Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Temptalia’s Beauty Closet – Storage & Organization Tips & Tricks

There is really no post/video that is requested more than to see my “collection.”  I really don’t think of it as a collection so much as the Temptalia Archives or the Temptalia Beauty Closet.  If I’m buying makeup, the first question I ask is, “Do readers want to see this reviewed?”  It’s only a rare occasion that I will buy a product with no thought about whether it’s something that makes sense for the blog–I prefer to dedicate as much time as possible to testing products for reviews (and there is never enough time!!).

I do personally enjoy looking at how other people organize their makeup, especially as it grows in quantity and becomes unwieldy, so I hope that you’ll find some storage and organization solutions that are helpful.  I’ve been using this system for two years or so, and I can’t see myself drastically changing it any more.  It’s what I always wanted: a flexible, expandable system that looks good but doesn’t have everything on display so it can look clean and contained.  The first seven minutes are all disclosures/disclaimers (reiterated below in text) just so I’m clear and cover all the bases :)

The “fine print” as it were: some products I have purchased, some products were received as product samples. I disclose whether it was received or purchased in individual reviews. This is definitely not your usual “collection,” as I am a beauty blogger, and I review 3-4 products per day, sometimes as many as 30 in a day (hello, MAC collections!). :) I do donate to a local legal aid organization that provides free/low-cost legal services to victims of domestic violence.

Products mentioned:

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

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118 thoughts on “Temptalia’s Beauty Closet – Storage & Organization Tips & Tricks

  1. Isabel Kraut

    O.M.G. Your collection is divine.

  2. Avatar of Marina Marina

    OH MY GOODNESS. Christine, you are the best and so organized!

  3. I am DYING over that Nars drawer! Awesome!

  4. Sandy

    Really well done, thank you, Christine and Mellan! Also, this was my first glimpse of your engagement ring, and it’s sooo pretty :)

  5. This is amazing, Christine! Thanks so much for helping us :) I’m sure that this will prove informative for ALOT of people :D

  6. kasiaj85

    OMG! this has been my dream-video ever since I first visited your blog! Awesome collection!
    Adopt me Christine!!! :))))

  7. Collier Phillips

    oh my goodness. can i come live with you?

  8. I just watched the whole thing and so enjoyed it, everything is so well organized and I love it! I wouldn’t like it if it were my stash, you know, I like make-up but this would be like.. what the f… am I going to put on this morning? But as you say, it’s because of your blog. And as a job. Well that’s nice :)

    • It’s easy to get inspired by a particular color – you’ll just wake up and be like, “I really want to use X today!” and then the rest comes together naturally — well, that’s how it used to be, before I became all serious blogger ;P

  9. Christina

    Christine, this video inspired me and so many other beauty addicts to grow our collection! It got so much better after reading that you donate to victims of domestic violence. I’m 15, a makeup and beauty lover. I learn so much from Temptalia :)
    Your donation to such an amazing cause relates to my family and I just want to thank you for everything. For you dedication to sharing makeup and your kindness.

    • Thank you, Christina! :)

      There is really something special about it – it is always heartwarming to hear back from the organization about how it’s helped return a smidgen of confidence to someone or even just made them smile for a moment. Makeup can be something that really helps with our self-esteem when we’re really feeling down, but it’s often something that can’t be justified to purchase.

  10. Eeeeee!!!! Mellan!!! <3

    And I know that was not the point of the video, but I just had to comment on his cuteness. Love how organized you are, and all of the tips are very helpful.

  11. Avatar of Hannah Hannah Spano

    Christine, this video is an awesome and helpful video of your Temptalia collection. While watching your video, I was wondering when you typically review a product, like a lipstick, how long does it take you to find dupes for them amongst the multitude of lipsticks you have?

    Giving to charity is always so rewarding. Knowing that the products are going to someone who needs it and will help their self esteem.

    Great, great work with the organization. I love it :)

    • Hi Hannah!

