silver or any color you need! This is a good way to ensure that even when containers and baskets are from different stores and different colors, they’ll all look like they were part of a matched set.
Repurposing for Superior Storage
Empty votive holders make wonderful storage picks for brushes, and they are the ideal size for both shorter as well as the longer brush handles. When you have exhausted the life of the candle, you can easily turn its glass container into your new vanity storage component. Place the votive in your sink, and fill with warm tap water (just to acclimate.) Boil enough water to completely fill the votive, and pour out the warm tap water, setting the glass back into the sink and next fill with the boiling water to the rim. Allow to sit for five minutes, and then pour out the waxy water. Make sure to remove that little metal thingy at the bottom of the votive that secured the candle, and wash in warm, soapy water. Dry, and voila! You can use votives for your brushes, bobby pins, ponytail holders, lipsticks, cotton balls and swabs and a whole lot more.
Perfume bottles are often really pretty and can enhance the look of your vanity. You might want to store them more in a display manner–on a lucite or mirrored tray or maybe even an unusual spice rack. Pier 1 Imports sells some lovely–and nicely priced–cake stands. You can create a non-slip surface by slightly thinning down some Elmer’s glue and painting the area–carefully at the edges to look nice–and while the glue is still wet, sprinkling either white sand or your favorite color of glitter–or a sand/glitter mix. Allow glue to dry and then rinse off loose sand/glitter.
Repurposed Jewelry Storage
Take a framed cork board–or make your own, and use push-pins for hanging your jewelry where you can find it. Another trick is to install a (or make use of an existing) decorative towel rod either on the wall at your vanity or on the cabinet itself, where you can hang all your necklaces, scarves and what-nots.
By placing a magnetic strip somewhere in the mix, you’ll have the ideal storage and access spot for all your bobby pins, and many hair accessories and clips.