The Vanity Drawer

Erika Goble
2017 unpublished
The vanity is often considered a piece of traditional furniture for female beautification. Although it has changed form over time, some variant of the vanity drawer continues to exist in many men's and women's households. This article considers the unique roles that vanity drawers-in their various shapes and forms-can play in our daily life and the different meanings it can hold. Sunday morning, I step out of the shower and bundle myself into my bathrobe. Planning to spend the day in, I head to
more » ... the bedroom where I briefly lean in to my dresser mirror and lotion my face. After placing the bottle back in the drawer, I dress and head downstairs for breakfast. Later in the afternoon, my partner suggests we go out for a late lunch. "Sure," I agree. "Just give me a few minutes to get ready." Heading back upstairs, I sit down at my vanity and quickly apply a thin layer of foundation, press powder, mascara, and lipstick. Looking from side to side to confirm that I am presentable, I pack away my make-up, slip on my shoes and jacket, grab my purse, and head to the door. As a woman, I am acutely aware of the expectation that I wear make-up. I learned it early. At age 12, I started with lip-gloss and, as I aged, gradually added various other components: mascara, then eyeshadow, press powder and eyeliner, foundation then eyebrow pencil, and finally blush and contouring. Applying make-up is part of my daily routine. I do it soon after showering and before I head out for the day. After years of practice, like many other women perhaps, I have become quite quick at it. I can complete my entire make-up regime in less than 10 minutes-five, if I am rushed and keep it to the bare minimum. There are very few days of the year when I do not wear at least some make-up and those tend to be when I am sick or spend my Sundays entirely at home-days when I see no one but my partner. The question of make-up is evident and obvious and it has been the subject of endless debate-should women wear it?