Are You Happy with Your Current Brush Storage Solution?

Published in: Beauty Tips, Just For Fun

Um, where’d I put my MAC 209?

Do you ever have those makeup moments that hit you like a ton of bricks? I was digging through my disorganized brush stash when I had one. My current approach to brush storage just does not work.


I’ve been using the same “system” for years. It’s a black pencil holder thingy that I got at Target (see above). Eye brushes, face brushes, cheek brushes — they’re all jammed in there like teenagers at a Jonas Brothers concert.

I can’t find squat!

Earlier today I surfed around for ideas. My favorite is this caddy/travel bag from Darac Beauty.

The Darac Solution Central ($32) is a flat, zippered bag that doubles as a brush stand and portable brush case.



See how it keeps the brushes upright and separated? Love that. And, as crazy as this probably sounds, I like that I’d be able to just grab everything and jet if my apartment caught on fire.

If they were cheaper I’d get three, LOL!

My second option: something like the brush holders at Sephora (see Vanessa’s blog for a how-to).

It’d be cheaper than the Darac case (and I like the DIY angle), but they’re not as streamlined. Sigh…

I’ll have to keep looking unless you can help me out. How do you store your makeup brushes?

Are you happy with your current brush storage solution?

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Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. Before I faint from heat exhaustion (soo hot up in this space, yo… It must be 95 right now!), one more thing: Chanel’s new Jade Nail Collection is coming soon; I kinda lurve how it looks.


The two shades — Jade (a mint green) and Jade Pink (a light pink) — look just like my favorite colors in sixth grade. They would’ve ROCKED my world circa 1986, aka my “bad hair, ill-fitting training bras and RUN DMC mixed tape years.”

Each polish will sell for $25 at Chanel Boutiques, Makeup Studios and online starting next Friday. I’m counting down the days!


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So far, 51 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. mela says:

    i recently combined the mac/sephora options to create a brush holder – i bought a 500 ml beaker like the ones mac keeps their lipglass in and poured in the exact same little beads that vanessa has on her blog (the same ones from sephora) and put my face brushes in the back and the smaller brushes towards the front and makes everything easy to find!

  2. giselle says:

    i dont have many brushes, so i went to the dollar store and bought a medium sized glass candle holder and added a cute ribbon to it. when my collection grows i’ll think of something better. but i like it!

  3. tali says:

    happy? No.. i can never have enough storage!!
    .-= tali’s last blog post… Body Shop: Goody Bag Favourites, YSL Haul & Make-up Rant! =-.

  4. Kate & Zena says:

    I’m using a pencil holder thingy but I’m thinking I need a bigger one as it holds my lipliners, eyeliners, really tall lipglosses….eyelash curler.

  5. Jess says:

    Karen, I use the exact same brush storage system as you – a black pencil holder! I too wish that I had a more organized way of storing my brushes… It seems that no matter how often I “organize” the brushes in the holder (larger brushes in the back, smaller in the front), I always seem to waste time rooting through my brushes, trying to find the one I need. Ideally I’d like something small enough so that it doesn’t take up too much space, but with enough compartments to separate brushes according to function. I have yet to find anything that meets these criteria, so for now I’m sticking with the good ol’ pencil holder. *sigh*

  6. Jamie Lynn says:

    I used a pretty purple and white vase that was wide at the top and used pinto beans to fill it. It was cheaper than the little crystal things and more inclined to soak up and moisture around.

  7. styleezta says:

    I use the sephora travel roll up. it only has ten slots so i have to sometimes jam it in there. ive been looking for something bigger so found some DIY brush rolls from that id like to try. check them out girls! you can usually custom make it to how many brushes you have πŸ™‚
    .-= styleezta’s last blog post… I heart Cosmetics Giveaway! =-.

  8. Glosslizard says:

    I like to look in the Crate & Barrel outlet for short, fat vases, glasses and votive candle holders. They’re pretty, and I have a thing about liking my holders to be clear so I can see the whole brush (some I recognize by handle)! I currently have my brushes divided between several pretty containers which are slightly different to accomodate different handle lengths… obsessive much? πŸ˜‰

  9. Paris B says:

    I’m still loving mine – because of the different holders on the magnetic board I know exactly where my brushes are πŸ™‚ That brush stand-travel pouch brush holder is pretty hot though – in mock croc too!
    .-= Paris B’s last blog post… Review: Vichy UV-Activ Daily Protective Anti-Pigmentation Fluid Sunscreen SPF50 PA+++ =-.

  10. shontay says:

    Hey karen,

    I am so behind on all your posts so allow me to put all in one. I am happy with my brush storage. I only have about 10 anyway, but when I build it up who knows. I have a sephora brush holder and it’s awesome.

