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Best Makeup Organizers: Acrylic Organization Systems Overview

Makeup Organization: Acrylic Organizers

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.

Full Reviews

Click the links below to view the full review for each system along with more photos.

Makeup Organization: Acrylic Organizers

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.

See more photos!

Muji 2-Drawer Acrylic Drawers
Muji 2-Drawer Acrylic Drawers

Muji 2-Drawer Acrylic Drawers
Muji 2-Drawer Acrylic Drawers

Muji 2-Drawer Acrylic Drawers
Muji 2-Drawer Acrylic Drawers — 24 x MAC Lipsticks

Muji 2-Drawer Acrylic Drawers
Muji 2-Drawer Acrylic Drawers — Brushes

Muji 5-Drawer Acrylic Drawers
Muji 5-Drawer Acrylic Drawers

Muji 5-Drawer Acrylic Drawers
Muji 5-Drawer Acrylic Drawers — 23 x Urban Decay Eyeshadows

Muji 5-Drawer Acrylic Drawers
Muji 5-Drawer Acrylic Drawers — 12 x NARS Blushes

The Container Store Luxe Acrylic Modular System
The Container Store Luxe Acrylic Modular System

The Container Store Luxe Acrylic Modular System
The Container Store Half Short Luxe — 14 x NARS Lipglosses

The Container Store Luxe Acrylic Modular System
The Container Store Wide Medium Luxe — 35 x Urban Decay Eyeshadows (plus four on the side)

The Container Store Luxe Acrylic Modular System
The Container Store Half Tall Luxe — 70 x NARS Audacious Lipsticks

Sherrieblossom Icebox Wide
Sherrieblossom Icebox Wide

Sherrieblossom Icebox Wide
Sherrieblossom Icebox Wide — 24 x MAC Blushes (Grid Insert)

Sherrieblossom Icebox Wide
Sherrieblossom Icebox Wide — 4 x NARS Blushes, 5 x ColourPop Super Shock Cheeks,
8 x Urban Decay Eyeshadows (per layer), 8 x MAC Lipsticks, 8 x NARS Lipglosses,
2 x Make Up For Ever Artist Palettes (Grid Insert)

Sherrieblossom Icebox Wide
Sherrieblossom Icebox Wide — 36 x NARS Lipglosses + 8 x NARS Blushes (Slide Insert)

Makeup Organization: Temptalia's System
My personal system: Ikea Besta Burs 70″ High Gloss White Vanity

Makeup Organization: Temptalia's System
My personal system: Ikea Besta with 16x pull out drawers, High Gloss Black

Makeup Organization: Temptalia's System
My personal system: Interior of drawer (Guerlain products; those Rouge Gs are stacked,
so there are actually four trays of them in this drawer, alphabetized and separated by status)

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119 Comments

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This is so helpful, Christine! I have been trying to organize my stash and this gives me lots of ideas!

I see that you are storing a lot of your lip glosses upside down, which certainly makes it much easier to read labels. Do you notice that this makes it messier to open the tubes? I would be worried that the top of the tube would get kind of gunky since the product would slide that direction in storage (if that makes sense).

No, I’ve never felt this was an issue! I can only recall one gloss ever leaking, which was a Bite Beauty lip creme, and it wasn’t even stored upside but on its side (not even put away yet — I have a 5″ long stain on a banister).

I have a couple of very random lipstick stains around my house as well (including one on a wall)! It’s so strange how that happens. Good to know that there isn’t an issue with storing those liquid products upside down, because it seems like such a better way to find a particular shade than what I have going right now!

I enjoyed reading your reviews on all of these organizers. So insightful and inspiring. You’ve really gotten me to consider new organizing options for my current makeup stash.

Your personal organization system is so nice, sleek, and clean! ^^

your vanity is gorgeous! where did you find those containers for your brushes? brush storage is the most difficult for me. i just can’t find something i like. your’s looks so sleek and easy to organize-like you can actually find the brush you are looking for on the first try. i’ve tried various cups, brush holders, jars, etc., but i can never find just the right size/height.

this post is super helpful-thank you! my husband was going to buy me the wide icebox, but i told him i’d rather have $500 to spend on makeup instead of plastic! i’m glad i didn’t get it because i don’t like to layer if i can help it.

They’re just drinking glasses from Target! They were sold in sets of four, and I think they were $4 or $5! Then they’re filled with round, glass bead filler.

