02/26/2016 11:08 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

6 Genius Tips For Decluttering Your Vanity

By Jenna Rosenstein, Allure


There are those who can squeeze all their makeup into a Sonia Kashuk bag. Then there are people who need several hundred more square feet for a "beauty room," a term popularized on beauty vloggers' YouTube channels. We're talking guest rooms, garages, and basements transformed into meticulously organized walk-in vanities. "On the high end, beauty rooms have always been somewhat popular. I've even installed refrigerated drawers for skin creams in some of my clients' vanities," says Melanie Charlton, the founder and CEO of Clos-ette in New York City (she's built closets for Liv Tyler and Beyoncé). "But I think bloggers are beginning to realize that functional space design matters." One such woman is Maggie Stepien, a visual merchandiser in Montreal and the woman behind the YouTube beauty vlog A Simple Hedonist. She took more than a year to transform her unfinished basement into a beauty room. "When you have so much product, you need to find a way to organize that works for you," says Stepien. Check out her eye-shadow drawer--and her top tips.

"I don't generally organize products by color, with the exception of my eye shadows, nail polishes, and eyeliners," says Stepien. "I group the latter by type--liquid or pencil--and then by color, since I have so many."

"I organize my lipsticks and lip glosses by brand. I tried to do them by color, but because they can vary so much in size and format, my inner Virgo went nuts. I take the boxes that the lipsticks come in, cut them in half, and then tape them together to form drawer separators."

Related: How To Organize Your Closet In 12 Easy Steps

"On top of my vanity, I use some small decorative flower pots for my brushes, with oven-dried rice inside to keep them standing up; a small cake stand for my toiletries; and some pretty letter sorters for some of the palettes I want to have easy access to."

"I use DVD/CD acrylic boxes to hold my old-style M.A.C. palettes, since they're exactly the right size to fit in the grooves."

I save pretty perfume and tea boxes, as well as nice bags from stores I love, on display and keep samples in there. For things like cotton swabs and rounds, I repurpose old-style candy jars and candle jars."

"I organize eye-shadow palettes by brand, then I group them roughly by size or format--duos together, quads together. If I can, I order them by color, from warm to cool."

"I stash these eye shadows in ice-cube trays. I measure things out so they fit snugly. If I need to, I use empty product packaging at the very back of the drawers to make sure there's no wiggle room."

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