In Be My Guest, Bustle takes you inside cool homes so you can gather design and decor inspo for yourself. For Bustle's beauty issue, Advice Haul, we visited the New York City apartment of makeup artist Nam Vo and took a peek inside her massive beauty closet.
When makeup artist Nam Vo first found her one-bedroom New York City apartment about a year and a half ago, moving in felt like a dream come true. The tiny oasis sits in Manhattan's West Village neighborhood, nestled on a cozy block that Vo says has long been her “favorite” in the city. “I think I must've manifested it," she tells Bustle. "I should have said I wanted a $20 million brownstone.”
It might not be a $20 million brownstone, but the one-bedroom apartment is still nothing less than stunning — which is no surprise, given Vo's area of expertise. After all, she's a successful makeup artist whose signature glowy "dewy dumpling" makeup look has helped her amass almost 200,000 Instagram followers, not to mention celebrity clients like Rosie Huntington-Whitley and Kylie Jenner. Her entire job is to play around with light and color schemes and come up with innovative designs, and she's good at it. Decorating her apartment is no different.
“I'm obsessed with interior design; it reminds me of doing makeup.”
When she moved in, she says, the apartment was like a blank canvas, so it gave her the opportunity to thoughtfully design it in a way that would make her happy and bring new, good energy into her life. “I'm obsessed with interior design; it reminds me of doing makeup,” she says. “You pick a base color, then you highlight, then you accent, then you contour — it's exactly the same principles I use when I do makeup.”
Looking around Vo’s apartment, it’s evident the analogy is one she’s really made work for her. The lush, pink living room doubles as her beauty room, and features a giant, 7-foot-tall closet that contains all of the skin care and makeup products she gets as part of her job. (In fact, she says, there are so many products in there that her friends call the closet “Namphora” — a play on Sephora, of course, and also total goals. “Literally, I have in that closet the best that the world has to offer,” she says.)
The room itself is all shades of soft pink, neutral grays, and olive greens — the base colors, if you will. The highlighter: pink wallpaper featuring majestic herons and dragonflies that Vo found on Pinterest (the fact that it happened to be Gucci wallpaper was completely coincidental). The accents: plushy, soft pink chairs, a deep green couch in a velvety material, and the pièce de résistance — a giant vanity with a gold-accented mirror and a pale pink velvet seat. (“It looks like it’s for a queen,” Vo says.) Finally, the contour: funky, unique decorations, including a large pink perfume bottle that isn't actually filled with anything (“It’s just pretty,” Vo says), a non-working fireplace where she stores her books, and a hand-shaped bowl filled with a wide array of crystals Vo has acquired over the years. “That’s actually a fruit bowl," Vo says. "I tried to put fruit in it, but it wasn’t really working. I've always had crystals all around my house that I've collected or mostly that I've gotten as gifts, so I put them in there, and I made it into my crystal bowl.”
"In the short time that I've lived here, I've had so many beautiful memories, just right here in this room. Like some of the best times with my girlfriends, my boyfriends. It's all happened, literally, in this living room.”
The design doesn’t stop there. The pieces in Vo's living space — test tube flower vases, eye-shaped jewelry dishes, and so much more — all come together like a perfectly blended eyeshadow look, which is probably why her apartment has become a go-to place for her friends to hang out. Vo doesn't keep a TV at home, which she says is another reason why the space feels so inviting. "Every time I really want to get a TV, I think about, 'where the heck am I going to put this ugly black box?' and I don't have the heart to do it, so it's never happened," she says. "We're forced to look at each other and have conversation."
This is the exact vibe she wants her living room to have; either she’s talking to friends there, or she’s playing with makeup. “I think this living room has such good energy," Vo says. "It’s brought so many good memories. I've had breakups, makeups, confessionals… In the short time that I've lived here, I've had so many beautiful memories, just right here in this room. Like some of the best times with my girlfriends, my boyfriends. It's all happened, literally, in this living room.”
Though Vo has a separate bedroom, she says she spends most of her time in the living room — and for a very good reason. “Oprah once told me, on TV, that the bedroom is only for rest, and love-making," she says. "That's literally all I do in that room, I make love, and I rest in that room. And the rest of my life I live out in my powder room.”
There’s no arguing with the kind of philosophy that comes from Oprah — and it helps that Vo’s living room is an absolute work of art, too.
Check out Vo’s living room, especially that giant closet that houses every beauty product you could ever imagine.