Anyone with an eye for fashion or simply a love of colour finds it hard to resist the rainbow attractions of the makeup counter. Fashions change with every season, so new products constantly swell collections of beauty products.

Keeping them in good condition and arranged so you can find what you’re looking for is a challenge. Small pots of gorgeousness don’t come cheap, and none of us wants to throw out expensive products just because something new has taken precedence.

If your beauty products are taking over, here’s how to regain control:

Storage for Brushes, Pencils, Mascaras and Polishes

All kinds of containers are useful for storing these items, and we already have many of them hanging around the house:

Brushes need special care to keep their shape. Standing them on end (bristles up) is a good way. Jars, jugs, glasses or vases are ideal, and if you fill the jar with beads, marbles or even coffee beans the brushes will stand without falling over.

To protect brushes from dust, try storing them in a tall cafetiere. Place the brushes with their bristles upwards on top of the plunger and you can lower and raise it at will. When lowered, the top seals the brushes safely inside, keeping them neat and in good condition.

Another neat storage idea if you have lots of brushes, pencils, mascaras or eyeliners is a door hangar with pockets normally used for shoes.

Some other quick ideas:

  • Use a spice rack to hold and display pretty perfume bottles.
  • Use a cake stand to coral nail polishes
  • Use a magazine holder for larger items like hair tools.
  • Use a cutlery holder for pencils or small tubes and brushes.
  • Use a letter rack to hold makeup palettes.

Extending the Shelf Life of Makeup

How you use and store makeup products can determine how long they stay fresh. Many items benefit from being stored in the fridge, including nail polishes. Egg trays hold them nicely in place, and they’ll last far longer in this dark, cool place than they would normally without going lumpy or drying out.

Keep perfumes out of direct sunlight. A shady spot in the room will keep them smelling great for longer.

If your mascara dries up faster than you think it should, maybe you’re treating it too harshly. Pumping the wand in and out of the container can shorten its shelf life as it introduces more oxygen into the compound and dries it out. Gently pulling the bristles free of the container is enough, and repeating the process just once, slowly, is all you need to recharge the brush if necessary.

Longer Term Storage for Beauty Products

Beauty products have quite a long shelf life, so there’s no reason you shouldn’t store them in the longer term when you move on to different products but want to hang onto what you already have.

Tighten all the lids to prevent leakage, then pack them away in sealable boxes or bags and keep them somewhere dark and cool. This could be somewhere in the house or even in self storage lockers if you need to keep the available space at home free for collections currently in use.

As long as the bottles or tubes are tightly sealed, most beauty products will last longer than you’d think. Some products that contain active ingredients, such as moisturisers with SPF that reacts to UV light should be kept in the dark. Products with natural ingredients or oils can go brown when they’re exposed to the air.

When you retrieve items from storage, make sure they’re still good to go by checking the consistency for creams or lotions, and ensuring nail polishes haven’t clumped or creams haven’t separated. If they don’t look or smell right, discard them. Sunscreens may have shorter expiry dates, so make sure they’re still effective before relying on them for protection.



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