I wish I was the type of person who was passionate about organization and tidiness. My mom, for instance, loves to clean, and it's one of her favorite ways to de-stress. Although I very much wish I inherited that gene, my collection of beauty products (be it in my car, bathroom, bedroom, hall closet, living room, or office) is a true dumpster-fire, completely destitute of rhyme, reason, and even an ounce of organization. Eek.
I know the chaos contributes to a low hum of anxiety for me, and I know my beauty routine would be significantly more efficient if I implemented a smart and strategic storage process for the hundreds of beauty products peppering my Los Angeles apartment. (I definitely spend more time searching for specific formulas than I do applying them!)
Knowing where or how to start, however, is where I always get stuck. So, you can imagine my excitement when Who What Wear asked Chanel celebrity makeup artist Nina Park to give us a tour of her beauty collection as part of our #WhoWhatWardrobes IGTV series. (The previous beauty-centric installment starred Beyoncé's makeup artist, Sir John.)
Park regularly works with clients such as Zoë Kravitz, Brie Larson, and Laura Harrier, and in addition to sharing her amazing collection of must-have makeup and skincare, I couldn't help noticing (and admiring) her inspiring storage setup. Park's East Village apartment in NYC is truly an inspiration for anyone looking to tackle their beauty organization game, and below, I'm sharing seven genius tips I learned from her in-depth tour (plus a detailed list of all the beauty products Park loves to prep her clients with). Keep scrolling!
Tip #1: Keep a "Swatch" Journal for Your Lip Colors
No matter the size of your makeup collection, it can be easy to forget what color cosmetics like lipsticks, lip liners, eye shadows, blushes, and more actually look like once they're swiped. And, if you're anything like me, you end up wasting more time swatching your arm and hand desperately trying to find the right shade than applying your actual makeup. Therefore, I'm obsessed with the idea of keeping a notebook à la Park in which I can organize and swatch all of my favorite products to easily reference. Jotting down the name and brand is also helpful.
"One of my favorite lip formulas right now are the Le Crayon Lèvres by Chanel. There are a lot of great colors in this line that I'm obsessed with. This one is called Nude Brun. It glides on smoothly, evenly, and the color is great to build the lip shape with."
"The Surratt Moderniste Lip Pencils are also beautiful. This one is Embrasses Moi. It's hydrating, and you can build it up as a lip color. It's also beautiful blended out on the lips for a wash of color too."
"I love the Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Lip Balm. It has a nice tint to it and is great for people who don't wear a lot of makeup but just want a slight hint of color on their lips. It's also super hydrating."
"One of my favorite hybrid lipstick-glosses has to be the Rouge Coco Flash, and this color Chicness is the perfect nude that's not too warm. It looks good on its own from the tube or padded on with fingers. You could really amp it up by using a neutral lip liner underneath too. It's really pretty."
"These work well for a soft, stained effect on the lips, as well as high-impact color, depending on how you use it. I'll normally take a small amount on a Q-tip and softly build pigment that way. On the lips, it's great to create an ombré lip if you want more of a strong pop of color in the center fading out into a natural lip tone. For a strong pop of color, you can use it straight from the tube directly onto the lips."
"The Rouge Allure Liquid Powders are some of my favorite lip products out now. If I want to do a bold color but want the finish to be a rose-petal velvety and rich, I'll use these at the very end to pat on top. I also love to blur out a coral red like this to wear alone on a bare face."
Tip #2: Invest in a Label Maker
"I might be one of the only beauty editors alive who doesn't do this. Alas, labeling the storage devices and containers you store your beauty must-haves in could be the single most important tip if you're looking to stay more organized and less likely to spend an hour digging through a drawer full of bronzers, blushes, shadows, and powders."
This might seem obvious, but without question, do like Park, and find plastic storage drawers that are at least relatively clear and pull out easily. Then, make sure the contents of said drawers are clearly labeled for easy access with said labels we mentioned above. Oh, and don't underestimate the utility of a clear, detachable pill case!
"To save time and space, I'll cut out the lipsticks and transfer them to detachable pill containers. It's easy to see all the colors without having to open up every single lipstick cap, and they weigh nothing, so I can travel with many at a time without weighing my suitcase down."
Think of your beauty collection like a mini closet sorted by your facial features or the different areas of the complexion like eyes, cheeks, lips, etc. For instance, collect all of your eye products, and then sort from there. Park demonstrates this tactic by keeping all of her stick shadows, pencil shadows, liquid shadows, and mascaras in one spot.
