How do you keep track of what you own?

How do you keep track of what you own? Share! And if you’re fancy and have a spreadsheet, don’t be afraid to share!

We do inventory periodically, but in general, the blog itself is my true reference sheet, LOL!

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Krystal Avatar

I have a very small collection compared to most, so I can see everything in my draws and just know what I have. As my collection continues to grow and as I attend makeup school I think a Spreadsheet will be my best friend for keeping track of all the things I have!

Tiff Avatar

I have a spreadsheet and a system. Which I posted on my blog!
It has tabs: Skin care/Body/Makeup/Tools+Accessories/Unused stash.
There are categories for the tabs and each category has the same columns: brand/description/open date/expiry date/cost.

A bit time intensive at the start but so awesome to have and dead easy to update.
Also really nice since I have it saved on the cloud – I can access it from anywhere!

Jillian Avatar

I’ve been trying to do the same! Honestly, I thought at first I’d create a couple of lists on my phone (to refer to when out shopping – I’ve actually bought duplicates of MAC lipglasses before.) But I don’t think I care to spend the time… maybe one lazy Sunday afternoon or something!

Jane Avatar

I go through my collection, regularly. I usually take what’s at the bottom of the piles and move it to the top. This way, it all gets shown some love.

xamyx Avatar

I really only buy from a handful of brands, so when it comes to those where I have alot, I will go through and see what I have before doing a haul. I also keep a paper list of what I want in the future, and that gets updated regularly. When it comes to brands I don’t have much product from, it’s pretty easy, because I only “stray” when a product is something I really want. Obviously I have some repeats due to buying palettes, and some “dupes” across brands, but since they’re obviously products I like, they’ll be used. My blush stash is actually a decent size, but to the “average eye”, they almost all look the same, LOL! I tend to be drawn to the same type of color, but I see the subtle differences!

Christine Avatar

I have five three drawer systems, four are devoted to my open stuff and the third has one drawer for new unopened lip products, one for new unopened face products and one for makeup removing pads and extra sponges and such. The others drawers are organized by product. The first has foundation, concealers and brows, and blush. The next has highlighters and bronzers, lip products and mascara. The other two are all shadows; one drawer for pigments and loreal infallible shadows, one for Mac singles and small palettes, and the other drawer are all pallettes and some random single shadows. Every week I go through each drawer and pick something from each that I haven’t used in awhile so I don’t neglect anything lol. I keep those selected items on the top of the drawer with my brushes and use them throughout the week. And when I’m feeling bummed out or stressed ( which commonly inducing makeup shopping !) I can dive into my drawers of new unopened products and choose something new to try !

CatBelly Avatar

I have a Word document. It is organized by type of makeup product (foundation, highlighter, blush, etc.) and then by brand name and color. It has my personal notes and impressions. If I don’t like something or discard something, I note why. I started the document when I started getting into makeup last year and have kept it up ever since. Only takes a couple minutes to note as I go along.

Culinaria Avatar

I use pretty much the same system, but in the app Evernote so that I can access it on my phone, tablet, etc. I organize by brand rather than product type because that’s the way my brain seems to work, but I also keep a running count of how many of each product type I own.

When I give something away or throw something away, I note the reasons and switch it to strike through font.

Nicole Avatar

I need a system too! I basically dig through my stash .it’s not too out of control yet.I generally can remember what I have. I usually research newer products pretty well online before I buy. I literally go to Sephora/malls with a list of what I am getting almost every time I go unless i need like one thing. But typically, there are other things I want to sample or swatch too.I do a lot of it online though. I am working on a better organizing system (storage-wise) to add to my 9 drawer Alex from Ikea. I am likely going to do the Besta custom drawers and shelves from Ikea as Christine suggested. Thank you Christine! I am planning to somehow keep an inventory that I can access on my phone computerized. I just am not a tech person at all. any ideas for programs or whatever to use would be appreciated!

trina kolander Avatar

I have several spiral notebooks the ones with multiple sections, each brand gets a section. I have notebooks for high end and drugstore. I also have a notebook for just lip products and one for palettes. I also store and organize by brand, each brand has its own big plastic bin(s). I had to start writing things down especially drugstore stuff because i was buying things i already had

Katherine T. Avatar

A few weeks ago, I finally got my huge collection organized using only $100 worth of storage products! My “active collection” is on my vanity. I use clear plastic disposable cups ($5 for 25 cups at Target) to sort everything by product type and color, so I can see everything, and don’t lose or forget stuff (lipliners, lipsticks, eyeliners, gloss, etc). I also got drawer organizers from Container Store ($30 for 6 large drawers) to sort blushes, powders, and shadows by color. My lipsticks are in lipstick holder set that holds 60-70 lippies ($25). The rest is my “backup collection” –it’s in a 9- drawer organizer that I got ( $40 on sale), reg is $55-70 depending on where you buy. Each drawer is sorted by product type, and it holds hundreds of free sample packets, deluxe samples, and backups of favorite products, etc.

