Makeup Re-Organizing! + Storage Solutions for Your Collection

re-organization_beautyFor the video tour, please click here.

For items pictured but not mentioned, please see the original organization post here.

Brace yourself! This will be a longer post than usual, but very picture-heavy. I have a lot to share with you from my month-long re-organization project and I am VERY happy to say it’s DONE! 🙂 Recently I started to notice I couldn’t find certain eyeshadows, or I would end up purchasing duplicates simply because I thought I didn’t have them. Agh! Talk about frustrating! I came to realize it was because they were not organized properly. I had grays and neutrals together and pinks, purples and blues scattered throughout different palettes; they had gotten out of control and strayed from their color categories!

Ultimately, one of my first issues was palettes and space within the palettes! As MAC is no longer selling the old style palettes I love so much, I finally came to terms with the fact that I would need to take the dividers out if I wanted to gain more space. And have spare palettes for future expansion. So, that’s what I did!

palettes1When you take the dividers out (oh, this is tricky business, let me tell you what!), this is what you end up with. What you’re seeing here is the dried spot of glue the manufacturer used during production to hold the aluminum sheet (seen to the left of the palette) in the palette. The dividers I removed were what held the aluminum sheet in place because the instant I removed the dividers most of the aluminum sheets popped out. These are vital as they are the magnet necessary for holding the pans of eyeshadow in the palette.

Oh, and if you’re wondering, I used a sharp knife to pry the dividers out of the palettes on the edges; requires patience and precision, so if you do it, please be careful!

palettes2To get the aluminum sheets to adhere to the palettes, I traipsed down to my local Ace Hardware and picked up some Silicone Adhesive. I chose it as it provides a permanent, but flexible, waterproof bond. If you’re anything like me and you like to wash your palettes from time to time, this is great stuff!

palettes3Ta da! After inserting the aluminum sheets into all the palettes, I let them dry for a full 48 hours before I put the eyeshadows back in them. This allowed the bond to form and air out the smell created from the adhesive.

palettes4I had SO many to do! It was nuts! More about the completed palettes at the end of the post …

Similar to how out of control my individual eyeshadows had begun, the eyeshadow palettes had taken on a whole other organization of their own and were really just stacked inside my cabinet. My OCD was having a fit and truly dreaded opening that cabinet to find a palette, much less have to look at the mess. Agh!

So I took a trip to my favorite organization place – the Container Store! If you have not been on their website or in one of their stores, you are in for a treat! Especially if you tingle at the very mention of organization stuff, like me! 😉

Surprisingly, it didn’t cost much and required very few items to get it looking more put together. One of the great ideas I had for organizing the makeup palettes was to get a divider of sorts. I originally wanted a mail sorter (and would have been sold on that), until I came across a lid organizer (I picked the small size) in the kitchen section. Bingo! That was it! Luckily I measured the cabinet before going to the store, which was super smart because I had two to choose from. The one I originally wanted would not have fit (boo!) but I’m happy with the one I decided on.

I also went back to the store to purchase two small translucent boxes for the palettes to sit on, as I found I had more room than what was originally expected. These boxes turned out to be perfect for my false eyelashes to be stored in, and are wide enough side by side that if I wanted to get another divider for more palettes in the future I can (YAY!).

storage9storage6Oh, and by the way, the MAC palettes are housed in an acrylic DVD rack that can hold 14 palettes.

During my excursion, I also noticed some under shelf baskets that I originally fancied for the cabinet, but had doubts if one of them would fit. I bought it anyway, promising myself if it didn’t fit in the makeup cabinet, I’d use it to *finally* organize my tupperware cabinet in the kitchen (yikes!). Well, fat chance for that now as it fit perfectly in the cabinet and offers more storage for palettes that didn’t fit in the divider. Oh well, I’ll just have to take another trip to the Container Store *sigh* 😉

storage7I also had one spot left in the middle shelf for another acrylic box of drawers. I originally had a decorative box that was holding my false eyelashes in the empty space you saw in the before pictures, but that wasn’t working too well for me anymore. So, what better to put in that space than one more box of drawers for goodies?!

storage10storage12storage5Well! Now that you’ve seen all that, let’s get back to the MAC eyeshadow palettes. Each is organized by color and for those who may be looking for some inspiration of how to organize eyeshadow colors, I hope this is helpful for you.

