Ten nail polishes. Seven lipsticks. Several styling tools. That is just the beginning of a list of items that littered my bathroom counter a recent morning. Not to mention the dozens of eye liners, brushes, foundations, mascaras and the like rattling around in the drawers beneath. Clearly, it was time to rein in my cosmetic collection.
There are two schools of thought when it comes to organizing polish collections: Shelve it or paint it. The "shelve it" gang advocates displaying nail polishes, color-coded on walls, like the racks typically seen at salons. The "paint it" crew suggests storing polishes in groups of colors in drawers, but not before painting the top of each bottle with a drop of the hue. An even easier solution is to house polishes, grouped by color, in paper market trays. These are the open-faced gift boxes with handles found in gift-wrap departments of many retailers and sold for about $1 each. With this disposable storage type you'll never cry over spilled paint.
Lipsticks and liners
Acrylic containers have basically cornered the market on lipstick organization but, because I don't own any acrylic furniture, I wasn't ready to introduce my bathroom to acrylic either. As an advocate of lip liner, I thought it made sense to store lipsticks with their coordinating liners. Enter clear glass votive holders, the ideal way to store lipsticks and liners, paired by hue, either in drawers of on countertops arranged on trays. I paid about 50 cents each at a local Old Time Pottery.
BIY beauty organizers
If Martha Stewart wore more than just clear gloss, perhaps there would be an entire section of Living devoted to chic, DIY, chevron-patterned makeup organizers, all made from items lying around the house. But Stewart seems to be a makeup minimalist, and I am forced to come up with my own BIY (buy-it-yourself) cosmetic corrals.
Keep curling irons, blow dryers, flat irons and the like contained, even when still hot, with the Style Station Organizer or the Polder Style Station; both sell for about $20 online. For the makeup aficionado, Lori Grenier's countertop wood cosmetic organizer holds up to 100 items in specialty compartments and rotates; get it for $30 at QVC.com. If you have a healthy respect for cosmetics but not a downright obsession, the Stretch and Store Organizing Tote at Walmart sells for $13.30 and features a removable plastic white tray topped with an elastic tote that stretches to accommodate differently shaped items.