How to: Makeup Vanity Cases

Updated April 17, 2017

A make-up vanity case should hold everything you need to get ready in a hurry. Whether you're creating a natural make-up look for the day or going all out with a dramatic look for night, having make-up essentials in your vanity case will ensure everything you need is within reach. Keep your vanity case organised and up to date for a convenient go-to kit.

Choose a make-up vanity case that suits you. Make-up vanity cases don't have to come from the beauty section of a store. Items like a plastic storage box, small plastic columns with drawers, or a designer shoebox can hold your cosmetics. This vanity case will sit on your vanity or come out when you do your daily make-up routine, so be sure it is small enough to get around and does not create an obtrusive look sitting on or under your vanity.

Weed out expired make-up. When creating the ideal make-up vanity case, it's important you rid your make-up collection of any old make-up that's no longer usable. Anything that has a strange smell should immediately be thrown out. Mascaras are the biggest culprit and should be tossed after 3 months. Cream formulas such as blush, foundation or concealer can be held on to for up a year and powder formulas last the longest, so ditch them after 2 years. Lip products can stay around for 2 years after opening.

Determine your essentials. If you have a large make-up collection, this can be difficult to do. You need all of your daily face make-up and brushes. One or two blushes, including a dark shade for contouring and a peach or pink hue for adding colour can be enough for regular make-up. For eye shadows, have a highlighting shade, a matt skin tone, a contouring colour and a black or dark brown shadow that can be used for a quick smoky eye. Mascara and your preferred eye liner should be included, along with a neutral lip pencil and lip products you regularly reach for.

That said, create your own rules. Maybe false lashes are a daily essential for you, in which case they would make the cut for the make-up vanity case. You want to store items you regularly use in this case, along with the essentials for a slightly dramatic look that can be achieved when you are short on time.

Section make-up off according to use. Within your make-up vanity case, keep like products together so you aren't endlessly searching through the case. It will help if your vanity case has dividers of some sort. Place all brushes together with the bristles facing up. All face make-up such as concealer, foundation and loose powder should be together. Blushes can be stored with face make-up. All eye shadows should be together and all eye make-up products, such as liners and mascara, in another section. Shadows can be further divided by light and dark shades. Lip products should all go together, regardless of colour.


If you are dealing with a large open space such as a plastic bin, check out an office supply store for small baskets that can store your like products within the make-up vanity case.

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About the Author

Samantha Cabrera is a freelance editor and writer, covering fashion and beauty. She currently serves as the Fashion Director of, and writes, a blog of b5 media. Cabrera also serves as the National Women's Fashion Examiner for and has written for and Cabrera is a native Texan and attended the University of Houston.