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 The antique red velvet chair in this photo has now been replaced by a beautiful, french blue velvet chair with an ashy gray-stained wood frame, which I found at HomeGoods this past fall.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? 


The Container Store Diaries: My Closet Makeover

As a young girl in Dallas in the 1980s and 90s, I remember spending summer (seemingly) months on end, walking down the aisles of The Container Store. See, my mom was passionate about elfa units the way that I’m passionate about Los Angeles, cupcakes, beauty products and people.

Unfortunately, her lust for organization did not get passed on down to me. Many people are actually shocked when I tell them that I am surprisingly not a Type-A, hyper-organized person. Quite the contrary, actually. I wish that I cleaned when I got stressed. Instead, I’m more of a nestle in and watch a movie with a glass of wine kind of girl.

So, when I heard The Container Store was opening at the Farmer’s Market at The Grove this Saturday, August 9th, I had mixed emotions. The nostalgic me was SO excited that the organization mecca of my youth would be right down the street but the organizing procrastinator in me…knew I was in trouble. I knew that I would no longer have an excuse not to organize and the time had come. What time was that? It was time to become a grown-up and get my those little nooks and crannies of my life in order.

Fate stepped in, when I was asked to be a co-host of The Container Store’s VIP Preview Party and the incredibly kind folks of The Container Store offered to do a complete closet makeover on my hall closet.  Now, I don’t know if they knew what they were getting themselves into but this “walk-in” closet? Um, not so walk-in. In fact, it’s quite a small space. As a 1920s building, this closet was built with two horizontal hanging rods (one in front of the other so you never can see your clothes) and one shelf up high, with lots of wasted, unusable space.

While the sheer logistics of how to fit everything dumbfounded a visual-spacially deficient person such as myself, The Container Store, thankfully, had a plan for me. They sent Mark Rewerts to give me a preview of their ATHOME personalized design and organization service to complete the ooh-la-la overhaul for me.

Our organizational wizard, Mark Rewerts, from The Container Store. Mark organized my closet and organized my best friend, Sarah Jane Morris's closets and laundry room. To say we're sweet on him would be an understatement. Here we are hugging on him at last night's VIP Preview Party at The Container Store Farmers Market.

I had sent them all the measurements ahead of time, along with accurate pictures of the space, and they had sent me a mock-up of the design. I had NO idea how it was gonna work with my small space but every single person at The Container Store was as kind and encouraging as you could ever imagine, and made me feel totally comfortable.
So how did the makeover go? It was LIFE-CHANGING.

AFTER: The Container Store turned this small space into a closet that I love getting dressed in now.

Here’s how I prepared for it and how The Container Store made it one heck of a magical makeover.
A good rule of thumb. The basic philosophy of The Container Store when it comes to organizing? Their three key rules to organization are visibility, accessibility and flexibility.  For visibility, choose containers that are either transparent or that you can easily label to help immediately identify the contents and save valuable time. Looking at accessibility, make sure that the items you need most often are the easiest to access. Likewise, place the items you don’t need to get to as often on a higher shelf or in another area. Lastly with flexibility, select a storage system – like elfa® - that can adapt to your changing needs. That way, you can reconfigure and reuse solutions to solve a variety of storage and organization problems. Yep. That does it!
Know your space. The first thing The Container Store had me do was to measure my space and take some pictures of it. You’ve seen the AFTER, now here’s the BEFORE:

BEFORE the magical makeover of my closet by The Container Store: Double hanging rods where I couldn't see anything, 1 shelf (which I found perfect for junking up) and way too much height with nothing to do with.

From there, they asked about what my wardrobe included. To be honest, my daywear often consists of workout wear (so I’ll get to the gym), jeans and t-shirts and tanks. But at night is when I step it up. I usually have an event pretty much every night of the week – sometimes two! So to keep the outfits that I plan on wearing – especially the outfits that I’ve been sent by designers or brands to wear to these said events – I needed a handy option. When Mark arrived to organize the space, he had a plan. My whole wardrobe would be in my larger hall closet but to accommodate my jam-packed schedule with events every night, I could hang the week’s wardrobe on the back of my bedroom door. We created more space by using a Good Grips Fold Away Overdoor Valet ($14.99).
Color your world. Well, at least the little world you’re making over. In my case, I decided to match my closet space to a bag I have kept for years from La Durée.

I matched my closet color to my favorite Parisian macaron bakery bag. Well, kinda. One lesson I learned? Always choose a shade or two lighter than what matches when it comes to small spaces. I should have listened to Mom. She warned me.

Johnny, from The Container Store, came on out on a Sunday and painted it perfectly. One lesson I learned to share with you guys? When it comes to small spaces, don’t pick the paint color that matches exactly. Choose a color that’s a shade or two lighter than the color you’re trying to match. That green got real green real fast.
Work with the space you have. Instead of trying to fight your space, work with the space you have. In my case, I have a pretty tall and deep closet but it’s not very wide. So, my closet designer in Dallas, Reed, decided to add an elfa unit with three shelves and two hanging rods to hang my shorter items on. They also attached an elfa Gliding Tie and Belt Rack ($29.99) to hang my vast amount of belts on.

