Last week, I had a fancy lunch with my grandmother, my aunt, and Blara in Manhattan.
At the end of the meal everyone but me pulled out their vanity mirrors and their cosmetic pouches, and started re-applying their make-up.
“Brienne!” my grandmother said. “Put some lipstick on!”
I obediently reached into the side pocket of my bag, and pulled out a tube of pale pink Lancomé lipstick. It was a free sample that Blara had gifted to my grandmother, who had then gifted it to me. “Don’t give that to her, she’s a nasty bitch!” Blara had screamed as she watched the transaction occur right before her very eyes.
I carefully applied the matte color, and facetiously smacked my lips together.
Across the table, my grandmother had my sister’s face pinched in her left hand. With her right, she was smearing bright red lipsticks underneath her cheek bones. “I have a heavy hand with make-up,” she said as she blurred the war-paint stripes into a bright, diffuse flush.
“Do you like it, Nana?” I asked her, puckering my lips.
“It’s a little natural,” she said with exasperation. “I like Blara’s color better.”
Blara grinned at me, the blood red color on her lips in serious danger of seeping over the boundaries of her lips, and onto the finely downed skin of her chin. It had already made its way onto one of her front teeth. “I like make-up!” she exclaimed.
“I’m natural in general, Nana,” I said, teasingly. “I don’t wear a lot of make-up. I live in Brooklyn.”
“Don’t say that!” she screamed in horror.
My aunt started laughing hysterically. “That’s a line for the blog,” she said, dabbing at the tears springing from the bottom of her eyes. Her mascara, recently re-applied, stayed intact.