Dressing Table

Giving Up On My Dressing Table

Author: Lauren Coleman

As a teen I longed for a dressing table. You know the type; matching drawers either side stuffed with Collection 2000, a three way mirror, maybe even a lift-up box on the top to store the contents of Bow Bangles. Friends were living the dream but my box room only had space for a desk. So studious.

It wasn’t until I was married and we moved to our last cottage I decided I had waited long enough and a proper make-up station would be mine. A quick hunt on our favourite auction site, a £25 exchange in the back of a van, and a coat of paint later I finally became the owner of a real dressing table. James even added me a hook to the side so I could dock my hairdryer. My inner thirteen year old self squealed with delight.
When we were in that cottage we probably only spent one weekend out of every six at home. Slowly I stopped the Sunday night ritual of emptying my travel make-up bag into my delicately lined and organised drawers to save me time when I headed out the door on a Friday evening. For most of our time there I felt I lived out of a suitcase and as time went on I hardly used the dressing table at all storing most of my make-up in the bathroom cupboard.

Now we’ve moved a dressing table hasn’t come in to the equation at all. The previous owners left us a largish bathroom mirror and it’s the perfect height and size for me to slap on my war paint in the morning. I reckon standing up gets the job done quicker and apparently burns more calories too.
All my make-up collection lives in one place in the bathroom- a smallish bag for everyday (a square shaped one I picked up from Sephora in New York which neatly fits an Urban Decay palette) and a larger cosmetic bag filled with a few treasures for the rare times I hit the town. Every girl needs a sparkle eyeshadow in her repertoire doesn’t she?!
I had a huge purge just after we moved and like my capsule wardrobe, now have a capsule make-up bag heavily edited to include the products I’ve found to be right for my skin and have proven their worth in my small collection. I obviously still like to give new products a whirl, most recently the Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder (ideal if you’re after a subtle bronzed glow without any hint of shimmer) and Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion (no creases and super long lasting eyeshadow), however previously if I’d splashed out on something new and it didn’t suit me I’d hang on to it. You know just in case my skin would miraculously change shade or the mascara would magically stop clumping. No more.

Does any one else have a capsule make-up collection? How did you go about narrowing your make-up bag and how often do you streamline? Also has anyone finally acquired something they yearned for years and found it doesn’t cut the mustard anymore?! While I have you here, I used to get frequent questions on the wallpaper so if anyone fancies a bit of polka dot in their life it’s the Prestigious Textiles Wallpaper in Graphite. You’re more than welcome.


Image by Adam Crohill.

Lauren likes Paris, Prosecco and Paint Charts
Follow Lauren on instagram @mrslaurencoleman
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22 thoughts on “Giving Up On My Dressing Table

  1. Yes! It’s made life so much easier. I still have those special pieces that are more spendy that I wear now and again. Since
    Charlotte said she didn’t wear foundation and her skin still looks amazing I’ve stopped and wow what a revelation! My skin looked worse with foundation all dry skin and patchy and cloggy even wearing expensive brands and primers. So that being out the makeup bag makes it an easier task already.

    I have the old faithful for a day look, max factor nude mauve blush is divine, I’ve dark red hair and paler than pale skin, Scottish through and through and it is the perfect natural shade for me. Apparently is a dupe for those ambient ones…argh can’t remember the right name but you know the ones, in the gold case set of three.

    A bit of gloss and lipstick, Bobbi brown all the way and then old faithful Lancôme hypnose and an easy eyeshadow such as Chanel creme or sticks from no.7 or Bobbi brown again as so easy to apply you don’t need brushes hence when your away your makeup back is still compact. To jazz it up for night just have a brighter lipstick, eyeliner and potentially a glitter eyeshadow and your off!

    I’m all for the capsule makeup! Oh and instead of primer I’ve started using this great moisturiser from lush, called skin drink and it makes my skin look amazing there is really no need for foundation. It’s smooth matte and glowing after it’s dried after a few minutes. That and its ultra brand balm cleanser which has been rated similar to Emma hardie but I’ve never tried Emma hardie to know but anyway sorry that’s not makeup related but does help when your makeup is minimal!

