How to Organize Your Eyeshadows – Tips and Tricks

Makeup & Beauty Tips on How to Organize Your Eyeshadows

Share your best tips and tricks for organizing your eyeshadows!  Share your best storage tips and how you keep everything within reach!

My Tips

  1. I keep palettes together, same brand or not (though Urban Decay has its own drawer, truth be told).  I find that this makes it easier to grab a palette for travel or if I want to work within one.
  2. If you have a lot of eyeshadows from across brands, you might want to separate by brand first, then arrange in color groups or textures.  I organize everything by brand, and I wish I had time to organize more by color or name, but alas, not so much!
  3. If you aren’t married to the packaging, you could try depotting many of your powder eyeshadows and putting them into a palette system to save space.
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If you don’t have a lot of drawer space available and are working mostly with surface area, I would definitely recommend trying out a letter sorter for keeping your palettes! It keeps them all within my sight (as opposed to in a stack or in a drawer, where I forget they exist), so I switch between them for whatever look I want to create!

I don’t have very many single eyeshadows, so I keep them in a little basket on my makeup table (actually, who am I kidding? I use a little bookshelf as my vanity). I keep trios and little palettes in a separate basket!

I have 20 Z palette because I’m not married to the packaging at all. lol

My palettes are ranged by Red for face powders (blush, highlight and conture). Then I used the zepard for warm shades and Zebr for cool tone eyeshadows. I have a few black ones i use by brand/travel friendly sizes pans.

I have a purple for Lime Crime and Baby Pink for Sugarpill.

I depotted my shadows and sorted them by color, and have only let myself keep packaging I thought was truly special, like the Too Faced palettes my boyfriend gets me every year for Christmas, in a separate container.

Seriously, get a system for classifying eyeshadows by color and finish. Pick the most common finishes (I use matte, satin, shimmer, and glitter) and classify all your eyeshadows as one of them, regardless of what the brand says. My MAC Frost eyeshadows go under Glitter, as do Veluxe Pearl, ect. For color, if you use a term like warm, cool, neutral, and so on, know what it means re: your collection.

Just, in general, know the language you use to describe eyeshadows, then keep a list of eyeshadow colors and finishes you have or want.

I keep my eyeshaadow singles in ice cube trays I’ve decorated. I saw that tip on and it does the job! I got a couple desk drawer organisers at Walgreens and i stand my palettes up in rows in that. I group the brands together, from the largest palettes in back to the smallest in front. It works for me because I can see everything on top of my desk/vanity and i don’t have to risk shattering shadows by digging around for them. I keep trios, etc. In a smaller section of the drawer organisers seperated by color families. Wow i sound really organized…but im only like that with my makeup 🙂

count me as impressed. Not only is it organized, but helpful from a creative standpoint. You can see your range of shadows right in front of you without distraction by brand packaging etc.. I need to take a some cues from this.

A few years ago, I spent a lot of time depotting eyeshadows into palettes and now I wish I hadn’t. I organise my eyeshadows by colour, regardless of brand (except for the really large palettes).

I have a drawer for each colour and that drawer is then broken into cream and powder eyeshadows. The drawer is labelled and the drawers are in order of frequency of use of colour family.

As for the depotted (MAC) eyeshadows, I have so many that I have bought cheap small magnetised palettes from eBay so I have same colour family eyeshadows in their respective drawers.

I have to confess I have OCD when it comes to organisation.

If you want to talk organisation, let me tell you about my nail polish collection, my database and how I physically organise the bottles (oh… off topic, right) lol

Of all my makeup products, my eyeshadows lack organization the most. Due to the sheer number, I should make a concentrated effort to depot and put into custom palettes. I actually do not have a lot of brand made palettes, but rather a gi-normous collection of singles. I would do my collection more justice by having more shadows at hand, but seem to put the depotting off for fear of breaking a shadow or two or more… Need to read these tips..

I have a small magnetic board on my wall near my vanity. It’s dedicated to my work horses, eyeshadow singles, trios, and gel pots I grab the most. I just put some rare earth magnets on the eyeshadow backs and stick them on the board. Et voila I got all my must-have shades ready to go.

