Dressing Table Delights: A Tour of my Vanity

Sunday 10 November 2013

A dressing table is a girl's kingdom, where images are made and broken. They are intimate spaces, places of transformation and recreation, and I adore them.

Some of my earliest make-up memories are of being fascinated with my mother's dressing table, loving to rummage through the drawers and see her get ready to go out. So when we first moved into our house, a dressing table was almost one of the first pieces of furniture I bought!

Before that, the flat we lived in didn't have a proper space for getting ready. All my cosmetics were just kept in a storage box, and when I wanted to get ready I would have to lean a mirror up against the wall and sit cross-legged in the living room - but having a dedicated space to keep everything is so much better.

I've always been fascinated by how other people organise their dressing tables, so here's my little tour of mine.

It's a cream painted wooden one from Laura Ashley. I love their furniture, its so elegant and timeless. Check out my gold-painted wall as well! There are three deep drawers in the console, and then a shallow drawer under the oval looking glass.

On this side, I keep my perfumes on this cute china cakestand.I love the idea of using pretty cake stands as storage, its something I picked up from Pinterest and thought I would try. I was using an ornate, clear glass one, but it had a dip in the middle, so the bottles all tilted at different angles- and I had to swap it out for one with a flat top. This is just from a little homewares and gift shop near me called 'Rainbows and Lemondrops'.

There are all my favourites - Chanel Coco Mademoiselle, which I've worn since I was 16 and my dad bought me my first bottle. It reminds me of high days and holidays, and I wore it on my wedding day.
There's also Paul Smith Floral, which is lovely and light for during the day, it sort of smells like Refresher sweets.

Demeter Baby Powder cologne- smells exactly that, really sweet and fresh! Lancome Miracle, a sort of sweet, pink peppercorn scent - another one I've worn for years, since I had a saturday job in a department store and we used to keep some on the counter.

And Lady Gaga Fame, which is my 'night' perfume if I'm going out. I love the orchid and honey notes in it -  really unique and seductive!
On this side, I keep some products that are handy to grab when you're making finishing touches.

There is a hair glossing mist and straightening glaze from the Toni & Guy Insights range, my Naked Truth moisturiser, Mythic Oil - which is a holy grail product for overprocessed locks and adds a lovely perfume. Then there's No7 Perfect Light finishing powder and my Clinique Repairware Laser Focus Serum, which I'm using day and night.

To the side is my jewellery chest, and a drawer set that holds some more make-up -mainly palettes and things.

In the first drawer, you'll find packets and packets of false eyelashes! I wear them everytime I go out, and like to be well stocked! I love Eyelure lashes the best -  Ultra Naturals and Naturalites, which are a bit fuller for the evening, but still subtle. I also really like SalonSystem Boholash, so I have a few pairs of those!

Then there are some unopened tubes of Stila Tinted Moisturiser, and a couple of spares of Zara Wild Orchid scent, which comes in a little rollerball and is really handy to carry around at night. What you can't see -  more mini perfumes - DKNY Be Delicious in travel size, and Herve Leger travel atomiser refills.

In the pink bag is a spare Benefit Brow-Zings Palette. I'm a bit obsessed with keeping spares of the products I really love!

The centre drawer is packed with all my facial skincare products and some tanning stuff -  you can see items from the NSpa range, which I love -  their Vitamin Toning Mist and White Musk & Jojoba Oil spray. There's some Ted Baker Bodywear wash off tan, as well as a St Moriz spray for my legs. Almay Bare It All Legs, which are basically tights in a can! There's a big bottle of contact lens solution, for when I wear my coloured lenses. Nivea factor 50 facial sunscreen, Olay Definity BB Cream, Garnier Perfect Blur primer. Balance Active Formula moisurisers and eyecream, some Vaseline and some little Vitamin E serum pads from Simple that are great for taking on holiday with you.

To the side I have a little box that holds some hair stuff - a headband to hold my hair back while I'm doing my make-up, hair ties, Bumpits, a bun shaper -  and then the cute little tin holds kirby grips. It originally had little violet sweets in from Galeries Lafayette in Paris, and the tin was so cute, I had to put it to use afterwards.

