Tonight was going to be my last with Will, and I had to dress.
Suiting my education, I took to my suites and began to prepare. Since we were in New York, I had Merrique’s servants at my disposal. Gretchen pulled up the bath for me, and scented to water with bergamot and vanilla. After I had soaked, she rubbed me with lotion and left my cosmetics out. Michel was our hair stylist, and he would arrive in an hour.
In the mirror, I sat in my lingerie, La Perla Coup de Couer- a black lacy feminine pairing that was both deadly serious and fragile femininity. My nipples were just visible through the bra. Unadorned, I was pretty. With make-up and the right attitude- now, I could be anything I wanted. Marilyn Monroe used to sit in front of the mirror for hours, practicing facial expressions. I always used this time before and during the application of make-up for that very purpose. A meditative appraisal of my face, of my eyes and mouth and the tilt and turn that crafted the right look. Cheekbones and a nose give a face it’s character, the hardware a woman learns to use. I had been blessed by genetics with a fat plush bottom lip, and a chubby cupid’s bow for my top lip. This was my easiest ace. I had learned to highlight the inside of my bottom lip to make it appear rounder and fuller, which was a trick that never failed to seduce me, let alone a man.
Slowly, I watched myself as I moisturized, applied foundation with my make up brushes- some of the girls used an air brush, but I preferred the slightly heavier look of brush application. Geishas of Japan would leave a thin line of flesh visible around their nape and hair line, to suggest the mask of their white face paint. It was as sensual as letting your dress slip to show your bra strap. It suggested the warmth of the living flesh beneath, which in turn, eroticized the mask. As my face took on the even tone of foundation, I dabbed at my mouth, and it disappeared beneath the nude make-up. I covered my eyelids and under my eyes, which had always given me trouble. Just as I was born with a mouth to worship, I was born with under eye circles. No matter how well I slept, they were always there, the purple of a bruise.
When all my blemishes were covered, I smiled at my ghost face- the base of my empire. I used powdered eye liner, which took great skill to apply, but was worth the trouble. Befitting my mysterious dark woman persona, I gently tilted the line to appear more like cat eyes, and dusted a soft black of shading around the final line. This too, I had to take care not to look like I had a black eye.
There have been times where I was called on to wear false eyelashes, which I loved for their drama. This was not such a time. The up close and personal tussling I would be engaging in would have melted the glue, and nothing is less sexy that a sudden sprouting of a limb of hair from your eyelid. When I first met Will, I wore them. To be seen from across the room. The opera houses of old were the right atmosphere for false lashes.
I gently slid the mascara brush over my long curling lashes, and smiled at myself. With the right curling, they hung low, which added to the unfolding woman in the mirror. I brushed over my cheekbones, a bare bare blush, and turned my mind to my mouth. If anything could persuade me of what kind of a goddess I was to be, it was this mouth. It told me who I was that night. IT is hard to say what goes through my mind, because as I lined my lips, very little did. It is perhaps my greatest refuge- make up. It is so technical and delicate as to require full attention, and as I do this, I watch the appearance of a woman who is beautiful and formidable. Poor Will.
The color is red, as always. Will falls into the Victim Persona of the Sensualist, a sucker for the bright and lovely, for the sensations. In his world, that which is colorful, striking and pleasing is extremely desirable. I drag the lipstick brush down and up the lines of my lips, and smile slowly.
“Bernadette Godfrey.” I said, to the smiling woman in the mirror, fair skinned, dark haired, and almost naked save for a few bits of supportive black lace. I laughed.
I feel sexier when I put on my shoes first. Tall heels, with a seductive swoop to the heel itself, my foot was strapped and wound by the shoe, that invoked bondage severity. Gretchen helped me slither into the jersey dress (black) that covered me from my collarbones to above my knees. Long sleeves clung to my arms, and I could see the lift of my wrist bone under the fabric. I loved this dress because it gave away nothing but hinted towards everything. Michel arrived, and attended to me as I watched in my mirrors. He was tall, French, and bleached blonde. He wore dark rimmed glasses, and eyeliner. Despite stereotypes, he was flamboyant and straight. An artist from the top of his head to the bottoms of his feet, he prattled adorably, but was all seriousness about my hair. After awhile, he became too absorbed to talk, and I had the distinct pleasure of watching him. A tight chignon, so simple and smooth and beautiful. I had to be able to take it down easily, so it was very difficult work. One pin to unravel his knot meant he had to tie it up with great balance.
“Adieu, Michel. Merci beau coups.” I said, shutting the door on my suites, letting Gretchen see him out. Once more I glanced at myself, and was surprised by the creature that watched me with wide dark eyes. The whites of her eyes were very white, and there was a hint of fear in the expression.