Amare Avatar

My collection is not that big. I almost always plan my purchases or if it’s an impulse buy, it’s something that I know I would wear. I’m not afraid to return or give away products that don’t work for me. And when it comes to items that are prone to expire, I pay close attention to signs of expiration. Long story short, I am pretty much hands on with my collection. So I always have a mental note of my inventory.

Rachel R. Avatar

I’m actually pretty good at remembering what I have, for the most part. I do have items grouped together, and I go through my stash pretty regularly. With the groupings, it’s easy to see if I have something. Most of my single blushes, shadows, etc. are in Zpalettes. If the names aren’t on the pans, I can put a little sticker on the bottoms. Lipsticks I mostly depot into stacked bead organizers, so I can see the colors clearly. I can put stickers on those, too.

If I get desperate and it’s something I ordered via internet (which is what I mostly do), I can always look at my past order history on the websites.

Nancy T Avatar

I would have to say that my system is quite clearly controlled chaos, LoL! One entire very large dresser drawer holds almost all my lipstick and lipglosses, Nyx eyeshadow singles, 3, 5 and palettes, and some random items. Then a larger sized rolling 3 drawer holds all my larger UD and Lorac palettes and items that I use nearly every day are in the first drawer, in the 2nd are all my lip and eye pencils being held by hair elastics in 2 distinct bundles, a bunch of MAC quads, L’Oreal Infallible eyeshadows, 1 lone MAC Vex single, some of my blushes. 3rd drawer is rather random. Basically stuff that I do wear more regularly. Foundation and skincare are in my bathroom vanity. Nail polish takes up 2 whole drawers! One in my antique desk, and the rest, now that I’ve moved and no longer have 2 big drawers in my bathroom, need a new “home”.

Gillian Avatar

I like the vanity part of this site. I use that to keep track but there are quite a few things that aren’t on the site so it’s not a true reflection of how much I have, so I’m thinking that I should do a spreadsheet. I’ll get around to it next time I do a clear out, which should be soon. 🙂

Fran Avatar

My collection is not huge — it fits into a train case plus a hanging travel makeup organizer bag plus fourteen larger palettes (including two Z-palettes) plus a fishing tackle style case of nail polishes. So I pretty much know what I have except for occasionally forgetting about less-loved lip products that came as parts of sets. But I’m good about returning or giving away things that don’t work out for me. I’m lucky that a friend’s daughter is actually thrilled to get my (carefully sanitized) makeup leftovers. In fact I’m planning to pass on a couple of palettes to her in the near future — after months of trying to work with them (off and on), they’re just not that fun for me, and makeup is supposed to be fun!

Xan Avatar

I use spreadsheets in GoogleDocs for both cosmetics, skincare, nail polish, with separate sheets within my cosmetic documents for each type of product! Within each sheet, I’ll include information like brand, product line, colour, finish, purchase date, and any notes. I also highlight anything I haven’t used yet in blue, and when I use items, I reset the cell backgrounds to white — it helps me know what I’ve been using, and what’s been untouched forever and should be given away or at least not something to buy anymore. I also use Pinterest for my nail polish collection, if only because it’s nice to have a visual record of everything.