In the third drawer, I keep my hair products and tools -  you can see a bunch of plastic sectioning clips, and in the corner my dressing brush (essential for backcombing and styling), a paddle brush and some pintail combs. There's also my Tangle Teezer. Product wise, I keep L'Oreal Matte and Messy Salt Spray, Lee Stafford Messed Up Spray Wax, some Insette blossom dry shampoo and Oz Botanicals heat protection spray. At the bottoms, there's also Umberto Giannini Old School Setting Spary (good for curls and updos), some L'Oreal Elvive Collagen mousse, which I use when blowdrying to get big hair. Likewise, some John Frieda Frizz-Ease Thermal Protect Serum, Percy and Reed No Oil Hair Oil, and the best hairspray in the world, Got2Be Happy Hour. Holds hair for hours and smells of pina coladas!

Across the top drawer, I have these little votive candles to keep it girlie. In the top drawer, I cut up a box to make some little containers. They hold all those little lash glue tubes you get with strip lashes, and in the other one is my teeth whitening stuff! A little bottle of Tea Tree Oil, which I use on blemishes. My Omega 3 capsules and vitamins, some blotting papers, gel cushions for high heels (a secret weapon) and my Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette, which doesn't fit anywhere else!

The Venetian glass jewellery box was a present from my Dad, and inside are all my costume jewellery pieces. I love anything with pearls on, or a flash of neon. I have a bunch of bracelets, which are probably my most worn accessory and I'm into a statement necklace. There aren't many earrings -  don't know why, but I usually don't bother with them, so I only have a few pairs.

Another tip I picked up from YouTube/Pinterest, is using these cool acrylic drawers to store and organise your make-up. These are from Muji (which, if you've never come across it, is a Japanese homewares company that would be a wet dream for anyone with OCD). I've had them for years, but I used to keep them in the study to hold post-its and pens. They're much better suited to holding palettes! In the bottom drawer, I have three palettes -  the Urban Decay Sustainable Shadow box (lots of super-brights) and the Nude and 'Oh So Special' Sleek mineral palettes. You can also see an Astor shadow, a couple of singles from Mac ('Shale' and 'Satin Taupe'), and my Mac Fluidline pot.

In this drawer, more palettes - a couple of NYX palettes, both from the Runway Collection, a W7 Naked Nudes palette, Dainty Doll eyeshadow base, CK black cream eyeshadow base/liner, and my MeMeMe Dew Pot cream shadow in 'Hollow Haze', which I tend to use as a highlighter.

Then we have some of my current most-used lip products -  these smaller drawers are the perfect size for it.There's my Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss - this is the best lipgloss ever made- a Mac lipstick in 'Costa Chic', a Lipchrome from Ultima II, my go-to red, Chanel Rouge Coco Shine. In the next drawer, Benefit Full Service lipstick, a Famous by Sue Moxley clear gloss, a Clinique Chubby Stick in a dark berry red, Topshop lip shine and of course a Baby Lips balm, which I use on 'no make-up days' or to prep my lips. These are the shades I'm using most at the moment.

On top, some more products currently being most used! Chanel Lift Lumiere foundation, Mac Strobe Cream, Mac Studio Sculpt foundation. At the back are a couple more small eyeshadow palettes from Chanel and Bobbi Brown, a Mac Skinsheen bronzing stick, and my Daniel Sandler Watercolour blush, which I love. At the back is a pot which holds my favourite brushes -  mainly a mix of Mac and Real Techniques, Shu Uemura lash curlers, a Sephora kabuki and my cute little geisha-girl slanted tweezers.

At the side, I have this little frosted sliding unit (also from Muji), and this is wear I keep the make-up that I'm not really using at the moment (but can't quite get rid of!). On top are a couple of my Benefit bags -  the smaller one I use for my everyday face, while the larger one holds the other products I use fairly regularly.

Inside the drawer of not currently used much products -  the black cosmetics bag at the bag holds eyeshadows, then I have two little tubs of lip products, some cream blushes, tinted moisturiser and one final Mac palette!

Hope you enjoyed my little dressing table tour.

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