"I really like Huda Beauty's Matte and Metal Melted Double Ended Liquid Eye Shadows. One side is a flat color that's buildable and really pigmented. The other side has a fun gel-metallic shine to it, so you can wear it alone or top it off on top of color."
"Another option I really like is the Ombré Première Laque from Chanel. This one is called Rising Sun, and it's great with just some bronzer and some mascara. Really, it's like a five-minute makeup look and adds a really nice shine to the eyes."
"For highlighting the inner corners of the eyes, I really like these crayon sticks from Thrive Causemetics. This one is called Aurora. These are great to just pop in the tear duct and really open up the eye area."
"My favorite drugstore mascara is this one from Nyx Professional Makeup. I always keep a lot of these on hand—they are great for your everyday basic mascara to build, lengthen, and separate. It's a great option for anyone on a budget."
"My old assistant introduced me to this pen liner by TonyMoly. I love that the applicator is long yet has a really fine tip. It's perfect for creating a tight line that's invisible but opens up your eye. It's also really easy to get into the lash line by just stamping across, and it's also great to hide any adhesive on strip lashes."
"The Le Liner de Chanel is a great jet-black, inky liquid liner that's perfect for winged or graphic shapes. To me, the applicator almost feels like a calligraphy pen because of how easily it goes on and how it's easy to extend or curve or create a sharp line with precision."
Tip #5: Consider Adding a Section for Skincare
Professional makeup artists tell us time and time again that skincare prep is just as (or even more) important than the actual makeup application. If you have certain masks, moisturizers, eye creams, or other fun skincare treatments you like to use before or even during your makeup regimen, house them close by where you'll have easy access.
"I also love this Dear Hydration Facial Mist which I actually found at the airport when I was in Seoul. It's Banila Co., a Korean company, and the mist is so fine that it's perfect for evenly coating the skin. It really feels like water. It has a little bit of a scent to it, but it's great for setting makeup or if you just need a little boost of hydration through the day to refresh."
"My go-to eye cream is the Chanel Sublimage La Crème Yeux. This one actually came with a really cool applicator that I lost, but it's really rich and hydrating. I like to use it overnight, and by the time I wake up, the area is smooth, lifted, and you look like you slept for 10 hours."
"I really love this Dilo Oil by Kate Somerville—it's very, very lightweight. It doesn't feel heavy at all. Obviously, you can use this at the end of your skin prep by pressing it in after moisturizer to lock in all the moisture. I like to use a drop of this in foundation and it creates this luminous base that gives your skin a lit-from-within look.
"Gentle exfoliation is so important because it really allows products to penetrate deep into the skin and work better, so the Chanel Sublimage La Lotion Lumière Exfoliante is the one that I like to use. It's very gentle for everyday use and it doesn't leave your skin feeling raw or red. I get some cotton and saturate the pads until they're nice and damp, and then place them on the T-zone. I do it for about five to 10 seconds."
"I discovered these little face rollers in Japan. I really like this one in particular from Refa because it really hugs the skin really well, so it's great for any lymphatic drainage. It's great for sculpting, it's great to awaken the skin, and it feels really nice."
"My favorite acne treatment is the EradiKate by Kate Somerville. This one is great to really flatten out any stubborn or big red blemishes. What I'll usually do is sleep with this overnight, and by the time I wake up in the morning, I wash it off and it's diminished a lot in size. You dip a Q-tip in, and then you just dot it on wherever you need."
"If you need more moisture, Chanel's Hydra Beauty Micro Sérum is also great. This one feels gel-like and it really melts into the complexion and gives you a boost of hydration."
Tip #6: Create a "What Do You Have?" Bin
Okay, so this is brilliant. Think of this hack from Park as an updated (much more intentional) "junk drawer" that will basically house those random things people always ask you for, you're asking other people for, or you're always asking yourself for. Park gives examples like nail polish remover, a nail file, mouthwash, tweezers, boob tape, and a sewing kit.
Tip #7: Prioritize the Products You Use Most Often
You'd be amazed by how many "obvious" storage tips I know I should abide by but just don't. (Whoops!) From now on, however, I'll be using Park's rule to group together the products I use most often so they're easier to access. During her tour, she explains how she uses this method to organize her favorite foundations.