The Floor Vanity: Because You Can't Afford A Fancy Piece Of Furniture To Apply Your $5 Concealer

How to trick out that little space on the ground where you do your makeup.
Publish date:
April 16, 2013
hair, makeup, DIY, jewelry, accessories, vanities

When you move into a tiny apartment or dorm room, you’re going to set up your crap wherever it fits. That’s how I found myself sitting on a towel in the corner of my bedroom, leaning against a full length mirror, trying to apply eyeliner in the dark.

I had no fancy vanity to primp at, so I kind of just had to make do; and all my brushes, heat-styling tools, makeup, accessories, jewelry, perfumes and hair products just ended up wherever.

Then, after weeks of little additions to the space, I sat huddled between my boyfriend’s Captain America and Bioshock posters and there, at last, was my own little slice of heaven: my floor vanity.

These days, my floor-vanity area is where I zen out. It’s a space where I can spend 20 minutes analyzing my eyebrows, and where my dog thinks it’s perfectly safe to sit on my lap when I attempt to curl my hair.

It was a slowly evolving process. A few impulse buys from Target’s dollar section, some recycling of jewelry boxes I’d been storing under my bathroom sink, even a tin of metallic thumbtacks I’d found at HomeGoods became an integral part of my floor vanity.


When you set out to make your own little corner primping spot, you have to choose the perfect location. Try to pick a corner that won’t be disturbed by opening doors, has an electrical outlet (or two), and gives you enough floor space to stretch out on.

Two walls are always better than one. It gives the illusion of privacy, which is cute, because you probably have none.

When you find that outlet, plug in a multi-socket extension to power your curler, straightener, blow dryer, and laptop (so you can watch makeup tutorials and read xoVain while you’re waiting for your lash glue to dry).


Like makeup, your vanity area can hide flaws and display your assets. So when it comes to storage and decorations, you’ve got to decide what you’re more embarrassed to show: your 18 half-used sticks of black eyeliner or the frilly choker you got from Party City for Halloween.

Some easy storage solutions for hiding your more embarrassing beauty buys: old jewelry boxes, bins from the dollar store, and small shelving units.

If they’re looking a little plain, I’m a big fan of bedazzling, glue-gunning, and decoupaging.

Want to take the display up a notch? My two storage prize winners have been copied by many a friend:


I like to think of my vanity area as a fruitful garden where cheap earrings grow on lamps and small fairies braid my hair while I’m distracted by YouTube videos.

I got this great lamp as a hand-me-down and its bold stitching gave me the perfect line to hang earrings. The stitching would be easy enough to copy on any other lampshade--just make sure to leave enough thread to fit those hoop earrings through.


I like to base my makeup on my outfits, and my outfits on my jewelry, so it makes a lot of sense to have all of my necklaces, bangles and cuffs hanging up on my wall in full view.

Thumbtacks are the easiest tool to remove and restructure according to what new pieces you buy and how much space they take up. They’re also cheap, minimalistic, and won’t rip the paint off your walls.

Plus, it makes you feel all the more glamorous to be putting on blush surrounded by all that glitz.

BONUS TIP: Only hang up jewelry worth less than $20. Keep the rest in an oatmeal can in your pantry.

What’s your vanity situation? Got any bright ideas for sprucing up your making-up area?