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New makeup storage: My Ikea Malm makeup vanity

Posted on 5 min read

makeup storage ideas - Ikea Malm dressing table

best makeup vanity - Ikea Malm dressing table

Ikea Mlam dressing table with ghost chair and Hollywood mirror

I nsert your content hereo, hands up anyone who’s even remotely surprised to find that my new dressing table / makeup storage solution came from IKEA?

I’m going to go ahead and assume no one has their hands up right now. My love of Ikea makeup storage – and Ikea in general, actually – has been well documented, but what you might be surprised to hear is that I didn’t just rush straight to Ikea when I was looking for makeup storage ideas for the new bedroom. No, it took at least five minutes for me to pull up the Ikea website and start telling Terry we were long overdue a visit to the store. At least.

I’m joking, of course: I’ve been thinking about buying a dressing table since before we even bought the house, and I did actually shop around for one, but the fact is, I just kept on circling back to the IKEA MALM .  I loved this table, not just because the clean, minimal shape is very much my taste, but because of that long, shallow drawer, which holds all the goodies:

best makeup vanity - Ikea Malm dressing table

ikea makeup storage - malm dressing table

(The transparent chair is from Tesco, of all places. The mirror is from eBay – you can find it here.)

When it comes to makeup storage, I much prefer shallow containers of some description, which allow you to see everything at a glance, without having to rummage for ages to find that one lipstick you KNOW is in there somewhere, but which always seems to find its way to the bottom of the pile. That’s why I bought my acrylic Muji drawers last year: I still love them (and will be using them for jewellery, now that I don’t need them for makeup, so they won’t go to waste!), but Terry wasn’t so keen on the giant tower o’ makeup in the bathroom, and I loved the idea of having everything in one single drawer, so the decision was made, and the dressing table was finally delivered last week.

Ikea Malm dressing table with organisation insertsIkea  storage ideas

The organisers inside the drawer are also from Ikea (from the Billingen range: I did have the clear plastic inserts from the Godmorgon range, but I prefer these, as they just look neater to me. The table holds 6 of these comfortably.) and I managed to get all of my makeup into them, with a little bit of space (although not too much, as you can see) for future purchases. Although my makeup collection probably seems completely ridiculous to some people, I know it’s small in comparison to true makeup junkies – I don’t really have a lot of interest in collecting tons of colours, etc, so I mostly just buy the things I use all the time (and a ton of red lipsticks, obviously…), which made it easy enough to fit it all into the drawer. If you have a large amount of makeup, though, you might need some additional makeup storage! I did keep the Muji acrylic pot for my brushes, which sits on top of the vanity, but I could probably have found space for them in the drawer if I’d really wanted to.

hollywood lights

One of the trickiest parts of the project was finding the right mirror. I’ve wanted a makeup vanity with lights since I was a little girl, but all of the ones we found were hideously expensive, and even Ikea’s ‘Hollywood lights’, which you can place round an existing mirror, would’ve taken the whole room over budget. Terry finally managed to track down this vanity mirror on eBay, though, and drove into Edinburgh with my dad last week to collect it. I absolutely love it, and after years of either perching on the edge of the bed, or standing in front of the bathroom mirror to apply my makeup, it feels like such a luxury to be able to sit down and not have to keep going back and forth to collect different items.

So, whaddya do when you love your new dressing table a little bit more than is entirely rational? Why, you get another one, of course! In my defence, it wasn’t actually my fault that we ended up with two ‘Malm’ dressing tables… the first one we ordered arrived with a tiny mark on the front of the drawer: it wasn’t a huge deal, but, well, you know, you order a brand new dressing table, you want it to be perfect, so we called up Ikea who said it was no problem, they’d send out a replacement drawer. Fast-forward to Wednesday morning, when there was a knock on the door (actually, before that there was a 7am phone-call to say they were on their way. I don’t feel I can complain TOO much about that given what happened next, though…), and there were a couple of Ikea delivery men… with a whole new dressing table. They didn’t want to take the first one back either, so it seems that rather than replacing the drawer (which was all we’d asked for), they just decided to send us a whole new table.

I, of course, got super-excited about this, and immediately started thinking about all the new makeup I’d “have” to buy to fill it, but Terry quickly put a stop to that by pointing out that I really don’t need two dressing tables, so unless we could find another use for it, we’d be passing it onto someone who DID need it. Well, we’ve given it some thought, and as we really like the simple shape, which doesn’t look terribly “dressing-table-y” without the vanity mirror, we think we’re probably going to use it as a console table in the living room. We’d actually planned to get one of those eventually too, so we figured it would be silly not to at least try it and see how it looks. Hey, I wonder if Terry would notice if I filled the drawer with makeup?


