DIY Makeup Vanity Desk Set Up – ALEX Ikea Hack

First let me apologize to my readers that I have taken a small hiatus from blogging and I realize that I was away for a bit from posting. We recently moved out of our old place and moved elsewhere so the last few weeks have been a blur of packing, unpacking, storage and moving! It was a nightmare to have to go through all the stuff I have accumulated in the last two years in my recent place and then pack and try to move it all while staying organized. I am still living in boxes and bags while I try to set up my new setting to my liking. For now I have a spare room ready to work on and make amazing to share with my fiance as his office and my “getting ready” space. Trying to combine those goals and still make it look good will be challenging but I am always up for a challenge! It’s always good when you move because you get the chance to start fresh all over, get rid of stuff you don’t need and even have a new theme, color scheme and layout. I donate a ton of stuff to good will and now am pretty well set up knowing that everything I brought to our new place is stuff that I need, use and really love!


My brand new vanity table set up complete with items from Ikea & Home Goods

Now that I have the time to really think about what my ultimate makeup vanity set up would be I have started to jot down the items I plan to purchase starting from the larger pieces and going down the line to more functional, organization and decorations. First let me say that it’s best to have a budget in mind. If I had thousands of dollars I am sure I could dream up an amazing girly lair of amazing-ness but I want to be practical. I also want to buy pieces that are quality and sturdy so I can take them with me for years, but won’t cry if something has to be left behind or replaced. In my last place I had the IKEA desk with a really cute set up, but it was much smaller than what I would want now. It was great, worked well for me and was not that expensive at all. The color scheme was black but now it will be white. As you can see below my old set up was cluttered, small and didn’t have great storage options. Most of my makeup was actually ON my vanity and not neatly stored away which is why this time I plan to use a lot of great drawers and storage to keep the top of the vanity clear of clutter.

Joss & Main Exclusive online private sales for the home

Before I had the IKEA Micke desk is dark brown/black color – click here

This was a great desk because it has the built in drawer for makeup compartments as well as a hole in the back which I always used to hold my blow dryer!

I also bought a ton of really great acrylic organizers for my makeup to sit on the top of my vanity, but as I collected more products it just got too cluttered. It gives me anxiety now just to view the photo below and see how much I have outgrown my old vanity area. I do think that the organizers did help to keep everything together but this leaves absolutely no room to lay things out and do my makeup or hair the way I’d really like to.

If you want some suggestions on organizers like the below please read my post all about the ones I have bought here.

So now let’s look at the items I have bought/am buying to re-do my makeup vanity area!

White Table Top Starlet Vanity Girl Hollywood White Lighted Mirror

I’ve been wanting one of these for the longest but couldn’t imagine spending the money on it. After months of trying to get the lighting in my room just right I have decided to just splurge and buy this for myself. This one is $299 on their website and it will match my vanity furniture perfectly. It is called the Starlet Vanity Lighted Mirror and comes in white and black.

Basic & More Affordable Table Top Vanity Mirrors

Here are two really great table top vanity mirrors that won’t break the bank. You can spend time saving up for your Vanity Girl Hollywood mirror or ask for it as a gift for a birthday or holiday instead. These are great to also have in additional to your larger mirror so that you have a mirror up close while you apply. I love having one of these to the left of me, since I am right handed, to use and apply up close eye shadow or eye liner. You can also swivel these up or down which sometimes can help when you apply heavy eye shadow and you don’t want the colors to fall down onto your cheeks.

This one is modern and sleek. It extends from 7 inches to 24 inches and has 7x magnification. It does not have a light or LED on it, just the basic silver design with mirror. Click to Buy

This is another great one that is two-sided by Jerdon. It is sleek and silver to keep your vanity area looking clean and shiny. Click here to buy

The IKEA Hack: ALEX Drawers for storage with Tabletop

Having used many pieces from IKEA before I know what I am getting into when buying items from there; I know how to put things together and lifting weights daily prepares me for picking heavy boxes up flights of stairs. I like IKEA because the items are simple, clean, durable and not so expensive that you can’t throw them away if you move or give them to a friend. When I started to think about my new vanity set up I originally was going to get an already put together vanity or desk with drawers. I also thought about getting the ALEX desk and then buying separate drawers or storage to put next to it. Then after some digging I found out that I could buy two ALEX storage units, shorter ones, and then buy a separate table top to place on the top of the two units! No need for a desk – I am going to make one with these 3 items!

So I am ordering two (2) of the ALEX storage pieces: One is the drawers and One is the storage chest. 

The Alex Storage unit is $39.99 and you can build the door to open either way to fit your needs

ALEX Storage unit IKEA Can be placed anywhere in the room because the back is finished. Cable outlets for easy cable management.

The tabletop was hard to find but after combing through sites and forums I found it! It’s call the LINNMON table top and you can lay this flat on top of your two ALEX drawers and make a functional desk.

LINNMON Table top IKEA Pre-drilled leg holes for easy assembly. The high gloss surfaces reflect light and give a vibrant look.

Here you can see the two separate storage pieces now with the table top laying flat on them to make a desk. Voila!

A comfy and cute upholstered chair for your vanity table

It’s important to have a chair that you love getting ready in.  With my previous vanity I used a stool, but this time I want a chair that has a back so that I can sit comfortably without bad posture. Many times I spot great chairs at TJ Maxx, Marshalls or Home Goods. They range from $89-$129 dollars and come in a variety of shapes and styles. Below are a few chairs online that I like as well and might just buy unless I find something in stores that I visit before my IKEA furniture arrives.

Option #1: Chevron Chair on Amazon for $119 click here

Option #2: Rose stool with low back on Amazon for $159 – click here 

Option #3 a clean, white chair on Amazon for $102 : click here

This is the one I have ordered and waiting for it to arrive!

Table Top Acrylic Makeup Organizers 

Below are the acrylic makeup organizers that I have ordered and are very good, high quality. Be careful when ordering online since many look big on the web but are super small in person. You don’t want to order any of these and come to find out they fit a blush and 1 eye shadow. These are tried and true and really great, durable and good quality acrylic as well.

4 drawer and top shelf acrylic makeup holder: buy here 

Acrylic Lipgloss Organizer or Holder for 24 glosses  – buy here



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the writer and creator of – a blog dedicated to inspiring and helping readers to feel and look their very best both inside and out. I love writing, photography, makeup, fashion and fitness.

  1. I was looking for Christmas ideas for my wife. I would love to assemble this makeup table with the Ikea pieces but the prices have doubled since you wrote this. Do you have other options with a similar budget of when you wrote this article?

  2. Hi, I was thinking of doing a similar set up and searched the web for tips, may I ask how you attached the table top to the units?

  3. you actually don’t have to attach it at all. it is a table top you just lay flat on top of the two dresser units and that is it, it’s great so it’s easy to move when you have to

  4. Do you find that you need more leg room or is this ok for you? I am thinking about getting this set up but I am worried that There isn’t enough space between the store storage units but the bigger table top is way too big.

  5. Wow, a lot more expensive than I anticipated.

    For those of you who don’t wan’t to spend 150+ on the VIKA ALEX Drawer Unit, Michael’s has a great dupe for $53.99 (Plus most stores allow 50% off of one item!)

  6. Hello! The link you posted saying the middle size won’t work for me. Do you mind seeing the measurements?

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