How To Organise Your Make-Up, Because It's About Goddamn Time
The Debrief: We spoke to loads of actual girls who have their shit together, as well as some experts, so you can sort out your beauty storage once and for all
My makeup is in a big wicker basket on a shelf in my room and consists of everything I've had since I was 19 including stuff that has run out or gone so out of date it might as well be sent off to labs for medical research. Considering I'm going to be 27 this year, it might be time I started living like a grownup lady who has their make-up organised and does things like 'washes' her 'make-up brushes' (in quotation marks because I don't own any make-up brushes and, if I did, I wouldn't wash them). Oh, actually, I do own a make-up brush that editorial assistant Chemmie gave me in November, and I haven't washed it. Is that bad? Apparently.
We all presume it's not particularly efficient to throw all your make-up in one place because, if a nail varnish leaks, then everything will be ruined. Plus, it all gets messy and dusty. But some of the girls I spoke to rock the singular make-up collection without it going tits up, like Claudia: 'It's just a make-up bag on a shelf in my room (though usefully it's ALWAYS in a bag so I can grab it to touch up my face when I have a long evening at work or party after),' she says.
Leo has a more novel way of keeping her make-up in one place: 'I use my dad's old wig box. He's a lawyer, not a transvestite.' Good to know. But if you're like me, and you've got shitloads of make-up in varying conditions because you're a beauty hoarder with no sense of organisation, then separate it out. Apparently a wizard came out of a drain or something and told everyone about MUJI perspex boxes/drawers because that was the most common response by far. And I really feel left out because I've never heard of them until now, and never seen a wizard.
'I keep mine divided (v strictly) into daily bag, muji divider, and ziplock bag with everything else. The ziplock bag makes me feel like a Danish gallerist,' says Molly, who isn't a Danish gallerist but probably should be. Sophie uses the MUJI plastic cups, too: 'They're probably meant for rinsing your mouth out, but they work pretty nicely for makeup. I have one for lipsticks and one for the everyday stuff.'
If you're not arsed about MUJI because you once got dumped in one of their stores or something, then art cases (or caddies) are a good alternative. 'I keep mine in a caddy like artists use, it's really handy for keeping all my make-up separate. It also keeps it clean and because it's clear, I can find what I need straight away,' says Katie who isn't sponsored by artists' cases, despite how that sounds. 'Anything that's good for stationery is good for make-up,' adds Chemmie. Katie uses this caddy by Daler Rowney (there are loads more of these on the London Graphic Centre site at the mo) and Chemmie suggests using pen holders for brushes, or mugs.
If you hate art boxes and stationery because you once got dumped by an artist in a Rymans then there are a number of cool boxes you can buy that my friends told me work really well (so you know I'm not lying). Habitat do a cool one in collaboration with Birchbox, and my mate Kim suggests Ted Baker because 'there's a new range every season, they stock them in Boots and every single item without fail seems to be bloody beautiful and I always want them ALL'. You heard the woman, check it out.
So, you've got a thing that it all goes in. Now what do you put where? Gabriella sorts her make-up into loads of categories that must be detailed here for inspiration purposes: 'I have my everyday make-up bag; a small bag of useful utensils; a utensil/long-things-that-fit-in-a-jar jar; a bag for bases, concealers and highlighters; a bag for cheeks and lips; a bag for relatively neutral eye tones and too many mascaras. For a "day look", if you will,' she says, while I remain open-mouthed. 'And then my favourite - the creative stuff which is, suitably, in an old cigar box and contains things like false eyelashes. I have a miscellaneous box that's like Monica's messy cupboard but nobody sees that.' Some people were born on this earth to help others, and Gabriella is one of them.
Now to the problem that a lot of people (like myself) sort of pretend doesn't exist, when it definitely does: the issue of keeping it all really clean like a proper grown person. Lisa Potter-Dixon, head makeup and trend artist at Benefit Cosmetics (so an actual professional make-up person) has some excellent tips that : 'If you don't have a fabric bag, wipe it out with some antibacterial wipes - these are also fab to clean your actual products as they also get mucky! If you have a fabric make-up bag, the easiest thing to do is to put it in a pillowcase and then chuck it in the washing machine. Do this at least twice a year!'
Time to set a bi-annual alarm on your phone, guys. And in terms of brushes, they should be 'cleaned once a month at the very least'. I won't point out that I've got an eyeshadow brush from 2010 that I've never cleaned, because it'll make the whole thing real and I'll start freaking out. 'Baby shampoo is fab for cleaning your babies - is it just me who refers to my brushes as babies?! - because it's gentle and doesn't damage the bristles. Rinse them with warm water, put a drop of baby shampoo in your hand, then swirl the brushes in the baby shampoo gently. Rinse off and then repeat. Always let them dry naturally on a towel!'
If you can remember to do that once a month, then you deserve a Nobel Peace prize. Or just a good ole pat on the back. In the meantime, I don't know about you, but I'm pretty much itching to race home with an art caddy and start organising the crap out of my life (and my makeup).
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