My Vanity | Set up, Storage & Organization ( + GIVEAWAY!)

The past few weeks have been super busy with moving into another new apartment (long story...check out this blog post for details). Throughout the hustle and bustle, I have slowly accumulated the magical items to complete my dream vanity. When I set out on this epic quest I didn't realize how difficult it would be to find a beautiful but practical vanity at a reasonable price. All of the vanities I found were either too small, too big, too flimsy looking, had tiny mirrors, or were astronomically expensive. For example, the PB Teen one I loved was a whopping $1,395 (and that's without adding the chair to it!)
With no luck in my search, I set out to create and piece together my very own vanity. By selecting all the different pieces myself, I created a chic, functional makeup and getting-ready area that caters perfectly to all my storage needs. 

Desk: I ordered this white Malm Dressing Table ($149) from the Ikea website (since there isn't one in my!) I love that it comes with a glass sheet to place on top so that the white wood underneath doesn't stain. This makes cleanup super simple and I just keep a roll of clorox disinfecting wipes nearby so I can quickly wipe off any makeup messes. The size of the desk is just perfect for me as it is compact enough to keep in a small apartment setting but big enough to store plenty and place a good deal of items on top. It has one long drawer that pulls out and is deep enough to hold several drawer organizers with makeup or accessories stored inside. I do wish that the drawer was able to pull out farther so that I could fully view my products in the back. There is some sort of hack for this involving adjusting the metal sliders on each side so I'll have to investigate a way to do this properly without breaking it (I'm a clutz). However, I love that Ikea even included a nice cream sheet to line the drawer so that it stays sophisticated and clean.

Drawers: This white Alex Drawer Unit ($119) was also ordered from Ikea and comes with 4 deep drawers and 5 shallow ones for a grand total of 9 drawers. The unit is sturdy and I love how easily and cleanly each drawer slides out. The assembly for this was NOT fun however as it comes in a billion different pieces with even more nails, screws and odds and ends. So far I've been using this drawer to store products I use in my makeup artist kit, extra organizers, face masks and lotions, business cards, palettes, and other accessories and bits. A lot of the drawers are still empty though so I'll have to find a way to put them to use.

Chair: The Flash Furniture Ghost acrylic chair ($71) was purchased after scouring Amazon for some fun desk chairs. I thought this acrylic one looked so modern yet elegant at the same time. I love its sturdy, clean cut edges and that it can match with any furniture I place in the room. I thought it would look great with the accompanying acrylic organizers I placed on the desk. I was worried that it wouldn't be comfortable to sit on but I was definitely happily surprised. While it's not plush and fuzzy, I can sit doing my makeup or work on a blog post for a considerable time without my back aching or feeling uncomfortable.

Wall Mirror: I measured the desk and then tried to find a mirror that was similar or the same length-wise so that my vanity area would look proportional. I found this beautiful wall mirror in-store at Home Goods (I think it was around the $200 area--I can't find find it on the website anymore). I love large mirrors for a vanity area as it makes the room look larger and just looks so glamorous. I really like how the bordering on this one is layered mirror panels instead of a heavy, thick wooden or metal one. It looks really chic and simple and doesn't overpower the area. 
Desk Mirror: I found this little desk mirror  ($29.99) at Bed Bath and Beyond in the bathroom section. One side is a normal mirror and the other side is magnified so it's great when I want to do liquid eyeliner, intricate eye makeup or pluck my eyebrows. 

Acrylic Lipstick Holders: This great acrylic lipstick holder ($13. 89) was purchased online at Amazon and holds 24 lipsticks in its 3 rows. I use one to easily view and store my MAC lipstick collection (I know, it's obnoxious but I LOVE them) and another one right behind it to store my high-end lipsticks. I love having them out like this because then I can store them upside down and easily see the colors. This also keeps them "in sight and in mind" if you will so that I can easily grab them and use different ones every day.