My other singles and trios that I use less often (parties and special occasion) go in a drawer in a cute vanity organizer I found at Bed Bath & Beyond.

My larger palettes are on my vanity but stacked with a letter organizer. They stand vertically so i can see them immediately.

I have one of those medium-sized plastic drawer organizers from Target that I keep my whole collection in, complete with dividers in the drawer to keep it tidier. The palettes are all packed into one drawer, while the singles are arranged by type (cream, powder, pigment, etc.) and then by color (neutral, color). Of course, I imagine my eyeshadow collection is significantly smaller than many people here. My lip collection, on the other hand, needs some serious rearrangement.

Wow – I have a whopping 5 loose eyeshadow, one trio, and one quad. The remainder are in travel kits or larger. This makes it really easy to organize them – so easy, that I haven’t ever stopped to ponder it.

I prefer to organize my eyeshadows in Muji’s acrylic cases/drawers- by brand, product type, and then alphabetically. It’s quite tedious especially when I have to move shades around to place new ones in, but I’m able to keep track of what I have that way. As for palettes, I organize them by brand and size, keeping them neatly stacked in the drawers of my vanity table. 🙂

I keep my shadows stored by brand in alpha order. I use the Alex drawers from IKEA. It’s great. Fits everything. However, my trick/tip is keep a spreadsheet of your makeup/skincare purchases. My spreadsheet keeps track of purchase date, last used date and Toss by date along with any notes regarding wear time, texture, etc. I can filter by date used and item so that I never about an item. I may not wear it for a year because I have TOO many of the same item but at least I know it’s there waiting patiently for me. Also, it helps budget – I know exactly how long an bottle of cleanser will last and can project throughout the year how many bottles I will go through and when I need to purchase. I’ll never get through all my shadows but at least I know how many shades of grey I have (18 of which 7 have never been used).

I’m fortunate to have a decent amount of space for storage. I use an old library catalog (dewey decimal, anyone?) to store all of my makeup and have pretty much the top two rows dedicated to eye products. First, I sort by type of product (pressed shadow, cream or base, loose shadows, pencils, etc.) Then, within those groups I sort by colors: highlights and shimmers such as whites, golds and pinks; lights, midtone pinks and beiges; neutral midtones (UD Naked palette lives here along with my 2 Inglot palettes); neutral deeps; darks and blacks; and finally very bright/colorful. It makes it a bit easier to see duplication in my stash this way. My regular pressed shadows, whether palette or single get a drawer for each color group. Loose indy shadows (Fyrinnae, Darling Girl, Shiro) are in 2 drawers and are arranged by color in a ROYGBIV kind of set up.

Also, a few years ago, I depotted a bunch of my old original Urban Decay shadows and I wish I hadn’t. That’s not because of breakage, in fact, everything came out great and it saves a lot of space. But, it turns out I’m much more likely to reach for a single than a palette and they’re getting a lot less love.

I actually just got a new storage thing goin’ on. My husband bought me a small table from Hobby Lobby that has 4 wicker basket “drawers” lined with fabric. I actually ripped out the extendable, accordion-type small trays that come in those Caboodles black train cases. The metal was easy to bend and break, and I used a flathead screwdriver to pop them out of the case.

I put those trays in the wicker baskets so each tray has it’s own brand or type. 2 trays for Mac, 1 for UD, 1 for loose powders/pigments and OCC, 1 for cream eyeshadows, and 1 for bare minerals. I keep all the palettes in another “drawer”.

I’m planning on getting those plastic drawers for only my makeup but now i’m just putting them in cosmetic bags.
-So I have a bag full of samples,
-a lippie bag,
-I mainly have VINTAGE UD shades inside build it your own palettes,
undepotted single eyeshadows are dumped in my large sample bag because I know won’t being using them for awhile,
-bags for face products (primers/suncreens and one for foundations),
-a bag for my eyepencils and mascara (i don’t have a lot of mascara because I have short lashes and I don’t have time getting gunk off my eyes)
-bag/cup for brushes
-bag for tools like sponges and etc
-i have a tin for nailpolish but i gave it away because I don’t really like nail polish

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