Since YouTube’s creation in February 2005, there has been a steady increase of searches for makeup vanities, beauty tables and other similar searches. However, if you’ve ever done one of these searches with the intent of purchasing one, you’d know they’re pretty darn expensive for a full vanity set.
In this guide, you’ll learn how to put together a DIY makeup vanity for less than $150. For under $200, we’ll show you how to find a good desk, mirror with lighting, storage, seating and a rug. We’ve even thrown in some extras you may wish to include.
5 Top Tips for Making a Cheap DIY Makeup Vanity
1. Choose a deep, easy-to-clean vanity table in a basic colour.
Price starting at: $30
Pre-made makeup vanity tables are pricey. To cut the cost, we suggest finding a basic office desk, so then you can customise your vanity exactly how you want. You’ll want a deep desk so you have room to put storage containers, beauty products and décor towards the back, as well as your mirror.
As you’ll be adding your own storage, mirrors and accessories, using a basic colour (like black or white) makes it easier to match colouring of other components. Almost all furniture retailers will have a simple, plain table with either no drawers or a single pull-out. Or, you could opt for an antique desk for something unique and sustainable.
A key thing to remember is that makeup can get messy. Keep an eye out for waterproof surfaces that can simply be cleaned with a multi-purpose wipe after you’ve done tapping off excess setting powders and eyeshadow.
2. Add a large, basic mirror and border with LED strip lights.
Price starting at: $20
The classic dressing table with mirrors and lights around the edges will set you back around $180 to upwards of $500. All these do is cast natural-looking light on your face so you don’t walk outside to find your makeup is more Oompa Loompa than golden goddess.
To create this same effect, purchase a plain, large mirror (around $20) and some strip LED lights (roughly $20 to $70, depending on type). Then, apply the LED strip lights around the edge of the mirror.
For those close-ups, you may even want to have a free-standing magnifying mirror too.
3. Use a variety of storage solutions for makeup, tools and beauty accessories.
Price range starting from: $15 to $50+
It’s all well and good if your makeup vanity looks cute, but it needs to be functional too. You need a place to store pallets, lipsticks, setting powders, contour kits, foundations, brushes, sponges, sprays and all your other beauty essentials.
Using a mix of drawers and countertop storage containers will ensure enough space for everything. Small containers can be filled with beads to keep brushes upright, while there are plenty of drawer organisers to keep everything tidy. You’ll also want to ensure the things you use the most are kept within reaching distance for convenience.
For those trickier tools, like hair straighteners and hairdryers, you can get some handy hooks to add to the side of your desk to hang things up. They’re also an ideal storage space for hanging up a hand towel to wipe your hands and any tools off on too.
Don’t forget a bin, either!
4. Measure the height of your makeup table before you order a seat.
Price starting at: $25
Chances are, if you’re putting together your own DIY makeup vanity, you love doing makeup, and do so pretty much daily. This means you’ll be sitting at your makeup desk for at least 15 minutes every day, or more, depending how long it takes you to do your face each day.
So you’re comfortable while doing your makeup, you want to ensure you are able to sit comfortably for this time with good posture. You’ll want to be able to be seated with your legs bent at a 90 degree angle, and be able to rest your forearms on your desk, with your elbows also bent at a 90 degree angle.
To do this, it’s crucial your seat is a good height for your new vanity. A dining room chair is normally a good height, but they’re not always available in a single-buy option or in a colour you want. Stools or ottomans may be the solution, however, always ensure you’ll be able to sit comfortably on them.
5. Make it easy to clean up any spills by adding a washable rug.
Price starting at: $30
By slipping a washable rug under your seat and feet, you’ll simply be able to chuck the rug in the wash if you do have an unfortunate spill of something. You can pick up smaller rugs starting at around $30.
If the chair you’ve chosen has wheels, you may want to consider a smoother rug surface, over a shag style.