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How to Apply 5S: Makeup Storage -

Organizing makeup is art. At least, that’s the way I see it when I walk into brightly lit, seemingly sterile Sephora stores across the US and also into the beauty section of the Ala Moana Shopping Center’s Nordstrom. My makeup drawers and bags? Not so artsy, or sterile.

Staying on top of cosmetic clutter will help save you time in the morning and whenever you’re preparing to go out somewhere nice. Keeping up with makeup messes will help you avoid minor sweaty sessions of panic when choosing which bronzer to use, how shimmery the shadow should be, or to contour (or not)!

Here’s how to apply 5S to your makeup storage, the next post in our How to Apply 5S series.

5S -

Before 5S

This is when “Where’s my chapstick?!” whining begins each morning. Swing open that cabinet or drawer and prep for step one which is to sort! The old, the bad, the good, the ugly and the broken. Broken and old don’t ever get used. Empty everything out…

Before 5S - Makeup
Does my face look as messy as this? Yikes!

Step 1: Sort

By removing the unwanted, old, and broken from above, we can now set in order what we do want and use. We can also categorize the blushes, bronzers, eyeliners and eyeshadows.

Sort - Makeup
To keep or not to keep…

Step 2: Set In Order

Time to set the standard by setting in order! All my makeup products and tools will go in one drawer once I toss what’s expired or no longer in use. There may have been triples of the same lip gloss color! Now, there are no triples, the brushes are clean and everything is in it’s own category with it’s own matching partners:

  • Lipgloss and lipsticks stand up straight in the acrylic divider
  • Shadows lay flat and visible, face up
  • Brushes are brush side up for quick drying post cleaning
Brushes - Makeup
Put your brushes up!
Lipglosses - Makeup
Lip products all together in an acrylic organizer.

Step 3: Shine

Getting rid of the unwanted leaves you with all the goods! Give those goods and daily use items a clean place to live. Remember, the same drawer or makeup bag you use to store the products is what goes on your face. Keep it clean!

Dirty Makeup Drawer
Pre clorox wipes – yikes!

Grab the clorox wipes or the Mrs. Meyer’s Multi-Surface spray, your choice! If you house your makeup in a drawer like I do, spray and wipes will do the trick. If you’re using acrylic dividers (as pictured above) you may need to get out the soap and bubbles! And, if your makeup bag is just plain stained for good, I would consider a replacement bag with zipper pockets for easy organization and transportation.

Post Clorox Wipes - Makeup
Clorox wipes work wonders!

Step 4: Standardize

Now that everything is sorted and in order, there are new purchasing rules! The first thing I did? Emptied my Sephora shopping cart online. After the first 3 steps, I was able to see that my eyeshadows are not expired and I do not need 2 more new lipglosses. From now on:

  • Save $252 per year by not purchasing a new lipgloss every month
  • Use the same lipgloss for 12 months, until it expires, or until it’s entirely used
  • Replace my mascara every 3 months, not every time I walk into a Target
  • I currently have 3 on hand that I will use all of first
  • Only keep 1 sunscreen and 1 foundation on hand
Standardize - Makeup
Easy to see what I need and where to put it back when I am done.

Step 5: Sustain

With daily checks, I can now sustain the maintained drawer. Each time I pick up a lipgloss from the bottom corner, it gets put right back. I’ve also added blue sticky notes under each designated area of the drawer to support my improved makeover space. Check it out:

Sustain - Makeup
Visual Management that is simple and bright.

This organized beauty draw now allows me to feel less rushed and beautiful in the mornings!

5S Training -

5S Training
Single Module

For a better understanding of 5S and an overview of Lean Six Sigma, check out our 5S Training!

How have you applied 5S in your restroom or bedroom? Please share your story with us in the comments below. We’d love to see how organized you are! And be sure to check out our 5S hub page⁠—5S: An Easy Way to Eliminate Waste⁠—for other great ways to apply 5S!

Jurija Metovic

Jurija is the Client Experience Manager at and provides extraordinary support to our clients to ensure their Lean Six Sigma process improvement journeys are easier and more streamlined every step of the way.