Her hand on the flower depicts that she uses the mirror to place the flower in ther hair and admire herself. The small vase of similar flowers next to her proves this notion further. The position of her head and her facial expressions depict self-admiration. The woman's raised head is a depiction of pride. She is dressed in a translucent white tunic through which her shoulder peeps. If you pay attention to the woman’s face, the name of the picture becomes clear. This is because her expression shows that she is vain. She seeks to look good and her looking at herself in the mirror is an attempt to confirm her beauty and superiority. She is drawn next to a dressing table. On the table is a vase with beautiful flowers similar to the one in her hair.
There is also some jewellery and pearl beads. The woman's face is gorgeous, rosy, and charming. Her skin is snow-white. John William Waterhouse seeks to show the vice, which is vanity, through the painting. The image found in this painting is depicted in several European art pieces from the middle ages. It is an ambiguous image. This means that the spectator is invited to both admire or disapprove of its content. However, in this painting by John William Waterhouse, the intention is for the viewer to admire the painting. The artist often found inspiration from Greek mythology, Arthurian legends, poetry and Shakespearean literature. In all of his works, he features single female characters, just as in this painting.
Most critics also say that this picture reinterprets paintings like The Louvre by Titan and Lady Lilith by Rossetti. This is because of the spontaneity and naturalness of the woman's gestures. Waterhouse himself made numerous similar images. She mostly drew images with female characters. Her inspiration for most of his works was also the same. For instance, he made paintings like Ophelia, Sweet Slumber, The Enchanted Garden and Miranda. In these paintings, the heroines are redheaded and have similar facial features to this particular piece. Most of John William Waterhouse's paintings are maintained in his private family collection.