The order in which the palettes are pictured below is the same order I have them stored in the DVD rack (pictured above) from top to bottom. They are stored according to the colors of the rainbow, so the top three slots are neutrals, the fourth is pinks, fifth is oranges/yellows, sixth is greens, and so on and so forth … try not to drool on your keyboard! 😉



First Row: Gesso, Vanilla, Blanc Type, Orb, Brule, Bisque, Malt. Second Row: Kid, Wedge, Omega, Cork, Quarry, Haux, Blackberry. Third Row: Swiss Chocolate, Corduroy, Ground Brown, Espresso, Brown Down, Handwritten. Fourth Row: Coquette, Concrete, Mystery, Embark, 100 Strokes, Sketch (left on my makeup table – argh!).

mec_neutrals3NEUTRALS #2: SHIMMERS

First Row: Nylon, Shroom, Dazzlelight, Retrospeck, Femme Fi, All That Glitters, Grand Entrance. Second Row: Naked Lunch, Patina, Woodwinked, Era, Warming Trend, Time & Space, Sable. Third Row: Bronze, Antiqued, Glamour Check!, Folie, Twinks, Carbonized, Rich Life pigment (pressed).



First Row: Mylar, Grain, Honesty, Bamboo, Soft Brown, Saddle, Texture. Second Row: Motif, Soba, Outre, Amber Lights, MegaRich pigment (pressed), Romp, Tempting. Third Row: Brown Script, Cut to Fit, Go, Mulch.



First Row: Creamy Bisque, Phloof!, Yogurt, Tissueweight, Jest, Jete, Gleam. Second Row: Pink Freeze, Girlie, Rose, Pink Venus, Da Bling, Swish, Fuchsia pigment (pressed). Third Row: Mythology, Expensive Pink, Bold & Brazen, Mythical, Coppering, Sweet Chestnut. Fourth Row: Free to Be, Sushi Flower, Passionate, Cranberry, Heritage Rouge pigment (pressed), Beauty Marked.

mec_orangesORANGES / YELLOWS

First Row: Ricepaper, Goldmine, Gorgeous Gold, Sun Blonde, Three Ring Yellow, Bright Future, Goldenrod. Second Row: Gold Mode pigment (pressed), Melon pigment (pressed), Pink Bronze pigment (pressed), Peppier, Paradisco, Ablaze, Firespot. Third Row: Samoa Silk, Off the Page, Arena, Tete A Tint, Rule, Saffron. Fourth Row: Red Brick, Orange, Follow Your Fancy pigment (pressed), Brash


First Row: Sunny Spot, Bitter, Juxt, Golden Olive pigment (pressed), Swimming, Guacamole, Lucky Green. Second Row: Waternymph, Surf USA, Kelly, One Off, Humid, Bottle Green, Bows & Curtsies. Third Row: Sumptuous Olive, Greensmoke, Club, Flourishing.


First Row: Vellum, Moon’s Reflection, Tilt, Birds & Berries, Aquadisiac, Steamy, Shimmermoss. Second Row: Winkle, Electric Eel, Blue Calm, Freshwater, Deep Truth, Flashtrack, Prussian. Third Row: Cornflower pigment (pressed), Contrast, Plumage, Deep Blue Green pigment (pressed).

mec_bluepurplesBLUE-TONED PURPLES (COOL)

First Row: Crystal, Digit, Beautiful Iris, Purple Haze, Fashion Groupie, Satellite Dreams, Parfait Amour. Second Row: Illegal Cargo, Shale, Trax, Indian Ink, Shadowy Lady, Graphology.



First Row: Seedy Pearl, Kitschmas pigment (pressed), Mancatcher, Creme de Violet, Stars ‘N Rockets, Hepcat, Deep Damson. Second Row: Plum Dressing, Vibrant Grape, Nocturnelle, Fig, 1, Grape pigment (pressed), Fertile. Third Row: Star Violet.

mec_graysGRAYS / BLACKS

First Row: Filament, All Races, Copperplate, Swell Baby, Idol Eyes, Scene, Moth Brown. Second Row: Electra, Smoke & Diamonds, Botanical, Satin Taupe, Prepped for Glamour, Smut, Hocus Pocus. Third Row: Silver Ring, Knight Divine, Print, Soot, Nehru, Typographic. Fourth Row: Black Tied, Carbon.