EDITED TO ADD: In the past few weeks I’ve been absolutely inundated with questions from people wanting the direct link to the eBay auction I bought my mirror from: mine was a private sale (i.e. it was someone who bought it for themselves, and then decided to sell it, so they only had that one mirror), but I’ve done a bit of searching, and while I can’t be 100% sure it’s exactly the same mirror, I believe they bought it from here. Any further questions about the table itself should be directed to Ikea, who I’m sure will be happy to help.


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  • Tracey
    May 29, 2015

    Looks so cool! A brilliant buy!

  • Lily
    May 29, 2015

    Good storage is life. LIFE I tell you.

  • Helen Mae
    May 29, 2015

    I wish I had space for this! So stylish.

  • Jodie Caughey
    May 29, 2015

    Love this. So beautifulllll!
    xo Jodie


  • Heather
    May 29, 2015


    I’m doing up my bedroom at the moment and looking for something exactly like this. I like clean spaces so this suits me exactly. I’m so jealous of your mirror!

  • I have a smaller Malm as my work desk, but would love this one for my bedroom.

    Nic x


  • CiCi Marie
    May 29, 2015

    I have always, always wanted a vanity mirror with lights too! You are living my dream!!

  • Katy
    May 29, 2015

    I’m finally getting a big enough room for a dressing table this year and I know which one I’ve got my eye on!! Love the simple shape of it.

    The mirror is a beaut as well! Gutted it’s not from IKEA though. Le sigh.

    Little Miss Katy | UK Lifestyle Blog

  • Mags
    May 29, 2015

    It’s ok Amber, IKEA *is* pretty great 😉 It looks pretty!

  • Laura
    May 29, 2015

    I spent a considerable amount of time yesterday trying to find this chair online as I could not for the life of me remember which post you originally mentioned it in. Then today you link it in this post! Such a coincidence, but thanks!

    • Amber
      May 29, 2015

      Aww, you should have emailed me! Glad you found it, anyway – it’s a great chair!

  • Ceri
    May 29, 2015

    I have the malm dressing table and I love it! I just had a big ol’ sort out of it yesterday actually as I’m hoping to give it a bit of a dual function – dressing table-come-desk 🙂
    Lucky you ending up with two though!

    October Eleven

  • Amber
    May 29, 2015

    I have that dressing table myself. I love it! I also got a set of drawers that I put next to it for extra storage and hair stuffs.

  • Heather Duff
    May 29, 2015

    I’m so totally jealous, that looks amazing!

    Heather @ Random Redheaded Ramblings

  • Felicity
    May 30, 2015

    I love that mirror! The Malm desk fits in so well with the rest of your room, but that mirror is making me drool for sure.

  • Mana
    May 30, 2015

    I adore this, and am completely full of envy. I’ve always wanted a dressing table, but currently have my makeup shoved in a drawer (using birchboxs to sort it all) and have to sit on my bed to use the mirror that is above the drawers. (It’s part of a set, that is nice, but really isn’t my taste, but came with my partner when I married him).

    It’s a bit embarrassing actually how much time I spend looking at Ikea bedroom furniture seeing as how I don’t need it.

    Fashion and Happy Things

  • Erika
    June 2, 2015

    It looks great! Ikea is the best store ever. I went once in Miami while on a work trip with my hubby and have dreamt of the day I will go again. The nearest one is four hours away, but luckily there will be one much closer this time next year… I can’t be more excited about it. Love your room redo, by the way. It’s lovely for photos as well.

  • Fran
    June 8, 2015

    This looks so lovely! I’ve wanted a proper dressing table for ages, but until we actually get a house of our own I am doing with a bright silver box for the make-up and a lovely swivel mirror with stand. It just feels so peaceful, almost like a ritual to be able to sit down and put my make-up on at leisure.

    Also, yes, Ikea have stellar customer service! They are always very helpful with everything. Also, as soon as I saw the table I thought that it simply looks like a very good table – shallow drawers are ideal in consoles so that keys and change don’t get lost.

  • Tess
    June 11, 2015

    Do you need to secure the mirror on the wall with nails?

  • Kerrie
    October 6, 2015

    So beautiful, I love this! I’ve been looking for mirror just like this. I’ve also tried eBay. Please can you advise on the seller or shop to be it from?

    Many thanks 🙂

    • Amber
      October 6, 2015

      Hi Kerrie,

      I think you already asked me this on Instagram, and as I said then, I’m not comfortable doing that because it was someone in my local area, who was selling the mirror second-hand. They didn’t have any other mirrors to sell: it was a person who had bought it for themselves, and then decided to sell it on, so me giving you their name wouldn’t help you find the exact same mirror, unfortunately. I’m really sorry I can’t help with this!