      Not too long any more, because of The Swatch Gallery! :) The whole idea came out of, “I wish I could see all my swatches at once so I could determine dupes without having to rely on my faulty memory!” If the dupes are really obvious, then it’s really that quick, but if the dupes are less obvious, or the shades seem similar but off, I’ll go and pull the products out and see in person.

  12. Avatar of Cindy Cindy

    Mellan <3 So cute!

    Anyways.. :P

    Love your collection! I drooled the entire video! I also love your storage system, It's so organized! (Except the dreadful pigment drawer haha :P)

  13. Nichole

    I just purchased a new storage cart yesterday. Just in time to be too late.

  14. Miss J

    Ok, I didn’t get to watch fully, yet. I had to pause the video then it froze on me! Is the container store web site just http://www.containerstore.com? Also, any plans to review NARS’ Tinted Moisturizer? I know you typically try to test products for a bit before reviewing, so was just curious if that might be to come. Ok, now I got back to try to watch the rest of the video, lol.

    • Miss J

      Alright, watched fully now, haha. Thank you for showing us all your storage and collection of products! Even with the disclaimer, “this is why I have so much,” you know there’s still going to be those annoying people making annoying comments…OY.

      • We were trying to figure out if I should do a verbal explanation or if just showing text stills in the video would have been more appropriate… went with verbal, should have done text! I think less would have skipped past it, LOL!

    • Yep, it is! :)

      It’s not on the list right now – I did receive a sample, but it’s very dark on me!

  15. Monica

    You are the Willy Wonka of make-up

  16. Christel

    I love seeing collections!
    It does make my stash seem very very tiny, though!

    They do make double Besta’s. Or it can also be just Ikea in Holland but I’ve been there yesterday and I saw the double ones.
    The Helmer drawers seem a bit wobbly under the weight of the polishes. Or isn’t it that bad?

    • They’re just a little wobbly in general – but they’ve been holding those polishes like that for over a year and were moved as-is (no additional packing material, just were saran wrapped to keep the drawers from coming out). The drawers aren’t sagging or anything!

  17. Avatar of Thu Thu

    I would love to see how you store the stuff that you actually use regularly, your own “personal use” makeup. (I’m assuming that if you’re in a hurry for school or a meeting or a date, you don’t try poking through all those drawers to find the one perfect thing.) Or do you just wear whatever you’re working on reviewing at the time?

    • I keep foundations, primers, etc. that I use regularly in the bathroom where I do my makeup, and I do have a few go-to blushes there as well. As far as eyeshadows, lipsticks/glosses, liners, and the like, I usually wear something I’m testing out. I really have no qualms about testing something and going out, even if it may be a fail, LOL. I’ve worn some crease-city products out and about – most of the people I know understand ;) If I had an important event, it’s usually neutrals, and then I’ll just grab an Hourglass duo out of the drawer!

  18. Nadia

    What was the name of your favourite gloss Christine?

  19. Avatar of Lisa Lisa

    :O

    You’ve obviously but in a lot of hard work, time, and $$$ into your blog… and we all appreciate it <3

  20. Bernice

    Beauty heaven! haha and thanks for having the camera stationary cos when other people show their collections they also move the camera too much and my head hurts but this video was awesome :D :D it’s like the cleaner and better version of sephora to me :P

  21. Lsia

    OMG.

    Words fail, but. Wow.

  22. Michelle

    Amazing and very informative! :)

    I actually wasn’t surprised that your collection is this huge! I know a lot of the products are sent by companies, but you probably still pay for a lot of things yourself. I’m guessing the stuff you buy are funded by this site but wouldn’t it save more money if you made some sort of deal with stores to buy unused testers? I don’t know, just a thought, haha.

    • Hey Michelle! :)

      It definitely goes up each year – as does how much I spend on beauty! Somehow, you’d think it would go down, but it doesn’t!