Thank you Christine for such a detailed review of makeup organizers. Icebox looks grand but the Container Store system looks very close. Icebox seems of the greatest quality but I would be willing to forgo smaller quality issues getting the Container Store organizer.

I think that you won’t notice the difference while using it, except with how the drawer slides out, compared to the Icebox, with the Container Store one!

I use a couple of two drawer Muji’s for overspill/seasonal pieces that are rotated and a French style dressing table but this was a good read. Damn that Rouge G collection though! You have got to be the most thorough beauty blogger. I love how in depth you go on these things too.

This was awesome and really timely for me. I’ve almost bought but been holding back on makeup organizers because I just couldn’t decide which ones were right for me. Some of them actually seemed like they would create MORE clutter (I only devote one approx 3ft wide shelf for makeup so I need to utilize vertical space. I keep a lot of stuff in its original box so I can stack them directly on the shelf). My biggest issue now is single eyeshadows which lately I’ve amassed and the anticipation of quite a few Colourpop cheek products… these things aren’t as stackable and I have them piled in various random bowls and boxes. I bought the Muji 5 drawer and I think I made the right choice. Thanks!

I bought this 8 drawer, 2 foot tall, acrylic organizer on eBay 4 years ago and they’re still for sale. It’s the best thing ever! And it was $150. The bottom drawer is deep enough for nail polishes, but I use it to house my mac highlighters/beauty powders, large compacts on their ends. I hope it’s ok to post the link. http://www.ebay.com/itm/290519814111

As someone who tries to teach practical applications of math to liberal arts majors, you did a fantastic job on this cost/value analysis! I’m very impressed with this post, even if it’s making me give the side-eye at my toolbox makeup storage stuffed under the sink.

Thank you for this information and all that you do! Your website is a “go to” for me anytime I am thinking of purchasing beauty products, or need an unbiased opinion on products. You’re great Christine! Thank you again for all this information and all the work that goes into your research, comparison, swatches etc.!

You did a bang up job on this girl! I could not have asked for more. Thank you so much for adding your personal storage onto the end. I certainly do not need the amount of storage you do. What an amazing collection! I don’t need an acrylic for my entire stash. But, I have been thinking about one to put liner, glosses, etc in one. Just depends on how this cabinet turns out. I have seen people use them for a weekly or daily box to make themselves use up old things more. Plus, My daughter needs something for her mess! Very useful! Thank you!

Oh, I forgot to thank you for telling me about the Simple Human mirror! I got one for Mother’s day! Love it! I will never have a stray brow again and can can pretty much apply my makeup in a dim or dark room .Wow that is magnified! I made an appointment with my firend who is an esthetician the day after I received it,lol!

I do! I’d make myself nuts if I didnt!The first time I looked in it I was wondering if there was a switch to turn the magnification down,lol. I have gotten used to it now. But, seriously it’s really nice. My creepy new neighbors aren’t watching me put on my makeup now,lol! Plus it saved me from tearing a whole thru my house to run more overhead lighting which I actually read may just cause unwanted shadows. So, I saved me tons of $ and creepers,& shadows! I cannot thank you enough!

Yay! I’m so glad it is working as well as it is, Nicole. Always nice when a pricey purchase works out exceptionally well! Though certainly cheaper than overhead lighting, I think, lol!

Yes it is! The quote was close to $5000. I would have had to install an extra electric box. Hire a professional,etc. No fun! I was planning to buy a new couch and work on our deck this summer. We just moved here late last summer and was bummed that that may go to the wayside or maybe have to take out loans which I don’t like having. I’m still paying head school loans!

Haha! I don’t think many do. I watch YouTube collection videos, because I like to see new solutions, but everyone does a much better job editing down their stashes than I, lol!

Well, if I were in your position,I don’t think I could let go of most of the stuff you review.Honestly, I think you probably review more than anyone I have seen and quite a bit you purchase on your own. So, its your right to do with it as you please. I have a few old palettes that once in a while I will think about passing on. But,I just can’t and it’s just a personal hobby for me. Its your career. So, I think your good. I must admit my envy over the Rouge G and Tom Ford fragrance collection though! But, you work so hard and it is every bit earned!

