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How To Store Makeup Brushes So They’re Always Clean, Tidy, And Handy

WRITTEN by CHRISSY, LAST UPDATED ON June 1, 2024

& FILED IN Home Organising, Bedroom 

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Looking for the right way to store makeup brushes? Here are all the options you’ve got (some of which may surprise you). Which is the right solution for you?

How To Store Makeup Brushes - So They Stay Clean, Tidy, AND Handy!

There is a huge amount of different types of makeup that we can use – and applying them means having the right tools as well.

This means that alongside all that makeup, there will naturally be a lot of brushes to store.

But how should they be stored, and what are the best makeup brush storage options out there?

That’s what I want to look at today, if you’re (not like me, as I don’t have much makeup) like my daughter who lives by her ever growing collection!

Before Choosing Your Storage, Here Are The Things To Think About

#1 – How Many Have You Got?

The size of your collection will make a difference to what options you have available to pick from, unless you decide that they can be split up into smaller sections when stored.

It’s always worth gathering them altogether and seeing exactly what you’re working with.

TIP – If you think your collection will grow over time, then you also need to allow room for this as well in your chosen storage option.

#2 – Where Do You Want To Store Them?

Again, this will determine what options for storage you have available. You may have one or more of these in mind:

  • In a drawer
  • On top of a dressing table or suitable surface
  • In your handbag / gym bag etc…

TIP – If you have softer-feeling brushes like those made of nylon, silk, or boar hair, you’ll need to keep them out of direct sunlight, and soft brushes can dry out quickly and lose shape after being exposed to air too long. 

#3 – Do They Need To Be Kept In A Particular Way?

You want to store the brushes so they stay in pristine condition – whether this means laying them flat, or putting in a pot with the bristles facing upwards.

If they’re in a pot, it’s worth making sure it has individual holes for the brushes to stand upright so that they don’t get damaged through contact with one another, and the holes are of the right sizes for the brushes you want to store.

Plus, a lid is a good idea as it will protect the bristles from air, moisture, and dust. It would also be handy to keep brushes safe if you need to transport them anywhere.

The other way to do this is to have a protective cover on each individual brush…

Lastly – make sure you choose a container with enough dividers for all the different types of brushes you have in your collection. 

#3 – Are They Similar In Shape And Size?

Foundation, Blusher and Bronzer brushes tend to be the largest as they cover a large area when in use.

Whereas eye shadow and lip brushes tend to be the smallest.

You may have all types of brushes, and so you need your storage to allow for the differences in shapes and sizes, or you may only use a brush for one or two applications – and so only have a certain shape / size to store.

Makeup brushes split into containers with different types of brushes (lip, eye, blush etc...)

#4 – Do You Want Them Stored According To Purpose – or some other way?

Another consideration is whether you want the brushes stored in a certain order.

Some things you may want to look at are:

  • Medium – Some brushes (lips for example) use wet product, whereas other brushes use dry product (powder). You don’t want these to get mixed up as that will affect each of their products when you apply them.
  • Type – Maybe you want to keep all your eye brushes together, all your lip brushes together, etc…
  • Size / Shape – Perhaps you like to have them neatly lined up in terms of how they look?

TIP – If you find that you often forget which makeup brush shape and size is intended for which product, is to add a small identifying label either to the handle of each brush or (if your container allows it) to each divider. 

Makeup brush storage that's got holes for individual brushes, and is labelled with the type of brushes in each section

Types Of Makeup Brush Storage You Can Pick From

While it’s easy to fall into the habit of keeping your brushes in your makeup bag with your other makeup products, this can easily lead to the bristles getting crushed and bent out of shape.

That’s why I always recommend using a specific container that’s separate from everything else, and allows your brushes to ‘breathe’ – while being ideal for the size, shape, and purpose your specific brush collection needs.

Static Options

These are the types of storage that doesn’t move. It’s bought for a specific place in your home, and stays there…

Collection Of Decorative Pots

The easiest and most eclectic of the options available. You can simply pick containers that fit your decor and aesthetic and make it a real work of art!