      I don’t think there are stores that would do that – but I don’t know if I’d be comfortable with it. I don’t even like buying products in-store any more because I’m so paranoid about whether they’ve been opened or not, LOL!

    • Jen

      I think the testers are sometimes products that were returned and so the store can’t resell them, unless the product just came out then I’m sure they just end up opening a product to be a tester so I can’t imagine such thing as an unused tester.

      • I read that for MAC stores, they are required to throw away all returned products – even ones that appear to be unopened – because you just don’t know what people could have done to the product.

        At Sephora, they put stickers on all returns, so I’m pretty sure they dispose of them somehow, and don’t use them as testers.

        Small makeup stores might though!

        • Miss J

          Yeah, MAC doesn’t restock returned products from what I’ve been told at MAC. They throw them in the B2M bin to be recycled. I’m pretty sure it’s every makeup places policy to toss returned products. I would sure hope so, at least!

          • Heather

            I can conform that yes, this is true for mac! Even if a product is sealed, we absolutely cannot put it back on the shelf or use it for a tester. I think MAC has some of the best sanitary practice guidelines in the industry for this reason. It feels wasteful at times, however I know it is being recycled!

  23. Avatar of Ana Ana G.

    Wow!! I’m speechless!

  24. KK

    Thank you for sharing! It’s really cool to see “inside” the blog and also cool to hear a little bit about the other stuff, like your donating products and how you receive products and decide what to review. All very cool. Love your blog, whenever I want to buy new makeup you’re always my first resource for reviews, swatches, or ideas. Keep up the good work, I’m a big fan!

  25. Leah

    I am so incredibly glad not to have your collection (in the nicest way possible of course). It’d be interesting for twenty minutes then I’d be so annoyed because I’d never be able to finish anything. For some reason it’s just so satisfying to get to the end throw things out. Thank you for sharing though, those clear containers seem super useful.

    • Not to worry!

      Oddly enough, one of the things I have learned is that a well-edited collection is MUCH, MUCH better and more satisfying than a collection that’s large just because. It’s better to buy the lipstick you’ll love 100% every time you wear it, and you’ll wear it often, than every shade just because!

  26. Avatar of Tensy Tensy

    I am a lawyer and a librarian and I commend you on your organizational skills; and also for creating this wonderful beauty archive. Do you have a call number system like libraries use to locate particular makeup items? It would be so much fun to develop a cataloging system for your cosmetics (and yes, I am a geek!) so that you could quickly find each item. I often get frustrated having to lift each palette to find the right one, I can’t imagine what it must be like for you! I keep a MS Word file of all my make-up by category (so I don’t buy duplicates), but finding them in my drawers is a whole other story.

    • I wish! I’m not quite so organized. At best, everything was inventoried and is at least on record in some way or another. A lot of times I do things in alphabetical order when I can, but unsurprisingly, it gets messed up. You should create a cataloging system for your own drawers!! That would be amazing!

  27. Erin

    All I have to say: WOW.

  28. beachgal

    A good place to donate your cosmetics, skin care, polish is local Women’s Shelters. You need to call ahead and check as to what they can/will take. Of course no one wants dirty, messy stuff, or old smelling stuff. But most really like barely used polish. They cannot take lipstick unless it’s new. Ditto with eye products.

    We have a home for developmentally disabled adults close by that also likes to get some things – they really like to get your old bras ladies. Big need for those as well as real sized underpanties. They tend to take some of the makeup that others won’t.

    I also give some makeup that is in good condition to friends who work in larger offices (or small ones too) for the other gals in the office to paw through. If you live near houses with teens, they love to get a bag of stuff now and then and call up their friends to come over and look/play.

    • Great tips! :)

      Some local places will take lightly used (like once or twice) products, but they can be harder to find and sometimes it’s a very informal process. High school clubs/organizations can be good, as I know several do outreach to the communities and since it’s a less formal gathering, they’re more likely to take well-kept products that may not be brand new.

