July 29, 2008

Back To School Beauty Finds: Makeup Storage

I swear I must be the only girl alive that loves wandering down the aisles of Staples and thinking up strange and unusual ways to use office supplies for beauty storage purposes. At the moment I’m using various desk top organizers that I purchased online and in office shops as storage for cosmetics (I happen to do the same thing with kitchen draw organizers too!). Oh well I never claimed to be normal!

I needed a few items for my office this week so I hurried down to Staples in excitement in what I’d find in the Back to School aisle that I could use for beauty purposes. I love Back to School! It’s the best time of the year for locating little pencil boxes, small plastic bins, and other awesome little compartments and boxes that I can use for stowing away lipsticks, shadows, and the likes!

Sadly, I didn’t find too much in Staples Back to School aisle aside from three kids bawling there eyes out and one frantic mum trying to quiet them. I suspect they didn’t like the idea of shopping for school supplies in July but that’s just my theory of course.

However, I did find one cheap and cheesy find that I am loving for travel storage! A rather cute plastic pencil case that snaps open to reveal a little pull out draw. Obviously it’s used for stowing away pencils and such but I find it particularly nice for stowing brushes when I’m traveling!

Great idea right?

It has enough room to hold a ton of your eye brushes and you can neatly hold at least five or six face brushes inside maybe more if you don’t mind them being squished up.

At 79 cents I’d say it’s a steal and a deal plus convenient! The Muse highly recommends heading down to your local office supply store and looking at Back to School pencil boxes in a new light! Consider your makeup collection inside instead of a buncha pencils, pens, and erasers.

Simple ideas from your silly, old Muse!

How the Muse stores her stash!

Sephora Metro Traincase

Lori Griener Cosmetic Storage Solutions

Kawaii Storage

MuseTV: Revisiting My Storage Solutions


About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • Tammy

    You’re not the only one who does this..lol..I think Walmart is my favorite back to school supply place because they’re always super cheap and they have a ton of containers and makeup for me to buy to put into the containers. =)
    btw this tip came at a great time..the hubby and I are going away soon.

    Your profile doens’t say where you’re from, but just from reading your blog I know we were both in Atlantic City around the same time..it’s like our cheap version of Vegas..lol..are you from New Jersey?

  • Laura

    Oh wow, what a great idea! I shall have to check out the back to school supplies around here, I need brush storage desperatley!

  • Dao

    I love this! I also stalk the kid’s back to school supply for storage ideas as well. Those hard plastic case to store pencils and such that are as big as your lunch box are great to store jars. I need some of those as well.

  • Nell

    I do the same all the time, lol!
    Nothing better than finding a great storage item.
    I so want your Lori Greiner chest (lemming it for years), but it is not available in Europe as far as I can see, and shipping costs for such a big item from the US are prohibitive. 🙁

  • Tracy

    i haven’t been back to school in years :D. that is such a cute pencil case! i want one now.

  • Decorative Diva

    This is a great idea!
    Since I’m planning on going to D*C I’m trying to figure out how to bring my brushes and not have them get smooshed.

  • Hollie

    Ooh, that’s a great idea!

    I’m sure you’ve been asked this three thousand times, but how did you get into reviewing makeup? Do you have another occupation? I’m assuming you get paid for the advertisements on your site, but still, I can’t help but wonder how you have so much cash for makeup! I hope you don’t mind me asking. In any case, I’m sorry for being nosy!

  • fiftycenthead

    You’re adorable! I need to organize my stash, so I think I’m going to stalk your blog and figure out some other great ideas. My stash is out of control!

