How To Choose A Makeup Vanity

Who doesn't secretly wish to feel like a Hollywood star while sitting comfortably in front of a mirror to get ready? Choosing the right makeup vanity will allow you to experience that feeling every day!

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Also known as 'dressing table', it will be your go-to station to put on makeup in the morning, try on different jewelry combinations before going out for dinner, or sit down to take everything off at the end of a long day. Basically, a sophisticated upgrade from standing in front of your bathroom mirror and balancing your makeup on the sink!

Let us help you choose a makeup vanity that includes enough storage, complements your room, and makes you feel like the star you are.

How Big Should a Makeup Vanity Be?

While you can find smaller or larger models, most makeup vanities range from 30 to 50 inches in width. They're as high as an average writing desk, and include one or more drawers.

In order to find the right size for you, ask yourself:

  • Where are you planning on placing it? Measure that specific space, especially if it's squashed in a little nook or in-between two pieces of furniture; don't forget that, while they're usually designed to fit the stool underneath the table, you'll need to allow some extra room to pull it out and sit on it comfortably;
  • How much storage do you need? The number of drawers makes all the difference. The largest desk with a tiny drawer won't do you any good if you already have three bagfuls of makeup, just like there's no point in investing in the most spacious model if you usually stick to the same four or five pieces.

How to Choose the Right Storage for Your Makeup Vanity?

Disposition and layout change, but you'll find four main types of storage:

  • A single drawer, usually in the middle;
  • A row of smaller drawers;
  • A few extra drawers next to the mirror;
  • More drawers coming down on one or both sides.

Consider these points before choosing your makeup vanity:

  • How much makeup do you own? Are you planning on buying more? Run and inventory and separate your pieces by type: if you own many of each, you might want to have a separate drawer for nail polish, one for eyeshadows, one for brushes, and so on. Always add 10-20% extra room for each storage area, when possible. Investing in drawer organizers can be very practical;
  • Are you planning on storing your jewelry, too? In that case, stay on the large side and choose a makeup vanity that has a couple of spare drawers, perhaps next to the mirror.
  • Decide which products you would like to have hidden or and which out in the open. For a tidier space, of course, choose drawer and/or cabinet storage. For easier, quicker access, place attractive storage units on top of the vanity. If that's what you intend to do, make sure the top is large enough to accommodate them!
  • Remember that hair styling tools tend to be either long or bulky. If you plan to store them in your vanity, take that into account -- you'll need a set of bigger, deeper drawers.

What Types of Mirror Do Makeup Vanities Come With?

It's rare to find makeup vanities without mirrors. We'd only recommend them if you already have a large one on the wall against which you're planning on placing your new makeup vanity. Otherwise, these will be your main choices (some mirrors can fit more than one category):

  • Standing: ideal if you always have a good source of natural light and want your vanity to be one of the first things you see when you walk into the room;
  • Adjustable: usually oval-shaped, which introduces a decorative element, an adjustable mirror gives you more flexibility when applying your makeup;
  • Flip-top: perfect to optimize space and make the room look less busy;
  • Tri-fold: making it even easier to apply makeup, it allows you to check the result from different angles;
  • Lighted: the traditional movie mirror with lightbulbs around its frame can provide an additional source of lighting.
Makeup Vanity With Standing Mirror
Classy Ornate Makeup Vanity With Standing Mirror
Contemporary Style Makeup Vanity With Lighted Mirror
Stylish Simple Makeup Vanity With Flip Top Mirror
Makeup Vanity With Round Lighted Mirror
Makeup Vanity With Tri Fold Mirror

What Is the Best Lighting for Makeup?

Like any makeup artist will tell you, natural light is the best to apply makeup and ensure a cohesive result without later ending up spotting a terrible foundation line in all the pictures from that evening. If you can, place your makeup vanity next to a big window. 

However, not every room allows you to do so, and sometimes you might need to put your makeup on when the sun's already gone down. Your second-best option if you haven't got a good overhead light or lamp is a lighted mirror with natural white light: a bulb with a CRI of 90 or higher will allow you to see more colors. 

PRO tip: Whatever you do, avoid yellow or fluorescent lighting at all costs!

LED Light Makeup Vanity With Three Color Settings
Oval Mirror LED Light Makeup Vanity
Makeup Vanity With Lighted Rectangular Mirror
Stylish Makeup Vanity With LED Lighted Round Mirror
Modern Style Rectangular Mirror Lighted Makeup Vanity
Classy Makeup Vanity With Lighted Mirror

How to Select a Makeup Vanity to Match My Décor Style?

