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While being a beauty-head has many pros, there are some downsides to it. Not being able to get through a TV show without wondering what lipstick someone is wearing, for example. Or being powerless to walk past a Boots without wandering in “just to check.” But the biggest complaint beauty lovers face is more practical in its essence: how to store this growing and changing collection of products?

Beauty products are, generally, quite attractive to look at. As the old adage goes, we pay for the packaging, so you’d hope it’d be nice. The problem is, they tend to be fairly small and annoying, unable to be tidied into neat piles or stand in lines. In order to keep some semblance of order, storage is necessary. But finding the right option can be tricky – there are many duds out there. Luckily, an old hand and tidying up her dressing table (me) is here to help.

I’ll start with something big. If you are a makeup hoarding lunatic, it may be worth investing in an actual piece of furniture to aid in its storage. I have the famous IKEA Alex as a part of my desk, and it’s truly a revelation. The drawers are an excellent height and depth to store beauty products in – plus, you can close them and pretend you have an ordinary amount of makeup. If you don’t need a desk, the Alex drawers can make a nice bedside table, while secretly serving as a tower of lipstick in disguise.

An absolute classic in terms of makeup storage is Muji. The Japanese bits and bobs store sells everything that makes my heart sing, but their acrylic makeup containers are the stars of the show. These are particularly great if you like to show off your products, but in a controlled, neat environment – almost as if they’re on display at a museum.

A more fun alternative I’ve discovered recently, though, are Caboodles. Remember them? They were the toast of every five-year-old traveling makeup artist, back in the day. Well, happily, Urban Outfitters has brought them back. They come in delightful shades of pastel plastic, and open with inbuilt shelves for you to organise your beauty products. I have a couple of the bigger ones for backups, while the smaller ones house my most-used makeup products.

My final two recommendations aren’t technically makeup storage – although, for my dressing table, they are indispensable. The first is old candles. These glass jars (which are literally designed to be aesthetically appealing) are ideal for holding tall things – i.e., makeup brushes, pencils, lipsticks and glosses. Byredo is obviously the jar of choice, but a good alternative at half the price is independent brand, Boy Smells.

Lastly, like any loyal fangirl, I love the Glossier pouches. Not only are they fantastic for travel (did you know they can get through airport security? I did) but they can serve as excellent desk tidies, too. They’re firm enough to stand up (if you flatten the bottoms) but flexible enough to contain your most awkwardly shaped beauty products. I tend to store my daily rotation of base products in one, stood up and opened on the dressing table.

Shop our editor-approved beauty storage picks below

Featured images via Urban Outfitters

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