You’re So Vain, You Probably Think This Post Is About You: Personalizing Your Vanity

A few days ago, I shared with you my lifelong love affair with my vanity.

No – not that kind of vanity. I mean, the love affair I have with my dressing table.

Today, I’m bringing you a few of my design tips that have made my boudoir one of my favorite places in my home.

To personalize my antique white vanity I have now, and to offset its stark neutral tone, I like to add some delicate elements of color.

My neutralish, antique white dressing table with delicate splashes of color and metallics. The antique red velvet chair in this photo has now been replaced by a beautiful, french blue velvet chair with an ashy gray-stained wood frame, which I found at HomeGoods this past fall.

One of the best opportunities to add color and whimsy, to a small space such as this, is to look at what utilitarian purposes you can maximize to dress the space up a bit.

Instead of junking up your happy place, choose must-have pieces that can both serve a function and delight the senses

In this case, I used this prime (and pretty) opportunity to do this with my makeup brush holders. Why not give those expensive investments, called brushes, a lovely home? I opted for julep cups and blue sea glass cups and votives.

I also mindfully choose what sits out on my vanity.

Pretty products on display are key. They set you up to feel luxurious as you primp for a night out!

I like to display the prettiest products, and pieces that delight me most on top, where you- and everyone else – can see them. You can’t go wrong with products with pretty packaging, and laying out your favorite, colorful, eye-catching pieces of jewelry on display. Here, I have my favorite vintage 50s pastel, french colonial, floral necklace on my vanity, Tarte amazonian clay eyeliner (in a cute turquoise and gold pot), and my beloved Crème de La Mer.

Julep cups for brushes and lovely vintage necklaces make for a pleasant primping place

As for practicality? I keep my most often-used products on top or in the top drawers for easy access.

Over the vanity, hangs a soft, powdery pink chandelier to add some warm lighting, which aids in makeup application.

A chandelier spilling warm light lights the way to feeling your beautiful best every day

Whatever your aesthetic, just be authentic to yourself. Think about what delights you, what inspires you, and what will make you feel most beautiful as you sit down for a few moments to become your most beautiful self each day.

I hope you begin a torrid, lifelong love affair with your vanity, as well.



BF Asks: What does your vanity look like? 


BeautyFrosting Beauty Rituals: The Vanity Of It All

Where you'll find me - at some point - every day. Sitting at my antique white vanity, drying my hair, putting on mascara or lipstick, or trying out a new beauty product for consideration for segments and blog posts.

My beauty regimen was born at the tender age of 4 – as the ultimate girly girl – when I was gifted a vanity for Christmas, by Santa.

Is there any wonder I'm who I am today? Here I am, at age 4, being gifted with a box of….vanity!

Me. 4 years old. Sitting at my first vanity. It would not be my last. p.s. Love my mom's reflection in the mirror! I still keep a picture of her on my vanity!

Anywhere I’ve ever lived, I’ve had a dressing table: in my childhood bedroom (a cherry wood vanity), at camp, my high school bedroom (a white wicker vanity), in my college dorm rooms (I would turn boring sinks into elaborate contact-paper-covered dressing tables with my mom’s help), at the Kappa Kappa Gamma house at the University of Texas (where I made my tiny blue and gold bedside table my vanity in a tiny room I shared with 2 other girls – PRIORITIES!) and every home I’ve ever lived in. Some of my favorite memories with friends have taken place sitting at my various vanities.

I love sitting down and really taking a moment to apply my makeup. It's a little slice of luxury every day!

The antique cottage white shabby chic vanity I have now, I’ve had since buying it in Santa Monica at Sutble Tones with my mom in 2000. I replaced the red velvet chair I’d had for 15 years, with a blue velvet chair this year. Such an early (earrrrly!!) ritual I’ve carried with me.

How much of a ritual? Well, ask me to blow dry my hair standing up, and I’m useless.

This is probably the last time I applied makeup while sitting on the carpet.

To me, it’s all about that moment of sitting down, taking some time out from the busy world, looking yourself in the eye, investing some time in yourself, and pampering yourself a bit daily.

Seems like no surprise to anyone, then, that I’ve been named Beauty Collection’s first Celebrity Beauty Curator! But more on that later…


Dawn (BF)

BF Asks: What’s one of your most beloved beauty rituals?

Holiday Delights: Home for the Holidays…

Holiday Delights: We're Goin' Where?!

Right now, I’m in the air en route to Dallas with Miss Ellie sleeping soundly in the bag by my feet, a laptop on my tray table, Creme de La Mer slathered on my face and my fellow Dallas-turned-LA blogger, Devon Rachel, on my right in the window seat. Everything is so peaceful and it just feels like all is right in the world.

