Collecting makeup can be quite a challenging feat. Aside from the obvious monetary expenses, makeup hobbyists can face the very real problem of not being able to keep track of every single product in our collection. It may not seem like such a big deal until you realize that:

  • You keep accidentally buying multiples of the same product because you forgot that you already have it
  • You can’t remember what your foundation shade is so you end up buying the wrong one
  • Or you unearth barely-used or even unopened makeup that you have to throw away because it has already expired.

Sounds like such a waste, right? And even if your collection isn’t massive enough to experience those hoarding boo-boos, chances are you only end up using a small portion of your collection because, well, they’re in the most accessible part of your vanity or have never left your kikay kit. If you love your makeup collection and want to make the most out of it, then makeup cataloging is your new BFF!

The Analog Album Catalog

Yup, it’s pretty similar idea to the sales catalogs you see from Avon and Mary Kay. The goal is to provide you with an overview of what you have, including important details like when you bought it and first used it. It’s a lot of work at first but once you get a hang of logging in all your purchases, it can be pretty fun to do! Your catalog should also be able to help you with how you store your makeup as you’ll know when products are about to expire and should be used first, or if you want to change the lineup every month. Here are some great ideas to get you started on tracking your collection!

Ever been gifted a photo album that you don’t use because all your photos are stored online? Turn them into a pretty display of all your lippies! Include actual shade swatches so you can just leaf through it when looking for the perfect lip to complete your look. It’s best to dab some tissue on the product swatch to absorb any excess oil but since the pages are usually covered in plastic, you won’t have to worry about them smearing.

The Digital Catalog

A good friend of mine has drawers after drawers of lippies, and she recently told me that she keeps an Excel file to keep track of them. They’re sorted by shade families (Plums & Berries, Pinks, Reds, Browns) and she makes sure to update it whenever she buys a new one. Of course, you can use this for every other beauty item in your collection – just create separate tabs. A digital makeup catalog like this can also be easily stored on your phone, so you can access it wherever you are. Add as much information as you like: where you bought from, what was the price, even mini reviews to help you decide on whether or not to repurchase. And if you want to rotate your items, you can create your schedule here and make sure that none of your products are neglected.

Image via beautykeeper.com

Image via beautykeeper.com

There’s An App For That (of course)

There are actually a lot of useful beauty apps that you can get for your smartphone, and it’s probably the easiest option to go for! Beauty Keeper (iOS) tracks the expiration dates of the products that you own and sends reminders when it’s time to chuck something out. As their names suggest, My Makeup Collection (iOS/Android) and MyBeautyCache (iOS) make tracking your collection very convenient. You can even sort them by product type or brand, so you can easily pull it up when you spot a sale and stock up on your favorites.

“Out of sight, out of mind” is the most common problem we encounter when it comes to high piles of makeup. Aside from decluttering your collection, it helps to create visual reminders to give some TLC to products that you neither hate nor love. Use acrylic containers or small pretty boxes that you can display on your vanity, and put the products currently in use (or encouraged for use) in there. You may want to keep newer items inside your drawers or somewhere that’s not within easy reach, so you won’t be tempted to use them and grab the more easily accessible ones in the box instead.

There’s no one best solution for cataloging your makeup; it really depends on what your goals are and what system you find to be most useful for your needs. Just keep trying until you find what works best for you, and above all, have fun!

Original post can be found in Project Vanity.