    I had the benefit high beam and moon beam but that was back when I was a real rookie at makeup and I had no idea what to do with it. Now that I fancy myself a semi pro I will try again :).

    As for my plans, I was out with my homegirl all day having fun. I bought more of the makeup arts collection. I bought hold the pose high strung and the perfect cheek blush and I love them all. I got personal taste gloss and it will rock with hs. I thought perfect cheek would not show on me, but it’s wonderful.

    And can I just say you rock? You are so nice and engaging. I love your site because you’re just one of the girls. Love.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Shontay,

      Aww, girrrl! You just made my morning. πŸ™‚ Thank you for that!

      Anyway, about your latest MAC haul… I had a feeling you’d cave in and get more from that release (I got makeup ESP, apparently). My fave MAC MUA Jen, who’s a little darker than me, loves Perfect Cheek, too. I was afraid that it wouldn’t show up, so I passed. How are you liking it?

  11. Michelle says:

    I bought a full set of brushes from Sigma and they come in a nice case — it has a pocket for extra brushes — but I have too many extras LOL. There are so many of my fave brushes from MAC, Sephora, and Sonia Kushak that I love, too — need more storage!

  12. Tiffany says:

    Hey Karen! I have a setup kinda like sephora, with 3 glass containers and beads, so I can find everything quickly! I do like the stand you posted!

  13. TUPRNUT says:

    HA! I have the EXACT same pencil holder from Target as you. It’s worked well for me, but unfortunately our limited bathroom storage doesn’t leave any room for me to expand. πŸ™ I told my husband I need a new house so that I can get a bigger bathroom to store all my goodies – but he doesn’t think that’s enough reason.

  14. Maureen says:

    Hi, Karen! You’ve got me thinking “brush troughs”…
    Why not elaborate on the ideas above and and try a longer, rectangular vase? Here’s one I found on a craft website:
    You could arrange your brushes left to right by size for easier “locating.” I’m sure you could get some tasteful polished stones or glass beads on the cheap, and think how nice it would look up against a wall, under a mirror? mmmmmmm

  15. Suzanne says:

    Hey Karen,
    I had brush dilemmas until I got a Sephora Makeup Artist brush belt. I have around 50 brushes (I still have my original 2 brushes I bought in college 25 yrs ago!) but I typically only use about 20 of them. I had issues with holders tipping over and brushes that I didn’t use often enough getting dusty, so I got this brush belt. It lays flat on my makeup table and it has a flap that covers the brushes so they don’t get dusty. And when I have a gig, I just pack it up and go!
    .-= Suzanne’s last blog post… Hollywood Makover by Arbonne! =-.

  16. I put mine HERE, it’s Sephora inspired πŸ™‚
    .-= somethingpurple’s last blog post… H20 is Power, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate… =-.

  17. jeannie says:

    That Darac Solution Central is useless! Even owning 3 of them wouldn’t hold half your brushes. Or my brushes either. I keep mine in 4 separate cups, buts I wish I had a better solution.

    Love your blog!

  18. Charm says:

    i seem to never be happy about my storage.. it just keeps adding and adding up!
    .-= Charm’s last blog post… MAC HD Collection Q&A w/ Marie Delprete =-.

  19. lexi says:

    i’ve got everything jammed in a Stila tin right now- i need to divide all my brushes by face part – face brushes in one and eye shadows in another and i’ve got to get a better system for all my pencils instead of jamming them with my brushes…this is when the Virgo in me comes out!!! It’s rare!

  20. Marisol says:

    I have my brushes in a vase a la Sephora. It’s wide enough that it gives the brushes ample room and I try to put them together by type i,e, face, eyes, etc.
    .-= Marisol’s last blog post… Obsessed much? =-.

  21. vicky says:

    hi i was just wondering what brand is the white slated brush you have on the pic, the one in the zip case.

    i have to have my brushes on one of those stackables mini storages from snapware that i bought at target during the back to school sale cause my room gets so dusty, so far so good.

  22. Angie says:

    After reading Vanessa’s blog awhile ago, I made brush holders like the Sephora ones, and I love them! I have two large square clear jars and one small one for face, eyes, and lips.

  23. this brush stand is so smart :)it can also double up as a travel pouch… cute!!
    .-= Blovet Beauty’s last blog post… Ulzzang Inspired Wide Eyed Looks & Revlon Eyeliner Swatch =-.

  24. Catherine says:

    I’m pretty happy with my brush storage and with my brush collection right now. =) I have 3 holders. My MAC Hello Kitty brush cup has rice grains in it (I WILL eventually get little glass beads) and holds all my eye brushes. Then I have a cute Hamtaro tin which I divided using the Sephora gift card mirror (just down the diagonal, it fit perfectly lol) one side houses my two skunk brushes and the front side houses my EcoTools full size blush brush & full size powder brush. Then, my short handle brushes sit in this adorable little jar thing that I found at Daiso (short handle ecotools blush brush, concealer brush, EDM long handle kabuki, etc). Then I do have another pencil holder from Daiso w/ 3 compartments to hold lipliners & lip brushes, eyeliners, and mascara/lid primers.

