Beauty Storage and Organization in a College Dorm

While most college stress comes from classes, finding time to sleep, and trying not to fail your exams, finding a place to put all of your  makeup in a  14 foot by 10 foot dorm room can be a bit of an added challenge. To study well, it helps me when things are where they should be and my room isn’t a complete and total mess.  However, finding a place to fit my makeup without having it spread across my whole room took a bit of experimenting.


I do all of my makeup at my desk with my Conair Illumina Collection Two Sided Makeup Mirror so that I am not hogging the mirror and sink. I like that the mirror has a kick stand that folds up so that I can fold it up and push the mirror to the back of my desk when I don’t need it.

I always have my laptop close by because I always like to watch/listen to YouTube videos when I am putting on my makeup. I was watching Lizzie Bennet Diaries when I took this picture, which was a web series of a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice. It is absolutely wonderful (I’m sad it’s over!), and if you are a fan of P&P then please do yourself a favor and check it out (link to first video above).


I have all my brushes separated into two mason jars filled with rice to keep them upright. They are divided with one jar being for face brushes and the smaller jar being for eye shadows and powders. It really helps me to keep them separate because some of the e.l.f. brushes I have look very similar, and I don’t want to mix up a sparkly eye shadow brush with a concealer brush!

In my top desk drawer, I keep some essentials close by. Q-tips are a absolute necessity considering I always smudge my eye makeup. I bought the glass container they are in from Goodwill for $.75, and I love it. I also have a container full of bobby pins because keeping them in one place makes them easier to find!


A lot of you may have seen my DIY makeup organizer before, which is sitting on top of the blue crates.  This is where I keep all of my makeup. The organizer is in reach of my desk chair, so I can just get products out and put them back as needed.

The wooden box is a Goodwill bargain as well. I keep random things in there that I can’t be bothered to put away. It’s usually the holding place for an earring after I misplace the other one. Luckily, I am a pro at earring recovery.

I keep all of my nail polish in a snap top plastic container that I bought at Walmart. I used to keep my polishes with my beauty products, but my nail collection got a little too big to make room for all of them.


In the sink area, I bought this wooden (plant?) holder from Goodwill for $1, and I keep all the items that are too tall to fit into the medicine cabinet here. It keeps it organized and out of the way, and when it’s time to clean the counter, I can just pick up the whole thing instead of all the individual bottles.

Overall, if you are looking for some new things to help organize your beauty products or anything in your room, Goodwill has some great deals on small containers, organizers, and dishes that can be converted into organizers. I would definitely recommend that you take a look and save a few pennies at a thrift shop if you don’t want to splurge on a brand new ring dish/brush holder/cotton ball container/whatever.

How do you organize your makeup? Are you structured in your organization or are you more of a disorganized chaos lover?


11 thoughts on “Beauty Storage and Organization in a College Dorm

  1. The Duchess May 13, 2013 / 11:32 am

    My organization is a mess. It’s so bad but I’m hoping to be moving soon so I am not bothering with re-working it. It will likely be a smaller room than I have now so I’ll have to rework that too. I might get one of those ikea malm dressing tables though :D

    • Sam May 14, 2013 / 2:37 pm

      Woah. I just googled malm dressing table because I didn’t know what it was. WOAH. That’s so cool. I would get annoyed having to scoot back every time I opened the drawer though. Still, it looks pretty freaking awesome.

      • The Duchess May 14, 2013 / 9:30 pm

        Haha! Yea it has glorious storage but the scooting back thing will be something I’ll have to deal with too. Sounds like you’re like me (in that you like to get right up against the desk).

  2. Olga K'ay - May 14, 2013 / 3:36 am

    I haven’t figured out my make-up organization yet ;) I find lipsticks at all sorts of random places these days.

    I too like to watch youtube videos when doing make-up, but I usually end up missing most of what’s in it. Still nice to have it for some background noise.

    • Sam May 14, 2013 / 2:43 pm

      Yeah, I usually just put on beauty bloggers in a favorites video or product review in the background because mostly they are just talking and occasionally showing a product. lol. I find lip products in all of my bags in random pockets. It’s fun when I find something I haven’t seen in a couple of weeks! :)

  3. All Things Jasmine May 15, 2013 / 3:55 am

    I love how you put text on your pictures! How do you do that? Is it photoshop or just an easy app I don’t know of? :) Also, great post! :)

    • Sam May 15, 2013 / 8:12 am

      I use Photoshop, but you should be able to use any photo editing software to add text (Paint included). There are also a million free, cool fonts you can download online. :)

      • All Things Jasmine May 15, 2013 / 5:14 pm

        Allright, thanks so much! :)

  4. abeautifultwentysomethinglife May 16, 2013 / 7:13 pm

    That mirror looks fantastic! I’m not living in a dorm anymore ( although I am still in college) but this mirror looks like it would be great to have even in my apartment! I love how you organized this space :)

    • Sam May 16, 2013 / 10:10 pm

      Thanks. :) I’ve been using it for awhile. It’s nice, but I think after a year the light bulbs are ready to be replaced because it’s started getting super dim!

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