5 Ways To Organize Your Makeup Bag

This year, resolve to carry a lighter makeup bag.
Publish date:
January 26, 2015
makeup bag, multi-use, beauty tips, organization, cosmetic case

I’m the type of person who'll pack 14 outfits for a one week trip, so it should come as no surprise that my daily makeup bag (i.e. the case that goes with me everywhere) is ridiculously heavy.

Now that it’s a new year, I’m looking to tackle my issues with overpacking by teaching myself to travel lighter. Here are five tips that have been helped me so far.

1. Make three piles and edit, edit, edit!

Start by dividing your on-the-go makeup into three piles: the things you use every day, the things you occasionally use, and the things you rarely touch. Try living a day or two with just the first two piles in your purse. I'm pretty sure you won't miss anything in the third pile.

2. Pack multi-use products, like lipstick that can also be used as blush.

Instead of bringing along five lipsticks (which I used to do all the time), narrow it down to one natural-looking shade and a deeper color that ideally can be mixed together for a third option. If you do your makeup while you’re on the go, invest in some good multi-tasking products such as blush/lip color or an eye liner that can double as brow pencil to save some space in your bag. One of my favorite lipsticks at the moment is NARS Audacious Lipstick in Brigitte. Even though it is not marketed as a blush, it makes a beautiful, creamy blush.

3. Invest in small containers or travel-size versions of your favorite products.

A lot of people use contact lens cases to store liquids and creams since the caps are twist-off and secure. I like to use these cute, clear solvent containers to store ibuprofen so that I don’t have to carry a bulky bottle in my purse.

4. Wear low-maintenance makeup or products that extend the wear of your makeup.

If you need to pack stuff to clean up makeup smudges or to reapply, consider long-lasting or low-maintenance products. I used to always carry cotton swabs to clean up pencil liner and mascara smudges on my lower eye area throughout the day. When I finally decided to go the waterproof route with liner and mascara, I no longer had to worry about suddenly seeing myself with a black eye at the end of the day--and I happily tossed out the cotton swabs. If you have oily skin, wearing primers or a good oil-control moisturizer under your foundation can help reduce the need to touch up, so you might not even need to carry powder with you.

5. Switch to a smaller cosmetic case

If all else fails, go with a smaller makeup bag. It will FORCE you to only pack your essentials. I usually alternate between two cosmetic bags, a cute, structured Hello Kitty one, and a smaller, flatter one from Forever 21. When I use the Hello Kitty one I almost always fill it up to the brim, just because something in my brain is telling me, More!! More!!!

  • Do you suddenly feel the urge to empty the contents of your makeup bag and start analyzing? DO IT.
  • What beauty products do you need on your person at all times?