Have you ever had that moment where you realize that your entire kit looks more like a garbage island than an actual makeup kit? You realize to yourself that you are in total makeup kit overwhelm, and need some organizational hand-holding for sure!

Well, you’re not alone. And it’s okay! I promise!

I’m not sure if it’s a cyclical thing for you – it is for me, and usually occurs at the end of each project. Generally, because I wrap out my own gear from the makeup trailer so quickly so I can then proceed to focus on wrapping out my boss’s gear, or the production-owned makeup and stock, or assets, that kind of thing.


brown cardboard boxes on black steel rack
Does your kit look like this? Image by Brett Jordan


The point is, my own kit gets pushed and shoved and “Tetris”ed into my car so quickly and so unlovingly, only to then spend as long as I have before the next job pulling it apart, and re-organizing it yet again.

It’s a vicious cycle that has me waking up and looking at myself in the mirror like Bill Murray in that movie about that type of day, hmmm what was it called again?

Groundhog Day! Yep, 100%.

But honestly, by taking some time, and yes, spending some money, there are many ways that you can avoid this whole hideous cycle altogether and we are going to walk through them together.

So, don’t be afraid, this is meant to minimize your kit anxiety, not enhance it!!!


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Makeup Requires Ongoing Organization

There. I said it.

Not only from a hygienic point of view but from, well, a sanity standpoint.

If your makeup is organized, then you will feel organized.

It reminds me of an old Amicus horror movie (movie lovers- check out Amicus movies if you haven’t seen them – made in the 70s – they were so much fun!) that the husband and wife of this particular story – well it got a bit grisly, but the catchphrase was something along the lines of “A place for everything and everything in its place” and I like to think that the same really applies to makeup.

Okay, so how do we do that?


Pull everything out. Go through your entire stock with a fine tooth comb.

And as you start this process, begin to categorize things.

Place like products together and do two jobs at once. Yep, at the same time as minimizing, you are also placing similar products together which makes the entire task less daunting. For example, get all your lipsticks together, and all your alcohol-based inks together.

And better still, if you can find a friend to help you with this most daunting of tasks, then do it. beg them with pumpkin spiced lattes (yep it’s almost time!), whatever it takes. It will cut your time down massively.


Throw Away What You Don’t NEED.

Get rid of as much as you can.

Be logical and objective with this.

If you have a product that is still in good working order, and still new, look into donating it to young and new makeup artists.

Remember what a struggle it was starting out when you couldn’t afford to buy anything for your kit? Well, now is your chance to pay it forward!

And if you’re really short on cash, have a sale.

You can do this via many Facebook groups, or if you live in a big city, and are easily accessible, a garage-type sale. Just be sure to offer things at incredibly reasonable prices. You could, say have every product for $5.00, or even $2.00 or something like that.

If you happen to have an entire line of makeup products that you just never used, but are well over their shelf-life, look into donating them to local mortuaries. Mortuary cosmetologists will most likely appreciate the product especially if it hasn’t been used.


A Few Of My Favorite Things

My Pelican Air 1615 Must Have

My Favorite Pelican Air 1615

The Pelican Air 1615 is my go-to for my kits. I have 3 of them. An FX Kit, a Beauty Kit, and an overflow Beauty kit. Why I don’t just say 2 Beauty Kits, I’ll never know. But these stay loaded all the time and house what travels with me for jobs – whether they be 1 day or 1 year long.

The Pelican Air is sturdy. For the size and capacity, it is extremely lightweight. It is water-tight and lockable. In fact, it comes with keys and locks. And quite a few snazzy colors, too.

I recommend getting the foam inserts – that way if you carry a compressor inside it, you can form fit the case to very specifically and geometrically house all of your precious goods.

Find the Pelican Air 1615 in black here.


What Goes Inside The Pelican Air Stays Inside the Pelican Air

The ZUCA Utility Inserts are the best

I love to use these inserts inside my Pelican Air 1615 cases. They are slim, pack well together, and have a nice tidy label area on the side – I like to label mine on the top surface as well, so depending on how they pack I can still clearly read what’s inside, as well as see for myself.

Find the Zuca large Utility Inserts here.


This is another great set from the Zuca line.

