A beautiful, organised mess. Utter chaos. Call it what you want, but more often than not, your vanity probably looks like a truck ran over it by the end of the month — brushes caked in twenty different shades, missing eyeliner pen caps, a rogue makeup wipe here and there…
But fret not, because we’ve got you covered with our guide on how you can clean up that mess and get your vanity all ready for the new year!
We’re sharing how and what you can use to organise and establish a system for your vanity, because what’s better than a clean, neat vanity and neatly arranged cosmetics to usher in the new year?
1. Throw out your old, expired makeup
We’re all guilty of keeping that one eyeshadow palette or lippie past its shelf life, but you definitely should be chucking it out once it expires because you don’t want to be getting any nasty infections, irritated skin, or eye styes.
Here’s the average life span of common makeup products:
Mascara – four to six months
A telltale sign would be the mascara coming off more clumpy than usual.
Eyeliner – one year
If the tip of your pencil starts to ooze liquid or develop a white film, or if your liquid liner’s starting to thicken or smell bad.
Concealer – one year
When the pan or stick formula cracks and becomes goopy (ugh!) or when the liquid concealer separates, looks oily, or starts to smell nasty.
Foundation – one year
It’s time to toss it when the liquid starts to separate, the cream coagulates, or the compact becomes rubbery.
Blush / eyeshadow – one to two years
Cream formulas usually last up to a year, while powder formula can last up to two; but if it starts to crumble and turn white and flaky, it’s got to go.
Lipstick – one year
But you know that once it turns gooey and smells like chemicals, it’s time to kiss it goodbye.
2. Clean and sort your products
We’re going to start from the basics — take everything off your vanity and separate them into piles of makeup, skincare, haircare, nails and tools.
After you’ve separated the items you have, it’s a lot easier to visualise the space that you’re working with, and also see how many products you’re left with to try and fit.
Don’t forget to wash your brushes, pull out all the hair that gathered on your comb, and wipe down your vanity so it’s all sparkling clean again.
3. Arranging your products
The goal here is to make your vanity look neat, tidy, and organised and we think the best way to do is to arrange your products by height.
Yes, you heard us right. The tallest products go to the back, followed by the shorter ones in front so you can clearly see each and every product! You can also add height and dimension with drawers, trays, and spruce up your vanity with some personal knick knacks and decor.
Of course, you could always do a colour-coded scheme and arrange your products by colour. It’ll look absolutely gorgeous, but it may be a bit of a challenge to find what you’re looking for if you’ve got a ton of black products all jammed together.
For your go-to or faves, we’d suggest putting them in a tray, basket, pouch, or storage bin for easy access, because no one wants to be digging through shelves and drawers to find the concealer first thing in the morning.
4. Tips & tricks to organising your vanity
Acrylic Makeup Organisers
The perfect one-stop solution if you’ve got lots of room on your tabletop — acrylic makeup organisers. You’ll find all sorts of organisers with drawers, tiers, sections in various colours.
Depending on how you’d like to display your products, we’ll recommend a transparent tiered organiser if you want to keep your products “out of sight”, yet still organised; and a sectioned organiser if you prefer to display your stash!
Each section or tier can be used for a different product category, so all lipsticks can go in one section, your brushes right beside them, and so on.
Shein has got a gorgeous marble sectioned organiser with gold accents (S$20), but if you want the best of both worlds, Amazon has got a two-in-one sectioned and tiered acrylic makeup organiser that’s going for S$70.90.
A mess, but make it organised. A few simple baskets can easily make your vanity a lot more put together, even if you’re just chucking items into the baskets. These baskets work especially well for irregular shaped items such as scrunchies, sponges, and maybe even beauty tools!
You can find all sorts of baskets or makeup organisers on Shopee, but our favourite’s got to be these linen geometric woven baskets (S$1.90) and rose gold baskets (S$19.99) to add that splash of colour to your vanity.
Display your favourite or most aesthetic looking products on an accent tray (pick one that matches your vanity theme, if you have one).
Scatter some fake flower petals, throw in a couple of hair ties or earrings and drape your favourite necklaces over a bowl, and lay your items in a haphazard manner, however you want!
But if you’ve got more drawer than tabletop space, there’s something for you too. Instead of dumping all your cosmetics and skincare into a drawer and rifling through the piles, these drawer inserts will make your life so much easier.
Fit these drawer inserts like a puzzle into your drawer and arrange them however you’d like, making sure you fit as many as you can inside. Dedicate each insert to a product category, such as eyeshadow palettes for one, brushes, lipsticks, and foundations in the others.
You can find these drawer inserts at Daiso for S$2 each — they’ve got all sorts of sizes, lengths, and heights, or get them on Shopee (S$8.59).
P.S: If you’re a box hoarder just like us and you’ve got unused packaging that’s just lying around, you could simply cut off the cover and slot them into your drawer to section them out!
4. Inspo Pictures
We’ve curated a board of lovely, organised vanities to get you all inspired to get cleanin’ and organisin’!
View the Pinterest board here.