Make-Up This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

I stare blankly into the mirror,
dissecting my face piece by piece by piece.
What to change today? Everything.
Craft a new exterior, execute a façade,
and what is inside is bound to change as well.

I begin with my skin, swirling on concoctions of
powders and creams and mousses– hiding every
blemish and bump.
I’ve created a canvas, a mask. I’ve set the stage
to put on a show – the vanishing act of the old me.
Seal away the scars, the marks, and imperfections
that lie on my skin, and warp it into your notion of beauty.
Most of all– coverage of surface imperfections
implies coverage of internal imperfections; it says:
I really am as put together as I look, when the truth
couldn’t be further from so.
But you can’t see that.

I move on to my eyes– my dark, brooding eyes.
There is fear and self-doubt imbedded in my irises;
anger and pain threaded through my pupils. They are windows
to the storm raging inside my soul day after day; a constant
struggle between who I am and who I’m told to be.
Yes, these eyes must be changed.
I drag black liner in heavy strokes across my lids, making them
appear mysterious and alluring. Silvery, shimmery shadow
glides with ease across my lids and under my bottom lashes, turning
my gaze from seductive to captivating, even enchanting.
Mascara completes the transformation, darkening and
elongating my lashes so that they cast shadows on
my cheeks and provide a barrier when intertwined.
I’ve created shutters– pretty, painted shutters;
shades drawn over the windows to shut away the outside.

My mask is on, I’m ready to face the world.
But then the party ends.
The lights have stopped flashing and the stage has been
cleared; everybody has gone home. It’s just me
and the mirror.
All it takes is a splash of water to revert my efforts,
to change me back from a beauty to a bore.
It reminds me that no matter how much I try to conceal,
however much I can change the person on the outside,
make up can’t change the person underneath.





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