I, on the other hand, am as giddy as a schoolgirl. I have always gotten so excited to go home. This flight from LA to Dallas has become such a welcome ritual that I look forward to and savor. And I love airports. I always meet the coolest people in airports; people who have ended up being lasting influences in my life – from my friend, Mario – the retired policeman from Mill Valley who is my “death buddy” (we text each other every time a celebrity dies – I know, morbid but I love it) to the guy in the band I met en route to Nashville and dated for a spell to the boy I kissed on the plane. Hey, don’t judge. It was fun – and, besides, it gives me stuff to write about and something for y’all to read. Yep, airports and I are pretty tight.

So here I am on another plane on another trip home to Dallas for another holiday spent with my family in Dallas. I cannot wait to see my family and friends! You can find us at Mi Cocina Preston Forest pretty much every night during my visit, FYI. But I will say that this is the first time I’m truly sad to leave my LA friends who have become my family. As much as I love being in Dallas for Christmas – and really can’t imagine being anywhere else – I really love Los Angeles in December. Between Santa & the gingerbread house at The Grove to the decorations in Beverly Hills lining Wilshire, my eternally summery city knows how to appreciate winter even when it’s 70 degrees outside.

So I just want to take a moment to say “Thank You” to my LA friends-turned-family for making 2013 my best year ever! I love and appreciate every one of you so much.

And Dallas…I’m Comin’ home!!! Keep the salsa and margaritas flowin’, Mi Cocina

Holiday pillows by: Target (and under $5. I found them in the dollar aisle – say whaaaaa?!)

Bedding & fur pillows by: Anthropologie

Tassel garlands by my favorite: Studio Mucci



BF Asks: What’s your plan for the holiday? 

A Boudoir Shoot Changed My Life (yes, I’m serious)

I write a blog for a living. So you might say, I like photos. It’s true. It’s the curse of being born a photographer’s daughter…and of being a second-born child whose parents showered their first born with pics and forgot about the camera when she came along. What? I’m not bitter. But it did make me a lover of marking the memory of every occasion with a photo – much to the chagrin of my family & friends.


So when I was presented with the opportunity to pose for a boudoir shoot with the uber-talented Claire Pearce and Unbuttoned Photography here in Los Angeles a few weeks ago, I thought “Hmmm…that could be fun!” – a thought that was immediately followed by, “If my grandmother was alive, would she disown me?” and “Umm, how much am I really comfortable with folks seeing of me?”
See, I am not someone who likes putting her body on display – mostly because like approximately 91% of american women – I’m not totally 100% comfortable with my body. I’m more like 60% comfortable with my body. On a good day, a little more. On a bad day, a lot less.
Much like many of those other 91% of women, I have had a hate affair with my body for years. Since I was 11 years old, I have dieted, binged, sucked in, thrown up, starved,  excessively worked out, called my body names – and none of it has made me love my body any more, surprisingly.
I have looked at myself in the mirror – more times than I would like to recall – and said vile, hateful things to myself than I wouldn’t dare say to my worst enemy. I’ve been lovingly – and not-so-lovingly – called curvy, thick, voluptuous and big-boned when all I ever wanted to be was thin and petite. People would even intend it to be a compliment and I would find myself utterly disgusted.
Well, I am tired of hating what I am and wanting to be what I am not. No more. I work too hard and love life too much to let my distorted view of my body get me down. I eat well, work out almost every day and it’s not fair to myself to hold myself to some unrealistic expectation. I have let this dichotomy of what I think I should be versus what I am hold me back from dreams, wound relationships and keep me from a more confident version of myself that I’ve always known was in there. I have spent 35 years of my life letting my body be my albatross. And, well, I’m sick of it. But it’s not just me. It’s you, it’s your mom, it’s your sister, your daughter, your best friend. As my wise friend once said, “I am so tired of my girlfriends hating their bodies.” Yeah, me too. 

So, as a gift to myself for my 36th birthday, I decided to stop the madness and start the loving. I love others too much to not give myself that same love and respect with this long overdue gift. I’m not a mother yet but damned if I’ll one day teach my daughter to hate her body. I want her to love her body, respect her body and enjoy her body for everything it’s worth. And how can I do that one day if I can’t do that myself today?
So what was the catalyst that made me turn the body-hating page to a body-loving page?
Well, I ended up doing said boudoir shoot I mentioned up above with Claire Pearce and  Unbuttoned Photography.

