How I've Organised My New Dressing Table

4 Nov 2019

Before we had even moved into our new place, I knew that one of the first things I wanted to treat myself to was a dressing table. I had visions of me, sitting in front of the mirror, Audrey Hepburn-esque, applying shed loads of eyeshadow and going overboard with the straighteners. It didn't happen for a little while because we were trying to stick to the necessities, but after a positive and productive month, I decided it was time for me to treat myself!

Now, I know that I've posted a lot about how we're trying to do everything as DIY and second hand as possible with the house, and I promise you, I did look about as much as I could for a second hand dressing table that I liked. This was a different situation to the bed frame or drawers - they were functional and not something that I wanted to look drop dead gorgeous. But with my dressing table, I wanted it to be an area that I loved the look of and wanted to spend all my time at. I scoured Facebook marketplace and kept my eyes open in charity shops, but nothing grabbed me.

Then I discovered Wayfair. What a magical, rabbit hole of a website! I went on there looking for a dressing table and ended up looking at cushions, accent chairs and standing lamps. It truly is like a huge treasure trove (I swear, this isn't an ad - I just really love the site).
I wanted a dressing table with plenty of storage and one that I loved the look of, so after a lot of browsing, I went for the Bella Vista, which had a nifty little discount attached. It was a bit more unusual than the typical Ikea Malm dressing tables that you see across Instagram because it had extra shelving on either side of the mirror, as well as two drawers underneath. Each drawer also came with a divider, so you get four separate compartments. It was love at first sight and I ordered it without hesitation. Less than a week later, it arrived, and Alex, the lovely thing that he is, built the whole thing up for me.

Now that I've told you all about the make of the unit and why I fell in love with it, let's have a chat about how I've organised it. There are still a few bits that I need to iron out, but this is pretty much how I'm having it!

The left hand shelves

For me, the left hand shelves are the 'pretty' shelves. They've got a mix of useful items on, as well as things that are more for display purposes. No offence to the shelves on the right, but the left is where it's happening.
On the top shelf, we've got the Game of Thrones x Urban Decay palette, which isn't something that I reach for all too often. However, because it was a collector's piece, I really wanted it out on display. It's a fairly chunky box, so there was no way it could sit on the table top, which is why it takes pride of place on a top shelf. It shares the space with a ring dish that's loaded up with all of my pins. It features a horse, which used to be a unicorn, but his horn got snapped in transit when I moved home, booooo! I usually keep my pins scattered all over the house, which is terrible because I forget where they are, so by having this dish, I can see them all in one place and choose which I want to wear.

On the second left hand shelf, I decided to stash all of my makeup sprays, including my all-time fave, the Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray. This means that they're always within reach and I can just spritz and go! These are next to all 12 of the KathleenLights x ColourPop Zodiac Loose Pigments, which I definitely don't give enough love, but they look so stunning all laid out on display.

These are definitely my favourite shelves on the dressing table because there's so much colour and fun, but let's have a look at the right hand side for comparison.

The right hand shelves

The right hand shelves are an area that I'm still working on improving, but I'm not entirely sure what I can store on them to fill them out. For now, this is what I'm working with.
As you can see, the top shelf is reserved for display palettes again. This time, I've got the Alice in Wonderland x Urban Decay palette at the back, which was a fantastic, limited edition collector's piece, and the ColourPop Misunderstood Disney Villains palette at the front. While the Misunderstood palette isn't a limited edition item and is something that I enjoy using regularly, I'm just obsessed with the packaging and really wanted it to be out for everyone to see. The colours are just so fun!

On the second shelf, I've got my scents (although I just realised it's missing my favourite Ghost perfume and Nina by Nina Ricci - oops!), as well as a random memory card that I'm certain I just left on there when I was organising the table. The Armani Code and Ma Vie Hugo Boss perfumes are two that I like to reserve for occasions, as they were a little more pricey and I want them to last. The cheap and cheerful Vanilla Body Spray from Natural Collection is something that I just spritz on for an every day scent, and it's something that I've loved for years.

I've also got a bunch of little perfume samples laying about on the second shelf, which look a bit messy and I could probably do with some way of storing them, but for now, that's where they're gonna sit.

The table top

Obviously, the table top on a dressing table was designed to give you the space to spread out all your makeup and accessories that you'll be using, but I was really keen on having some bits and bobs out on the top to make it a little bit more interesting.
The photo above shows what's on the table top below the left hand shelves and, to be honest, the pink and blue box is probably the most exciting bit, but let's talk about that cluster of random products first. These are some gifted skincare bits that I've been meaning to try out, so I figured that by having them out on top, I'd be able to see them and say 'yep, I'm gonna give this a go today.' The only things that weren't gifted are the mini Vitamin E Moisture Cream from The Body Shop and the No7 Night Cream - both of these are tried and loved!