See how much better not having the dividers actually is?!

17 thoughts on “Makeup Re-Organizing! + Storage Solutions for Your Collection

  1. You’re inspiring me to do some reorganization of my own! I’m tired of digging for what I want to wear every morning!

    I really preferred the old style MAC palettes too. Don’t like the palettes with clear tops. I have a small 4 pan with that clear lid and the visible scratch marks make me crazy.

  2. This is great…and a real inspiration because I REALLY need to organize ALL of my makeup! One disappointment….What about those of us who are just getting started with MAC and can’t get those great “old” palettes? 🙁 Oh well.

  3. Hello! I just discovered this post and I wanted to write and say thank you Zabrena. I had stored all of my ud, lorac, too faced palettes in these pretty but tedious boxes. I LOVE the lid organizer. I actually am able to see and easily use these palettes that I love. The spice rack is awesome for my nail polish and I even put my perfume there too. So just a quick thank you as these organizing tips helped so much.

  4. Hi Zabrena! Does pressing your pigments change how they look when you apply them? I have so many and I’m sure I would use them MUCH more often if I had them in palettes instead of pots!

    1. Hi Lindsay!
      Not at all! 🙂 It’s definitely a space saver and keeps them at your fingertips, I think you’d be most happy with them in pot form! 😀

    1. TO Mariana: EBAY is a great place to sell cosmetics and everything else, I have a huge collection of collectable Limitted Edition ‘HTY/hard to find’ make up all purchase through ebay. Ladies also sell make up lots which is more than one item in a bundle, you can start it at a bidding auction or also with the ‘Buy Now’ option, if you do start it in an auction style which is the best way to get your items sold don’t start it at a low price as ebay recommends it to attract bidders, its better being safe than sorry to get the money you would have expected and sometimes a GREAT DEAL MORE! Good Luck!

  5. This post was amazing! I love how you repurposed things I would never have thought to use for makeup storage, like the DVD acrylic rack. Genius! I had a question… I moseyed over to your Pinterest page and found the post about using the IKEA Alex drawers for makeup storage (I believe this is from the blog The Frugal Closet or something). This is EXACTLY what I need to organize my makeup since I have so many of these Alex drawers. However, I am unable to access this post no matter what I try. Has anyone else had this problem?

    Sabrina, any ideas on how to access this information?

  6. Your post has amazed and inspired me so much, thank you! I am in the midst of reorganizing my beauty station and I am getting stuck on palette storage. I don’t have any empty palettes, just new ones and those currently in use. They differ so much in size and shape that I’m just at a complete loss as to how to best organize them, both for ease and aesthetic purposes. Like many other beauty-aholics, I get so much joy out of just SEEING my makeup, supplies and products that I could just stare at my things for hours. Makeup and beauty products make me so incredibly happy 🙂

    My products are all stored openly, on my beauty desk and open shelving, so I have to be really neat and tidy, otherwise it looks as though a bomb went off. I have my shelving done to my liking and my desk has great organization but as I stated, palette organization has me really stuck. I’m all for repurposing, and I love getting storage items at Winner’s and Ikea. I also find many great uses for office supply organizers – perhaps a letter organizer would work? It’s something I need to continue to think about because I want it to be both beautiful and perfectly organized for ease of use.

    So once again, thank you for the inspo. This is my first visit to your website – I’ll be back for more ideas. Your space looks WONDERFUL!

    I’m also looking for storage ideas for under my beauty desk. It’s a corner unit so I do have side shelving which can probably be better organized. Right now most of my hair tools and supplies are held there as well as my nail products (temporarily). I have to incorporate a second unit for a nail station – I just have too many things as I do my own nails so I have the tools PLUS the color / accent products.

    Have a beauty- full day everyone!

  7. Hello, I love your organization. I have a small place and I think my vanity needs to be replaced. Do you mind telling me where you got the cabinet from? I tried watching your video and it doesn’t work for me. Thank you 😁

  8. Great information! I got some great ideas! But mainly I made a shopping list from your MAC collection! I’ve written down the shades I want to buy now! lol Awesome post all around! lol 😉👍💜

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