As an accent piece of furniture, your makeup vanity will stand out in your bedroom, but it should also look cohesive. Try and choose a color from the room's existing palette, and consider its décor style.

  • Traditional wooden vanities are incredibly versatile and can work with rustic, vintage, mid-Century modern and French-country styles; for the last one, pick more ornate designs with lots of soft curves and details;
Makeup Vanity Set With Stool And Mirror
Sophisticated Wooden Makeup Vanity Set
Brown Wooden makeup Vanity With Flip Top Mirror
Simple Stylish Makeup Vanity With Flip Top Mirror
Stylish Makeup Vanity With Mirror
French Style Makeup Vanity Set
  • Mirrored or painted wooden vanities with straight symmetrical shapes help convey a modern feel;
Modern Glam Style Mirrored Makeup Vanity
Silver Makeup Vanity Set
Modern Minimal Wood Makeup Vanity
Glass And Metal Glam Makeup Vanity
Modern Style Wooden Makeup Vanity With Flip Top Mirror
Luxury Style Makeup Vanity Set
  • Minimalist vanities are usually monochrome, have a plain mirror frame, particularly thin legs, and only one drawer;
Simple Minimalist Makeup Vanity Set
Minimalist Makeup Vanity With Flip Top Mirror
Stylish Minimalist Wooden Makeup Vanity
Grey Makeup Vanity Set With Mirror
Single Drawer Makeup Vanity With Round Mirror
Minimalist Single Drawer Corner Makeup Vanity
  • Minimalist elements work well in Scandinavian-inspired rooms too, but go for lighter woods or white designs; adding a separate texture onto your stool such as faux fur is another key element;
LED Lighted Makeup Vanity Set
Scandi Style White Makeup Vanity
Simple Rectangular Lighted Mirror Makeup Vanity
Simple Stylish Lighted Makeup Vanity
Vanity Makeup Set With Mirror
Simple Scandinavian Makeup Vanity
  • For an eclectic and bohemian style, you can break the rules and experiment a bit more, but be careful not to create a mismatch of colors. Need some inspiration? Look for painted wooden tables with curved legs and lots of details;
Colorful Stylish Makeup Vanity Set
Rose Pink Makeup Vanity Set
Stylish Ornate Makeup Vanity
Distressed Decorative Makeup Vanity
Ornate Hand Painted Makeup Vanity With Mirror
Metal Makeup Vanity With Mirror
  • A combination of wood and dark metal without any ornate mirror frames can add to the raw, unfinished charm of industrial décors;
  • White or pastel vanities with harmonious shapes, curved legs, trifold or adjustable round mirrors seem to be made to complement shabby chic rooms!
White Makeup Vanity With Tri Fold Oval Mirror
Silver Makeup Vanity With Tri Fold Mirror
Rose Gold Corner Make Up Vanity
Stylish White Makeup Vanity With Tri Fold Mirror
Shabby Distressed Makeup Vanity Set
Wooden Makeup Vanity Set With Mirror

How to Select the Right Material for a Bedroom Makeup Vanity?

While style is a central element, there are some practical issues that you might want to keep in mind when choosing the material of your new makeup vanity:

  • Whether natural, painted or stained, traditional wooden vanities are still the most popular, but you should be extra careful when applying nail varnish or other types of makeup that can stain it;
  • Mirrored vanities are much easier to clean and will make your room look more spacious, but they can be more fragile and constitute a hazard for young children; let alone they will have to be cleaned VERY OFTEN.
  • Your stool should be comfortable, but you might want to look for one that's easy to clean, too: a leather or vinyl top will be a blessing next time you spill foundation onto it!

Quick Tips

Ready to find the makeup vanity of your dreams? Let's make sure you remember the most important things:

  • Measure the space that it's meant to fill before buying it
  • Run an inventory of your makeup to figure out how many drawers you need
  • The mirror can be standing, adjustable, flip-top, tri-fold or lighted
  • Natural light is still the best to apply makeup, but, if you need some extra lighting, look for natural white bulbs with a CRI of 90 or higher
  • Identify the palette and décor style of your room so that you can choose a makeup vanity that complements it.

When you're serious about your beauty routine, having a makeup vanity in your bedroom or bathroom is a must. This simple furniture piece will not only keep your cosmetic accessories organized and all in one place, but it will also make your beauty rituals all the more enjoyable and gratifying.