I used to love my Glossybox subscription, not only because I got to sample new products every month, but also because I'd get cool boxes like this one every once in a while. I kept hold of a few of them, but during my massive chuck out, I decided to keep only one for future storage, which was this funky pop art-style box! Inside, I keep all of my single shadows, which are mainly from ColourPop, but it means that they've got their own special storage solution that looks cool!

In my opinion, the other side of the table top is much more exciting and is home to lots more makeup-y bits.
So, probably the most noticeable thing on the right hand side of the table top is my letter rack palette storage. The drawers on this dressing table aren't the biggest, so I figured it'd be great to some of my favourite and most used palettes out on the top. I didn't just want to stack them though, so I picked up a clear acrylic letter rack from Amazon, which is great at holding a good selection of palettes. I manage to get six slotted on, which includes my huge Morphe 24G Grand Glam at the back, an assortment of Urban Decay palettes in the middle, and my beloved Morphe 25B and KathleenLights x ColourPop Zodiac palette at the front.


The right hand side of the table top is also where my brushes are stashed. It's kind of essential to have these out and within reaching distance, so I used an old sweet jar for my face brushes and a clear acrylic stationery storage pot for my eye brushes and sponges (which are in desperate need of a wash, I know). This means that they're all together and I can clearly see which brush is which. I love Amazon for storage solutions like these, so definitely take a look if you're in need!

The drawers

Below the table top, you'll find two drawers. They get a bit stuck sometimes, but they're really sturdy and a good size for lots of little bits. Each drawer has a divider inside, so you're left with four separate compartments for whatever you may want. I'm going to break each draw down and show you exactly what's inside!
The first drawer is all about base. Of course, if you don't have a great base, there's a high chance that your makeup just won't look it's best. So in the first divider, you can find my skincare, primers, foundations, concealers and powders. This definitely isn't the biggest area of my collection because I've only recently started caring what my skin looks life, but there's absolutely all sorts in here, from the Urban Decay Optical Illusion primer, my favourite No7 Stay Perfect Superlight foundation and a great amount of lipcare. My crusty lips are always in need, so I can just pop into this drawer and grab what I want.

In the second divider, you can find all of my contour kits, bronzers, highlighters and blushes. I actually had no idea that I owned as many highlighters as I do, so this draw is pretty packed full of sparkle and prettiness. I tried my best to keep everything separate, but it became pretty hard to do. There are some things that I need to try out in this drawer, like the Benefit Hoola bronzer (I know, who hasn't tried this?) and the Soap & Glory Glow All Out highlighter stick, but being able to organise this drawer how I wanted has helped me to see all the things I'd forgotten about or need to try out.

That's the first drawer done and I think it's fair to say that my favourite section is the second one. I feel like it's much more satisfying to look at and there's so many pretty products in it. Even while I'm sitting here typing out this blog post, it's making me want to go and play with all the stuff in there!
Last, but not least, we have the final drawer. Inside the first divider, I'm stashing my eye and lip products that aren't palettes or skincare-related. For example, there no lip balms in this drawer - just liners, lipsticks, etc. It's a bit of an empty drawer because I don't usually wear things on my lips (although, I've been loving the Haus Labs gloss in Venus) and I don't venture too much out of my comfort zone with non-palette eye makeup. I've got a few Halloween bits, like white liner and mini mascara samples, but nothing too crazy.

The second divider is my most shameful part. It's filled with eyeshadow palettes and it's an actual mess, so it's a thing that I'm trying to sort out. It's difficult to fit all of them in and because they're all different shapes and sizes, they don't sit nice and evenly in the drawer. You can't even see what's inside on the photo because it's just so full to the brim! There's tons in there from the likes of BH Cosmetics, Too Faced, NYX, Makeup Revolution, Urban Decay and so much more. I may need to have a big clear out and then have a think of how best to store them.

Phew, if you were a real nosy parker and you've made it all the way through this post, then well done you! I hope you've enjoyed taking a look through my stash and seeing how I've organised my new dressing table. I really loved sorting through all my makeup and putting it in its rightful place. It was almost therapeutic! It was also great fun to put this post together, so make sure you look out for more interiors posts in the future.

Make sure you share your best makeup organisation tips with me below!

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@thenorthernist