Acrylic Drawers, Organizer & Cups: I found the rest of my acrylic storage at The Container Store. The drawers are actually 3 different acrylic drawers that I stacked on top of one another to create a muji drawer sort of look (without the incredible expense!) Each drawer pulls out with a horizontal handle. I wish the handles came out more so that your fingers could easily grip around them or under them but overall, they are really nice for organizing. Right now, I am using them to organize my lipliners, lip glosses and drug store lipsticks. I lay them all down with the color facing outward so that I can easily see all the shades through the acrylic. I also organize them inside according to brand. I use the acrylic organizer in the center of the table to store the products I use on a daily basis. This really speeds up the getting ready process in the morning and ensures I can get out the door in a flash if I need to. I try to rotate the products I place in it so that I don't get stuck in the same makeup funk. This also ensures that I am actually using all the makeup I have and can test out new products. The acrylic cups are also from The Container Store and are a great height and shape to accommodate my brushes (they are dirty and really need a bath right now...Check out this blog post if you want to learn my method of washing brushes). Although they match the other acrylic organizers on the desk I don't think they are too thrilling so I might try and find some classy vintage looking mugs to store them in for the future.

Composition Book: Found this baby for only $1 at my local Dollar Tree. I love its sleek, simple black outside. I keep this out on my desk or sometimes in my purse to jot down ideas, sketch out posts, or anything else pertaining to this blog. It keeps me from forgetting any great (or not-so-great) ideas which often like to appear from nowhere. I keep this handy to be ready anytime an idea strikes.

Desk Calendar: I keep this desk calendar from Target laid out on my desk so that I can easily plan out the week whether it's blog posts, appointments, reminders, or any other daily life events. It really helps me to stay organized, planned out and punctual. I love having it out on my vanity/work space because I can just hop out of bed in the morning and immediately see what needs to be done for each day.

Fake Flower: I bought this fake peony ($5.99) from Michael's Arts and Crafts store. I think it's a nice little decoration/accent to the white furniture in the room and just adds a little extra somethin' somethin'.

Acrylic Vase: My mom gave me this thin acrylic vase and neither of us can remember where it's from unfortunately. Things like this should be easy to find in any home or craft store though. I think it's perfect to display a single real or fake flower elegantly.

Mirrored Tray: This mirrored tray(similar) came from Home Goods. I use it to display my perfumes and body sprays within arms reach when I'm getting ready. I wish the tray was mirrored on the under side as well but it is still a pretty display piece.

Wall Decal: I found this lovely wall decal ($10.99) online at Amazon. I love the quote and I have placed it above my vanity mirror as an extra little touch.

Overall, I am so pleased with my new vanity setup and it really is the makeup area and work space that I have always dreamed of. I will probably continue to spruce it up here and there regarding decor and where I place things but for now I am very content!

Let me know if you decide to re-create a vanity like mine or if you already have one that you really like I would love to see it! Tweet me your vanity picture on Twitter or tag me in your vanity on Facebook or Instagram so I can see! :)

The Giveaway:

I am going to be giving away one new acrylic lipstick organizer exactly like the one I have on my vanity! The giveaway will end August 8th at midnight. No entries will be accepted after this point. I will announce the lucky winner on all of my social media accounts and send you your prize!

T O  E N T E R  T H E  G I V E A W A Y  Y O U  M U S T:

- Comment below on this blog post and tell me what your dream vanity would look like
 -Like, follow or subscribe to at least 2 of my social media pages:

B O N U S:

Along with the other steps above, you will be added into the drawing for this giveaway TWICE if you:

 -Regram this photo (the giveaway photo above) on your Instagram account with @beautybooklove and hashtags #beautybooklove and #beautybooklovevanity
- Copy the giveaway picture and post it to your Facebook wall and tag 5 of your friends in the picture. Tag The Beauty Book Facebook page as well and include the hashtags #beautybooklove and @beautybooklovevanity.

Good Luck!

