I love products. Actually, I adore products.

And not just makeup either. It's true, you can sometimes find me applying concealer with a trowel, but I love creams, toners, cleansers, face strips, masks, gels, serums, highlighters and more. Anything that promises me instant youth (and glitter) – I'm there.

And when it comes to keeping track of the thousands of pots, potions and primers that I purchase almost on a daily basis, I really want somewhere to keep them all...

Not just to have on display – even if they are all rather beautiful. It's about having somewhere to sit while I cleanse, hydrate and moisturise. It's one of the most relaxing things I can do, especially before bed – sitting and gently dabbing on layers of elixirs, then smoothing them in so they can work their magic overnight.

Part of that relaxation process is picking and choosing which combination of creams and lovely delights I'm going to use next. And if all my products are bundled away in drawers or stuffed into a myriad of makeup pouches, then it's inevitable for chaos to ensue: Tumbling pots rolling under the bed, lost sprays and forgotten exfoliants.

Having a dressing table for makeup (and everything that goes with it) is about giving yourself that space to get ready – whether that's for work, a night out, or just a good night's sleep.

Dressing tables


Catch me as a teenager and a dressing table was far from the agenda. Now however, I absolutely adore having somewhere to place all my products. And when it comes to organising my makeup, that's when the fun really starts.

There are so many different ways to keep it all in check:

Skin care – toners and cleansers tend to be larger bottles so having them on a shelf next to your dressing table, or on the table top, makes it easier to identify them. It also means you avoid having them all on their sides in a drawer which just opens them up to spillages. Of course, cotton wool pads and facewipes need to be on hand at all times so these are best suited to your top drawer, along with cotton buds.

Creams – depending on how many creams you have, you might want to separate these out into sections. Body butter pots can all go together as well as lotions. Then I split mine out into day creams, night creams and eye creams. The reason for this is that it just makes it easier in the morning when you're trying to get ready. Plus, eye creams and gels tend to come in smaller pots so they can get lost more easily.

Concealer and foundation – I see a lot of people separating these out into shades but unless you're a makeup artist, it's unlikely you have lots of these. For that reason, I tend to keep primers, concealers, finishing powders, blushers and bronzers together. Anything where you do have multiple shades, it's always nice to have these in clear acrylic boxes as you can pick and choose your shade as you go.

Brushes – again, this one is a bit more about preference. Brush pots are handy and it also means you can keep them clean and dry as well as altogether. But if you're like me, fishing around in a brush pot just ends up being a bit faffy. I prefer to keep specific brushes with accompanying products so that I just have one drawer open at a time.

The blusher brushes with the blusher, the eye shadow brushes with the eye shadow etc. Another way of sorting them is by having multiple pots so they're still easy to identify. You can use decorative jars, short vases, pen pots and even toothbrush holders. Fill wider jars with pretty beads or stones so brushes are stable. And of course, don't forget to keep them clean. The whirly brush cleaners are the best as they help dry your brushes after your've washed them. But you can equally get little silicone cleaners which you can use under the tap for quick and regular use.

Eye shadow – eye shadow is very much a pick and choose type of makeup so you will be more inclined to want to see the full range for inspiration. Keep your palettes in a drawer face up – the clear acrylic drawers and boxes are great for this. Or you can create a magnetic board. Get a piece of iron, cover it in fabric or wallpaper, and then frame it. You can prop it up against your wall or hang it near your mirror. Then just glue little magnets onto the back of your eye shadows and arrange at will! You can also do this using Velcro. Another idea is to have a hanging makeup travel pouch. These have lots of see-through pockets which you can fill with eye shadows. Hang up or just roll out when you need it and roll back up again to store away in your drawer.

Close up mirror – it's always handy having a close-up mirror, especially if you need to get more light. Keep a shaving mirror on your desk to go alongside your other mirrors for eyebrow shaping, pore cleansing and blending.

Pencils – pen pots are great for these too, or you can keep these together in your drawers in stationery or cutlery dividers. Keep lip liners, eye liners and eyebrow pencils separate in their own compartments for ease.

Lipsticks – stationery sets can be great for organising lipsticks but make sure you can see the ends otherwise it just makes life more difficult. Grid dividers help a lot when it comes to separating shades and sewing/craft boxes are perfect for keeping hold of lots of little extras. You might just want to label the mini drawers with shades or types for ease of use. Have fun and make it your own – this sort of things looks lovely on top of a dresser and is really lovely to use too.

Finishing touches – everyone does their makeup differently but we all have those finishing touches that we love to add. Whether it's a lip shine, a finishing spray, highlighter or even a touch of glitter, keep your finishers together so you can top them up when you need.

Gift boxes – gift boxes are so pretty and they make great storage. Stack a few under your dressing table with spare items you use less often. Perhaps things like fake eyelashes, eyelash glue, pore strips and facemasks.

Tools and mascara – there's only one way to go with mascara for me and that's fat lashes. This means I only have one on the go (as well as a few samples here). This means I keep my mascara with my beauty tools – tweezers, eyelash curlers, eyebrow brush, blenders and little sponges.

Perfumes – I won't keep these anywhere else except on my dressing table. The bottles all look so beautiful and just seeing them really cheers me up. I love a quick spritz before I leave the house so the quicker and easier I can access them, the better.

Hair products – depending on your hair regime you may have very few or very many hair products and accessories. These are better off kept in wash bags and larger drawers as you don't need to have them on show so much. Travel cases and heat protective mats are all great for keeping everything stored away. And little boxes and makeup bags will give your accessories a safe home.

Jewellery – you might want to keep all your jewellery separate from your makeup but a jewellery tree for your favourite adornments will look great on your dressing table.

Makeup on the go – need to touch up your lipstick? Keep a little pouch for on the go, of all your top ups. That way you don't interfere with your carefully organised makeup regime.

Nail polish – these are definitely best placed on a nearby shelf as you get to pick and choose your next colour easily. Nail tools like polish remover, cuticle pushers and files can be kept aside in a little box or make up bag.

Other things to consider:


I don't know how I do it but make up seems to fly everywhere when I am getting ready in the morning. And the dusty powders and spatters of foundation soon build up. A packet of cleaning wipes is great for helping you keep your dressing area clean, tidy and looking nice.

A comfy stool will stop the back ache of leaning over and a little nearby bin will ensure your surfaces stay as clear as possible. It's also really important to consider lighting when placing your dressing table as you don't want to be side onto a window or directly under a light. If it's difficult to be near natural light or if you need more, drape fairy lights or rope lights around your mirror for that extra dash of luminescence.

And there we have it! My ideas for keeping all your beauty products in check. As always, I'd love to hear your ideas. Send me a message and a pic of your dressing table on either Instagram or Facebook @HartleysDirect.