Save space and time by creating custom palettes.

Makeup artists put small amounts of their cosmetics in custom palettes to save space and stay organized. Athletes and frequent travelers can benefit from the approach as well. Think of it as meal-prepping for your skin: By doing a little bit of work beforehand, you can cut down on time spent in the locker room since all your products are in one place. “Depotting is great for going from the gym to work, but also for air travel as a way to get around TSA regulations,” says London-based makeup artist Louise Constad.

Magnetic palettes work best for powder products, while the pillboxes are ideal for cream and liquid formulas. 

Los Angeles-based makeup artist Carly Fisher uses the Z Palette to create a custom kit with eyeshadows, blushes, and bronzers from her preferred brands, since these products are often sold in separate palettes. To do so, she uses a small spatula or safety pin to pop the individual tins of makeup out of their original container. Once removed, the tins are easily arranged on the magnetic palette. 

To condense your bag even more, cut down on bottles and containers by using a pillbox palette to hold dollops of skincare products, like moisturizer and eye cream. Using a clean knife or small spoon, scoop a grape-sized amount of product from its original container and deposit into different slots.

Constad recommends getting creative with the type of makeup included; for example, she breaks an eye or lip pencil in half to make it fit into a pillbox slot (just make sure to sharpen both halves). 

If you’re willing to stick with one brand, MAC and NARS offer a variety of different palette sizes you can customize with their eyeshadows, concealers, and more. They’re a good way to experiment and see what type of cosmetics and colors you use the most before depotting on your own.

Photography by Jarren Vink. Styling by Wendy Schelah.