You’d be surprised at how much I donate/pass on to family (something like a gloss I’ve used directly from would go to family), LOL! I just put aside 30 or 40 Dior quints, all Dolce & Gabbana products I had (I never reach for them, and nobody ever asks about them for dupes!). But you better believe I hang onto the Rouge Gs and Tom Fords 😉 In general, unless I think it’s useful to keep for future duping/comparisons OR I genuinely like it, I try to pass it on in some form before it’s too old!

Christine, you outdid yourself with these organizer reviews. You thought of everything! It’s especially helpful when you listed how many ____ it holds. That really helps to visualize the size better. The presentation looks great, too. Kudos!

I loved all of the different options that you presented. Especially the photos with all the Nars goodies. lol That one drawer that could hold up to 30+ bushes, eyeshadow quads, and things of that nature had to be my main fav. The audacious lipstick storage was a close second. I think another option for people who are into makeup storage are some of the byalegory products because they help with storage and they can go inside of drawers in some cases. Ex: compact holder, eyeshadow holder, and possibly the lipstick one too. They have several colors and a few of them are totally opaque which is nice for people who prefer that look too. Just wanted to say thank you so much for taking your time and doing real reviews with product displays so we can all get an idea of how our own collections could fit in some of these options. Go Christine!

I haven’t heard of Byalegory products, but I’ll definitely look into them! 🙂 Thank you so much for the suggestion!

I have an ediva and really like it as well as some that look like the Muji drawers, but I can’t remember where I got them. I’m surprised there is such little price difference between the Muji 2 drawer and 5 drawer. I would definitely get another ediva, but they are pricey as well. It would just encourage me to buy more stuff too rather than downsizing which I need to do 🙂

Wow, thanks for the in depth review Christine! I use a combination of the Container Store organizers, but I’m not happy as they still manage to look cluttered over time. I think the biggest handicap is that I prefer in-drawer storage – my closet already has some sort of an in-built Ikea type shelving set up and I have to work with it. These pictures have given me some good ideas though 🙂
P.S – I could look at those NARS lipglosses all day long 🙂

I can totally see that! It’s hard to keep an area clean. Maybe next system can be more in-drawer for you 🙂

your organization and storage is amazing. my type a anal retentive personality is doing a happy dance. but seriously if I could only choose one place in the world to spend the rest of my life I think it would be in your makeup room lol. Fantastic post we all buy makeup but don’t think about where we’re going to put it and it’s a shame to just through things in drawers/bags especially if it’s pretty packaging.

This is an excellent post, Christine! I can’t thank you enough for going into detail about different storage options and the various pros and cons. This comes at a good time for me, because while I have an Ikea Malm Vanity and the Alex 9 drawer, I find myself re-evaluating my storage needs. There are quite a few things that bug me about the Malm (why doesn’t the drawer pull out further!) and the Alex (dimensions), but I think it would drive me insane to store my makeup in acrylic containers where I can see everything (I abhore clutter!). Still, it might be a good idea to have one or two for easy access to my regular items.

You’re a fantastic blogger! I’ve been following you for years and read you daily! You are the most comprehensive and unbiased blogger, but also consistent in your rating system! Keep up the good work!

I am so with you on drawers that don’t fully extend. So very annoying. This is such a must in any situation where there are drawers (kitchen, bathroom, makeup organizers!) – that is my biggest complaint about my Besta vanity.

I’ve always liked the Alex, but I know the drawers are shorter than I prefer (I really like to store glosses vertically), which is why I had to get creative, haha.

Thank you so much, Christina! 🙂 Best of luck figuring out your system!

Awesome article, I love reading your posts like these, they’re so thorough, relevant & extremely detailed! Super helpful, I will be bookmarking this, thanks!
I purchased a container store setup for my small/medium-sized stash about five months ago, and love it! I agree it’s best to play around with the sizes until you find the best solution, but once you figure it out, it is worth it. I easily can see all my stash at once and am able to do my makeup a bit faster, because everything is organized so neatly that I have quick access to anything I need! And it’s true, there’s a bit of squeaking of drawers from time to time, but I find it’s mainly with the heavier drawers only. Doesn’t really bother me, personally. My setup has 1 Wide Medium drawer, 2 Half Tall drawers and 2 Half Short drawers, with a Wide Tray sitting on top. I find the open tray is more versatile for me to place larger things like tall foundation bottles and such on top, as opposed to the makeup organizer tray with slots. I like the half tall drawers because they’re the tallest drawers of the system and will accommodate things like Chanel/Tilbury/Hourglass blushes or Dior/Chanel/Tom Ford eyeshadow palettes stacked vertically, which I prefer over storing flat/single layer. The Wide Medium drawer is great for storing larger palettes. I currently store my 3 Naked palettes, 2 Naked Basic palettes, 2 Z-Palettes, the new MuFE Neutrals palette AND with room for a few other eyeshadow duo’s/singles! Hope this helps others out!

