The vanity or dressing table is one part of every woman’s bed or bathroom that could potentially take a lot of abuse. Whether you’re a wash-and-wear type who spends five minutes on basic, no-nonsense skincare or someone who can spend hours playing around with an arsenal of makeup, it is important to keep your counter well-managed, organized and dirt-free.
1. Ziplock-in the hygiene
Most of your products are going directly onto your skin, exposing your face to bacteria and grime. Make sure to store loose cotton pads, cotton buds and facial tissue in containers to help prevent your skin from unwanted breakouts.
Easy Fix: Cosmetic wipes or moist towelettes are a great, one-step way to remove your makeup but often come in re-sealable packs that often lose adhesion when opened too often. Instead, store your wipes in a Ziploc bag can help lock the moisture in and leave your wipes clean, 24/7.
Read: Get great skin at home
2. Keep your dressing table clear
Vanities hold a lot of clutter potential—the sheer number of bottles, palettes, brushes and lipsticks can dominate your counter, leaving you with your own private cosmetic black hole. Storing your items in clear, acrylic containers allows you to separate items (one drawer for face makeup, another for unused products, for example) and find everything you need—no muss, no fuss.
Easy Fix: While you can find standard racks and drawers in stores like Make Room and MUJI, look to bookstores and office supplies stores for inspiration. Storage cases for CDs and DVDs can serve your purpose. And desk accessories like pen holders can double as stands for your brushes and palettes.
Read: Beauty mistakes that add years to your face
3. Brush up
Looking for a blender brush amidst an array of similar-looking tools can be a pain when getting ready in the morning. Instead of keeping your makeup brushes in a jumble, use a mug or cup or an upright container to store your favorite brushes. This way, they’re within easy reach and save you a few extra seconds of prep time. Storing your brushes with the bristles facing up also helps you see which tools are due for a washing.
Easy Fix: Fill your makeup brush holder or container with colored stones, glass beads or coffee beans (a plus—your vanity will smell divine!) to anchor your brushes and keep them standing separately.
Read: Baffled by beauty products?
4. Check the shelf life of your makeup
Beauty products have expiration dates that most women tend to forget. Allot an hour or two over the weekend to sort through everything you own. Throw out what can’t be used, prioritize using products that might be going bad soon, and keep newer items on standby. Cleaning up doesn’t just leave you with less junk, it also reintroduces you to products you forgot you had.
Easy Fix: Not all products are created equal, but the guide below will help you figure out the shelf life of your makeup. Face powders, blushes and eye shadows are less sensitive to time lapses—but remember that an off-putting smell is one sure sign that it’s time to say bye-bye.
|| Throw out after
|| 2 - 3 months
|| 1 year
|| 1 - 2 years
| Liquid Eyeliner
|| 3 - 4 months
Read: When it's time to throw away your beauty products
Chinggay Labrador is a freelance writer and stylist, contributing articles on beauty, lifestyle and design to local magazines. Her background in architecture has her profiling trends and homes throughout the region. A travel junkie who likes to frequent Japan and Korea, Chinggay is the former editor-in-chief of Sparkling, a quarterly K-Pop publication and is also the author of Popped and Popped, Too, books based on the fun, frivolity and friendship centered on Korean Pop music.