I also have a fair few sets of this Zuca collection. Called the Zuca Pro Packing Pouch Set, it comes with 5 different sized bags that give you many storage options. I particularly love the largest ones as they are quite deep and fit so much stuff! You can’t go wrong.

Find the Zuca Pro packing Pouch Set here.


My Label Maker

The Brother P-Touch PTD 210

Okay, this is a solid, most vital part of my kit. It never goes on anyone’s face, and it will never get mentioned in any IG posts. But its REALLY important.

Find the Brother P-Touch PTD 210 here.


Now it’s Time to Re-Organize!

If you have a bit of money to spend, I recommend investing in some sturdy storage bins, a cupboard, or perhaps a shelving system.

And a good labeler – see above for more info!


Bringing Things Together

Now, if you are following along and taking care of your makeup mountain as I do, you’ll be up to the fun part now.

You’ve gotten rid of the makeup you won’t use ever again, donating what you can, and perhaps even made some quick cash on some newer kit that you don’t use.

So you should be smiling now, ’cause if you’re anything like me, this is the best part.

The worst is behind you, you’ve downsized by a long way, and now you’re just putting it all back together in a tidy little collection.

And whether you’re using storage crates, drawers, cupboards, rolling cases, or anything else, the principle is still the same.


Categorize everything.

Label everything, well, at least every bag. So, if you have bags within crates, you know exactly what you’re looking for and where you’re going.


PRO TIP – For my larger Pelican cases, I now keep a list inside a clear plastic protector on the back with a detailed list of exactly what is inside each case. That way, I can easily locate where something is.

I keep a sharpie with the list. And if I happen to take something out, I can adjust the list and make a note of what was missing to remind me to put it back or replace it if it’s disposable.


You think that you will remember, but I promise you won’t!


The more OCD afflicted among us may want to take photos of their open kits at this point in time. It’s nice to have visual references of what goes where, as well as written lists.

Reorganizing Your Makeup

Once you have your makeup kits all stocked, fresh, and ready for your next job, you’ll probably find that you have plenty of leftover random things that seem to have no home.

A set chair, maybe wigs, or perhaps a flocking gun, vacuum former, random stuff that doesn’t come on set but that you use from time to time.

Well, once your kit is done, it’s time to house these things with as much clarity and order as you can.

If there’s an option to hang things from a wall in your garage or storage shed, go for it! That comfy set chair can be up in the wall taking up no precious floor space, for sure!


Smaller Storage Solutions

Stackable Drawer Systems

Homz 4 Drawer Plastic Organizer and Cart System

I love a good stacking drawer system for makeup kit storage, so if you have a little bit of space, or not a lot of space, I recommend one or two of them to help keep your extraneous makeup kit stored away and organized.

Find the Homz Drawer Plastic Organizer and Cart here.



Over The Door Hanging Storage Organizer

Over Door Hanging Storage Organizer is a great easy access, out-of-the-way solution.

These over-door hanging laundry organizers can be great to hang behind your doors. They hold an awful lot, so if you have lots of small things and you want to keep them all somewhere with easy access, this is a great starting point.


Luxfurni Lockable Makeup Storage Mirror

Luxfurni Lockable Makeup Storage and Mirror

Here’s a more attractive solution that also provides you with a little reflection!

Find the Luxfurni Lockable Makeup Storage and Mirror cabinet here.



MDesign Plastic Compartment Drawers

MDesign Plastic Compartment Drawers for Makeup Pencils

I love these and use them to store all of my lip pencils, eye pencils, eyebrow pens, mascaras, gels. I even keep them inside the Zuca pouches mentioned above. Is that too much?

Find the M Design Plastic Compartment Drawers here.



MDesign Large Clear Storage Drawers

MDesign Storage Drawers

Ignore the household items in the pic – these are perfect storage drawers for your makeup – for home or at work.

They are sleek and clean looking and make everything look pretty. I have a bunch of these and I love them.

Find the MDesign Storage drawers here.


So, there it is. I hope this has minimized your kit overwhelm and brought you back to a place of complete calm!

If not, I hope there are some good solid storage options to get you halfway there.

And before you go, please feel free to share this with your friends. You know the ones that truly need help with their kits. maybe this is exactly what they need to start their own process to being completely free from makeup kit overwhelm once and for all!

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