Apr 082012

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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  27 Responses to “Organizing Makeup: Labels”

  1. That is a great idea if you collect makeup and do blogs! I have P-touch also. I bought mine from Martha Stewart web-site many years ago. I have my linen closet organized and labeled. I have my china dishes wrapper labeled also. They do come in handy and it looks very neat, tidy.

  2. Hi Amy, What a great idea! I have a ptouch too; I used it mainly for labeling sample size foundations, but after reading your entry I’m inspired to find new possibilities. I think I have to find the black tape first though— I think the white that I have just won’t cut it 🙂

  3. Amy, this is BRILLIANT! So organized. Right now I have most of my Chanel/Dior/Guerlain/Burberry compacts laying flat in 1 layer which (as you can imagine) takes up so much space. This gives me ideas 🙂 Thanks for this post!

    • Yay! I found the old way wasn’t working! I’m so glad I’m getting this under control–I love to use these things and they are much easier to find now!

    • Can I second that? Excellent idea and now I have to test out if my compacts can fit in my storage vertically and then labeling I will do!

  4. I usually save all of my boxes so I can read the color, but I am running low on space. This looks like the perfect solution!

  5. This is BRILLIANT!!!! I get so frustrated trying to figure out what is what in my stash! This is the best solution I have ever seen!

  6. Ohh! Clever! I don’t have enough to justify getting a p-touch for labelling but I do have an issue having to pull out a couple to see which it is (and I only have a 6-7 high end ones that I stand on their sides like this). To make it even harder I keep them all in their original velvet sleeves so I have to pull them out. But I am starting to buy more and more high end blushes and less mid-range (except for MAC) so maybe one day when I have enough fancy blushes I will have to invest in a p-touch with black tape as well :).

  7. …wow. I have one of these that I rarely use at work, I can just take it home and FINALLY get the NARS stuff under control. Thank you so much for the idea!

  8. I love this so much, I could look at neatly organised makeup all day. I look at untidy makeup all day instead 😉 Might I just add that in the UK – The Brother P-Touch90 (which I have) is currently on offer at Staples for around £17 (inc. VAT – normally £35) – you have to get them to price match their own website, but they’ll do it!

    I’ve labelled all my drawers and it’s only now that I realise how many times I opened the wrong drawer momentarily to reach for something. I’m heading for my shoeboxes and all those random A/C adapters next. Sad. Don’t care.

  9. This is one of the cutest things I have ever seen! I lie all my flat also (I have a medium sized collection at the moment).

  10. Thank you so much for this post! I already have a labeller which has been buried away for years. I need to get it out ASAP and do this as my compacts are stored this same way!

  11. Amy, this is sheer genius!! I have mine much like Sabrina has hers. It takes up way to much space, but saves me time in opening everything to see what it is. I can only imagine how much time and space I could save by labeling this way. Thank you for the tip!!

  12. I don’t like idea of labeling, it gives me impression of ruining original case and it’s not the same anymore. I like my cases to be unmark and I enjoy while searching trough all those cases.

  13. Hi Amy,

    This form of labeling make-up is ingenious and I love it!! The black tape with the white lettering doesn’t offset the quality of the packing and allows the product to maintain it’s sophistication. I may have to borrow this concept from you 😛

  14. I absolutely love this, what a great idea!!

  15. “Over the top (taupe)” You are too funny! I’ve been toying with the idea of a P-Touch for months now. Your post has convinced me that I need to purchase one ASAP. I’ve been making labels on my computer and then trimming them to fit 😛 This will be so much easier. Thanks for the suggestion.

  16. This looks great! I am quite envious of your amazing collection of Chanel make-up – I thought I had a lot!

  17. Amy, you are a genious!! Totally love this idea and plan on stealing it THIS weekend. I have a P-touch, but I think I need some black labels & will use the amazon link to order. Can I also inquire where you purchase your clear plastic drawer inserts??
    I need to measure my bathroom drawers & get to work on this ASAP! Thanks soooooooo much for the idea. Ohhh, my coworker just looked over my shoulder & wants to do it too!! See?? You’re inspiring everyone!!

    • Hi Pinky,

      My local Ace Hardware carries the drawer inserts. They might also be available at places like the Container Store.

  18. What a great idea! Thanks for sharing. I do think I need to do something like this soon to make my life a lot easier! 🙂

  19. Very impressive! And so neat. I have a Brother (ancient, circa 1996), and I never thought of this. Even though they do take a lot of batteries, you might be surprised how long they last. I don’t think I have changed mine out in several years, maybe 6 … but I only use the device in spurts, like a couple hours once every few months.

    I can still lay my compacts flat (or stack them 2-3 deep) but who knows how long that will last. I also have, um, a 7-drawer Ikea Alex chest of drawers, so that makes getting to stuff easier, hee!

  20. Oh that looks fun.. I wanna see the bobbi Brown stuff whohoooo..

  21. […] Cafe Makeup- Organizing Makeup:Labels […]

  22. this is genius! I label my makeup, but with odd-colored Japanese washi masking tape. Your method looks neater and much more uniform 🙂

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