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?

In the Bag: Mother’s Day Delights

Mother’s Day is coming up and, hopefully, you’ve already gotten the perfect gift for your perfect mom! But if you haven’t yet, here are some gifts to help Mom look and feel her beautiful best!

You should have just one goal while shopping for the mom in your life: Give her something that will delight her! Ask yourself, “What makes Mom giddy with glee?” This month’s In the Bag features some of my pretty picks that will really make your mom’s heart skip a beat!

In-The-Bag: Mother's Day Delights

1) Jessie Steele Citrus Blossom Rubber Gloves $12: If your mom is a dazzling domestic goddess, you can’t go wrong with one of my favorite companies: the jovial Jessie Steele! Jessie’s retro-fabulous, kitschy kitchen gloves come in a variety of colors and designs, so there is a pair destined to match your mom’s kitchen décor. With this one reasonable-yet-ravishing gift, you can turn Mom’s least-fun kitchen-cleaning task into a glamorous affair!

2) SoapyBliss Flavor Collection Bath Collections $45: If your mom’s a sucker for sweets and/or is a bath addict like I am, she will love these treats from the delicious small businessSoapyBliss! These precious little confections satisfy moms with a sweet tooth without crashing their diets! Between the Cupcake Bath Bomb, Shower Sugar Cubes and Whipped Cream Body Frosting in this set, Mom is sure to soak in sweets to her heart’s content! And with prices starting at just $5 for Cupcake Bath Bombs, everyone can find a gift within their budget on the SoapyBliss site. Plus, the pretty pastel packaging that resembles cupcake wrappers and chocolate boxes is sure to sweeten the surprise!

3) Caldrea Variety Sampler Set $75: Is your mom less on the glamorous side and more like Monica from Friends? Then this Caldrea Variety Sampler Set will impress your lovely, loves-to-clean lady of the house! Safe for her, her family, her home, and the earth, this set is filled with all the everyday essentials she needs to keep her home clean and sparkling. And with a variety of Caldrea’s best-selling scents, Mom’s sure to find a favorite for future purchases!

4) Sherrieblossom Icebox Wide Acrylic Makeup Organizer $395: This deluxe, sure-to-delight celebrity favorite is a triple-hitter! For the mother who’s the ultimate organizer, the mom who wishes she were more organized, or the mama who dazzles as a glamazon, Sherrieblossom is the gorgeous way to go! With its five see-through drawers and six tiers, Mom’s makeup will never go rogue again! Plus, Mom will have all of her beloved beauty products at her fancy fingertips while primping for a big night out! So lavish some luxury on your marvelous mother!

5) FabFitFun VIP box $49.99/season: If you want to bring a little red-carpet luxury to your mom’s everyday life, the FabFitFun VIP box is your answer this Mother’s Day! Giuliana Rancic – and the FabFitFun femmes themselves — handpick the pretty, primo products for this luxury box delivered straight to her door four times a year. While your mom won’t receive the box on Mother’s Day, you can let her know that your Mother’s Day gift is a gift that keeps giving all year long! With fun, full-sized products from the beauty, fashion and fitness worlds, Mom will be giddy with glee every time she receives this seasonal surprise!

6) Clarisonic Mia Sonic Skin Cleansing System in Pink $119: For a beautiful no-brainer bet, you can’t go wrong with this gift that gives Mom gorgeous, glowing skin. An investment in Mom’s skincare and a little daily luxury, the Clarisonic skin cleansing system is loved and trusted by women across the world who want softer, younger-looking skin. Cleaning deep to the pores and increasing circulation and oxygen, this small, travel-friendly treat comes in every color of the rainbow. If your mom’s partial to pink like I am, the pink Mia is the perfect accent to any beauty’s bathroom counter. Plus, she’ll be impressed that you care about her complexion!

And, ladies, don’t forget to treat yourself with one of these In the Bag fab finds. Happy Mother’s Day to all of you beautiful ladies out there who help shape the women we become on a daily basis! May you experience as much love and beauty this Mother’s Day as you have brought into your loved ones’ lives!





BF Asks: What are you delighting your mother with this Mother’s Day?


Once a Trish girl, always a Trish girl…

Once a Trish girl, always a Trish girl.

That’s what I always say.

Once a Trish girl, always a Trish girl... (Photograph by Amy Opoka Photography)

One of my friends, Kristin, even prides herself on the fact that she buys nothing but Trish save for one beloved lip balm. She is a true Trish devotee. Thanks to me.