TIP – This is a great way of upcycling old candle pots. When you’ve finished with the candle, pour boiling water into it to dissolve the remaining wax – and wipe clean. Then you have a stunning pot to add your brushes into!

Other options are: –

  • Metal cans – when you’ve eaten the food, wash them out and take the paper cover off. You could leave metal, or paint.
  • Small vases
  • Mugs
  • Toothbrush Holder
Dressing table with a black pot of makeup brushes on top - along with a gold vase

Specific Container With Dividers

Of course, there are lots of ready made, fit-for-purpose options out there to choose from.

You can find something for most aesthetics, whether you want a more hidden option, or visible – there’s something for everyone.

Some of my favourites are: –

acrylic storage pots with makeup brushes and makeup in

Mix of These 2!

I really like the idea of having my own pots but with the added benefit of diving them up. As such, I have found that adding in some marbles / stones etc… to the pots make this a great DIY option to get that benefit.

Update: I’ve actually found a paid for version and it has a lid – so this could be the ideal option if you like the idea but don’t want to DIY!

Portable Options

If you’re someone who carries their makeup with them for touch-ups during the day, you’ll need to purchase a portable makeup brush container for at least some of your brushes.

Depending on how often you’re applying makeup when out and about – this may actually be your main makeup brush storage – and just goes where you go. Or it might simply be in addition to one of the static options above that you have in your home for the majority of your brushes to stay safe.

BRUSH ROLL

This is a great option because it gives you all the benefits of having your brushes separated, and visible – and also protected. You simple have a roll of fabric with individual compartments for the brushes – and you can roll up when finished, and unroll when you need them.

TIP – This is also a great option if you want to keep your brushes in a drawer in a compact way. However, it’s not perfect if you won’t want to carry all your collection with you when out and about.

makeup brush storage roll filled with a selection of makeup brushes
lady putting on makeup and using brushes that have been stored in a wrap up roll

SMALL CASE

You could get a solid case or a silicone one (popular as you can clean this really easily) – either of which would be the perfect option to pop into your bag when you’re going out anywhere so it’s always ready, and you know it won’t get damaged.

The only downside of these are that they don’t always separate the brushes. That means for one or two brushes it would be fine, but for lots, then a roll (see above) may be preferable.

BRUSH BAG

This is a great idea if you want to have your brushes altogether and with you wherever you go, and also want them hidden away when you’re at home.

The Ideal Setup

If you’re still not sure what’s best for you, then these are my main tips to follow:

  • Keep brushes stored in groups (lips, blusher, etc…) – separately so they don’t transfer makeup between them.
  • Add a lid whenever you can – to keep safe from moisture and dust, and to protect the bristles from any damage.
  • Carry around the least possible brushes, as transporting them increases the likelihood of damage. Make sure any travel option is hard cased for as much protection as possible.

EXTRA TIP – If you live with other girls / ladies and find your brushes are often ‘borrowed’ – then why not add a little nail varnish to the bottom of each of yours in one colour. That way you know exactly whose are whose…

How To Store Makeup Brushes - So They Stay Clean, Tidy, AND Handy!

If you follow all of these tips, your makeup brush collection will be neat and practical, and your brushes will last longer!

Whatever you pick, I hope you find a solution that’s ideal for your specific needs – after all, that’s what it’s all about!

And if you’ve got any other options to add to this list, I’d love to hear about them – so please leave a comment below. Thanks in advance!

Read Next: How to Organise Nail Varnish – An Easy Solution You’ll Love!

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This article was written by Chrissy

Hi - I'm Chrissy... Having run my own business for 12 years as a Professional Organiser and Interior Designer, I know what works (and what doesn't!) when it comes to setting up a home that works both functionally and aesthetically. Now you can mostly find me in a coffee shop or at home, working full time on OrganiseMyHouse.com (which I setup back in 2011) sharing all my tips and ideas. My mission is to help you create a home that you love to live in every day...

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