Shopping for an acrylic makeup organizer? Hopefully this post will have you covered! I reviewed, stuffed, and critically eyed four systems: Muji 2-Drawer ($25.25), Muji 5-Drawer ($27.95), The Container Store’s Luxe Acrylic Modular System ($109.95), and Sherrieblossom’s Icebox ($415.00). It was important to me to see how the highest, more luxury-priced system compared to a more affordable system, because then I can tell you with confidence whether something is worth it or not, or where the trade offs are.
Click the links below to view the full review for each system along with more photos.
- Muji 2-Drawer ($25.25)
- Muji 5-Drawer ($27.95)
- The Container Store’s Luxe Acrylic Modular System ($109.95)
- Sherrieblossom’s Icebox ($415.00)
It’s hard to compare the pricing of each system at a total unit cost, because each unit is a different size. I tried to take the equivalent of one, full-span drawer and its interior space, which is really what matters. I looked at the price per drawer and calculated the square inches in each drawer, which gives you an idea of the drawer’s space for a single layer of product, as it ignores the vertical space that exists but may not be used. I also took the volume of the interior of each drawer in cubic inches to get a price per cubic inches, which accounts for the ability to layer or stack products. For both measurements, keep in mind that it is very difficult to fully use every single inch of space, but it is a more helpful way to compare across the units, I think, that is more objective. (I really hope I did all the calculations right!)
Muji 2-Drawer ($25.25) is going to be your worst-value proposition, as each drawer is typically too short to layer products but tends to be a little too tall for a really efficient single layer drawer. However, for storing makeup brushes like fluffy face and cheek ones, it is ideal, as it gives enough height for the brushes to slide in and out without getting caught, whereas the shorter 5-Drawer may be too short. The best aspect of the 2-Drawer system is that it should stack the best, so as you grow, it can grow and stack nicely. I would eye the use of this very, very critically and see if you are storing products that would really fill up the height well or if the shorter 5-Drawers would work just as well for you.
- Best For: Large/Face Makeup Brushes, oversized eyeshadows or blushes, thicker palettes
- Pros: Designed to be stackable, so good for expanding collections; drawers slide on well, low entry cost
- Cons: Costly for the space you get, not tall enough to layer most products but taller than a single layer of most products, may be hard to see in person, more prone to scratches
- Where to Buy: Muji
Muji 5-Drawer ($27.95) is the best bang for your buck when it comes to displaying products in single layers. I also found the width of it to be slightly better for the majority of items I tried–things just fit better across with less wasted space. It could be deeper, as could the 2-Drawer, by an inch or two and be more efficient for makeup storage. The drawers slide on easily, full extend or can be removed and placed like trays on a surface, so it’s easy to access any part of your stash. Each drawer is shorter, so something like a foundation bottle will not fit, but it is ideal for blush, lipstick, eyeshadow, eyeliners, eye brushes, lipgloss, etc. stored flat in a single layer. It is the cheapest for storing products as a single layer.
- Best For: displaying products as a single layer — eyeshadows, lipsticks, gloss, blush, eye brushes, most palettes
- Pros: Affordable/good price per sq. in., drawers slide in and out well, sturdy enough for most uses
- Cons: More prone to scratches, less stackable (rubberized feet, but you should be able to stack one more on top and keep heavier items in the bottom one), may be hard to see it in person
- Where to Buy: Muji
The Container Store’s Luxe Acrylic Modular System ($109.95) consists of components so you can build your own system, so the one I purchased cost $109.95, but the pieces range from $11.99 to $29.99, so the actual cost will depend on what components you select (I made some combination recommendations here). I really liked that there was an option for a taller size, which would allow you to store quads, palettes, blushes, powders, and lipsticks vertically; the latter is more important to me, because labels facing upwards is my preferred way to find lip products. However, the tall is not tall enough for lipgloss (not even MAC Lipglass, which is a shorter gloss). Makeup storage systems are so dependent on very personal factors: 1) what you own, 2) how you use and reach for your makeup, and 3) how much you own, which is why the customization aspect of the height and width of the drawers is a huge advantage of this system. The major downside is that the drawers are flush with the exterior, so you can sometimes hear the drawers squeak as it rubs against the base, and if the drawers slid out more like the other three systems, it would be near perfect. I felt like this was storing endless combinations and types of products, and things tended to fit well without having to offset a lot.