I THINK my Nanny would be okay with this. No? Photo by Claire Pearce of Unbuttoned Photography, Hair & Makeup by Emma Willis of Contour Fossa Makeup & Hair

Now, I’m not saying that this cures all ills and that you’ll be dancing around naked on stripper poles in the middle of the street. I certainly am not.

Giving Dollface a new meaning. Shot in my home 11/3/13. Photo by Claire Pearce of Unbuttoned Photography, Hair & Makeup by Emma Willis of Contour Fossa Makeup & Hair / Tassel garland deco by Studio Mucci

But it did help me appreciate my body the way it is right now – every curve, every scar, every flaw and every feature  – that makes me uniquely me. And now I’m sharing it with you. So please, um, be kind.

A new kind of appreciation…it only took 35.9 years! Photo by Claire Pearce of Unbuttoned Photography, Hair & Makeup by Emma Willis of Contour Fossa Makeup & Hair



While photographer, Claire – and Sherry (her assistant) – prepared for the shoot, I was primped to the hilt with hair and makeup by Emma Willis of Contour Fossa Makeup & Hair. There was something about sipping champagne, listening to D’Angelo, Marvin Gaye, Meiko and Robin Thicke, and writhing around in silky lingerie on my bed with pumps on that made me feel, well, sensual. And it was not a bad feeling to feel.



Photo by Claire Pearce of Unbuttoned Photography, Hair & Makeup by Emma Willis of Contour Fossa Makeup & Hair / Tassel garland deco by Studio Mucci



I have found that this one day spent showing my body a little love and respect has made me a better lover, better friend, better daughter, better one-day wife & mother and better woman.



In my happy place in my Jessie Steele apron - Photo by Claire Pearce of Unbuttoned Photography, Hair & Makeup by Emma Willis of Contour Fossa Makeup & Hair


I loved it SO much that I plan on doing it yearly to appreciate myself and maybe – just maybe – gift the one I love with, as well one day.
I have turned a corner and it’s a corner that I wished I’d turned years ago. I really hope you find it inspiring to start your own self body-love movement and find time to have a day of your own to celebrate the skin you’re in.

So here’s to closing an old chapter and turning the page to an exciting new chapter. And hey, 36? Bring it on.

*If you’re in LA, next Sunday 11/24,  Unbuttoned Boudoir Photography has a special running right now for $745 for 14 images, hair and makeup! Um, can you say perfect holiday gift for the honey or yourself?


Photography by: Claire Pearce of Unbuttoned Photography

Hair & Makeup by: Emma Willis of Contour Fossa Makeup & Hair

Tassel Garland Deco by: Studio Mucci


BF Asks: Are you one of the 91% of american women who are unhappy with their bodies? What do you do to give yourself more confidence?

In-My-Tub-Tuesday: Being Sexy Shampoo & Conditioner makes me feel SEXXXXY

I have been feeling a bit, um, sexier lately. Why, you ask? Oh, it’s lots of things – the changing of the planets, the solar eclipse,  the fact that I’m really starting to embrace being a woman and the boudoir shoot I shot on Sunday (stay tuned for more of that). But there’s also a product line that I’ve fallen in love with all over again. And it makes me feel sensual and seductive.

Being sexy thanks to Rusk Being Sexy shampoo & conditioner

Back in February, I used it and fell in love. And so did one of my Instagram followers & friend, @PurpleLynn: “@beautyfrosting Your hair is so shiny it’s RIDICULOUS!”.

My reply? “@purplelynn, THANK YOU!!! It’s a new shampoo and conditioner! And it works! Sulfate-free too! @Rusk Being Sexy!!” I realized that I sounded like an ad. And that’s exactly what I sound like when I truly love something.
Seriously, y’all, this stuff is gold. Rose gold (see? ‘cuz the packaging is PINK!). And it’s affordable to boot at around $15 – $24 depending on your store of choice.
As my Instagram comment mentioned, Rusk Being Sexy haircare is sulfate-free, cleans the hair without stripping hair of its essential oils and helps protect color-treated, keratin-treated or brazilian blowout-treated hair. My hero.
I’m also a big fan because it seems to prevent greasy hair and scalp. This leads to healthy, conditioned hair full of body, bounce, fullness and shine.
How does it do this? Through “Fision Hair”, a unique blend of ingredients said to help revive the scalp and hair follicle for healthier looking hair.
To be honest, I don’t know what that means exactly but I don’t care.
I just know that it works, all while being sulfate-free, and leaving my hair looking glossy and gorgeous!
Sexy indeed.


BF Asks: What makes you feel sexy?!