  • Tanya Annette

    I absolutely LOVE office/school supplies! My office at work thinks I’m absolutely nuts when it’s time to make an Office Max order, because I’m just *so*excited* and I’m *so*excited* when the order comes in and I’m *so*excited* when I have to put the stuff away in our supply cabinet. Yes. Crazy 😀

    I haven’t been to the big office stores yet, but Target has some adorable stuff out this year for back to school. Especially Hello Kitty items 😀

  • melody

    this doesn’t pertain to this entry, but what are some cheap good m/u items from Japan? My friend is going, and she’s really into m/u and i want her to pick up stuff for me, but not tooo expensive. an entry would be awesome! 🙂

  • loey

    You’re not the only one who wanders about in officer supplies thinking about fitting cosmetics into those containers.
    I bought a few metal pencil cases to put my depotted MAC eyeshadows; each case stores about 12 eyeshadows and it’s nearly half the size of the 15-pan. 😛

  • makeupmag

    I love to talk about makeup storage although mine is in a rather prosaic wooden chest of drawers (practical but not so pretty)! I do use a few acrylic containers for some thingies. 😉

    I so understand your exploration of office supplies. I like to do the same at a stationery store AND the kitchen department! 🙂

  • melanie

    LOL. I am so glad to see your posts today. 🙂 It’s been a long and very *wearing* day. I had to laugh at your post, I am the EXACT same way. Office Max and Staples yep yep haha. I got a 4-section pen/pencil holder the other day and it is filled up with brushes. 🙂 But I also really love office supplies. I think I have more notebooks and day-planners than anyone I know, except maybe my mom.

    I actually got one of these a couple of years ago to use as my travel makeup case for touch ups… we’s on the same wavelength lady! I’m likin the changes on the site btw 🙂 *muah*

  • Askmewhats

    I have the exact pencil box in Pink!!! aaww that’s a lovely way to store the brush!!! thanks for sharing musey!

  • the Muse

    hey tammy!!!!!!!

    My sister freaking adores walmart. She always comes home with these uber cute boxes and plastic bits and bobs.

    Oh awesome! Hehe. Want one of these? I brought two of ’em!!!!

    Where you going? and more important can the Muse be tucked into your carry on?

    LOL exactly 🙂 AC the cheap vegas 🙂 (actually sometimes it’s cheaper to fly and stay in vegas than to get a hotel for two or three nights in AC! Jesus talk about costly!).

    I’m a New Yorker. Born and raised 😉

  • the Muse

    Hi Laura!

    😉 Want one of these lovie? I’ll include it with your package! Easy enough for me to nab another one!!!!!!

  • the Muse

    Hi Dao!

    Glad I’m not alone hehe. I always thought I was being weird looking at the back to school stuff 😉

    I love those huge plastic boxes! They are so fab for tucking piggies into!

    How are you today Dao? 😉 I’m off to go a reading to see what you’ve been up to this in the blogging world!

  • the Muse

    Morning Nell!

    hehe! I had no idea so many girls did the same thing 🙂 I thought I was nutty!

    yak! I wish I had some way to get it to you! It’s such a fab box for tucking away cosmetics plus looking pretty!

    Have you ever emailed qvc to see if they’d ship via fedex or some sort of airmail service?

  • the Muse

    hey tracy!!!

    LOL me either but it doesn’t stop me from going through the aisles in a mad frenzy seeking out cute pencil cases hehe 😉

  • the Muse

    hey dd!

    Here in lays your solution 😉 I have a few extra want one? Let me know!

    I’ll never used ’em all 😉

  • the Muse

    hi vanessa!

    Perfect! That’s what I’ll do with one of mine 🙂

  • the Muse

    hi Hollie!!!

    Thanks darlin’ 🙂

    Mmm…dunno just sorta fell into it. 🙂 I started this blog on myspace and before that on LJ….LJ I rarely posted but on myspace I posted a ton.

    I don’t work in the makeup industry or anything. Just really passionate about cosmetics 🙂

    There’s an interview on Beauty of Life featuring yours truly and it covers the basics of what I do, who I am, etc…also if you click on the menu on top there is a new About the Muse section which kinda explains who I am, what I do when I’m not blogging, etc.. 🙂


    I don’t mind at all 🙂 thanks for being interested in little old me 😉

    As for the adverts it’s chump change at best hehe def can’t live off it =-) Maybe one day!?!??!

