Ask Kara: How to Maximize Vanity Storage Space

Ask Kara: Makeup Vanity Storage Tips

Do you have any recommendations on how to maximize vanity storage space?

I just moved in to a tiny one bedroom/one den apartment with my fiancé so I can totally relate. Our bathroom space is ridiculously small so I’ve got a plastic container holding my everyday makeup essentials. If it’s possible, take advantage of your wall space. I’ll let this awesome round-up by BuzzFeed do the talking on that part. Also, divide and conquer your makeup by organizing eyeliners, lip gloss, eyeshadow, foundation, etc. and keep them in one place so you know exactly where to find it. When it comes to organizing my beauty bounty, The Container Store is my mecca. They sell these small three-drawer plastic containers that will hold all your small makeup items. Use an old vase or mason jar to store all your makeup brushes (it will save you time sifting through makeup bag to look for them).

Should I apply sunscreen before or after my daily moisturizer? 

If it’s a chemical sunscreen (think oxybenzone or avobenzone), you’ll want to apply it as a base so the ingredients can sink in to skin quickly. If it’s a physical block (zinc oxide), you can apply it on top of your moisturizer.

What are some effective ways to keep your hair healthy when swimming in saltwater or chlorine?

With Memorial Day weekend right around the corner, this is perfect timing. Wet your hair before jumping in the pool. It will fill your cuticles with good water instead of chemicals. When you’re at the beach, use a leave-in product to rehydrate your hair. I’m a huge fan of L’Oreal Color Vibrancy Dual Protect Spray (only $7), which not only shields color from fading but also protects tresses from heat damage.

Is it OK to use a heavy concealer in the summer, or should I shift to a lighter one? I love my Laura Geller concealer but don’t want it to clog my pores. Is this an issue?

Wearing any type of heavy makeup in the summer can pose a challenge so I highly recommend sticking to melt-proof makeup. You should wear whatever concealer works best for you but I’d recommend using a tinted moisturizer or BB cream instead of regular foundation. It may help if you mix your eye cream with concealer so the application feels lighter than it actually is (not to mention blends flawlessly). And don’t forget to finish with translucent powder to set the concealer.

Have a beauty question for me? Email me at or tweet me at @politics_pretty and I’ll answer them on the blog!

Photo via Better Homes and Gardens