What a great set-up, Laura! Happy to hear you’ve been enjoying the Luxe system for the last five months. Thank you so much for sharing — super helpful 🙂

These posts are so comprehensive and helpful! I wish they had been around a few years ago when I was trying to research the Muji drawers I eventually bought!

I bought a three-drawer (same as the five, just fewer drawers) and stack it on top of a two-drawer, and it holds my eyeshadows, blushes, and lip products. Love it so much. I use to to limit my purchases of those items, basically: if it doesn’t fit in the drawer, I can’t buy it. Sometimes I sit down and play makeup tetris to see if I can fit anything else in!

They’re completely non-functional for foundations, though. I have some stackable cheap acrylic open bins for those.

Christine – I don’t comment much, but now that I am – just want to say that I read everything you write and appreciate your honesty, thoroughness, and perspective very much.

LOL! Makeup tetris — the best kind of tetris! I do take great pleasure in making everything fit just so, haha.

Thank you so much, Adele! 🙂

I’ve been using the Muji 5 drawer and 2 drawer(they also have a few other options like a slimline that works for pencils etc) for quite a few years now and found them to be very sturdy, no cracks scratches or anything, for the price and the amount they can hold I feel like they were the best option for me, a lot of those larger more expensive ones just seem too cumbersome and you can’t really adjust to your needs and even though the drawers are tall I don’t like stacking items, I prefer to be able to see the color or label right away and not have to move things around. It’s great that you did this, it helps to see what works best…if you have a smaller collection the albeit more pricey but compact storage would work best versus a growing collection might work better with a storage system that can also expand/stack.

I’ll have to look into the slimline, Jennifer! It’s so great to hear that readers who have had their Muji drawers longer and how they’ve held up well!

Very thorough, comprehensive review and I totally appreciate it! I’ve had my eye on the Muji and Container Store sets for the longest and now I’m considering trying both. I’d love a couple of the Muji 5 drawers and the Half Tall Luxe drawers as they seem like the best value for me. You just made my life SO much easier. Thank you!

I love seeing how people organize their makeup, I have the Muji 2 draw staked over the five draw. I have two of these on my desk for my everyday makeup and then two five draw Ikea Alex draw dupes for additional makeup storage.

Christine, what are your best tips for storing-

double sided brushes (I normally have brushes in cup style holders, but am worried about bottom bristle damage)

Liquid foundation- I hate laying it flat, so inside most vanity drawers seems to be a no

Mascara- do you think it’s ok to store laying down? I worry about product distribution

Thanks for any advice!!

I keep double-sided brushes stored flat in a container (like a pencil organizer), or else I only like one side and don’t care about the other side. I keep my foundation on my vanity standing up, and ones I’m not using, I lay flat (doesn’t seem to bother me). I’ve always stored my mascara flat!

I have no place to put my stash so I have everything in the bathroom. I have the Muji 5 drawer container which I use to house my colourpop stuff and blushes. I have a circular makeup brush holder to put my brushes and two glass jars from the dollar store to put eyeliners, lip pencils, and lippie stick. All that sits on top of the muji. I have one drawer by the sink for my lip sticks. And for the rest of my stuff, I use an over the door shoe organizer on the bathroom door to put my pallets, brush cleaner, make up remover, cotton pads and other stuff. It not really attractive but everything is within reach. I dream of getting a vanity and a pretty corner to put it in. Someday….

I created a set from The Container Store EXACTLY like the one you did, amusingly enough. But I’ve been very disappointed in them and I intend to return them all. They work great except the drawers are difficult to open due to the tiny, round handles, and worst of all, every single one of the drawers makes this squeaking/groaning sound when I open and close them. Ugh! I far prefer my IKEA storage.

Oh, no! I’m glad you’re able to return it, Kristina! Luckily, I didn’t have that issue with them being difficult to open 🙁

Wow, you’re amazing! This post and the individual reviews of each system is really thorough and extremely helpful. And, for me, very timely as well. I’ve just reached the stage where my current system isn’t working any more and I’ve been trying to figure out how to solve the problem.