  • the Muse

    hiya fiftycenthead!

    Aw shucks thanks 🙂 *blush*!

    hehe don’t hang around here long b/c your stash will get bigger 😉


  • the Muse

    hi Tanya Annette!

    Me too Me too! 😉

    LMAO not crazy at all! I’m the SAME way! I adore office supplies 😉 and ordering them is the highlight of the month around here lol!

    Oooo! must hit target! I heard they are having some awesome new cosmetics in too like from Pixi and stuff! AHHH! Can’t wait 🙂

    HELLO KITTY!!!!!! Kawaii! Must go to Target today lol!

  • the Muse

    hiya melody!

    Hmmm what sort of price range are you looking at? 20usd? 10usd? lower?

    Let me know and I can give you some good options to purchase 🙂

  • the Muse

    hi loey!

    Hehehe awesome join the club 😉

    Awesome find!!! I haven’t depotted my shadows as of yet but I’m interested in doing so to save space and this sounds ideal for stashing them!

  • the Muse

    hey mags!

    Wooden chest sounds fine too me 🙂

    Oh lord I LOVE stationary stores for that reason lol! They always have uber cute stuff. I particularly love scoring stuff at cute stores in China Town. They always have such cute little containers 🙂

  • the Muse

    hey mel!!!!!!!

    hehe 🙂 I was a bit delayed on Monday due to bad weather knocking cable out plus being SWAMPED at work 🙂

    Gosh I really need something to stow brushes in that would work a treat. I’ve been using different colored Victorian vanity jars but they don’t hold everything!

    LOL I am ALWAYS buying planners just b/c they are pretty LORD!

    Definitely twins 😉

    Oh THANKS! Appreciate it 🙂 I have to link you up btw!!!!!!


  • Beauty Addict

    Hey Izzy, wow didn’t think of that. It’s a great idea! 🙂

    Looking at these boxes bring back many childhood memories. I love using this to store my makeup pencils when I was kid.

    Daiso is another great place to shop for makeup storage (if u have it?) One of their containers has these segregated dividers that makes it fab for storing lipsticks!

    gracie 🙂

  • melody

    hmmm maybe 20 us dollars and lower =P
    my friend’s leaving tomo. so hopefully you’ll get this comment soon!

  • the Muse

    hey mel!

    Oh perfect.

    Here’s some good brands in that price range:

    Majorca Majolica

    Look through my little list of bookmarks and you’ll see the websites! Click through ’em and you’ll see some of the products plus prices 😉

    Hope this helps!

    Also plenty of reviews on here for those brands 🙂

    looking for anything in particular?

    single shadows?

  • the Muse

    hi gracie!


    😉 Thanks!

    Me too lol!!!!!! I used to have tons of HK boxes and bits to store my pencils and such 🙂

    There is a daiso in CA and it’s heaven. Simply nirvana 🙂 Wish we had one in NY!

    I WISH we had one here! i’d be broke though visiting for cheap stuff daily lol!

  • Tammy

    Hey! I was pretty sure I had left another comment here responding to you, but I don’t see it..so just in case you never got it..

    I would love the 2nd one..email me at [email protected]

    The hubby and I are going to north carolina..it’s a business trip for him but I get to tag along and roam the streets of nc looking for makeup..lol

    I’ve never been to Vegas.. =(
    I know I’m missing out..lol..I must get there soon!!

    I love in Northern Jersey..about 15 minutes away from the city..considering there isn’t traffic..which never happens..lol..

  • the Muse

    hiya tammy!

    Hmmmm…could be blogger ate it up 🙂

    Do me a flavor and email me your addy? it’s easier 😉

    NC? I wanna go..please? hehe!

    Vegas is fab but hot as hades 😛

    Lord traffic here is intense..dunno the words “no traffic” hehe…