  29. beachgal

    How many bottles of polish on average does 1 Helmer hold? I think I heard 500 somewhere way in the past. I have got to do something – I have ~1500 and that’s been purged a # of times since this collection started in the late 80′s with some pre OPI CND’s and some original OPI’s. I don’t have a blog so no blog sales for me that I really need to do because I have some polishes I am ready to part with that are used. Many black labels too that I know collectors like to have esp.

    • Anywhere from 500 to 800 I would say – it truly depends on the bottle size. Bottles like Rescue Beauty Lounge will fit more to a drawer than round bottles like China Glaze.

  30. Avatar of Paula Paula

    An amazingly organized space — very impressive! I do wonder about your brush storage. And your mascara storage. Just hunting for ideas, you know.

    Congrats on your engagement, your home…and of course, that sweet dog!

    • Thanks so much, Paula! :) It’s not so exciting, but we will put up another video soon – I had originally filmed it to be all in one, but this one was getting so long. I actually had to reshoot this so that I could speed through!

  31. Emily

    Lovely collection! :D I’ve wondered how your collection has grown since 2010′s video.

  32. jenny

    Thanks a lot for posting this video Christine, it was super helpful and motivational! I have to get my clutter/hoarding in order…. lol…

  33. I love this video! It’s so cool to see it – and so well organized! – I’m glad you decided to show us.

    I hope no one gives you a hard time about having so much – it’s your full-time job to review products, so of course you have a lot, and you need to keep it so you can compare things later.

    I love seeing organization posts of collections both large and small. I’d say that my stash is sort of medium sized – I have WAY more makeup than the average woman, but way less than most people who blog, I’d guess.

    • I love seeing them as well – and I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I like looking at larger collections to see how people handle them, LOL!

  34. Avatar of Jennifer Jennifer

    Awesome collections luv’em

  35. Loved the video, but one big question came to my mind, as always when I see big collections like this: what about the product’s shelf life? I realise you get a lot of products sent to you all the time, but still, a lot of the make up must be more than a few months or years old. Do you just keep everything or even use everything even if it’s expired? Like for example all the lipsticks, they’re supposed to expire after about a year.

  36. Oh Gosh! I love your MAC drawer and NARS drawer. To die for.

  37. katie

    i have a black lab mix named Fisher that i adopted about 6 months ago. he’s only just over a year old, but he’s massive. mellan is always so cute! i love that put-upon look labs and retrievers can have like “yes, i know i’m cute but must you always film me? my life is really hard you know! *big doggy sigh*”

  38. I’m only a quarter way through the video… but a couple of observations, if I may.

    1). There’s totally room for me in your NARS drawer.
    2). I wish we had a Container Store in the UK
    3). Your engagement ring is b.e.a.utiful

    As you were. *clicks play again*

  39. Just found the “linus” drawer organiser in the UK.

    http://www.johnlewis.com/163764/Product.aspx

    UK Price = £7 (equivalent $10.99)

    Grrr.

  40. Tigress

    All I could look at was your gorgeous ring.

  41. Kelly

    WOW! can i come shop at your…beauty closet? hahah :P

  42. san

    WOWi mean really wow esp for the limited edition MAC blushes drawer :), i almost felt i cOuLd just reach in pick one out :),thank u for sharing..ive been struggling with ideas for arranging, whether to do it based on color family or shape of containers or brandwise..Im going to the nearest IKEA to check out the tall drawer.

  43. Your collection is like going to Sephora! You live with a makeup store, it’s great, and love that you are so neat with your stuff, thanks for sharing!

  44. Angeli

    Hi Christine,
    Thank you so much for posting this. Kudos to you for keeping an otherwise chaotic and unwieldy collection extremely organized! Your collection beats any store any day because you have limited edition pieces from way back! :)
    You’ve intrigued me with the Cle de Peau #2 gloss…. is it similar to Chanel Twinkle #11 (a glossimer)? I have Twinkle and I’m valiantly trying not to purchase more make up! :)
    Thanks!