The Gliding Tie and Belt Rack. This is just a few of my 36 belts. Trust. It was too much for you guys to take by including in the pic.

To increase my hanging space, we switched out my old, multi-colored hangers (which sucked up space) for their Ivory Huggable Hangers ($6.99 for 10). A new-to-me product that I never even knew existed was the Lanca Stainless Steel Valet Flip-Down hook ($29.99). Johnny and Mark installed two for my long-hanging dresses (i.e. all of those dresses, skirts and pantsuits I love so much). It increased the space dramatically in my closet, all while allowing me supreme visibility.
Get over it. Over the door, that is. The biggest difference in my closet makeover? I CAN SEE MY SHOES!!! All my shoes!!! While my heels and wedges are on the shelves…

I can see my shoes!!! Thanks, Container Store!!

and my beloved boots are on the floor with Boot Shapers ($9.99)  in them…

A few of my boots sitting upright (yay!!!) with Boot Shapers in them. Brilliant. Thanks again, Container Store!

the biggest wow-factor was the 24-Pocket PEVA Overdoor Shoe Bag ($14.99). I can FINALLY see all of my flats, flip flops and short-heeled shoes as soon as I open the door. They’re not on the floor of the abyss of my closet anymore. I had actually forgotten what some of these shoes looked like!!

I can see my shoes!! All my shoes!! Thanks, Container…geesh, I can't stop saying thank you!! p.s. I love the clear bag because that La Durée green really pops through!

Display what delights you. Most of your closet should be organized for accessibility and ease. However, I decided to display the pieces that make my heart sing by hanging them on the front of the right valet hook. The pieces I chose? My sequined shell tops and my Pucci nightie and robe. They make me smile every time I open my closet now.
Now, I’ve started a list of other projects I want to tackle with The Container Store at my side. Among them? A new office space, a DIY Trashcan creation and, you guessed it, an overhaul for my makeup organization. Mark was amazed at how many products I had and actually asked if he could take pictures. I’m an organizer’s dream because there’s so much to do! Ha! I’m just so happy I can now get it all done with The Container Store Farmers Market right down the street.
But I think I may have competition because someone else seems to really like our new closet. Shoot.

Miss Ellie staking her claim. I may be in trouble.

*If you need to get your life – or, at least your home, organized, be sure to shop at The Container Store Farmers Market tomorrow, Saturday, August 9th and Sunday, August 10th. 10% of all purchases will go to Step Up Women’s Network, of which I am so proud to be a Visionary member. The Container Store will also be giving away gift cards and prize giveaways so no matter how you slice it, you win big this weekend when you shop!
BFBF Asks: How could The Container Store help you get organized?

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? 

Holiday Delights: My New Christmas Ornament for 2013

Once a bath girl…always a bath girl. Every year I buy myself a new ornament that delights me. The kind that fills you with glee and makes you feel like a child upon first glance.Yep, love at first sight!

This year, it was this vintage-feeling metallic blue, purple & pink with crystal foam bubble bath from Target. I adore it. It makes me smile every time I see it hanging from my silver tree here at The Cupcake Palace. I hope you enjoy as well!

*crown stocking by Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic for Target, circa 2006

Holiday Delights: My Christmas Ornament 2013 - A Bubble Bath!




BF Asks: Did you treat yourself to an ornament this year? What was it?

My Current Crush: Tassel Garlands by Studio Mucci

Kickin' my heels up with My Current Crush…Studio Mucci


Once upon a time, a girl stumbled upon a picture on Instagram and fell in love. In fact, it was love at first sight! And, yep, you guessed it…the girl was me.

I'm in love!!! With whom, you ask? Studio Mucci, of course!


So whose picture made me fall so head-over-heels in love that I contacted the instagram account owner asap?

Studio Mucci. Yep, that’s the name of my current crush. I heart her.

And what enchanted me about Studio Mucci? Um, can you say everything? Studio Mucci – and its delightful designer & owner, Amina – add a dash of whimsy to any fête or home with comely custom paper decor crafted out of high quality tissue paper.

Custom tassel garland by Studio Mucci (beginning at $35/garland)

Whether it’s for a birthday party, wedding, kid’s party or just to add a little whimsical elegance to your home, Studio Mucci steps up the color and coquettish factor with a side dish of wow and wonder.

And they’re the best at getting you what you want when you need it thanks to their various, more-than-accommodating shipping options.

I ordered Studio Mucci tassel garlands (beginning at $35/garland) for my boudoir shoot and they MADE our set.

Studio Mucci dazzled our dressing area on set...

Lucky for me, the set just happened to be my home so they are still hanging proudly where I can see them – and smile – every day.
And this isn’t the last collaboration between Studio Mucci and us here at BeautyFrosting. Next up? Holiday tassel garlands for the holidays and for my big birthday shindig…which is right around the corner.
Yep, this is just the beginning of a beautiful romance.

The beginning of a beautiful romance between BF & Studio Mucci



BF Asks: How do you add dashes of whimsy & wonder to your home?