Category Archives: Organization

DIY Lipstick Labels

With summer just around the corner, I’ve been inspired to incorporate more color into my daily appearance. It’s no secret that my days start early and I’m short on time in the morning, so it’s been hard to find the time for a decent makeup routine before I’m running out the door to the office.

Due to my time crunch, I’ve found that adding a bright pop of lipstick has been a nice solution to upping my workday appearance, but minimizing time spent with my makeup brushes and compacts. Not normally a big lipstick color person, I’ve made an effort to diversify my lipstick collection by incorporating in new shades and brands.

One challenge that I found was having to take the tops off each lipstick in order to remember which color it was. Add the fact that it’s still pretty dark when I get ready for work and I found myself slipping closer and closer to just heading to work au natural.

I realized I needed a new solution that allows me to see the colors quickly.

Solution? Labels with a spot of the actual lipstick color, and ideally with everyday supplies that you have around the house.

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

This project doesn’t require much, and ideally you have all these things lying around the house. Items include:

  • A sheet of white shipping labels (Any size will do)
  • A pencil
  • A roll of packing tape
  • Scissors
  • A makeup tube that is slightly smaller in diameter than your lipstick tube. I used a travel-sized mascara.

Step 2: Measure Labels to Fit Your Lipstick Tubes

I used a smaller makeup tube (a sample-sized mascara) to measure out my labels. The mascara was the perfect size stencil, which allowed me to measure out a circle that was slightly smaller than the top of my lipsticks.

Step 3: Apply Lipstick to Labels

Carefully smear a generous helping of your lipstick onto the circle label. Be sure to give it some time to dry.

Step 4: Laminate Your Label

Not wanting to create lipstick smears on my morning fingers, I did a quick DIY lamination with clear packing tape.

Step 5: Cut Your Labels

Next was the hardest part for the girl who wasn’t the steadiest when it came to kindergarten scissor projects—cutting out the circle. I’ll be honest, mine were not perfect, but they certainly worked! Next, I peeled off the label backing a stuck it into the cap of my lipstick—voila!

One thing to consider when you’re making your labels is if you need to save the color style number or name for future purchases. In my case, I keep a separate list of my purchases and often bring the color in to the store to match. But for those who like to have the original label, consider taking a picture of the label before you cover it up.

Now when I look into my makeup drawer, I’m greeted by all my lovely colors, which allows me to select today’s shade in no time at all!

This simple DIY project can be completed with everyday things you likely have in our home or at the office.

Happy organizing, TK Readers!




Make it a Habit: Finish the Cycle

Professional organizer Peter Walsh often discusses the importance of finishing the cycle. The concept is a simple one: most things – if not everything – has a cycle, so make sure you complete it. Laundry, for example: you wash it, dry it, then (hopefully) hang it up or fold it to put it away. That may seem obvious to some. The trick, however, is to identify where else it might make sense to complete a cycle. Once I was introduced to the idea, I found that I had unfinished cycles all over my home!

Imagine this typical motion: the morning sun is peaking through the window as I stumble into the kitchen to make a cup of tea and some toast topped with almond butter.

Once the food and drink are prepared, I sit down to enjoy it, leaving the canister of tea and jar of almond butter on the countertop and the butter knife in the sink. Later, I take my half-full cup of tea over to my computer and subsequently get sucked into the work email tornado. Lunchtime rolls around. I leave my now-empty cup on the desk to make a quick sandwich and after consuming the meal, I put the dish in the sink.

Do you see the incomplete cycle? Instead of putting the dishes into the dishwasher or hand washing them after use, the offending articles are strewn about my home. No longer, I say!

Now that my eyes have been opened to these incomplete cycles, I’ve found it much easier to tidy as I move around the house throughout the day, which also makes it easier to fully complete the dish cycle. That is, not only have I made it a habit to put just-used dirty dishes straight into the dishwasher or hand wash as needed, but also I have come around to a regular cadence of running the dishwasher at night and emptying it in the morning. Cycle complete!

Applying this simple idea to various tasks around my home has made a huge difference. For instance, mail now moves swiftly from the mail box to the appropriate recycle for recycle, file or shred. The best part: piles of clutter aren’t mysteriously growing on the horizontal surfaces in my home from one day to the next.

If you’ve found it hard to stay on top of the daily clutter, perhaps try to identify and complete a few cycles in your home and let us know how it goes!

What’s in my work bag — Bri

For about 3 years, I carried the “Melrose” bag by Gunas in the peach color. If you haven’t heard of Gunas, they’re a sweatshop-free, animal-friendly, eco-conscious brand.

The “Melrose” tote was the perfect bag for my needs at the time, as I was traveling to-and-from headquarters in San Jose. It had metal detailing that gave it an edgy – dare I say, “hip” – look, while the shape and color made it work well for the Silicon Valley corporate world. I stopped carrying the bag when it started looking really worn out.

Alas, they no longer sell the Melrose style. I’d order another if they did! However, I encourage you to check out their other totes on the Gunas the Brand website. The “Melrose” pricing was north of $200, but they have several other great products as well; don’t miss their sale site for items <$100.

Back to the task at hand though: what am I carrying now and what goes inside of it? Currently, I’m using a $25 non-brand bag from Marshall’s. (It may have been $35 – I can’t remember the exact price.)

I chose it for the following reasons:

  • Size: It can fit my 14” laptop and charger comfortably, along with a notebook, and a scarf or thin sweater.
  • Zip-top closure: If it accidentally tips over in the car or at my desk, the closed top prevents contents from spilling out.
  • Zippered pockets inside and outside: I like to put my keys in the outside zippered pocket. On the inside zippered pocket, I tend to keep my wallet, feminine products and/or lip balm.
  • Open-top pockets on the inside: Perfect for my cell phone and sunglasses.
  • Animal Friendly: I’ve carried vegan bags for several years now. If Gunas isn’t really your style, I also encourage you to check out:
    • FreePeople: note, not all of their bags are vegan, but the link goes straight to their vegan offers.
    • Mat and Natt: I have a casual bag from M&N – love it! The link goes to their totes.
    • LuLu’s: note, not to be confused with LuLuLemon; not all of their bags are vegan, but the link goes to their vegan offers.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to get preachy here. If you want to learn more about choosing animal-friendly products, there is a lot of info on the Interwebs, of course. And, I am also transitioning to vegan shoes, but we can save that content for a future post!

Here’s a look at the interior:


If I need to carry more technology with me, I bring a Grid-It and just slot it next to my laptop. It’s perfect for corralling earbuds, a USB stick, a touch-screen cloth, an extra pen and more.


The downside of my current choice: the $25 brandless bag quality isn’t great. The inner lining is thin and there are a few stray threads. However, as I recently transitioned to working from home more often, I am not using the bag very much and when I do, it suits just fine. After this bag wears out – which might take a while – I may pick up a bag from one of the sites hyperlinked above.

Do you have a great bag that you’d recommend for work? Any essentials for the inside you think everyone should know about? Tell us in the comments below!