  45. Gisela

    Christine…Here I am, I could storage for you! Chanel and Nars please:)

    Love your blog

  46. Sana

    This is what qualifies you as THE internet authority on beauty. I figured you’d have a lot of makeup, but that was absolutely staggering to see concentrated into one area.

  47. Oh mother of everything holy. Forget finding a man. I want to be Mrs. Temptalia’s beauty closet.

    Great video, I enjoyed it and will watch it again when I feel like living vicariously through you (which is often, ha).

  48. NeenaJ

    So much fun to watch! I think most people understand that this in a job for you and expect to see the volume. You crack me up over the pigment drawer as I’m admittedly not very organized and was like, “looks fine to me.” LOL!

    I loved the Zoya and Essie polishes lined up like little soldiers with the rainbow of colors peeking through.

  49. Yana

    You could potentially start another business here, have make-up artists come and work on clients from your home , they win because they have access to tons of make-up and you can actually put some of that stuff to use.

    Congrats on the engagement and the success of the site!

  50. Traci

    Awesome collection! I really like the Besta units. I think my budding makeup collection could fit in just one of your drawers. I also really like the fact that you donate the products you can’t use to those in need!

  51. MonicaP

    Excellent video .. and really cool to see the behind the scenes of a beauty blogger.

  52. Claudia

    Hi C!
    Loved the video! Could you tell me which of those container specifically you use for the MAC lipglasses and lipsticks? I get my transparent compartments from the container store as well but haven’t found the perfect ones for my MAC lipglasses/lipsticks so that I can store them like you did, cap down/label up. Thanks!

    C.

  53. Barbara

    O.M.G. You don’t have time to leave planet earth,
    what a huge collection you have there.
    I geus you are having a hard time to choose what to wear.

  54. Allison

    Christine, did you change the way you organize your nail polishes? It used to be the Ikea Alex, right? I guess what I’m really asking is, why the switch? Trying to figure out how to store my (almost) massive collection of polishes.

    By the way, Mellan is THE cutest! And your engagement ring is so beautiful! :)

    • I did! Too many polishes, not enough space in the Alex – at the end of the day, the Alex is 3x the price of one Helmer but one Helmer holds more than one Alex.

  55. Avatar of Jerilyn jerilyn

    omg… every makeup lover’s dream.

  56. rachel

    OMG! Your collection is amazing! I must congratulate you because you are very organised, everything is in the right place.
    It must be hard to choose a product in the morning because you’ve got so much choice!

  57. Krista

    Amazing collection! I also applaud you for keeping it really organized. I have less than a quarter of your collection and it’s already a mess! :))

  58. Annabelle

    if you line your Helmer with drawer liner, the polishes are less likely to move around and save you the trouble of reorganizing every time.

  59. MAC ADDICT

    You have so much makeup. Doesn’t it get old to the point where you have to toss it? I have less than you and after a couple of months they go bad and have to be tossed.

    • Couple months? I think the only thing that you should be tossing after a few months is mascara, but if you’re having your eyeshadow go bad on you after a couple of months… there’s a problem! But if you watch the video, I spoke on that exact topic for a couple of minutes.

    • Miss J

      What are you doing with your makeup that it goes bad after a couple months?! Mascara guidelines state 3-6 months. Some liners will state 6 months as the max, but most state a year. Most other liquid/cream based products state 1-2 years. Powder products really shouldn’t be going bad as they don’t harbor bacteria as liquid/creams do. Makeup does go bad, and there are general guidelines for products and how long to keep them, but the “lifespan” of makeup can be prolonged a lot by how it’s handled. A lot of products are able to be sanitized, and used in sanitary manners that should help prolong the life of a product. You really shouldn’t have to be throwing out a bunch of stuff after just a few months.

