A vanity table is more than a mirror and your makeup pouch, or at least that’s what professional make-up artists in Dubai say. The key to powdering the face in record time is to have a dedicated corner with all your tools and accessories laid out.
A well-equipped vanity helps with achieving the best lighting after the sun has set, if you have portable LED light fixtures. Another touted essential is acrylic organisers that can hold palettes, brushes and lipsticks, from where they can be quickly plucked and dropped back in.
Some accessories, like an additional mirror, can depend on where your vanity is located. But, remember, there are no hard and fast rules to scouting the best location, as long as it receives plenty of natural lighting. Vlada Elchava, a pro makeup artist in Dubai with a broad clientele, from celebrities to brides, says she and her vanity essentials go wherever there is “best lighting” at home, also known as her dining table.
Taking different beauty corners into consideration, we came up with a list of essential tools and featured tips on how to use them by professionals. Now’s the best time to get the vanity sorted and stocked, while Amazon’s Beauty Week sale is still on. Deck out your corner as soon tomorrow by ordering as a Prime member.
1. A vanity mirror with LED lights
The best part about portable vanity mirrors is that they can be paired with any tabletop – be it your study desk or the bathroom counter. And those that come with lights help mimic natural sunlight in dim areas. For Gaelle Hanna, a Dubai-based Lebanese makeup artist, lighting has the power to either make or break your makeup look.
“Lighting is the most important aspect, because if you’re not able to see well, then you’re just going to end up with mismatched foundation. Most people go for warm LED lights, but they should be neither warm nor cool. Stick to a temperature between the two for the best colour,” said Hanna.
We picked the Luxfurni Vanity Mirror that’s easily powered by a USB cable and has rave reviews. There are 12 LED lightbulbs along its perimeter, which alternate between cool, neutral and warm temperatures via sleek touch controls. The mirror’s frameless minimalistic design suits every tabletop.
For those who get ready in the bathroom, a magnifying mirror on the side can help with tweezing and eye makeup, adds Hanna. The Kedsum mirror attaches to any clean surface using a suction cup, with a bendable gooseneck. It has seven times the magnification and comes with 14 daylight-toned LEDs.
But, if you’re already working with your favourite mirror, opt for separate lighting fixtures. Elchava prefers applying makeup when her lights are at a distance: “For me, LED light mirrors change the colour of the face, so it can be misleading. I use a remote-controlled ring light, instead, because I can always move it around”.
LUXFURNI Vanity Tabletop Makeup Mirror
KEDSUM Flexible Gooseneck 6.8" 7X Magnifying LED Lighted Makeup Mirror
Muson LED Selfie Ring Light
2. Vanity furniture with drawers
Before we get into acrylic organisers, you might want to consider a dedicated vanity table. Not only do they carve out a zen zone for you to get ready for the day, but they also come with drawers for extra space.
This advice comes from Aidai Ismailova, a makeup trainer at Al Ruba Beauty Institute in Dubai and a professional artist of 10 years. Picture the perfect vanity table that can store products you don’t always want on display, like wet wipes, cotton buds, applicators and more.
Vasagle has a fantastic rustic brown and black unit, complete with three drawers, tri-fold mirrors and an upholstered stool. Its best bonus features are the hair dryer holder and brush container hanging on either edge.
A more budget-friendly option is a compact vanity dresser by TecnoMobili. For its price, you’re getting one unified drawer but with a stool that has storage capacity. The entire unit is collapsible, so it looks like a bedside drawer in its hidden form.
VASAGLE Vanity Table with Upholstered Stool Set
TecnoMobili Dressing Table with Seat
3. Beauty organisers
Hanna advises against all-in-one containers, the kind that squeeze all your different make-up tools into one organiser. Dedicated storage for brushes, beauty blenders, palettes and foundations makes application less muddled.
“I have many holders for separate tools; for instance, I know my eye brushes are on one side and foundation brushes on the other. If they’re all in the same place, it’ll be time-consuming to figure out where things are,” Hanna explained, adding that her foundation bottles and palettes also sit in separate organisers.
Plus, since these containers sit out in the open, they should also blend in with the rest of your décor. An easy workaround is see-through acrylic containers. Our pick is a customisable palette holder with eight compartments, out of which seven dividers are removable. Each tray fits at least ten palettes.
Another popular method of decluttering is ‘depotting’ your makeup. Every eyeshadow palette is bound to have favourites and lesser frequented shades. Removing colours from pans of different brands and putting them together in one accessible tray helps you save space and makes travelling easier. We’ve gone for the Adept Cosmetics magnetic palette, a double-sided blank canvas that can hold over 100 eyeshadow pots.
For cylindrical products, like lipsticks, lip liners, mascaras and concealers, a storage case with multiple drawers can help. A Sorbus container has three large drawers and four mini ones, coming in a range of translucent shades. Small drawers are always great for storing loose lip balms.
Acrylic Compact Makeup Palette Organiser
Adept Palette in Singularity Black
Sorbus Cosmetics Makeup and Jewellery Big Storage Case Display
4. Brush and beauty blender holders
Lidded brush holders are all the rage, especially those that come with pearl or bead fillings to elevate vanity aesthetics. We chose a TimCart acrylic product that uses cream-coloured pearls as its base. You can stick 50 small brushes or 25 big brushes into the three compartments, while the pearls keep them upright for easy access.
Even our beauty blenders need a stand that they can be aired out and dried in. Hanna says that washing these sponges is essential after every use, so a container with proper ventilation is a must. Reviewers swear by LanMa’s three-piece rose-gold drying stand, adding that these don’t rust easily. We’ve also added a lidded option with a perforated base.
Covered Makeup Brush Holder with Dustproof Lid
LanMa 3-Piece Beauty Sponge Blender Holder
Acrylic Beauty Blender Sponge Holder With Dustproof Lid
5. Cleaning tools
Swirling a used brush in a soapy solution usually doesn’t work unless you rinse and repeat several times. Save time on wash day with an electric brush cleaner that does the scrubbing for you on soft silicone ridges.
BeautyTok, otherwise known as TikTok’s beauty community, has thoroughly tested this piece of gadget. It comes with a small cleaning bowl that rotates at varying speeds via a touch button. Fill it with water and your preferred cleanser, dip your brush head in and run the machine for 30 seconds to one minute. The USB cable goes wherever you go, so it’s the ideal addition to a travel makeup kit.
A cleaning mat does the job just as well, but it does involve manual scrubbing. The Sigma Beauty mat comes with seven patterns for washing and rinsing brushes, and it sticks to your sink using six suction feet.
How about makeup removal pads that are not disposable? Go for a pack of small, washable microfibre towels, instead of restocking on cotton pads. Both sides of the cloth break down layers of makeup gently with just warm water.
Alyfini Electric Makeup Brush Cleaner
Sigma Beauty Sigma Spa Express Brush Cleaning Mat
Eurow Makeup Removal Cleaning Cloth, 5 by 5 Inches, Coral, Pack of 10
Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.