An Ode to Clear Pouches: Streamlining my makeup routine

I have the attention span of a gnat and an apparently tenuous grasp of object permanence*, so every time I try to organize things into smaller bags, boxes, or pouches, the contents of the containers are inevitably don’t see daylight for months, or if they’re actually used, migrate out onto the nearest open flat surface or main bag compartment.

After traveling for work back in February and dusting off the old TSA toiletry bags, I remembered how much I freaking love how travel pouches and packing cubes streamline everything and realized that there’s no reason that clear pouches have to be relegated to use outside of the apartment. The clear toiletry pouch I had was a freebie that came with some random Walgreens toiletry bottles that had disintegrated at the seams, so I figured I could treat myself to a new sturdier one.

I found a cute half circle pouch from Madewell (“small crystalline half moon pouch”, which I bought several weeks ago and alas is out of stock at time of writing) which ended up being the perfect size for my daily items. The tapered half moon shape is definitely not the most efficient shape for storage, but I’ve been enjoying it anyway, enough that I might get another one or two for bag organizing if they restock. You definitely don’t need anything fancy for this though – whatever you have on hand that’s the right size to hold your daily products will do.

Keeping my daily makeup and skincare stuff in one pouch combined with changing up products to go brush-free has been so helpful at making it easy to get started with my makeup routine in the mornings. No need to collect all the items and get distracted reorganizing or swatching things in the process. And as a bonus, I can have everything out at once which wasn’t possible without the pouch given the lack of counter space on my sink. I do still have my collection of eyeshadows, but I optionally apply those at the end of my routine, so I know I’ll at least have finished my base and reset the pouch for the next day before playing around with any of that.

Having the pouch out while I’m applying things so I can immediately put them back and at the end just toss the whole thing into the medicine cabinet has been much easier for me to stick to rather than putting each individual item back in an individual place on a tray or shelf, and not having anything extra in the pouch means there’s no digging around for stuff or getting stuck choosing a product if I’ve got more than one option. I’ll just use whatever’s in there til it’s out. Or for things like lip tints, I occasionally swap them out, but I only keep one of each product type in there to avoid choice paralysis.

This all works for me as I like the ritual of applying makeup and having some color on my face, but I’m not too particular with it as long as it doesn’t clash with my hair. I also prefer softer styles of makeup over more crisp styles that require precision of brushes**, so I don’t expect that this method would suit everyone! But if you also find that you like putting stuff on your face in the morning when you remember to, but have a hard time actually getting your shit together enough to do it every day, I think it’s worth considering trying out this more capsule-wardrobe method if you’re currently keeping your skincare and makeup stuff all together in one big storage unit.

Have you ever made any changes on the application or organization side for your makeup or morning routines? What do you find easiest or most enjoyable to stick to? Let me know in the comments!

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*I joke somewhat there, but I do officially have ADHD brain wiring. I wasn’t diagnosed until last year but WHEW that was a freaking game changer. It explained SO MUCH about how I work and helped me work on reframe how I approach a lot of things.

**If streamlining is helpful for you but you need brushes, I’d recommend getting into the mindset that washing your brushes IMMEDIATELY and putting them up to dry is just part of the step of applying eyeshadow or whatever. I’m definitely someone who will avoid tasks the bigger they seem, so when I was still using a brush for brow pomade, it was worse to think about having to wash a bunch of stuff as a separate chore on the weekend rather than just taking the extra minute right there. But again, YMMV! It just depends what working and organizing style you prefer.

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Stuff I currently have in the pouch, for those curious! I’m strongly in the YMMV camp for beauty products, but I’m nosy and love seeing what’s in people’s bags, so I figured I’d share. (* denotes affiliate link)

  • Neutrogena UltraSheer Face sunscreen (tragically discontinued, this is my last one I hoarded and I’m going to have to find another option….)
  • Make Up For Ever full coverage concealer* in sand 7 – staying power on this stuff is great. I’m on my third or fourth tube now but it lasts ages. This one doesn’t quite match my skin tone but I find the lighter yellower tone seems to work for spot concealing and around my nose.
  • Saie Slip Tint* tinted moisturizer in shade 4 – they got me on that influencer marketing blitz they did a few months ago, but it works perfectly fine as a tinted moisturizer, it’s available at Sephora, and the I like the container – a tube with capped pump applicator is really convenient, wish more stuff came like that.
  • Glossier Boy Brow eyebrow gel in black – I am sure this is overhyped but the formula and applicator size works for me
  • Glossier Brow Flick pen in black – I like tapered marker tip applicator products for brows more than pencils, even the push-up/retractable ones. Again I’m sure this is nothing special, I have been getting this with the brow gel because it’s convenient.
  • Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm* – I buy the larger size but decant into a travel size jar. This is also mostly ethylhexyl palmitate with safflower oil, so if you don’t mind a liquid consistency it’ll definitely be cheaper to just buy the oil straight. But I find a balm easier to apply and I don’t feel like I need an extra cleanser after rinsing it off.
  • The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + HA* (chemical exfoliant, used in the evening)
  • The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion* (used in the evening)
  • One of probably 20 miscellaneous lip products I own, also applied as blush and sometimes eyeshadow

And I also use the Trader Joe’s “Nourish” antioxidant face moisturizer, but I think of that more as a post-shower thing than an at-the-vanity thing, so I keep it on a shelf with our body lotions.

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Hey everyone – I’ve been focused more on work the last couple of weeks in lieu of the blog or YouTube channel. Things aren’t really wrapped over there, but I have missed the additional opportunities to subject the greater internet to my brain vomit, so I’m hoping to get back into writing some lighter posts again on the site, even if they were topics I would have ideally preferred to post a full fledged video with. Hope to be back with more short style musings soon!

2 Comments

  1. I bought a makeup ‘cube’ from Ulta; the little bags don’t fit my brushes well and I always ended up having to play makeup tetris with them to get the makeup to fit. The cube is probably too big but it fits everything really well and it’s see through, so I know what’s in there at all time. Having one place for all your makeup truly is great! And yes I also have the ADHD brain, oopsie. If I don’t see the makeup (or food in the fridge…) it does not exist.

    Good tip about the brushes, I definitely need to clean those more often!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooo yes, I also prefer the container to be slightly too big if there isn’t a perfect option cause it’s easier to see stuff when it’s not as stacked. I think if I had more counter space I might have gone with a cube too for space efficiency, but the slim footprint does at least fit nicely in our medicine cabinet.

      Like

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