A Cheap and Easy Way to Store Your Lipsticks and Gloss

Published in: Makeup Tips/How To, Makeup Tools

Makeup organization ideas

Back before BIC lighters and matches, primitive men went on quests for fire! And today, not unlike ancient man, I embarked upon my own special quest, but this one was for neatness and better makeup organization.


It took weeks of preparation! — okay, maybe not weeks. 🙂 The idea stemmed from a comment left by MBB reader Marisa (thanks, girl!) and the eyeliners and cream shadows I dealt with a couple of weeks ago.

Before that, I’d resigned to let my lip products live lives of disarray, tossing them all into a clear plastic box.

But that just wasn’t working.

Makeup organization ideas

I was stressing out every time I had to pull it out to find something, like yesterday, when I spent an obnoxious amount of time looking for my tube of Lychee Luxe (I knew it was in there!).

There had to be a better way.

A better way

See, this is why I love craft stores: cheap and easy storage solutions. For this project I needed scissors, Scotch tape, one big box and a bunch of smaller empty boxes from lipsticks and gloss.

Step 1

Find the big box. It should be deeper/taller than your longest lip product when you stand it up inside the box. I picked this pink one because not only does it fit my longest gloss, but it also has a lid, which makes it stackable.

Makeup organization ideas

Step 2

Flatten one of your empty lipstick/lipgloss boxes, and cut it through the middle to split it in half.

Makeup organization ideas

Makeup organization ideas

Tape both halves together, side by side. Do that a zillion times (or enough times, whichever comes first).

Makeup organization ideas

Step 3

Once you have enough split boxes to hold all of your lip products, start standing ’em up in the bigger box. Fill each of them with one of your lipsticks or gloss, label side up so you can identify the product without having to dig.

Makeup organization ideas

Makeup organization ideas

Ready for more?

Take your makeup organizing to the next level with this helpful reference tool. Swatch and label each row of colors from your big box on a piece of paper; so the swatches don’t smear, cover them with a piece of clear tape.


makeup organization ideas

Finally, glue, paste or tape the reference chart to the inside lid of the big box. Tada! You’re organized. 🙂

How do you organize your lip products? Got any tricks up your sleeve?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



Like this post? Tell your friends!

So far, 64 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. candace says:

    omg you have so many! well of course lol i just started getting into lip glosses and lipstick. i always just wore chap sticks lol
    .-= candace’s last blog post… stuffed zucchini. =-.

  2. Karen B says:

    Very interesting. The only problem is that up to now I’ve thrown away all of my lipstick boxes…
    .-= Karen B’s last blog post… Make-Up, Day and Night =-.

  3. Agnes says:

    i love your idea! not only is it more organized, but you’re also re-using the old packaging 🙂 i love finding new ways to organize using otherwise worthless stuff. thanks!! now if only i had enough lipsticks/glosses to actually make it look decent! haha maybe i will make use of a smaller box 🙂 love your organizing tips!
    .-= Agnes’s last blog post… New Love ♥ Green Nail Polish + Chanel Jade dupe? =-.

  4. amy says:

    Oh that is ingenious Karen. I love that you reused and recycled the old lippie boxes to use as stands. Why didn’t I think of that?
    .-= amy’s last blog post… A “Secret” Sale at Pacifica Perfumes for Bella Koola Readers =-.

  5. Rachel says:

    zomg you are brilliant!
    .-= Rachel’s last blog post… 4 MINUTE MAKEUP =-.

  6. claudia says:

    what a nifty idea! kudos to you, 🙂

  7. Joey Chong says:

    This is a great idea, especially for those with a huge collection of makeup. It’s like a “library”, much easy to reference and keep track of what we have and avoid buying dupes =)

    Thanks Karen.
    .-= Joey Chong’s last blog post… Look In Smoky Tendre =-.

  8. Jen says:

    This is seriously brilliant. But I threw away all of the boxes, drat! I also like the idea of keeping swatches with your stash.

  9. Jess says:

    wow this is helpful!! hehe the swatch thing is how they do it in the sort
    .-= Jess’s last blog post… Price Report for Watsons Warehouse sale 2010 =-.

  10. Vonvon says:

    This is really an amazing idea! I should consider this as I have been neglecting my lippies a lot lately as they are just everywhere…..in the drawers, on the dresser, and it just makes me lazy to search for them one-by-one each time I want to use a certain color.

    This might make me use my lippies more…i mean, a variety of them! And I like the indexing of the shades.
    .-= Vonvon’s last blog post… EOTD/FOTD: Gold & Burgundy – From CLEO-Lancome Makeover =-.

  11. Radhika says:

    This is so cool…I just wish I hadn’t thrown away the older lipstick boxes. Love the pink box! I won’t be needing that reference chart just yet…
    .-= Radhika’s last blog post… Lush Ocean Salt Face and Body Scrub =-.