The Secrets to Perfect Skin: The Skin Regime (Review & GIVEAWAY)

We have all had dreams of having skin that resembles a baby's butt. A soft, poreless, dewy, glowing, and unblemished, glorious baby's butt. But alas, since we live in a sad place called reality, the majority of us don't have perfect, photoshopped looking skin sans des problemes.
The problem is simple. 
But we don't even know where to start. 
What products should I use? Do the expensive ones actually work? What am I doing wrong? How do I get rid of acne scarring, dark spots, fine lines and massive pores? WHAT ARE THE SECRETS OF LIFE???
Well I know someone who knows.
And her name is Dana Ramos

The lovely Dana kindly sent me a free copy of her book, The Skin Regime a few weeks ago. An absolute guru on the subject of all things skin related, she maps out the journey to attain your best skin. Intelligent, comprehensive, and downright witty and hilarious, The Skin Regime provides a refreshing and insightful look into skin care and the beauty industry. 
Truly blunt and down-to-earth, the introduction of the book explains why the countless dollars we spend on expensive and non-expensive products alike fail to work. She separates the fantasy land of false advertising with the cold, hard, truthful facts. She also discusses the importance of several simple key ingredients in skin care and how devastatingly simple it actually is to achieve and maintain great looking skin.
My well loved The Skin Regime book 
 After she shows you her treasure trove of knowledge, she explains how to shed off your dull snakeskin to reveal your new baby butt skin. She informs you how to use her simple skin peels which only use ingredients and methods that are actually proven to work. With a confident "come at me bro" attitude, she even double dares other skin companies and brands to try and replicate the results you will get after reading her book and doing her safe, at-home glycolic peels. 
As a long time sufferer of acne and the lovely present it leaves behind (scarring, blemishes, and dark spots), I can tell you that I have tried pretty much every high end, prescribed, and low end skin treatment on the face of the planet. I feel you my subscribers, I do
So when I was also sent a sample peel (the first step to the 6-8 peels that you do) I was like...
Lets do this.
First off, I prepped my skin for two weeks using the simple, non-irritating products that she recommended in the book. I was surprised that they were all products that anyone could find at a local drugstore. I guess it really is about simple ingredients, but knowing the right ones to choose. She even includes a cute shopping list at the end of the book so you can easily find what you need. The best thing is that you get to continue using these products throughout the process and even as a way to maintain your beautiful skin after the peels are done. Simple as that.
Products Used:
Top left: The leftover makeup and oils that the rubbing alcohol seeped up! Top right: Pouring the peel onto a cotton pad. Bottom: Applying it!
As a beauty obsessed blogger who has poured myself over countless useless articles and quite frankly, dumb products, I can honestly tell you that Dana's book, The Skin Regime, is no joke. I kept having those "aha!" moments from the forthcoming and knowledgable information she provided. I actually enjoyed reading a book about skin
Dana has also been kind enough to offer my subscribers a giveaway. The winner will receive a free copy of her book, The Skin Regime and a sample of one of her glycolic peels. This giveaway is open to anyone worldwide. 
1.) To enter the giveaway, you must subscribe to this blog (its free!) by clicking "subscribe" under "Beautyful Followers" on the right hand side of this blog. You must also subscribe to one of my social media accounts (which you can find under the "CONTACT" tab of this blog and write a comment under THIS POST saying why you want to win!
2.) All comments and subscriptions must be completed by Thursday, May 16th at 11 PM. At this time, the contest will be closed and I will announce the winner! 
I will be writing another post in the upcoming weeks giving my review on the rest of her glycolic peel program!
For all the latest news and updates regarding Dana and The Skin Regime, you can subscribe to her Twitter, Facebook and her newsletter
Good luck!

GIVEAWAY: Win a free photo shoot and makeover!

I am so excited to announce a special giveaway for my lovely readers and friends in the DFW areaKevin Chung PhotographyRebecca Marin and I have all teamed up to offer you the chance to win a free photo shoot and make up session (makeup done by moi, yours truly). In order to enter, please "like" Rebecca MarínKevin Chung Photography and The Beauty Book on Facebook and voilà! You're entered. The contest ends Wednesday, September 12th at 11:59 pm. Please note: you must live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. However, all of my readers are encouraged to help support by "liking" our pages! =)

Just to get you even more excited, below are some photos/video from Rebecca Marin's recent photo shoot! Kevin Chung took all of these beautiful photographs and I (The Beauty Book) did all of the makeup! 

Behind the scenes: the makeup I used on Rebecca
Behind the scenes: fixing Rebecca's hair during her shoot

The finished look on Rebecca

Click HERE to see the behind the scenes video of Rebecca's shoot

"May the odds be ever in your favor!"--The Hunger Games