Monday, March 7, 2011

A Portrait of Femininity

Feminine

A Victorian beauty manual, Kabuki makeup brush, Revlon red lipstick, a brooch and a vintage copy of the Girl Scouts handbook surround a vintage-inspired frame.

This is my portrait of thrifted femininity.

The topic of what it means to be feminine has always been a bit contradictory for me. While I’m always educating myself on issues of gendered equality and resisting the advertising machine for body type and beauty expectations, I do admittedly spend a considerable amount of money on keeping up appearances, so to speak.

Sure, I find thrifted and bargain clothes and accessories that I love immensely. But when it comes to skin care and cosmetics, I find myself blissfully wandering the aisles of Sephora with glassy, wide eyes in amazement of all the pretty, pretty things.

And what’s so wrong with that, really?

Perhaps the money I spend on looking like a celebrity with a team of professional stylists is partially funded by the incredible savings on all of the awesome, kitsch, vintage oddities I have affordably bought secondhand.

Am I right?

9 comments:

Van said...

Your portrait is beautiful. I love the look of skincare and beauty product. Designed to beguile- they have delicious packaging.

I make my own skincare stuff now and haven't looked back though, it's far superior and cheaper than Sephora stuff. Of course, blogs posts on that are in the works .. ;)

Jackie said...

Ya know, half the battle is fighting the allure of the packaging at Sephora. Everything looks so magical in there. It's not even fair. Actually, I made a few Christmas gifts for friends, and for myself. A natural face scrub and an eye de-puffing mask. And everybody loves them! Go figure, ha ha.

But try as I might, I can't make cosmetics. And I just love the Benefit line at Sephora. The good news is that the products seem to last five times longer than the drug store brands. So I do use less, if it's any consolation. Sometimes even I'm amazed by the anomaly that is myself: A b-horror watching, thrifting feminist with way too many cosmetics.

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

Wow this is so gorgeous!! Love the frame!

Jackie said...

Thanks, Carrie. It was a buck at The Philly Aids Thrift. A great find for me, woo woo!

Nancy said...

The cosmetic counters at Bloomies do to me what Sephora does to you. I don't even go out to work anymore but those counters call me, especially Chanel, which is all I used when I was working. You are saving a bundle with your thrift store shopping and deserve to pamper your skin. It's the only one we get.

Nancy said...

P.S. The frame is lovely!

Jackie said...

Thanks for the wise words, Nancy. I agree, what I save in thrifted goods I do spend elsewhere, ie. Sephora. And Chanel is just lovely. I do admire people like Van though, who commit to creating their own homemade beauty products. I've tried it with mild success on a few face scrubs and masks. But sometimes it's nice to get dolled up.

Nancy said...

I have tried to make my own also but I have the world's most sensitive skin, and some element of rosacea so can't get near things like witch hazel or alcohol. Chanel never irritated my skin - just cannot afford it now. I did find a new bottle of my favorite perfume at my favorite haunt - Impact - and I have not bought any recently because of cost, but for $15.00 for Ombre Rose, who could pass it up?

Jackie said...

Oh that is a nice find for $15. I have rather sensitive skin too. But all of the natural scrubs I made seemed to help some. Honey, citrus rinds, protein powder, cucumber, vitamin e oil...it was all rather nice. A bit messy, though.