I’m glad you linked to your older post as well. I use three IKEA Helmers as storage for my nail polish, perfume and “stuff” and I’ve been slowly clearing out the “stuff” drawers to make room for the makeup I don’t keep on top of the units, but I don’t like just tossing like lip glosses or eyeliner pencils in a drawer. The Linus drawer organizers look like they’d be perfect.

I’m obsessed with the Linus drawers – have used them for years, still use them, and find them incredibly useful for anything small (makeup or otherwise). I also like that they come in different sizes, so you can create your own compartments and then puzzle them together. They don’t interlock, but they fit well with each other, so it’s more like a modular system. They also nest well.

I think it’s wonderful that you took the time and who knows how long to find these pieces, pick and organize and photograph the makeup, write it all up and try to make a cost-benefit analysis, and then add all of the links and cross-referencing. You go above and beyond for your readers, and I appreciate that so much. The amount of work you put into this single post is incredible – thank you!

great series! wish this were here a few years ago when I decided to organize. But I’m done and love my Muji drawers (I find it pretty reasonable even with shipping (plus great packing)–no I’m not associated w/company in any way). I have 5-drawer, 3- and 2- though I’m trying to pare down and so am not even using the 2 now, plus a few bath & body works small candle jars for brushes, pencils etc. Trying not to get anything new unless there’s room in what I currently have.

Shipping wasn’t bad at all, from what I recall! Readers’ have overwhelmingly given good feedback on their Mujis!

What a great series of reviews. I think I must revisit Muji to see if they are as expensive as I think.
I love how you have all your make up organised. I don’t have as much, of course, but it looks so clean and well organised.
I have my makeup in a drawer, organised in various boxes, mugs and an insert for kitchen drawers, I also have alot of eyeshadows in empty Glossyboxes. One of the monthly box subscription thinies.

Worth looking into it. Acrylic is rarely going to be the most cost-effective, but if most of your stuff fits and it would encourage you to use all of your stash and/or make your life easier (even saving five minutes), because it’s all on display, I think it may be well-worth the cost.

Hi Christine, sorry for yet another comment on this amazing post! As far as the link you gave to the single colunm that Ikea currently sells of the Besta, as far as you know does that seem to be the same size as yours-just half? I am going to be a copycat and just send the measurements of that and the drawers to my uncle for the cabinet I would like. I am wanting white gloss though. I know it will be a mess but it matches my decor better. I also noticed you mentioned in a response to anther person, an in-drawer organizing post may be a possible thing for in the future. I am seconding that request! 😀

Hey Nicole,

Yes! Mine is literally just two of them – mine has a single divider between them, so it’s like you’d have two of those but omit one side (so they would share the side that sits in the middle… if that makes sense).

I think High Gloss white works just fine, honestly. Unless you’re really messy, I think it’s fine. 🙂

This post is actually about my in-drawer storage: http://www.temptalia.com/makeup-organization-collection-tips

I just use the Container Store’s Linus Shallow + Deep organizers and either stack them (shallow ones stack well, and what’s nice is I can do a single layer of say ColourPop, and then nest another container on top and fill that one up – I can fit three or four nested in a drawer).

Here are some Instagram photos of when I was doing a recent re-org:

https://instagram.com/p/1MAulQyPxd/?taken-by=temptalia
https://instagram.com/p/1MI40gSP_y/?taken-by=temptalia
https://instagram.com/p/1M5k4qSP56/?taken-by=temptalia
https://instagram.com/p/0_Lm54SP_7/?taken-by=temptalia
https://instagram.com/p/08xg1kSPzk/?taken-by=temptalia
https://instagram.com/p/0tXI-tSP7A/?taken-by=temptalia
https://instagram.com/p/0tWunjSP6A/?taken-by=temptalia

I’d love actual lipstick and gloss holders so that everything stood up really cleanly, but the reality is that when you’re looking to store 300+ lipsticks, it tends to work out to be almost ~$1 to store each one when you do it that way!

It’s a tough choice, I think! I’d really think about how you reach for products, what you like/dislike about your current solution and see which one might solve those problems 🙂

Thanks so much for this series! I was looking for exactly this kind of comparison when my boyfriend promised me a makeup organizer for Christmas last year 🙂

I have some velvet/flocked jewelry dividers, I didn’t even know they were from muji! They are supposed to fit in a three or five drawer unit. My cousin said they have a physical store in NYC. I never thought about storing makeup in one cause they’re so slim, but it looks so nice that I am going to get two units now!

