How to Solve a Problem like my Make-up bag…

A few months ago I took you through how I organise my ever-growing collection of clothes, shoes and accessories in “how to solve a problem of my wardrobe”. In this post one area that I didn’t touch on was my makeup collection. Make-up is obviously as important a part of a pinup lover/vintage goddess as is her wardrobe and so I thought it would be a good idea to take you guys through my make-up collection in a little more detail.

First of all let me set the scene…Since graduating in 2010, I have worked in community pharmacy and in community pharmacy, healthcare and beauty go hand in hand. Walk into any pharmacy on the high street and you will more than likely find make-up alongside your first aid, cold remedies and pain killers. Any new make-up product on the market, I would soon hear about and more often than not I would be able to snap up such goodies at a discounted rate. This is not somthing I was expecting as I began my career as a pharmacist…but in my case it was a complete recipe for disaster. My make-up collection rapidly grew and soon I had bag upon bag full of unorganised products. I had hoards of eye shadows, lipglosses, brushes. You name it, I probably had three! I had so much so that I didn’t really know what I had to be honest. One day (with the help of my beauty therapist/ make-up artist friend) I took all of my make-up and emptied it out, I shouldn’t have been surprised to find it covered my entire living room floor. In all honesty there were only a few items that I really used, the rest rarely saw the light of day. It was time, I am sure you will agree, for some drastic action. So here is how I went about solving the problem of my make-up collection…

First and foremost I invested in a dressing table. I settled on the beautiful white Toulouse dressing table, mirror and stool from Dunelm Mill. It matched my existing bedroom furniture, had three drawers for storage and Dunelm Mill themselves even describe it as having a “vintage inspired design“. What was not to love?

Following this purchase, I took a good look at my make-up collection. I went through each item in turn and into the bin went all of the following items:

  1.  Anything that I believed to be beyond the recommended expiry date (based on when I had first opened the product and the manufacturer’s guidelines).
  2. Anything that I had rarely (or never) used.
  3. Any brightly coloured eye shadows and eyeliners (I have experimented over the years but let’s be honest, at the age of 28 I feel more comfortable with neutral eye shadow, eyeliner flicks, and my statement bold pout).
  4. Any duplicate items (how many clear lipglosses does a girl who only wears bright lippie really need)?
  5. Any make-up brushes that were beyond repair (due to their previous cramped conditions).

And so I was left with my make-up collection as it stands today, much smaller, but also much more manageable. The large central dressing table drawer is now home to the following products (most of which I use on a daily basis):

  • Foundation
  • Powder
  • Concealor
  • Bronzer
  • Blusher
  • Eyebrow pallettes
  • Mascara
  • Lip liner pencils
  • Eyeliner pencils
  • Liquid eyeliner
  • Gel eyeliner
  • Eye shadows
  • Highlighter
  • Tweezers
  • Eyelash curlers
  • Fake eyelashes.

The two smaller storage compartments contain:

  • lipsticks
  • lip stains
  • lipgloss

Finally, on top of my dressing table I have two pots to store all of my makeup brushes, goodbye dirty makeup bags and destroyed makeup brushes!

This new approach allows me to store everything together. Rather than standing in front of my mirrored wardrobe and ferreting in and out as I try to get ready,  I can simply sit down and everything is in sight and within reach. This makes the process of doing my makeup so much more relaxed, but also enjoyable. Not only this but I also now find the act of actually sitting down to do my makeup is no longer rushed and the end result (I like to think) is a lot nicer. In addition, those of you who have never tried doing a vintage eyeliner flick while resting your elbow on a dressing table to keep your hand steady as you look down into the mirror, ladies I promise you will never turn back.

Looking at my make-up and brush collection now, it is clear to see I have a few favourite brands namely: MAC Cosmetics, Le Keux Cosmetics, Benefit Cosmetics, Avon, NYX Cosmetics, Urban Decay, Eylure, Salon Systems and Real Techniques. I have everything that I need and every single item gets used. What is the point in having so much makeup that you simply cannot use it before it expires in 12 months time? Better to save the pennies for a dress that will last a lifetime right girls? So when a brand new sparkly exciting make-up product appears at work, before rushing out to buy it I now as myself the following questions:

  1. Do I need this?
  2. Do I actually want this?
  3. Do I already have something similar at home?
  4. Is it a brand that I actually like and trust?

This approach has certainly worked for me and so that, my lovelies, is how I solved the problem of my make-up bag. Based on this success and our recent trip to the Lipstick and Curls Make-up Academy, Papow has recently has also caught the dressing table bug. I can’t wait to see what she does with her own collection!

On a final note, thanks to Sue Phelps of Sue Phelps Photography for the shots of myself and also to Papow’s other half Nick for editing the shots of my beloved dressing table!

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