  12. meimei says:

    I have GOT to do this with my lipstick collection, too! I just can’t stand to throw away those lippie boxes – they are just way too adorable for the trash can. 😉

    (In the meantime, though, I still need to rebuild my makeup collection; my current lipstick-and-gloss stash is small enough to fit into an old cigar box that I’ve found in my old bedroom. Here’s hoping I could organize the rest soon enough!)
    .-= meimei’s last blog post… If At First You Don’t Succeed… =-.

  13. Paris B says:

    Gosh! That sure is organized and I love how you are reusing the lipstick boxes which would otherwise just be tossed. One question though – Won’t they move around inside the bigger box and wouldn’t it be a bit of a hassle pulling out the lipstick/gloss to find the box stuck to it? Ok that was 2 questions 🙂
    .-= Paris B’s last blog post… Guerlain Meteorites Perles Loose Pearls Illuminating Powder Teint Rose – Love the new packaging dahling! =-.

  14. steph says:

    if you’ve thrown out your boxes, these from the container store will work!
    i use the little one in the very front for bobbie pins, and if you take the cap off it would fit lipsticks/glosses perfectly. AND they come in a ton of colors.

  15. mint says:

    that’s a great idea! thanks for sharing it 😀 it’s looking very organised now! 🙂
    .-= mint’s last blog post… Portable Handbag Butler/Hook =-.

  16. Nina says:

    Awesome tip! I might do this for my lippies but using a slightly shorter box (maybe an index or recipe card box. I always have to root thru my little plastic bin for the lippies I want. Thank you!

  17. Steph says:

    This is a great idea!! Your organization before this looks just like mine. All my lipsticks and glosses are thrown together in a bag. I don’t save the boxes they come in though, so I’ll have to find something else.

  18. Tiffany says:

    Such a cute idea! Too bad I don’t have any lippie boxes hanging around. Mine are actually in a similar fashion – stuck upside down in a small box. I just crammed so many in there that they kinda stand up on their own. Not as nice as your solution with the little compartments for each gloss!

  19. Jenn says:

    what a great idea! thanks Karen!

  20. Hobbit84 says:

    This is really useful, and so smart 😉
    .-= Hobbit84’s last blog post… Clarins Lotion Eclat du Jour =-.

  21. gio says:

    This is such a fantastic and ingenious idea! Everything looks so organized. I wish I hadn’t thown away most of those lippie boxes but I now I know what to do with them next time I buy something new. Thanks for sharing.
    .-= gio’s last blog post… Second Blog Anniversary + Giveaway! =-.

  22. Tiffany says:

    That is a great idea!

  23. Cait says:

    what a cute idea – makes me wish i would have held onto my old lipstick boxes!

  24. KadyM says:

    Fantastic idea – my collection looks like my kids’ crayon box at the moment, not pretty. Totes jealous of how many you have, by the way… 😉

  25. Robin says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KAREN!!!!!!! Hope you have a great day 🙂 P.S. This is such a great idea!

  26. Tahnee says:

    Your labor was not in vain! haha!! That’s awesome. I love organizational stuff like this!

  27. JillyB says:

    Waah, I threw all of my boxes away except for the LE ones, which I don’t want to cut up. But I love the idea of swatching them all in a notebook.

  28. syl says:

    happy birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

  29. knownever says:

    Great Idea! Usually makeup storage tips are something along the lines of “buy this thing from this store” so I love that you came up with an actual diy tip. Only problem is I’m starting to suspect that storing lip glosses upside down or on their sides contributes to them starting to leak….on the other hand I think I take MUCH longer than the average person to finish a gloss so maybe I’m one of the few who has even encountered the leaking gloss tube problem.
    .-= knownever’s last blog post… Is Lush in danger?: a One Bath and Body review =-.

  30. Stef says:

    Gasp, My Capricorn, makeup lovin’ brain is very happy with this post! Oh, the hours I could spend swatching and organizing.

    Thanks for this Karen!
    .-= Stef’s last blog post… e.l.f. Studio Candid Coral Blush and brush =-.

  31. What a great idea!!! I love the creativity!

  32. Lindsay says:

    You’re brilliant!
    .-= Lindsay’s last blog post… Giveaway Sneaky Peaky =-.

  33. Deb says:

    That’s such a fantastic idea! And it looks so cute, too! But I threw away all of my empty gloss boxes…I will have to start saving them from now on.
    .-= Deb’s last blog post… Stride Shift Flavor Changing Gum =-.

  34. Kathryn says:

    This is a great storage idea, and I tried something similar but I found that storing my lipglosses upside down made it hard to reach the product inside the tube when I wanted to use it (because it had all collected in the top of the tube, away from the applicator) and some of mine (NARS) even began to leak 🙁

  35. Daria says:

    How random. I was looking around on the internet last night for this EXACT thing: lipgloss and lipstick storage! You read my mind 😀

  36. sarab says:

    Feliz Cumpleaños, Karen!!!