      As for why Christine has so much makeup, the paragraph in this post and the first 7-10 minutes of the video really should have been enough to explain that. Hell, the fact that she is a hardcore beauty blogger and does this on a daily basis should be enough to explain the excessive quantity of product. This is not necessarily her makeup for personal use. She totally may use it, but probably is not slathering on severely expired, rancid products, lol. She keeps old stuff for comparison purposes all in the name of making this blog ridiculously f’n awesome. No, I’m not a kiss ass, I just appreciate dedication.

  60. Allison

    Why did you switch from the Alex to the Helmer for nail polish storage? Dying over your collection! :)

    • Alex just wasn’t efficient enough. I like the way it looks, but I just needed more space without breaking the bank on furniture. If I was a normal person, an Alex would have been just fine :)

      • Allison

        Ah okay, thank you! I had the same initial issues with the Helmer as you did, so I still haven’t decided. The Alex just looks so… sturdy? For lack of a better word haha

        • It is sturdier in one sense, but the Helmers, while they feel a little flimsy/wobbly, there’s no concern about drawers sagging over time. Because the particle board in the Alex is much, much wider, it could be a problem. I didn’t have any issues, and I think I used it for 1-2 years now – as I only recently moved everything into Helmers a few months ago. If you got the tall, skinny Alex, that might be a good solution since each drawer would carry less weight.

  61. Dev

    Is it sad that I thought “I aspire to have a collection like this.”?
    Because then I thought “This is all for a legitimate website/business..”
    Maybe owning quite this much for personal use is a bit over the top, but I do love this organization!

  62. ruthless

    You are such a sweetheart Christine. I have to admit, there were a few times I wanted to push you over, grab the drawer and run during your video. Good for you for weeding through it and donating, I would keep it all. Keep ALL the make up. What do you do for foundations?

  63. Lets

    Oh fabulous collection ! i need your collection hahah! love you

  64. JuithB

    You should really do a vid on “The Anatomy of a Review” where you take us from the time you get a product to review to the end where you upload it to your blog. I would love to see the thought process from first to end. Thanks!

  65. Emily

    Thanks for the suggestions. I currently have what you described as ‘cheap, flimsy’ cabinets, and I’m sure they’re just going to collapse one day, breaking my glass bottles and messing up my own organization! I think the IKEA BESTAs look perfect (not as many as you, natch); because I have only just started buying nail polish, I could even use a drawer in the BESTA for that, unless it would break the bottom.

    Like the others on here (and I just have to say, it’s much nicer reading the comments on this page, rather than the ones on youtube; so many demands for you to give people your stuff, and only some seem to be joking there), I’ve been wondering for a while how someone who’s had years to hone their system would store a slew of cosmetic items. Now we know!

    Congrats on your engagement; I wish you both a lifetime of love and laughter together.

    • Thank you, Emily!

      I think the Besta drawers should hold up – I mean, I have those Rouge Gs weighing it down SO much. If you know anyone who is at all handy (or you are), you could use drawer enforcers underneath as well to ensure it would hold up!

  66. Avatar of jessica jess

    This inspired me to do my own collection tour :)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKm4py_CWY4
    I wana organize my collection more likes yours, I can imagine it
    took a very long time to get it so neat though lol

  67. The most important question is: where I could find a Mellan? :D

  68. Avatar of Simone simone lymbery

    Hey Christine,
     
    just a question: How do you know when your make up is expired? do you do a clean out of your make up to make sure its fresh?
     
     

  69. Bobbinoggin

    I noticed you don’t have any OPI. I realize you can’t necessarily cover every brand on the planet and the amount you do review is amazing. I was wondering though, if there was a specific reason you don’t do OPI?

    I’m in love with OPI’s wide brush and am decidedly married to the brand for life unless I discover other brands that utilize the same application style.

  70. These are great organization tips for cosmetic and other personal stuff. These storage ideas are truly helpful in keeping our belongings organized. Thanks for sharing.