    Here’s a post where I show my organizers.

    Visit a Daiso! They have all sorts of super cute containers for cheap. =)
    .-= Catherine’s last blog post… Fuzkittie’s Birthday Butterfly Princess Style Bracelet =-.

  25. Tammy says:

    I use a brush roll like the ones painters use to store their brushes. I got a pretty large one from Michael’s for about 12 bucks and it came with a set of paint brushes that I actually use for makeup. Well, some of the brushes, at least. I love storing my brushes this way because I can see all them more easily and can roll them up and take them all with me when I travel.
    .-= Tammy’s last blog post… Lorac VIP Starter Set:A $160 Value for Only $18.50 =-.

  26. tish says:

    I use a rotating desktop organizer from Target filled with those acrylic beads (like Sephora uses in the brush displays) to keep my brushes upright and easily accessible.

  27. Eru says:

    Right now I have all my brushes placed in a pink cardbox, because I needed their glass box for my mono eyeshadows, LoL πŸ˜› . I know I’ll have to search something better soon, but right now that’s were they are.
    .-= Eru’s last blog post… Teint Resist by Yves Saint Laurent =-.

  28. Eru says:

    “theyÒ€ℒre all jammed in there like teenagers at a Jonas Brothers concert.”
    LoL! πŸ˜€
    .-= Eru’s last blog post… Teint Resist by Yves Saint Laurent =-.

  29. Jessica says:

    This is sorta the same thing as the Darac solution but its mae for art brushes instead and it only costs $9.99

    Its not as nice at the Darac one, It doesn’t zip when it closes but it serves the same purpose in less expensive way.

  30. Tiffany says:

    Girl, I have like 40 brushes. How did that happen?!!?!

  31. Tavia says:

    I’m quite happy with my current brushes, but there is always room for more. I admit that I don’t have any MAC brushes but I would like to try them out.
    .-= Tavia’s last blog post… Kerastase Γ’β‚¬β€œ beautiful hair in 3 steps =-.

  32. TUPRNUT says:

    Karen – You’re so sweet for asking! Yes, he’s home. It’s been a great summer and we were able to celebrate our anniversary together for the first time in several years! πŸ™‚

  33. Dao says:

    E.L.F has a brush roll that’s similar to MAC’s but for a lot cheaper. It’s $15 and you can find discount codes to offset the cost. I have my eyes on it for a while now, will get it once the mood strikes πŸ™‚
    .-= Dao’s last blog post… New Product: L’Oreal Revitalift Deep-Set Wrinkle Repair 24HR Eye Repair Duo =-.

  34. Katheryn says:

    Hi Karen!

    I haven’t read through the comments, so I hope this idea isn’t being repeated : D

    I think that that case that you posted would be too small for all of the brushes you have (based on the photographs). Perhaps you should go with the other idea of filling a glass vase with those beads. Howeverrrrr, I think that the round glasses/vases make it harder to find your brushes. How about trying a wide rectangular one, like this one here?

    That way, you can organize your brushes from left to right by size (visually appealing + easy to find!), instead of them getting mixed around in a round jar. Plus, I love that bead-filler idea so the brushes stand up!

    Good luck!

  35. Kristen says:

    I keep all of my brushes in a series of glass beakers and Erlenmyer flasks on my vanity. They arranged by height (smallest to largest), and brushes of different widths and lengths are organized by beaker size. I also have a wonderful inverted-cone-shaped beaker that I picked up at an antique market years ago in the collection.

    It’s a cost-effective way of storing brushes, and I can always find what I need because the containers are clear.
    .-= Kristen’s last blog post… Bobbi Brown Online-Only Offer: Runway Kit =-.

  36. DoDe says:

    About 2 years ago I had em in the Sephora style jar with the little beads. Well that didn’t work cause the beads were everywhere… all over my bathroom floor. Then I just had them in the jar. Lately though I just have them sprawled out on my dresser and that is working so far. I can find everything easy.

  37. Donna Vitan says:

    I have been reading the seemingly endless archive and it’s been such a treat. It’s very cool to see another Filipino sharing her makeup obsession. As a Filipino I’m often weary of reviews and swatches that other beauty bloggers have just because I can’t expect the same results on my own skin.

    I’ve been having a good time reading up on your archives and just wanted to thank you! Cheers and keep it up!

    This makeup brush case is pretty awesome, love that it’s a display and a travel case in one.
    .-= Donna Vitan’s last blog post… LUCYD ACYD Illicit Bandage Leggings =-.

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