So who is this “Trish”?

Trish McEvoy, don’t you know?

I started out with Trish and, it seems only proper, that I have come full-circle with BeautyFrosting.

Here’s my Trish story interlaced with my latest Trish find/fetish!

When I was 17, I was introduced to the Trish McEvoy line, by Lori Nelson, at Neiman Marcus and it was love at first sight.
Trish was all about lining with powder (Wow!!), like my makeup god Kevyn Aucoin‘s style, and her super-simple “press & wiggle” technique made me a comely convert.
As an 18-year-old dedicated Trish devotee, my Mom scheduled an appointment for me for the Trish McEvoy fall cocktail makeup event at the Zodiac Room at Neiman Marcus Northpark (I refer to it as The Mothership).
I got to meet Trish McEvoy, in the flesh, and you would have thought I was meeting God.
I gushed to her about how amazing her products were and how brilliant the techniques were. I. Couldn’t. Stop. Talking.
She asked me, on the spot, if I wanted to work for her as a makeup artist.
It was as if God asked me to be an angel.
So that’s how my professional story started.
From there, I went on to become a Trish McEvoy freelance makeup artist in Dallas (during my summer and winter breaks in college) and then in Los Angeles to supplement (oh, who are we kidding, support) my fledgling acting career. From there, I became a celebrity personal beauty shopper and then BeautyFrosting was born in March! Trish made quite an impact.
In May, I found myself at home in Dallas for my friend Jenny’s wedding. At her bridal shower, I couldn’t stop raving about her gorgeous lashes, flawless skin and subtly polished makeup look. When I asked who did it, the Bride-to-be said, “Well, you know who it is! You introduced me to her! TRISH, of course!!! Linda at Trish McEvoy”!
Before the wedding the following weekend, I had to hightail it to the nearest Trish counter with my favorite shopping buddy, Mom, by my side. My old friend, and former boss, Linda Nunez, was there! A Trish reunion!! It felt like home!
She introduced me to the Ultimate Beauty Organizer and it is, in one product, every reason I fell in love with Trish to begin with:
Trish McEvoy Ultimate Beauty Organizer (Photograph by Amy Opoka Photography)
Superb brushes!

Superb Brushes! (Photograph by Amy Opoka Photography)

Beautiful, travel-friendly & dressing table-friendly!

Travel-friendly & Dressing Table-friendly! (Photograph by Amy Opoka Photography)

Gorgeous color, smooth skin & expert application!

The Coral Bow Petite Makeup Planner! (Photo by Amy Opoka Photography)

And, as with any Limited Edition Trish McEvoy Ultimate Beauty Organizer, I found a treasure trove of beauty essentials in her Nude Quilted Ultimate Beauty Organizer. Included here ( $495, USD retail price):

• Brush Collection including Nude quilted brush clutch with nude interior, Brush Mistake Proof Sheer Application, Brush 37 Bronzer,

Brush 65 Angled Contour, Brush 29 Tapered Blending, Brush 40 Medium Laydown, Brush 50 Angled Eye Lining

• Coral Bow Petite Makeup Planner including Petite Page, Translucent Finishing Powder, NEW Golden Glow Face Color, Small

Refillable Double Decker Compact, Glaze Eye Shadow White Peach, NEW Luminous Eye Shadow Rose Gold, Glaze Eye Shadow

Glamorous, Eye Definer Arabian Nights, Eye Base Essentials Bare*, Instant Eye Lift*, Intense Gel Liner Arabian Nights*, High

Volume Mascara, Treatment Foundation SPF 15 Beige*, Lip Liner Barely There, NEW Flawless Lip Color Perfect Coral, Beauty

Booster SPF 15 Lip Gloss Sexy Petal*, Classic Lip Color Natural, Pocketable Fragrance Trish

• Skincare Essentials including Advanced Protective Shield Moisturizer SPF 40 (full size), and deluxe travel sizes of Gentle Cleansing

Wash and Beauty Booster® Serum, Trish signature headband

• Professional Cotton Swabs

• Professional Powder Puff

• Professional Sponge

And the finished look!

The finished look! (Photo by Amy Opoka Photography)

Over the years, my tastes may have broadened, but my passion for Trish never fades.

I cannot wait to see what she has in store for us this Fall!! CANNOT WAIT!!!

* NOTE: The Nude Ultimate Beauty Organizer is no longer available but the products prettily housed inside it are ripe for your picking at Neiman MarcusNordstromWoo or online.




BF Asks: Are you a Trish girl?

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