I can see her through the window, the street light is out again, and I look though the darkness to the one point of light, her window, which is slightly lower than mine, affording a perfect view. The wistful chords of ‘Transylvanian Concubine’ split the night air.
She lays the cosmetics carefully on the dressing table, piece by piece. She pulls her hair carefully back, and begins the task.

First the face cream, she smoothes this carefully in, neglecting no part of her face. Then, gently, she squeezes the tube of pale foundation onto the sponge, and dabs this carefully on to her face. It must cover her face completely; the flawless masque must be whole. Then, she lifts the powder-puff, tapping it delicately against its silver tin. She softly sweeps her face into porcelain perfection.

Here, the real artistry begins, she takes the eye-liner and paints a careful line, skirting the top of her eyelashes, her hand holding steady. She sets this with the powdery black eye-shadow, precisely brushed over the line. Next, the red eye shadow blended into the black, then the white above. She then takes a feather-soft brush to soften them into an iridescent, flowing rainbow.

Now her lips. The tiniest brush is purposefully drawn from the pot, the dark lipstick collected and the line firmly drawn to a rosebud pout. She then fills this with the scarlet, stippled in until the colours meld gently.

Finally the hair. From the drawers she draws ponytails, hair of many colours. This she carefully adds to her own, combing, blending, for the seamless transition between fantasy and reality. Her ribbons next red as her lipstick, black as her hair. These she twines amongst the locks. Then, her piece de resistance. The roses. Velvety, red, they lie on the dark wood of the dressing-table. Tenderly, she twists them around her bunches, and stands back to look at the results. White face, dark eyes, carmine lips, and the blood red roses nestling in the blackest hair. She is ready.


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