And after along time lurking and reading, I finally got an account here and started using the vanity feature after someone mentioned it in the comments here! 🙂

fuji Avatar

I don’t keep track of my stuff…at least not in a systematic way or so. but I never end up buying two identical product, I guess that’s a good sign? Anyway, most of my makeup purchases are from Sephora, so if there’s anything I would repurchase, like a foundation or powder product that I would need to buy the exact same shade, I would go to my purchase history to look it up. Other than that, I just use my memory… and I don’t mind having dupes of teal eyeliners or dirty rosy lipsticks coz there’s no such thing as “too much”! lol

Karen Avatar

It’s funny that you ask this question! I had this dilemma about an hour and a half ago! I thought I had the Nars Multiple in Portofino but didn’t remember if I actually had or if my mind was playing tricks on me. I looked in my Nars train case and couldn’t find it so finally I just went online and went through all of my Nordstrom’s and Sephora online order receipts and found it on there so at least I know I have it somewhere! The problem is figuring out what train case I put it in, LOL! So I guess that’s how I really keep track of things!

rachael Avatar

Besides lippies, I prob only have 20-30 of each thing (like 25 foundations, 20 blushes, etc) and they r all organized but even with my lippies having well over 200 I don’t have issue with not knowing whether I own something so I don’t buy it again….I might forget I have some stuff sometimes but that’s like getting new makeup when I remember or happen to run across it! The one thing I wish I could keep better track of is foundation shades I own…especially the drugstore brand ones…

Candice Avatar

I have about 100 items total so I haven’t really needed a real inventory, but I think there would be some use to it for lip products, since I have some with me at all times and switch them up and lose them every so often. I have this mental hole of products I’ve lost but can’t put my finger on which ones! Annoys me!!

Genevieve Avatar

I have my eye shadow palettes in different make up bags organised according to colour. Then I have my everyday large makeup bag -which contains my eye brow pencils, brushes, naked 1, blush, powder and mascaras. Unfortunately I don’t have drawers in my bathroom cabinet. However I do go through my different makeup bags so that I use all my eyeshadows routinely.

Susan Dowman Nevling Avatar

I started keeping lists by type of product, brand then color but my collection because too large. I don’t keep track of it anymore.

Kristen Avatar

So, there’s a couple of apps for smart phones… Glamzy Pro (cost) & Glamzy (Free) and MyStuff2 Lite (free) and MyStuff2 (8.99 & 4.99) that i’ve looked at… the problem that i have… is my lil iphone3 is just too small to put EVERYTHING in to those apps and the “interface” (how you put it in, is much harder than it seems, on a small device). I am certain that it would be so much easier on an iPad or tablet.

Telesilla Avatar

I don’t really have enough make up to lose track of what I’ve got. I just recently did a purge so right now I have a pretty good idea of what’s left. I save the spread sheets for the nail polish collection and the BPAL and other indie perfume collection.

A. Mar Avatar

I likely don’t keep track well. I have a Helmer I keep everything in (though it’s getting crowded). The drawers each have containers I use to keep things from being a giant mound of products and the drawers each hold certain products (lip, base, palettes, etc). Once I started using two drawers for nail polish, it rather became a mess. In need of something larger! I rarely seem to forget if I have something I’m looking at. The exception is the random MAC lipstick or eyeshadow. I have to go through that section of my collection to see if I have it.

Tigerlily Avatar

I have an Excel spreadsheet divided into several data sheets to keep track of everything I own.

They range from makeup (split into sub-categories such as eyeshadows, lipsticks, blushes… each with their own wish list), nail products, brushes, skin care, hair care, frankenpolishes and awards (HGs of each category).

Each data sheet contains several columns: product name and description, pros & cons, how much it cost (regular + discount price if any), whether or not I would repurchase it, etc.

Keeping this spreadsheet up to date has mostly helped me understand what I no longer need to buy, such as colors or types of products I never reach for. It also highlighted brands that my skin/hair seem to particularly agree with and that I definitely check out when they are on sale.

Celindy Avatar

My collection has just started to grow; therefore it is kind of small. At the moment, I am keeping track of it on Pinterest. I have a board for type of product – then I pinned pictures of the products on that board – with descriptions plus my comments.
This way – I can look up a color that I need or I can check to see if I already have something.

I also do this for evergrowing – large stash of finger nail polish!

Kecia Avatar

I’ve created an Access database to keep track of my ever-growing collection. I just need to get all of my products into it so that I don’t unintentionally buy more duplicates.

Quinctia Avatar

I actually have a spreadsheet for my nail polish, which is sorely in need of an update, but THAT’S just for when I participate in a forum secret santa among some nail polish geeks.

I otherwise maintain a relatively good idea of what I’ve got in my head. The hard part can sometimes be remembering if I have a good dupe of something I’m thinking of buying.

Astrild Avatar

My makeup collection it’s a complete mess. I need to organize everything and then, I’ll made an inventory. This is one of my 2015 resolutions. But it’s was the same in 2014 :-(. No, this year I’ll do it.

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