Sunday, 30 September 2012

A peek at my dressing table and storage solutions...

Over the last couple of months I've been putting some energy in to searching for dressing table storage. I've been uninspired by the cheap looking but expensive plastic cosmetic containers and drawer tidies that can be found on Amazon and Ebay. I'm surprised by the lack of glass dividers and containers, and don't especially want to spend upwards of twenty pounds on a little bit of plastic. Since I'm not much of a fan of plastic and I don't have much money to spare, I decided to get creative seeking out suitable alternatives. Here's where the visual merchandiser creativity in me comes in handy! I see potential in everything.

I'll take this opportunity to tell you this post is very photo-heavy!

While in Cargo a month or so ago, I picked up a wooden cutlery drawer for £8, a floral/polka dot bread basket (similar styles here) for £6, and a hot pink tea light holder for a few pounds. I was adamant I didn't want to use a cutlery drawer organiser for storing my make up, but this one is really well made, and it doesn't look too much like it belongs in the kitchen.

The cutlery divider fits perfectly in my make up drawer, with just enough room left around it to fit my Inglot palettes, and lipsticks and glosses. I've organised my blushers at the back; mascaras and eyeliners in the middle; bases at the front; and my eyeshadows to the left. It's so much easier to find the product I need now it's all organised properly.

The bottom drawer of my dressing table now holds my belts. I love skinny belts, but feel uncomfortable in anything much wider on the waist. Most of these belts came from Dorothy Perkins.

My hot water bottle also lives in the belt drawer, though I'm pretty sure it won't for much longer- it's already getting chilly here at night, and I'll need something to keep my feet warm! It's of course, another polka dot possession, although it was a gift off my best friend a couple of Christmases ago. She chose well!

 The top dressing table drawer stores random miscellany, such as cotton wool, wash bags and make up cases, contact lenses, plasters, a (broken) hand mirror, electric razor, tattoo goo (for healing new tattoos), travel pots, and empty necklace boxes. I'm still thinking of ways to organise this one.
My wash bag and make up cases... The paisley wash bag was a Liberty print for Jellycat, which if you don't know is a popular stuffed-toy brand. One day I was putting out an order when I unpacked a handful of them from in amongst hundreds of stuffed animals, and immediately set one aside for myself before everyone snapped them up in the adult's beauty department. I love paisley, and this colourful one has served me well for about two years so far. The star print case is a Cath Kidston purse, that I sometimes use for make up or other girlie essentials when I use a bag without a zipped pocket. The floral gingham make up bag is another of my work purchases from years ago. It's from a brand called Jo Edwards. And the key print case is from Fossil and I bought it last Summer. It's one of my favourite things.

My dressing table area is a work in progress. Once my walls are decorated soon, I plan to hang the accessories hanger above the mirror. It's currently balancing on a screw where my mirror used to hang. If you're wondering about the paisley paper, I've used it to hide the rectangular patch of apricot paint where a mirror used to be screwed in to the wall; nobody bothered to remove it when redecorating last! I got bored of the mirror that was hanging there, so this is my temporary solution.

I bought this cupcake polka dot storage box a few days ago from W H Smith. I paid just £14.99. There's a similar design online here, which I wish had been in store or I'd come across first, as I like it better. It's actually designed for stationery, but I thought it was perfect for storing my costume jewellery.

There's nothing in the top left drawer yet, but the middle drawer holds most of my costume rings. I don't have many.


The top right drawer keeps my costume brooches and pins together. Again, my collection is quite depleted.

I've put all my hair clips, slides, and bobbles in one of the middle drawers.


I haven't found a use for the other middle drawer as yet, so I've temporarily put a couple of hair scarves and my jewellery roll in it for now. I bought the jewellery wrap at work several years ago, but can't remember the brand.


And, the bottom drawer is the perfect place for my nail varnish collection. The drawer is huge, and I could easily fit double what I have in it. (Read that as an excuse for buying more nail polishes). It's not quite tall enough for my Ciate and Bourjois polishes, though.

I arranged the polishes by colour for easy picking. For someone who usually stuck to reds, corals, and pinks I've got quite a few blues and greens now!


I bought the floral/polka dot bread basket for holding my costume bracelets! The floral pattern on the outside fits in with the curtains and duvet set, and should work with the colour I hope to paint my walls in. I find it so much easier to dig out the piece I want from the basket, than I did with the vase. It's got ample space, and it doesn't particularly look like a bread basket.


The Cargo tea light holder makes a perfect make up brush holder! It's hot pink on the inside, and is decorative metal on the outside. It only cost a few pounds, and looks so much prettier on display than the old tumbler I used to use.

While in W H Smith, I came across this metal pen holder for just £2.50. I think I'll probably spray paint it white or pale blue when I redecorate, but for now it makes a cute container for my nail files, nail art tools, manicure things, and eye lash curlers.


Here you can see all my beauty products with the make up tools, and costume bracelets.

I have some necklaces hung over an old wall lamp which never gets used these days; a lilac leather jewellery box (with a charm bracelet over the handle) which my best friend gave to me a long time ago; my Bertie and Gertie lips clutch; and my jewellery mannequin with my pearl necklace and a few bracelets and earrings on it.

On top of my dressing table mirror sits my hair bands, a few corsages, and a masquerade mask.

And finally, I picked up a nest of three purple metal boxes while I was in W H Smith's as well. They were the bargain price of £9.99 for the set (although online they're £14.99), which I think is really reasonable, so I couldn't pass them up. At the minute, I've used them to store my winter gloves and hats, which I will do a post about soon. When I redecorate I'll probably spray paint these blue or white, which should only set me back a couple of pounds.
I use this little cubby hole under the dressing table to hold my scarves, hair dryer, and straighteners, as well as the winter woolies.

So, that's how I turned random every day containers in to dressing table storage. It didn't cost me a lot of money, and certainly cost me much less than I would have spent on acrylic make up organisers. My dressing table is so organised now, which makes life that little bit easier when dressing and applying make up.
Just because a container is designed for a specific purpose, it doesn't mean it can't be used for something else. If you're searching for dressing table and wardrobe storage, keep your eyes open next time you're out shopping on the high street or in the supermarket. Look in stationery sections at the office supplies, and in the kitchen-ware shops/departments. As baking has become fashionable again, the storage containers for the kitchen have become pretty and girlie to appeal to the fashion conscious lady, too. The possibilities are almost endless! There are some great storage solutions out there, all you have to do is find them!
If you personally prefer simple acrylic holders, I'd recommend having a look on Amazon and Ebay, where you should be able to find nail polish racks, drawer dividers, and cosmetic organisers in different styles and sizes. Ikea also stock drawer tidies, and are probably the least expensive I've seen.
I hope you've enjoyed having a look in to my dressing table, and found my tips of some use!



  1. Love your finds great idea using all those things for storage xx

    1. Thanks Rachel. Everything is so easier to find now xx

  2. OMG!! The organisation!! the amazing organisation!!!

  3. my goodness you have treasure - i think i would want to play with it all! you have organised it all very creatively and cleverly x

    1. I can't help myself sometimes either. Thanks Maria xx

  4. Oh how this post appeals to my organisational freak of a Virgo personality! Just love all the alternative containers you have used, the cutlery tray is genius. I recently had a sort of my toiletries and make up and did a post on it if you would like to check it out.
    Mine is out of sight in the bathroom closet so not as pretty as yours though. Angela x


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