I Own Hundreds of Beauty Products—This Is How I Keep Them Organized
An ode to clutter of sorts.
Updated Oct 11, 2018 3:30 PM
We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.
Hallie Gould knows a thing or two about beauty products. As a senior editor of Byrdie, an online destination for all things skincare, hair, and makeup, her desk is a constant stream of beauty packages. “I probably receive about 100 products a month and keep 20ish on my desk at any given time,” she told Domino.
For many, getting to test all the latest products as they come out would be a dream scenario, but for many beauty editors, it’s a logistical nightmare. Serums, balms, and hair tools are stuffed in every nook and cranny of their desks, and that’s not even taking into account the mounting piles of products in their bathrooms.
Gould manages to keep a relatively low count in her Greenpoint apartment: “There are tons of products strewn around my room, under my bed, packed away in my closet (shameful but true), and then those I actually use in my bathroom,” she explains. “I’d estimate about 50 products or so and probably about 25 that I use with a regular cadence.” We had to ask the editor: How do you organize all these beauty products? Here are her best organizing tips.
Embrace the One-In-One-Out Philosophy
“I don’t have a specific system and certainly not a schedule,” says Gould. “But I do try to make sure everything is fairly organized. If I bring in a new product, I usually get rid of one I haven’t used in a while to make room. Every three months, I go through and really do a purge. I get rid of things I’ve had and never used, things I know I don’t like, and things taking up far too much space.”
The takeaway hack: Never bring a product into your home without throwing another out, and always find a place for it right away. That way, things will never accumulate.
Don’t Hold on to Things You Don’t Use
“I try to be as edited as possible,” says the beauty editor. “Because my job very literally is to be surrounded by beauty products all day long, I make sure to try a product for a few days at my desk before deciding whether or not to take it home. It has to pass through a series of tests before it makes it from my desk to my bathroom, the most important of which being, ‘Do I actually need this?’ For example, I try to only take a moisturizer home when I’ve run out of it.”
The takeaway hack: Not everyone has a stash of beauty products at work, but it’s always handy to have a space at home (like a drawer or a bin) to keep all the things you “simply aren’t sure about” and go through it to declutter regularly. It’s also a lesson to not buy multiples in bulk unless you have space to store it all.
Organize According to Frequency of Use
“I keep my hair and skincare products in the medicine cabinet above my sink and makeup in the drawer below,” Gould explains. “The makeup I use daily is stored in a big makeup case, and the items I use sparingly are kept in a few plastic organizers. Then, I have a bit of a junk drawer situation for body products and miscellaneous extras, including my blow-dryer and curling iron.”
The takeaway hack: If you have limited storage space in your bathroom, be mindful of one thing above all: Organize everything according to how often you use it. For instance, seldom-used lipsticks or nail polish bottles can be kept in clear plastic containers at the bottom of a drawer, while daily essentials should be at eye level in your medicine cabinet.
Don’t Keep Things “Just in Case”
“Makeup is the hardest to organize, as it can get messy so easily,” shares Gould. “Because I have more products that I feel like I should keep ‘just in case I need them one day,’ it’s easier for me to know what I’ll use and what I won’t when it comes to hair and skincare products.”
The takeaway hack: Let’s be real: You’ll probably never use the nine tubes of lipstick that aren’t exactly your color or the endless samples of foundation and perfume stashed away in your drawers. Make a point to purge your seldom-used containers regularly to keep things clutter-free. There are a ton of local charities that pick up unused beauty products to donate to women in need, so you’ll feel doubly good for purging.
Shop the Only Products Gould Would Keep in Her Medicine Cabinet
Discover more beauty tips we love: Could This Creamy Cleanser Save Your Dry Winter Skin? How to Get Glowing Skin—One Expert’s Brilliant Routine 6 Celebrity Facialists Reveal the Sheet Masks They Can’t Live Without