- Best For: versatility, you can store the greatest type and amount of products across the various sizes; form and function (higher quality than Muji but lower initial investment cost compared to Icebox)
- Pros: customizable/versatile as you can select your components to best fit your stash and how you use/reach for products, quality acrylic, ability to see it in-store (to a degree; not everyone will be close enough to a location), stores a lot, enough weight to keep everything in place, easily expanded or rearranged as needs change (can also easily be repurposed for other things if you decide one component doesn’t work as well)
- Cons: drawers are flush with the exterior holder portion, so they don’t slide as smoothly as the other systems; possibly overwhelming on how to choose your components (they should create some “buy it all” combinations)
- Where to Buy: The Container Store
Sherrieblossom’s Icebox Wide ($415.00) (provided as a press sample) seemed to have the highest quality of the four systems I tested. Muji’s acrylic is the thinnest at 2mm on its drawers, while Container Store’s was 3mm; Icebox had 5mm, so significantly thicker and more durable. It was also the one that looked the best after sustained use, and it had a clearer, more crystal-like quality to it. To me, this one is only worth getting if you really need the size (it’s quite large) AND you expect to layer your products, because then you can maximize the vertical space of each drawer. As it is a single unit, it is sturdier than the Container Store’s option. For storing single layers of product, there is a lot of wasted vertical space in each drawer. I also highly recommend the Skinny over the Wide, because the top section is 5 inches in height for more versatility, if going with this option. My favorite part about this system was how well each drawer slid out (they also can be removed) and inclusion of inserts for dividing up the space of each drawer. I think the functional use of space could be improved, even the quality of the unit is high.
- Best For: layering products — the two inch drawer height begs you to layer your products, can also store the average single eyeshadow on the side, which may be practical for more “long term” storage, or for someone who wants a higher quality acrylic
- Pros: high quality acrylic that’s very clear, thick, and sturdy; single unit means it is sturdier and the thicker acrylic contributes a lot of weight even when empty; drawers slide beautifully in and out, hinged lid enables you to use the top section without height restraints, inserts enable you to divide the wide drawers into compartments
- Cons: price (high investment cost and still expensive on a price per square inch/cubic inch basis), lower accessibility, will have a lot of wasted vertical space if you don’t expect to layer products
- Where to Buy: Sherrieblossom
I personally found the The Container Store’s Luxe Acrylic Modular System to work best for storing makeup overall. Its strength is that aspect of customization and that made it the most functional for me. It’s not a cheap system, but it can be built in stages or as your needs expand, so you can spread the cost out over time. I also really liked the Muji 5-Drawer and think it is an excellent solution for storing products in single layers with little wasted space, and the best part is that it ended up being the most cost-effective of the four systems. Between the two, I highly recommend considering how you currently store your products; do you want them all laid out, do you want to store anything vertically, and so forth. I don’t think anyone who’s housing their stash in acrylic organizers is throwing the units across the room, and the Mujis are plenty sturdy for sitting on a desk or vanity.
Acrylic organizers are best suited for stashes that fit inside one entirely, or for storing your favorites, essentials, or current rotation. I think that an organizer on top of an Ikea Alex drawer unit (9-drawer is the most popular and costs $129) is an excellent solution that’s clean, looks good, stores a lot, but it offsets some of the cost of housing bulkier products or ones you don’t reach for as often by using the Alex for that purpose.
What do I use for storing makeup? First, keep in mind that I have an archive of makeup, so my storage needs are extremely high. I’ve gone through various systems over the years, but I’ve been happy with my current solution for the last four years. I use a 16-drawer Ikea Besta unit with high gloss black drawer fronts, which you can see here, and I have three of them; this is the more permanent, long-term storage, and I use organizers within each drawer to maximize space and still be able to find things (this post details what I use). They don’t sell the Besta frame I use anymore, but they have a single column frame (as well as smaller frames), which runs you $70, plus the cost each drawer and front (this is where it gets pricey). Mine were $560 each, but the height of the drawers was more effective for me compared to Alex 9-drawers, as I can stand lipglosses vertically. I use a Besta Burs (70″ version) as my vanity, and it has two pull-out drawers; it is not particularly efficient for storing products (and I hate that the drawers don’t fully extend), but it’s narrow and perfect for me as I keep the majority of makeup stored on the Besta units and only keep things like foundation, favorite blushes, and so forth in the vanity.