Monday, March 18, 2013

Life Lessons 24: Mirror

Putting on makeup was harder than it looks. That was the one thing Dandelion Mellark had discovered that day. She'd been embarassed enough when she'd quietly asked her mother if she could have the makeup in the first place. Walking around looking like a clown would make it even worse.

Dani reached dejectedly for the washcloth and scrubbed her face for the third time in an effort to remove the makeup that just didn't look right on her face. She turned from the mirror, no longer wanting to look at her own reflection, and pulled herself up onto the counter. It wasn't as if she could ask her mother for advice. Dani didn't think Katniss had put on one bit of makeup since she was seventeen years old, and even then she hadn't been putting it on herself.

Dani's heart went into her throat as a knock at the bathroom door startled her. "Dani, are you in here?" Rowan Hawthorne. Dani had forgotten that they were getting here today. Here was the answer to her problems. Rowan, who was two years older, had always seemed like Dani's older sister.

Dani flew off the counter and wrenched the door open. "Rowan!"

Her younger friend's enthusiasm caused Rowan to take a step away from the doorway. "Happy to see you too, Dani," she chuckled. "What have you been doing for so long in the bathroom? I was waiting for you downstairs."

Dani's face brightened in embarassment. Instead of answering, she motioned towards the bathroom counter, which was still littered with various beauty products. That was when Rowan noticed the makeup on Dani's face that Dani hadn't been quite successful in removing in her anger. A small smile found its way onto Rowan's face. All she said was, "You want help?"

Dani smiled back gratefully. "Yes, please."

Rowan wasn't an overtly kind person, but she often found herself helping Dani more often than she would others. Sure, she was nice, but she didn't do many favors. For that reason, she couldn't help but make a few jibes as she went over the basics of makeup with the younger girl. "You look great by the way," she motioned at Dani's own attempt at the makeup. "You'd make a very believable clown."

Dani stuck her tongue out. "Even I know it's not that horrible," she sighed.

"Close though," Rowan muttered just loud enough for Dani, who swatted her playfully, to hear.

"You have the right idea," Rowan explained as she closed the door behind her. "You just need some practice, so you don't end up looking like a crazy Capitol person."

Dani's confidence swelled. She'd been sure that she was screwing something up. No way did she want to look like a Capitol citizen. Her mother would fly off the handle. Dani knew that Capitol fashions had become much simpler in recent years thanks to the influence of the districts, but the people there were still known for slightly outlandish tastes. If she was to go to school looking like one, she'd be teased endlessly.

Rowan had Dani remove the makeup she'd applied before pulling out the foundation that Dani wasn't even sure exactly matched her skin tone. Rowan looked from the foundation to Dani as if she was considering this very thing herself, but her nod seemed to imply that she was satisfied with the shade. "We might be able to find a better shade for you, but this works okay for now," Rowan explained. "Next time you should try to find one that brings out the slight olive tint to your skin." Dani nodded although she wasn't so sure about the "olive tint." Sure her skin wasn't as light as her dad's or other people she knew, but Dani had always been slightly jealous of the olive skin her mother, Rowan, and most of her classmates had.

Rowan had applied a layer of makeup to Dani's face that was far thinner than she had thought possible. All the while, Rowan was explaining that the less makeup Dani could get away with, the better. She wanted to look as natural as possible. Makeup was supposed to enhance your natural beauty, not hide it. Rowan's many philosophical makeup comments continued throughout the entire process. Dani had never thought about many of these things, and she soaked up the new information. She'd have to remember to put on a lot less makeup next time. The eyeliner would take some practice. How Rowan could hold her arm so steady and see clearly with the pencil to her eye Dani didn't understand.

"There," Rowan began clearing the makeup off the counter, seemingly satisfied with her job. "Look in the mirror."

Dani turned and almost blushed at the reflection in the mirror. If Dani didn't no better, she would almost be surprised that she had makeup on. Rowan had made it perfectly complement her features. "Thanks, Rowan!" Dani exclaimed in excitement.

"You're welcome," Rowan chuckled. "Come on. Let's go into town, and you can show off my awesome makeup skills to everyone." Before Dani knew it, her arm was hooked in Rowan's, and they were out the door and heading toward town.

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