The first thing I got was a clear acrylic tray by Caboodles from Target. I instantly loved how compact it was (instead of lots of little bins and things), not to mention functional and attractive, plus it only cost about fifteen dollars. Helpful side note: there are a couple of different places you can look in Target for makeup storage type things. The first place (and where I found this tray) was by the beauty products, next to makeup bags. There were only a couple of tray options, so they would be easy to miss. I also found cosmetic storage stuff in the home section down what I guess was technically a bathroom aisle (shower caddies and such). They had a bunch of countertop organizers and some under sink basket and drawer options and such. I looked at a couple of countertop options that were a little cheaper than the tray, but they were a little taller than I like and were regular plastic, not acrylic, so they didn't look as nice.
I decided to stick with my tray, but didn't think all of my lip products would fit in it. The tray that I had been looking at from the Container Store came with a lipstick tray and this didn't, but I have a lot of stains and glosses which aren't the standard lipstick size, so that wouldn't have been a solution for all of my lip products anyway. I went looking around for a individual bowl-type thing or two to keep my lipsticks in. I browsed down the candle aisle and found a really pretty candle holder for seven or eights bucks, but it wasn't big enough for everything and was expensive enough that I didn't want to buy two. Down another aisle I found a little square glass vase marked down to five dollars, and I looked at it for a couple minutes and almost put it in my car, when I was like, duh, I see stuff like this at the Dollar Store all the time. So I bought my tray and headed over there, were I found these Libbey brand (you might recognize the name from cheap glass kitchen items like wine glasses and bowls) candle holders. I bought four just in case.
Here's what we started with:
I got them in my designated makeup shelf in the tiny bathroom I share with my boyfriend and realized they fit perfectly!
|The lighting in the bathroom is atrocious. Sorry!|
After a little trial and error, here's what I've come up with.
I have red and orange type shades in the jar on the left, and pink and other shades in the jar on the left. My face and eye makeup brushes go in the two back jars. I keep them sorted like this to make each brush easier to find, but if I needed to I could combine them in one jar and use the third jar for something else. In the back of the tray I've got my foundations/bb creams, blushes (I did not realize how many of these I've collected until now), and bronzers. Next to that in the four little sections I have eyeliner pencils, liquid eyeliner, gel liners, and mascaras. In the little compartment on the far right I have a couple of different concealers. On the front left I have all of the eyeshadows that I "use" (I tried to weed out any that I simply never use or don't like), with multi-shadow containers (duos, quads, etc) lined up and creams and individuals pots laid out. My palettes sit stacked on another shelf. The front right compartment just has my pencil sharpener and a couple of powders in it right now, but I like that it leaves me with some room to grow.
The tray cost fifteen and some change, I believe, and the four glass jars were a dollar each, so all of this storage only cost me about twenty bucks. That's thirty dollars less than what I almost spent! I'm really happy with it, plus these are pieces that would transition well to a vanity or dresser top. Flexible, affordable, and effective is exactly what I wanted. This storage system obviously wouldn't work for someone with a huge collection, but it's just fine for an every gal.