Building Your Kit Part 3: Storage Secrets

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Now that you have your basic bag system set up, it’s time to figure out how you can compartmentalize. The most important thing to think about in organizing your kit is to think about what you can do to make carrying, locating and working from product as easy as possible. If you closely observe your own makeup application methods, you will see the patterns emerge in the order of your products, and organically devise the perfect way to keep them accessible. 

With any makeup kit system, I suggest separating into multiple categories, keeping like with like. I divide the product and tools in my kit into the areas of application, for example: foundation with foundation, powders with powders, and all brow products together. I also like to combine my product in the order in which I tend to apply makeup. Example—I keep complexion with complexion, and then subdivide color correctors, foundations, concealers, and powders into their own sections. I find this helps me to be the most organized and efficient. Now that you’ve organized your product it’s onto the fun part—storage! Check out some of my favorite makeup storage ideas below.

Compartmentalizing

There are many options available for dividing and organizing your product into separate sections. My preference is to use clear plastic bags that allow me to see everything and set up only what I need on my makeup station. Ziploc bags are an inexpensive option for arranging and organizing your kit. They will allow you to separate your categories into sections and make it easy for you to find product.

I, however, prefer to carry sturdier vessels than Ziplocs to hold my makeup. There are many options available at all price points. My favorite are The Powder Group’s clear soft packs, which come in various shapes and sizes. They are great for storing in your kit or carrying right onto set. They are resilient and work well to put into any bag, making the most of small spaces.

Travel Sizes

Travel-sized bottles are a terrific way to make your kit more lightweight. Pouring liquids into generic 2 or 3 ounce bottles allows you to travel with your kit and provides more than enough product for any and every job. Decanting creams from their original containers and putting them in smaller sized plastic containers can also guarantee that you are preserving your product longer by exposing smaller amounts. And finally, these label free bottles allow you the freedom to assemble your kit based on what you need and not by brand awareness. With generic containers, your client doesn’t  get all caught up in the label or fancy packaging and you can use less expensive drugstore brands along with pro and prestige brands to your discretion.  

Palettes as Organizers

Palettes are an ideal way to keep all of your product together and carry a maximum amount of product, taking up minimal space. You can purchase palettes pre-made or you can buy empty palettes and fill them with your own product. Whether you are depotting powder and cream products from their pans  or cutting down lipsticks, you will find a number of empty palette options in every price point from companies like Z Palette, Frends Beauty, Alcone NYC, and Japonesque.

Other Organizers

To get organized, you can always pirate products from other industries and then adapt them for makeup containers. Sectioned pill containers and bobbin boxes are ideal options for producing your own palettes, and pencil cases are great for carrying just about anything. I also love scouring craft stores, hardware stores, and office supply stores to see how I can transform other industry storage options for my kit. Those hard plastic containers used to carry tools are great for protecting precious product in my kit from rough and tumble travel, and the airtight jars for craft glue are ideal for creams that tend to evaporate over time. 

Check out Part 1 and Part 2 of James Vincent's Building Your Kit series, and stay tuned for Part 4: Brush Up!

As Director of Artistry for The Makeup Show, The Powder Group and On Makeup Magazine, makeup artist James Vincent has touched every facet of the industry with his talent. With specialties in film and theatre, television and celebrity work, editorial and runway work, James is foremast a passionate educator, training for brands such as MAC, Stila, CNN and Lancome. He continues to inspire the next wave of artists with his beauty expertise. Follow James on Twitter 

@JVincentmakeup.