Vanity, Helen Style, or … Oh, Cool a Quiz!

I’ve always thought of myself as a fairly down to earth, not out to impress kind of gal. I’ll go to the store in sweats with my hair in a ponytail and no make-up. I generally wear my clothes until they’re worn out or are so horrendously out of style even I notice. Hey, I wear mukluks to the dog park. How vain can I be, right?

But the other night as I attempted to select the right face cream from the, oh, I don’t know, EIGHT jars, tubes, and bottles in my cabinet, I started to think I’m deluding myself. Either that or I’ve gotten more vain as I’ve aged. Maybe both.

Vanity, I’m beginning to think, can take many forms. So I’ve devised my own quiz. Give yourself one point for every yes answer.

1. You don’t just work out on a regular basis. You have to look good while you’re doing it. No sweats and T-shirts. We’re talking Nike, Under-Armour, Reebok, etc… attire.

2. You own thong underwear. One point. You wear them. Two. (Yes, I have the token thong in my underwear drawer just so I can say I own one.  Do you think I wear it?  I mean, you know, outside the house?)

3. You’ve tanned within the last year. (And don’t get snitty here. Tanning beds are a no-brainer. If you had to be outside for a kids sporting event and used sunscreen, it doesn’t count. But if you rearranged the position of your arms to toast evenly, give yourself a point.) And you spray-tanners you, yes, add a point.

4. You do facial exercises. (Don’t laugh and don’t tell. I do them. If you’re nice, I’ll blog about that on my next scheduled day and teach you a thing or two.)

5. Give yourself a point for every pair of shoes you own with three-inch or higher heels.

6. You NEVER go out of the house without make-up, lipstick, sunglasses, whatever. The point is … there’s something(s) you have to do other than put on clothing before you can go in public.

7. The ladies at the spa/Ulta/Estee Lauder counter know you by name.  Two points if you have a monthly standing appointment.

8. Wax, for you, is more than just for candles. Ouch! Telly Savalas, anyone?

9. You pluck/wax your eyebrows. If you go somewhere to have someone else pluck/wax your eyebrows give yourself 2 points. (Hey, this is MY quiz. Don’t like it make up your own.)

10. Creams and lotions. This one’s tough to calculate. There are eye creams, night creams, day creams, creams with SPFs, creams with exfoliators and anti-oxidants, facial peels and scrubs. Oh, what the hell. If you use anything other than Jergens on your face, give yourself a point. If you use an eye cream give yourself another point. If you use a night cream, one more.

11. You own any form of lingerie that claims to flatten your tummy, lift your butt, or miraculously produce cleavage. One point for each, ladies.

12. You’re under 40.

13. You’re under 30.

14. You’re under 25. (Yeah, you get 3–count em 3–points if you’re 24!)

15. Botox. Even entertaining the concept is worth at least a point.
Okay, so add ’em up, people, and let’s see how you rate on Helen’s Vanity Scale.

1- 9: You’re either very young or have accepted aging much more gracefully than I have. You like yourself just the way you are. I’d say good for you, but you certainly don’t need my validation!

10-19: This is my group. Yeah, you’re probably a little on the vain side, but you’ve got good company. Like I said before, don’t like it, come up with your own quiz.

20 and up: You, honey, are so vain, you probably think this blog is about you. You’re one of those people who ALWAYS looks good. And I hate you for it. Keep up the good work!


About Helen Brenna

Helen Brenna is the RITA award winning author of romances for Harlequin's Superromance line. Three more books in her popular Mirabelle Island series will be release in July, August and September of 2011. For more information, check out her website at
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12 Responses to Vanity, Helen Style, or … Oh, Cool a Quiz!

  1. Susan Wilson says:

    I would ask if there is a prize for the winner, but as I think it might be the booby prize, I’m just going to slink off into a corner with my ridiculously high score……
    Congrats Mrs RITA!!!!!!!!!

  2. Laney4 says:

    Oh dear. I am a zero. I DO work out (playing competitive badminton 5 nights/week), I don’t own thong underwear (although hipster pants are a pain in the butt when I have to yank them up all the time), I don’t wear sunscreen and I’m rarely outside (except for my walks under the trees in the park), forget the facial exercises, I wear orthotics so can’t even wear a 1″ heel without pain, I hit the shower and am out the door within 5 minutes without makeup (although I might put on lip gloss for special occasions), I’ve never been (nor care to go) to the spa and never waxed (ouch!), no creams unless for medicinal purposes (prescription cream for rosacea because my hormones are out of whack and my face is plastered in red bumps/pimples otherwise), what is lingerie (LOL), I’m 52 with hot flashes galore, and Botox isn’t part of my vocabulary. I am not considered pretty or beautiful, and I am overweight, but I smile often and don’t feel I am missing out on anything in life because I don’t primp and preen. I am who I am. Men don’t (usually) fuss, so why should I? My teeth and clothes are clean, my hair is brushed, and I bathe regularly. That’s it.

  3. cindygerard says:

    Fun poll, Helen. And i was surprised to find that I fell in the not too vane group mostly because I’ve always thought of myself as vane :o). So this is one for me and the grasshopper to contemplate. If you think it does it make it so? or only if you DO it does it make it so? LOL

    Another big, big congratulations on winning the Rita! That is just totally awesome!!!

  4. Deb H. says:

    I can’t believe I got a low score. I never leave the house without makeup. NOW, if the quiz had been about hair products, I would have a high score because my fine, straight-as-a-board hair has to have body before the curling iron even heats up. 🙂

  5. Michele says:

    3 points. Two for wearing high heels, but I only dig those out of the closet the one time a year when I have an event. I think I’m just too lazy to embrace vanity. Heh.

  6. Kathleen O says:

    I would have been in the second group, only I can’t wear three inch heels anymore. This was good fun, but at the same time.. OMG I think I dull after this LOL!!!

  7. Candace Schuler says:

    Do I count as being vain if one point for every pair of 3″ (or more) heels put me over 20 points?

  8. Kylie Brant says:

    Fun poll, Helen. I nodded several times but luckily, the questions that would have shot me straight up the ol’ vanity meter weren’t on your poll, LOL. The thing is, as you age it’s not so much vanity as maintenance. And we all know that maintenance after 40 is a bitch 🙂 Thanks so much for not even touching on the cosmetic surgery questions

  9. loisgreiman says:

    The shoes killed me.

    Congratulations again, H!! We’re so proud of you.

  10. You’ve got me singing new lyrics to one of my favorite songs, Helen. Deee-lightful!

    Oh, and no surprise… I’m way below 9. One or two of your reasons fits me, but truthfully, even when I could answer yes to 12, 13 or 14, I wasn’t a 10. Does that mean I wasn’t vain? Probably means a bunch of that stuff wasn’t available back in the olden days.

  11. Leanne Banks says:

    I’m not touching this with a ten foot pole.

  12. Hey Helen, nice fun blog for today. I scored in the 1-9 category. I don’t wear make up at all. Own maybe 4 pairs of shoes with at least 3 inches, and am under 40….not many points there. I just never got into the whole make-up, gotta look good to throw out the trash and go to the store phase.

    Peace and love,
    Paula R.

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