A Slummy Single Mummy dressing table makeover

I get a lot of people on social media questioning my blog name.

‘You don’t look slummy,’ they say, ‘so where does the name come from?’

It’s true, I am glorious – a virtual goddess, always turned out impeccably and with full make up, so I can see where the confusion might arise. When I started Slummy Single Mummy, the slummy part of it came less from my physical appearance though, and more from my general attitude to life, especially my ‘relaxed’ style of parenting* and my lack of enthusiasm in the housework department.

To illustrate the point, here is my dressing table, as it was 24 hours ago:

dressing table makeover tidying tips

dressing table makeover tidying tips

You see what I mean?

While I don’t have weeks of dishes stacked up in the sink, or rats running about under the bed or anything, I am a little bit on the messy side in my more private areas.** Every now and again though, I have a couple of hours where I go back to feeling about 15 years old, and ‘tidy my bedroom’. By which of course I mean I put boring things under the bed and concentrate on arranging my nail varnishes.

Happy days.

Chanel nail varnish dressing table makeover tidying tips

I’ve got a few new bits and bobs lately that are all dressing table related, so I thought it was time to bring them all together for a bit of a Slummy Single Mummy dressing table makeover.

So, what are the dressing table essentials?

Well, first of all, you need something very pretty to keep your jewellery, tranquillisers and other trinkets in. As you may know, I’m a huge Oliver Bonas fan, and have been coveting this jewellery box for months, if not years. I love the colours, I love the wood, I love that it makes me feel like I have made it in the world of dressing table design. You can’t see it in the first pictures, but until this week my jewellery was all in a cardboard tray that came out of a multipack of pants. That does not scream ‘sophisticated lady.’


Oliver Bonas Jewellery box dressing table makeover tidying tips

Belle has been very jealous indeed, as these colours are apparently ‘her aesthetic’, and she keeps trying to sneak it off into her room without me noticing. (I always notice.)

Secondly, you need good light.

I say that, but actually as you get older you don’t necessarily want to see your face in all its glory, so by ‘good light’ I mean light that is adjustable, according to mood and whereabouts in your menstrual cycle you are.

I’ve gone for this ceramic Fabbian lamp from Lampcommerce.

Table lamp Italian Lamp Commerce

Table lamp Italian Lamp Commerce

Things I love about this lamp:

  • It’s super stylish. (Like me.)
  • The cord is very funky.
  • It’s Italian, so I can casually say ‘Oh yes, this old thing? That’s my Italian designed lamp.’
  • It’s a neutral colour, so would work anywhere.

Best of all, you can play around with the positioning, as you can see from the pictures. This makes it ideal for a bedroom as you can have lots of light for doing things like putting on make-up, but then reposition it for a gentler light at bedtime.

It’s all coming together isn’t it?

Last up, you need to organise all of your beauty products.

I’m not terribly good at make-up and beauty as a rule, so I don’t have loads of pretty lotions and potions. You’re more likely to catch me buying wipes in Poundland than at a London dermatologist or anything. Basically I had to sweep everything off into a carrier bag and hide it in the bathroom cupboards. I was left with a few nice bits and pieces though; my nail varnishes, obviously, my signature scent, (I hate that expression – it sounds so naff doesn’t it? I’ve always worn this perfume though), and some bits from the new Bare Minerals skincare range.

Bare Minerals skincare

I was converted to Bare Minerals make-up by my friend Kathie about six months ago, so I was excited to try out the new skincare. So far I’m loving it – the face wash is super foamy, and you only need a teeny tiny bit, so I can see it lasting for ages. Afterwards, my skin feels really clean. I often get little spots and bumps on my forehead, especially in the summer or when I’m stressed, but even after a week or so I’m already feeling a little smoother. It smells divine too – a really lovely gingery smell that’s very invigorating. The ‘butter drench’ rich cream is as dreamy as you’d expect, plus the lid is a gorgeous shiny copper colour. (Everyone knows the packaging is the best bit of skincare and make-up.)

Then it’s just a case of putting it all together with a few strategically placed plants and tada! The illusion of being in control!

Is your dressing table a thing of beauty to behold? What are your dressing table essentials?

Slummy single mummy dressing table makeover tidying tips

Slummy single mummy dressing table makeover tidying tips

*Belle had half a grated bar of Galaxy on her cereal this morning


I was sent the jewellery box, lamp and Bare Minerals skincare products for the purposes of this review. All opinions my own.



  1. 2 July, 2016 / 10:50 pm

    That jewellery box is utterly gorgeous! Love the colours and your dressing table looks so tidy! x

  2. 4 July, 2016 / 4:32 pm

    A dressing table before and after, thats a first! Great idea, I feel like im fighting a constant battle with mine. Consider me inspired to sort mine out! I’ve just started my blog, i’m a clean living Somerset mum hoping to inspire others with my recipes and workout ideas. I would really appreciate it if you would take a peek! Thank you, Amie xx

  3. 16 October, 2019 / 9:57 pm

    Very useful post such a cute jewellery box and your table looks so organised! Can I ask for research purposes what makes the ideal jewellery box? I have had a few in my time but it never stands the test of time!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.