    I made something similar to storage my glosses and lipsticks recycling cereal boxes. I got the idea from this video:


    but your method is much easier. I spent about 3 hours to make a 40 spaces storage box!! Sadly I dont´t keep my lipstick/lipgloss boxes. When I buy a new one I cut the name in the box and put it in a jar so when I´m uninspired I randomly pick one name of the jar and make a look around it.

    Have a very happy birthday!

  37. Tuhina says:

    This website actually sells a box designed for lipsticks! And, it’s only $12.95 and holds 50 lipsticks. I think I found this through another blog… can’t remember which one though.



  38. chibu74 says:

    ohhhhhhhh, i love ur makeup storage posts….love the ideas you share….you rock!

  39. Aniela says:

    Happy Birthday Karen!!!! Aren’t Geminis the best???lol I know because I am one..June 12:)
    anyways, i looove this idea im such an organizing junkie i always look for ways to organize my makeup, closet, etc. What I usually do is just throw all my lipsticks and glosses into a box, but like u said sometimes its not fun to dig around and this is suuuch a great idea. i cant wait to start on it..i already have the perfect box in mind but unfortunately i havent kept my gloss boxes so ill have to find another way lol thanks for the tip!
    .-= Aniela’s last blog post… 2010 MTV Movie Awards Best and Worst Dressed =-.

  40. Yanickm says:

    SO COOL! I just have all my glosses and lipsticks a makeup bag, NOT way to organize them, lol.

  41. Sarah says:

    What a fantastic idea! I’ve been looking for more ways to organize my makeup
    .-= Sarah’s last blog post… =-.

  42. Monique says:

    My my my are you super woman in disguise?! This is great. Happy Birthday Gemi!

  43. Trisha says:

    Holy moly, this post is relevant. My lipsticks are the very last thing I need to get organized. I was having a hard time figuring out what to do, but this was really helpful. Thanks, Karen!
    .-= Trisha’s last blog post… Beauty Review: Avon ANEW Reversalist Day Renewal Cream SPF 25 =-.

  44. Jenna says:

    It’s too bad that I throw out lipgloss/lipstick boxes immediately once I get them home~ I really love this idea.

  45. Michele DiCola says:

    Happy Birthday, Karen!

    I am embarrassed to admit I have more lipstick than that.
    I have them broken down into colors.
    what can I say? Sigh,


  46. Paula says:


  47. marisol says:

    This is a great idea however, I don’t have any empties to use. I keep mine in clear plastic containers.
    .-= marisol’s last blog post… Abandonment issues =-.

  48. Elle says:

    Ugh, this makes me wish I didn’t throw away all my old boxes 🙁

    And Happy Birthday Karen 🙂 Hope you have a good one!

  49. else411 says:

    This is the best idea I’ve seen in years. Thank you.

  50. You know, I”ve actually swatched all my lippies and lip pencils. I have the paper hanging on my vanity’s mirror. I thought I was just being super anal. I’m glad I’m not alone. 🙂
    .-= BrooklynShoeBabe’s last blog post… A Creamy Review =-.

  51. Amy says:

    No way… this is a very useful tip! How did I not come up with that? Haha. Like most of the people I”ve thrown away a lot of those smaller boxes though 🙁

  52. laetitia says:

    this is fa bu lous!!!!

    and the swatches!!! greaaat idea!!!

    but about me ….Nooooo comment!!!!! looooool

    Thank youy Karen <3
    .-= laetitia's last blog post… Giveaway…Again! =-.

  53. Jackie says:

    Brilliant! Such a great idea!
    .-= Jackie’s last blog post… A Liquid Highlighter Comparison =-.

  54. Marmar says:

    Happy Bday!!!!!

    Egads.. my “organization” looks suspiciously like the first pic. Thus far I’ve resorted to using one of those big ole plastic Tupperware filing cabinet things.. I stick all of my lip products in the top draw but honestly, it’s a total mess. I did something similar like this with my nail polishes.. brilliant idea!
    .-= Marmar’s last blog post… Ride the beachy boho wave =-.

  55. Lorna says:

    that’s an excellent idea. i was thinking i would have to buy a container to store my lipsticks but this works so much better. ^_^

  56. marisa says:

    yay!!!! I’m so excited my comment inspired you to do this! it came out so well! you can also even skip the outer box and just tape together the lipstick boxes, that way i can make the organizer fit whatever drawer i want.

    to everyone who is worried because they threw out their boxes: i had the same issue, but luckily, because each new product you buy will provide a compartment for two items, it starts to catch up with the number you have (provided you are a makeup addict such as myself).

  57. Jaida says:

    This is a really cute & crafty idea! I’m definitely gonna take this into consideration once I start making more makeup purchases!
    .-= Jaida’s last blog post… My to-do…well MUST-do list =-.

  58. Lori says:

    I love this idea I created my own storage box out of an old box the a letter set came with and created the reference chart on the side of the box so I know what type im looking for. Thanks you have inspired me!

  59. Tiffany says:

    that chart is such a fab idea!!! and its gives u such a self-fullfilling joy~love it!!

  60. Shanda says:

    Love this idea, especially the swatch book!

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