Makeup Vanity Ideas & Inspiration

Even if you manage to look gorgeous doing your makeup at the bathroom counter or between traffic lights, having a special space to get glam really makes a difference, both in your appearance and your attitude. Whether you choose a makeup vanity with lights or want something more low-key with hidden storage, makeup vanities ensure you face the day like a star.

How to Set Up a Makeup Vanity

While a vanity typically goes in a main bedroom or a dressing area, a large walk-in closet or a bathroom alcove also works fine. Then again, your vanity’s location might vary depending on your available space and lifestyle.

Creating a bedroom retreat? Perhaps choose an antiqued makeup vanity with a romantic, distressed wood finish and a tri-panel mirror to check out all angles. Place it in front of a window to take advantage of natural light.

Vlogging? You might set aside a corner of your home office, complete with vanity lighting, so you’re always camera-ready.

If you live in a small apartment, your makeup vanity might have to camouflage a bit. Instead of a classic Hollywood style with a metallic silvertone finish, you might choose a mid-century modern style in a light brown replicated wood finish with a flip-top design. Teamed with a sumptuously upholstered seat, it looks like and doubles as a writing surface, but the flip-up mirror and smooth-gliding drawers transform it into a spot to get ready for a night on the town.

What to Place on a Makeup Vanity

Of course, you want to keep your makeup, hair tools, and other accessories close at hand, but a makeup vanity looks and feels glamorous precisely because it’s not cluttered. That’s why even our bedroom makeup vanity ideas include plenty of storage.

Keep the top of the vanity clear, except for perhaps perfume, a handful of nail polishes in pretty shades, or a jewelry organizer with a few favorites for a little sparkle. If the vanity is in a more private space, you might like to arrange holders for brushes, cotton balls, and cotton swabs on top.

Be sure the vanity has ample legroom for a vanity makeup chair or stool, as well as easy access to electrical outlets for a hair dryer, curling iron, and other styling tools.

Makeup Organization Ideas

Keeping your vanity makeup drawers well organized can be a challenge, but fortunately, you can embrace your personal style through what you use as a makeup vanity organizer.

For instance, we’ve noticed where a clean-lined metal spice rack makes an attractive display for your favorite perfumes, especially if space is a challenge. Mounting a magnetic strip along the inside of a drawer is a great way to corral bobby pins, nail clippers, and tweezers.

You also can divide drawers to separate smaller and larger items, as well as lipsticks from nail polishes. Speaking of nail polishes, we’ve seen one designer use a simple ice cube tray as a makeup vanity organizer to sort the bottles neatly.

Makeup Vanity Inspiration

Take a page from your favorite magazines or classic movies to inspire more ideas for a makeup vanity. Embrace your style, whether minimal or bold, classic or boho. Open shelving can help organize your beauty essentials, while additional wall mirrors can reflect natural and task lighting, ensuring a selfie-worthy look.

People Always Ask:

What should be on a makeup vanity?

We recommend letting your personal style be your guide. You might have a small bowl or ring holder for a watch and favorite rings. If nails are your thing, display a few nail polishes with an emery board for quick touch-ups. A faceted perfume atomizer is an eye-catching classic for the top of a vanity. Display it alongside a vase of flowers — or use a small vase to corral a bouquet of soft makeup brushes.

How do I set up a makeup station at home?

As we mentioned, this depends on your home décor and how much space you have. A chic vanity set in black with a matching vanity bench doesn’t have a large footprint but makes an elegant statement next to a bedroom window or even tucked away as a writing desk. And thanks to a flip-top that hides both an oversized mirror and drop-down panel, it’s perfect for storing styling tools — or a laptop if needed.

With a wall-mounted makeup vanity, you won’t feel short on style even if you’re pressed for space. Imagine a mirrored cabinet with a distressed finish and a lovely cut-out overlay, reminiscent of a vintage design. A statement piece on its own, it opens to feature multiple hooks for hanging jewelry, along with a removable divided tray for makeup essentials.

How do you stage a makeup vanity?

Whether you prefer traditional or contemporary decor, stage your makeup vanity to show off its clean organization and the beauty of its design. For instance, a vanity set with a silvertone finish, clear drawer knobs, classic cabriole legs, and uniquely rounded cabinets has attractive curves as an accent piece, no matter where you place it.

While a flip-top design reveals a hidden mirror, you can turn this piece into more of a statement with a three-panel mirror or one ringed with bulbs for an old Hollywood or backstage Broadway feel. Want a more understated display? Set up a tiered floor lamp in a similar finish next to the vanity for adequate lighting.

Be sure to keep the top clutter-free. Display a few favorite perfumes on a decorative tray. Hang your favorite bracelets on a white jewelry organizer — again, not the whole collection, just a few for a splash of color and texture. Or adorn the top with a tiny vase of flowers, a figurine, a small plant, or a treasured photo of family or friends.