    1. Jill! I have read this with great interest! I’ve never seen a mauve blush from Max Factor – I’m going to have a look for that. And I have never tried anything from Lush – I’ve heard about Ultra Bland loads but always forget about it so I really need to investigate x

  2. I’m embarrassed to say that half of my makeup pretty much lives in those little plastic bags you put your liquids in to get on a plane. It looks so messy in the bathroom!
    But I’ve also pared down my makeup in recent years, mostly Bobbi Brown with a few other brands thrown in. Tucked away in a makeup bag in a drawer I do still have a collection of garish eyeshadows, coloured eyeliners and lipsticks which are probably well out of date but come in handy for random things like Halloween!!

  3. Yes! Since having my little boy I have much less time and look much more tired so I like my routine to be quick but with a polished result. so I have a draw with separate boxes; one for face, one for eyes/eyebrows. I then have another box for night time which has all my lotions, potions, face masks etc (I have loads of lippies and haven’t managed to cull these). I have really cut down on quantity to buy quality products; I absolutely love Bobbi Brown and so that’s the majority of my routine. I would still like a dressing table though…

  4. I finally bought my dressing table when we moved into our own home too. Before then I would perch on the end of the bed opposite a mirror with my hair straighteners on a towel and make up all over the place. Having a dressing table suits me but I have accumulated so much stuff in the drawers but yet I mostly use one small make up bag. I think I need to just chuck everything out and start again with my make up.

    1. I do think a good purge every so often is a good thing to do – as well as cleaning everything down and giving the brushes a de-gunk. Maybe something to do this weekend?

      1. On the glamorous topic of de-gunking – I bought a little bright pink rubber thing from Primark for £1 which is amazing for cleaning brushes! It looks a bit like a tiny rubber oven mitt and has lots of ridges and texture on it.

        You just pop some cleanser (I use shampoo) on the wet brush and swirl it over the textured side of the mitt, gets the makeup out of the deepest crevices of the brushes really quickly (and it’s quite satisfying to do, too).

  5. Ha, mine is certainly a capsule collection – Just Laura Mercier tinted moisturiser, a Bobbi Brown powder, one mascara and a lip gloss that occasionally gets applied on a night out! That said, I wouldn’t mind a couple of other faithful bits that leave me feeling a little more polished at the start of the day (oh and cover up the ever increasing bags under my eyes!).

  6. I’m struggling with the bags under my eyes, I’ve tried everything YSL touch éclat, Givenchy tinte couture, loads of others too but they all seem to crease & make the circles worse. Any recommendations would be welcome?

    1. Hi Jean, The key for me and none creasing is making sure my eye cream has sunk in properly. I pat on a teeny bit of Bobbi Brown Extra rich until it seems to be mostly absorbed then do other stuff before applying concealer. I wait at least 10 minutes. I find the Estee Lauder Double Wear BB glow pen doesn’t crease hardly at all, but the coverage is light/medium. For very dark circles the Bobbi Brown cream concealer and corrector are heavy duty – and if you are ok to seal with powder (I can’t as my skin is too dry) then this shouldn’t crease or fade. xx

      1. Thanks so much Charlotte….the result of two very active little girls & a full time job!!Love the blog and I’ve followed you from the ‘you and your wedding’ days.x

      2. I’ve got the corrector too but find it’s a bit cakey. Going to give it a whirl again when my new eye cream arrives through.

        1. Lauren have you tried the newer more liquid version of the corrector? Might be less cakey.

          Bobbi brown corrector is my life saver!

  7. My study is mid transition to dressing room and my desk is becoming a dressing table and I love it! I have a fair bit of make up but I do use everything i have so don’t feel the need to downsize.

    Another fan of Max factor nude mauve here too

  8. A hairdryer dock?! Mr Coleman is a KEEPER. How have I lived without this?

    Capsule make-up is the way forward. I made the mistake of buying something recommended on one of those FB tutorials this week. Big mistake. Huge. (£40, to be precise.) There is no such thing as a one-hue-suits-all blush. Back to Benetint Cha Cha & Posie Tint it is. Turns out I actually quite like my blush to look obvious!

  9. Hi! I’m moving house soon and having struggled to think of a new corner for my beloved dressing table I’ve been considering giving it up. I do wonder what ladies, and gents, with no dressing table do with their hair dryer and straighteners? Is it annoying getting them out of drawers/ cupboards each morning? Is there a morning hack I’m missing?

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