I have had two alex drawers and a table top for the last year. Before that I had muji drawers. I just have too much makeup to use the muji drawers. I really liked them for lipstick though! I have been wanting one acrylic makeup box to hold all my makeup. Zahra beauty store was having a mothers day sale so I finally took the plunge. It has thick acrylic and it’s huge! I think it will last me a long time. I got the one with the most drawers too so I don’t outgrow it anytime soon. Lol. I even had one empty drawer! 🙂 I’m really liking it!

I was always so confused by the $400+ price tag for a plastic box, still am.
I have a 3 and 5 drawer Muji stacked up, with a Container Store lipstick holder on top (all of this sits on top of a 3 drawer piece of Ikea furniture) and I love it. I keep all of my essentials (and then some) in the Mujis and backups/seasonal product/beauty stuff I don’t use every day (like masks) in the top Ikea drawer. I look forward to expending my collection with more Mujis and a different Ikea system, think they are the best and not only for the price. I like how uniform they look as well. I think other makeup boxes try to cater to specific makeup needs too much. I like feeling more freedom and uniformity when deciding what goes where.

Not that I have any idea if it’s really $400 or near that, because of course there is markup, to produce, the best I can explain is that like all things, there are grades of plastic – so the thicker the acrylic, the more expensive it is, and then there are types of acrylics that are more premium than others, I believe, and at the very least, higher quality than traditional forms of plastic. You can buff out scratches in acrylic, and acrylic is less prone (or doesn’t — I’m not 100% certain) to yellowing.

Love this post so much – thanks (as always!) for your hard work! This post has been much needed.

Christine, where did you get your vanity (round) mirror, please?

Love, love, love this round-up. I have two Helmers units, one with nail stuff and the other I was using for makeup, but I really didn’t find it to be that user-friendly for me with makeup. I’m now transitioning that one into accessories/jewellery and craft storage, as I’ve just gotten a Really Useful drawer set. The Really Useful boxes and drawer sets are British, don’t know how international they are, but as the name suggests, they make lots of organisational stuff. It’s a fairly tall, narrow unit as I have limited floor space, and it has eight 7L drawers. If you buy directly from the Really Useful site, you can get all sorts of customisation options and colours, but I got a transparent rainbow set (each drawer is a different colour and the frame is clear). Then I have a little acrylic unit sat on top that looks like a slightly smaller version of your Container Store arrangement, couple drawers on the bottom and a stand-up unit on top for tall items.

And I just got a couple of the Linus organisers, found those on Amazon UK, so your other post showing what will actually fit in the various sizes is absolutely brilliant. I just grabbed a couple different ones that I knew would fit in my new RU drawers and have been poking to see what they will hold.

Now if only my brushes would magically wash themselves… 😉

I have the Muji 5 drawer and the fifth drawer keeps getting stuck. I blow dried it and that worked to get it open once but it hasn’t worked since sigh.

This post couldn’t have come with better timing! Been looking for better storage solutions for my makeup. Thank you SO much for posting this, Christine! This has really helped narrow my research and help me decide 🙂

Awesome post! I am buying my first house soon & I’ll have a small room just for makeup & clothes etc, and this is very inspiring! I have a few acrylic organizers that are similar to the Muji ones, but are from a Vancouver based company called Posh. (I’m in Canada so was looking for a Canadian company so I wasn’t killed by the duties) They were a little pricey but I am happy with them and I figure I will always have them since they seem to be of very good quality.
I got two 5 drawers, two 2 drawers and a tray to sit on top of one. I got a nice looking nail polish organizer from them too that I’m waiting to set up after I move, its going to be exciting to get that up on the wall and see all the colours.
I’ve also bought a couple different random one-piece acrylic makeup organizers, some just for lipstick. One I got for about $5 from Amazon…I will probably get more of these since I really like having my lipstick upright. They took forever to come from China but at that price I can’t complain. Also found a couple cute painted metal organizers in turquoise and gray that I don’t think were made for makeup but are good for storing single eyeshadows.
I’m definitely going to look at that Besta vanity as an option for my makeup room, it looks great!

I don’t know how I missed this a couple of months ago but it’s super helpful. I was standing in a Muji today debating between the different drawers and decided to hold off to do more research. This is SO helpful! I really need to start organizing my growing stash so I can actually use more of my collection.

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