      • Kerrie
        October 15, 2015

        Hi Amber,

        Thank you for your reply. Sorry I didn’t see your message on Instagram 🙂
        No problem, I didn’t realise it was a one off. Thanks again. I’ll keep looking x

        • mimi
          November 14, 2015

          look on amazon – Two Hundred Pounds – not exactly budget!

  • Senia
    October 10, 2015

    Could you at least find out where the person purchased this mirror??

  • Ami
    November 4, 2015

    What search did you use on ebay for the mirror? Light up mirror? All I keep getting is little mirrors :S x

  • Geography Geek
    November 26, 2015

    I have seen mirrors similar to these in B&M for 29.99. It might be a good option for anyone on a tight budget!

  • Jacqui Foster
    December 26, 2015

    Hi, Love this look 🙂 I have this Malm unit & love it as my dressing room is quite tight on space. I have looked at these mirror for about 12 months now from the same company you had yours from but have read so many bad reviews it has put me off….could I ask if you have had any problems with yours please x

  • Jaime
    January 3, 2016

    Does the glass top come with the Malem dressing table?

  • Biri Gomez
    February 12, 2016

    The mirror, that company does not ship to the united states, do you know of one that does, same quality?

    • Ally
      March 5, 2016

      here is the dresser

      Here is a supplier in the US. It is not as pretty as hers but close.

      Here is the UK supplier

      I am attempting to make my own. I can’t afford a $500 mirror. The light bulbs and sockets are very difficult to come by in the US. I found a lighted piece of art at homegoods for $25 that has the same sockets and light bulbs. I am modifying a $35 ikea plain mirror using a 3/4″ diamond hole saw. It is worth a shot. I love how the socket is in the mirror and not beside it like you see on Youtube. It is simply beautiful! I still have no idea if this will work. I will be practicing drilling holes into a dollar store mirror first. Hope this helps someone else achieve this beautiful dresser! It is simply gorgeous!!!!

  • DonAe P
    February 19, 2016

    Where can we find the table at? Im looking, I dont think you mention that.

    • Amber
      February 19, 2016

      I’m not sure if this is supposed to be a joke, but it’s in the title of the post, in the first paragraph, and mentioned multiple times in the text?

  • Ally
    March 5, 2016

    Did you use a table saw to cut the dresser’s legs at the bottom so that it is flush mounted against the wall? If not, did you saw it by hand? I can see that it is curved where the baseboard meets the dresser. I want to modify mine so that it is flush mounted like yours. Small detail but makes a huge difference. Thanks!!!!!

  • Stef
    March 31, 2016

    Is this mirror attached to the wall or does it sit on top of your dresser? Thanks! X

  • Sian
    May 1, 2016

    I have basically the same set up and mirror and love it! Am currently looking for acrylic trays and came across your blog. I’ve just measured the inside of my malm draw and the dept looks like it’s 33.5cm the trays you link are 34cm but look to fit ok? Is it tight getting them in? Thanks! Also for people asking you can get a similar mirror here … http://www.diamondxcollection.com/bathroom-mirrors/hollywood-mirrors.html

  • Shirley Alonzo
    June 17, 2016

    Hi, I’m looking for the exact mirror but I don’t see it on the site you mentioned. Can u please give me the exact link and name since there were few other ones. Thank you. Would really appreciate it.

  • Leah
    July 5, 2016

    I have just bought the Malm Dressing Table and am looking for inserts to put into the drawers for organisation, which combination of Godmorgan have you used? Have you got the set of three boxes and how many are in the drawer? It looks so perfectly fitted i’d like to try and recreate if possible!

  • jenna
    July 10, 2016

    did you have to fix the table to the wall like it says? i want one but i cant do that in a rental 🙁 the mirror i want will be decent weight im sure so bit worried it will make the table less stable but i dont know…dont actually have a local IKEA so i cant just walk in and suss it out

  • Holly Parish
    October 12, 2016

    hey hun! I love this! Did you buy 2 sets of the Godmorgan 3 sets to fit length ways in the drawer? looks fab xxx

  • Kim
    December 9, 2016

    Hi there, Could you please let me know how wide your mirror is? I’m hoping to buy one similar and I’ve just ordered the MALM ikea dressing table and your mirror is a good width so I’d want to get one similar?



    • Emily
      December 12, 2016

      I would
      Like to know the size of the mirror too or at least the code as there are many different ones/prices on there? Any ideas please?
      Thank you

Outfit | Chi Chi London ‘Cerys’ skirt
New makeup storage: My Ikea Malm makeup vanity