Makeup Storage, Organisation and Mini Studio Update

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

It feels like eons was two years ago this month, when I first posted about my makeup organisation/workspace. I'd just bought my Alex drawers and new vanity and couldn't wait to share my new storage/organisation excitement. So with that it mind, I thought it was the perfect time for an update!

and yes that is a banana for scale

Since the original post I've rearranged my workspace a few times, finally settling on the most recent version as the best. I've also reorganised the hot mess of a makeup stash shown above into a colour-groups-by-type system, so keep reading if you'd like to see how I try to keep it all under wraps =D

Warning: pic heavy & lengthy, you may wanna grab a cuppa!  

- New Setup - 

The biggest change I made was physically moving my studio bench, vanity and alex drawers to run along the only windowed wall in our spare room. I wanted to apply my makeup and shoot products or swatches under natural light easily, without having to drag stuff around the room. 

Here are some lovely photos of both the studio bench and vanity all tidied up so you can get an idea of the space.....

shot of my studio bench and part of my vanity all cleaned up  

shot of the full length of my vanity

a wide shot showing the studio bench, vanity and my alex drawers tucked into the corner, hiding behind a softbox corner

...aaaaand here's what it normally looks like after a week of wearing makeup to work every shift lol.

I know, I know, I'm a slob. But hey, organised chaos works for me :) 

- Vanity Top Storage - 

Aside from moving furniture around, the reorganisation of all my makeup into colour-groups-by-product-types was the next big improvement. Never being able to find a shade of lipstick when I needed it is was the trigger - I'd open my lipstick drawer and it'd be like opening the closet door to Narnia - cold, weird and full of magical awesomeness but not a damn nude matte lippie in sight >.<

To combat this Narnia-esk dilemma, I picked up a couple of new drawer units from Ikea and Office Works. Surprisingly Office Works has some stylish storage drawer options available, with clear acrylic types at the affordable end and faux leather or fabric types at the more expensive. Between their regular sales and great next day delivery times (I used to get my orders delivered to my office at my old job) they're worth a sticky beak.

some of the drawer options available at office works 

Underneath my black ikea mirror I have a fantastic plastic four drawer unit that I nabbed from Office Works for $17. It's solid feeling but still light when empty. I especially love the combination of shallow top drawers and the extra deep bottom drawer. Previously I used it to organise my blog post items however now its used for my eye related makeup.

In the top I have my eye brushes (an attempt to keep them dust free), the second has blue, purple, green and silver eye pencils/crayons/liners, the third has black, brown beige and gold eye pencils/liners/gels/single brow products and the forth, which is the deepest drawer, has my cheaper and/or less used palettes.

excuse my brushes, I shot everything before I washed them which in hindsight would've worked better the other way round 

I also have a few white lattice candle holders from Ikea stuffed with mascaras, the other with primers, a metal candle holder with my daily face brushes and some bathroom acrylic containers with purple, pink/red and blue single eyeshadows.

On the other side of my vanity sitting on top of my Alex drawers, I have a grey cardboard 3 drawer cube that I picked up from Ikea. Its super sturdy with wide, deep drawers.

The top drawer has nail tools stashed inside, while the middle has my jewellery and the bottom has all of my gold, white, green, beige and brown/taupe single eyeshadow pots in sorted into smaller recycled containers. In particular my brown/taupes are in a box lid from a net-a-porter post parcel I received, which works perfectly as a shallow drawer insert and easily lifts out.

On top of those I have a large durable acrylic container from a bathroom storage set from Ikea that houses all my skincare samples. It does come with a fitted lid but isn't pictured below.

Next to those two is my trusty mini plastic 5 drawer stack. It used to house all my eye products but now has most of my lip products by colour groups. I think I got this one from target years ago and I've seen similar ones at budget stores like Red Dot and Reject Shop.

The first drawer has fuchsia pink and bright watermelon pink, the second has cool pink and corals, the third has cool reds and mid tone pinks, the fourth has nudes and the fifth has rosewood tones. I've just wedged in some leftover post packaging foam to separate colours in a few of the drawers. 

- Alex Drawers Storage - 

These contain all my face products, palettes, eyelashes, haircare, accessories and heat tools.

The first drawer is still all liquid foundations which were nicely laid out but I've recently picked up some new ones, so nothing tetrises together quite like it used to. 

The second drawer has samples, concealers, highlighters, powders and cream foundations.  

Third is blushes and bronzers.

The fourth is the rest of my lip products in warm reds, ice pinks, plums and burgundy, eyelashes and any additional tools/bits'n'bobs that I don't use daily.

