Monday, December 7, 2020

Makeup Case Makeover Madness


In January 2020, using the tartan canopy from an old and broken umbrella, I relined the the wicker case that I use to hold my manicure kit, and made two matching vanity cases to boot. I was so pleased with how that project had turned out and enjoyed using my upgraded manicure kit so much that I soon turned my sights to my makeup case, which you see in the photo above. I bought this case in an after-Christmas sale at Shopper's Drug Mart for $16 in 2012. It came with makeup in it, all of which I gave away unused to my sister/a friend because none of it was the right shade for me, but I didn't care. The case alone was worth the $16. It's a good-looking case that is just the right size to hold all the makeup and equipment I could reasonably want, it fits nicely into my top dresser drawer, and it isn't too big to pack into my suitcase when I travel.  

But, after eight years, it had become somewhat the worse for the wear. To begin with, the faux chrome trim was coming off on the outside on the left side. 

The lining of the case's interior had become stained and yucky over the years. But, since my manicure kit refresh had turned out so well, I was confident I could fix that. Regrettably, after that tote bag and manicure kit and tissue case upcyling extravaganza last winter, I was fresh out of broken umbrellas that could be used for lining, but it's not like I'm allergic to fabric stores. I took the makeup case with me when fabric shopping to make sure I got a fabric that would go with the brown of the shell, and ultimately bought half a metre of a dark brown nylon lining fabric at Len's Mill on Orfus Road, Toronto, for $4.33. I also bought a brown 7" zipper with the idea that it would be nice to have a matching vanity case to go with the case and help me organize it. 

The makeup case with its new lining. If you've got an old beauty case you'd like to reline, I say go for it. It's not a difficult task, though it does take some time, as it's finicky work getting everything positioned and glued just so, and one needs to do it in stages to give the glue time to dry. It's also inexpensive, as you just need a modest amount of nylon fabric, glue, and possibly some cardboard.

After getting the old lining pieces ripped out, I cleaned the case. There was dried old glue on the trim that I had to scrape and scour off, and I had to use a razor blade to scrape some of the old glue out of the interior. Once the case was clean and empty, I reglued the part of the trim that had been coming off on the exterior, and left it to dry.

I then ripped all the old lining off the cardboard forms, and recovered the old forms with the new lining. I reused all the old cardboard pieces for my lining, with the exception of the upper lid piece, which had a window cut in it for the mirror. (I chose not to put the mirror back in, as I've never used it and it's just something else to keep clean.) I had piece of scrap cardboard on hand that I used to make a new upper lid form. I gave the lining pieces a day to dry, and glued the lining back in stages, one stage per day: first the top and bottom side lining pieces, then the back wall/hinging piece, then finally the big top and bottom pieces.

When I looked at how my makeup case was organized, and figured out what kind of custom cases would help me to keep my makeup tidy and accessible, I wound up deciding to make *three* matching cases for the kit. Using the leftover dark brown nylon and some remnant lighter brown satin lining fabric I had on hand, I made a tissue case, I made the vanity case I'd planned to make, and when I found I had a second 7" brown zipper in my zipper box (bought to use in a skirt for a brown suit I'm planning on making, but I won't get to that project for months and will have time to replace it), I made a third case to hold my makeup mirror, which will hopefully protect it from getting scratched and/or dirty.

The finished and (mostly) packed case. The plastic case that you see in the box holds my makeup brushes, a ziploc bag of cosmetic sponges, and a bottle of makeup brush cleaner. In the front of the case on the left are my mascaras, eye crayon, and concealer. In the right front corner are my bottles of foundation. On the right side are my blush, contouring, and two eyeshadow compacts. The vanity case I made holds my lipsticks and lip glosses. 

I'm nearly as pleased with this project as I was with the manicure case refresh. For less than $6, I have made this makeup case better than "good as new" -- it has never looked this nice or been this conveniently arranged. All my makeup and tools are reasonably easy to see and access. When I put the lipstick case, the mirror case, and the tissue case on top of everything else and shut the lid, the makeup kit is packed snugly enough that nothing shifts around much inside and it's all in the same order when I open the lid -- unless I have a dimbulb moment and open the case upside down, that is. (Yes, it's happened. And yes, it's happened more than once.)

And now I'm inspired to get out the thrift shop makeup books I bought recently and begin working on upgrading my fairly basic makeup skills. A woman who owns a makeup kit this nice ought to be able to put her makeup where her mouth is. (Or eyes or cheekbones or whatever.)