I store my makeup compacts upright in clear plastic drawer inserts. Over time, I’ve collected (ahem) quite a few. Sometimes to find a particular color, I’d have to pull out several to read the labels on the back. After doing some research, I invested in a Brother P Touch labeler (around $30-40) to label the sides of the compact for easier access. This particular model is the PT-2030, although there are several others in the line that would work just as well.

I chose Brother’s P Touch line because it allowed for a wide variety of labels, including some that are very narrow–down to 1/4 inch. The tapes come inside little cartridges that are inserted into the machine, almost like a typewriter ribbon. I wanted to put a very narrow label on the back of each compact in a way that would not interfere with ability to open or close them. I didn’t want big sticky ugly white labels that would just get in the way.

As you can see, this narrow tape allowed me to label my single Chanel eyeshadow compacts, which are very tiny. Also, the Brother P Touch allows you to choose different typefaces, as well as to select the width of the typeface. You can see in the above picture that the label for “Blazing Gold” and “Cinammon” are narrower than for “Ebony.”

There are different colors and sizes for different uses. For my Chanel compacts, I chose the black label cartridge with white letters in the 1/4″ size. The label tape is self-adhesive–you just peel the paper backing off and stick it on. If you make a mistake, the label can be peeled off easily without leaving ugly residue, and replaced properly without much drama.

The Brother P Touch PT-2030 takes a staggering six (6) AA batteries (!), and has a built in cutter for the labels as they come out of the machine. There’s an AC adapter available, which costs roughly $20-30 depending on where you buy it (mine was $19 on Amazon.com).  The label cartridge was about $15 (the price varies depending on the retailer). I was able to label all of my Chanel, Dior and Bobbi Brown Shimmerbrick compacts without changing out my first cartridge, and it has plenty left.

I find this system really convenient. I can identify these colors at a glance, and still maintain my space-saving drawer system. One brief pointer–the label printer tends to give you a full inch on either side of the text for every time you hit “print.” To minimize waste, you can vary the margin border using the “label” function. Alternatively, you can input the names of several products at a single time and hit print for a whole line at once, then just cut them apart with scissors.

If all of your makeup fits into a single makeup bag, I’m sure  you’ll find this over the top (taupe?). However, I find that I use my favorite colors when they are easy to find. This has already helped me on busy mornings when I don’t have time to sift. At first, I was reluctant to do this project but now that it’s in process I’m so glad that I did.

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