The fifth has my larger eyeshadow palettes that I use all the time.

The sixth has electric/heated hair tools.

In the seventh are headbands I had a phase, waist cinchers and belts.

The eighth has hair products that aren't in my daily routine or bathroom vanity.

And finally ninth has empty makeup bags and all my pigment pressing junk.

As you can see I have this whole mishmash of a system going on with a variety of containers to help sort stuff into colour groups. Of the whole lot my favourite bought containers are the shallow cloudy/opaque ones pictured in the concealer drawer. I found them at a Reject Shop in Joondalup for between $1.00 - 2.50, dependant on size. My fave recycled ones are those plastic cups you get microwave rice in and La Zuppa microwave soup containers, they're so damn handy!

- Vanity Top Accessories -  

The mirror I have is a Conair light up one with touch function. I bought it from Myers for about $80, which is pretty damn pricey however its useless at illuminating anything.  The magnifying side sucks too thanks to its really narrow field of focus and distortion, which means you're stuck smooshing your face super close to be able see anything. Sigh. I would've been better off with just a cheap $10 table top mirror that doesn't light up. Anywho, the normal mirror side works fine and its what I use to apply my makeup most mornings.

On my window sill I have a makeup remover bottle with a push down dispenser lid from Models Prefer that's super handy and I love, especially when I'm swatching. There's also my absolute favourite of all time perfume, Amour by Kenzo (which has sadly run out but is on my high priority shopping list) and my Kerastase Chroma Riche leave in hair stuff that I love but I think has sadly been discontinued :( 

On the right hand side there's a desk lamp that I hardly ever use as a lamp, its mainly there as a jewellery hanger lol, some post-its, a microwave rice cup container with all my Femme Fatale sample baggies, hair spry, mineral water spray, cuticle oil, nail polish remover, Redken shampoo that I use to deep cleanse my brushes, clear makeup bags - my main one is the Kate Hill one with hearts on it (I wish I'd gotten the whole set they had at the time) and my ukulele. Oh and Phil, he's an amoeba. 

- Under Vanity Items -  

Here I have a plastic tub for all my new items or post I've received that I don't have a chance to go through straight away or junk I need to clear off my vanity. The products live here until I either write down first impression notes or get a chance to use them in a look or swatch for review. Occasionally if I have time to play with products as soon as I receive them they'll skip the tub of purgatory and land directly in my makeup bag for everyday use/performance testing.

Next to that is an empty basket I use to collect stuff. For example, if I'm doing a look that I'm going to shoot for the blog/instagram I'll put everything in there so I know what I used. My Wacom tablet chills out here too, when its not being used, along with a bunch of note books. I've also got a stash of empty plastic containers in the back that I've saved from various things. These will inevitably be reused to organise stuff or store stuff at some point. 

Underneath those is my nail polish cube of doom, with various polishes on the top shelf and earring boards on the bottom shelf. These styrofoam boards are super handy for hanging dangly earrings or jewellery from - I get mine from my strawberrynet orders as part of the parcel packaging. They make great mini reflector boards too!

- Mini Studio - 

When I moved everything around, I replaced the oak chest I was previously using to shoot on for a side table taking up space in our bedroom. It's the perfect height to fit under the corner window and still let me easily take product or swatch shots under daylight without killing my back. For flat lays where I need more distance, I just stand on a chair and shoot down over the table.

Thanks to the type of blinds on the windows I can manipulate the natural light to be more or less directional as needed. If its too harsh I have a product box/light tent (stashed underneath - not pictured) that I use to soften the light. Failing all that, I have enough space to pop one of my elinchrom lights in over top for non-daylight shots. 

afternoon light spilling onto my studio table with a glass plate and perfume example prop 

I also have a bunch of leftover white panels from when I built my expedit vanity that I use as backgrounds, plus a bunch of other bits and pieces like fabric, chopping boards, boxes and reflectors that live in the pull out drawer and underneath the table.

My computer now lives on a separate workstation out in our lounge room - it may or may not have something to do with being able to watch Netflix on the telly while blogging lol.


And that's it. If you've gotten this far you deserve a gold star! 

As you can see my workspace has grown a bit since I first set it up and I'm sure it'll get bigger, especially as I want to set up a filming area. I hope this helps/inspires anyone else looking to reorganise their beauty space; it can be hard getting motivated but its totally worth it!

If you have any handy sorting or storage tips, feel free to share them in the comments below. 

*items in this post were purchased with my own money, no affiliate links listed 

Bambi xox

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