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Sunday, October 24, 2010

I Whip My Hair Back and Forth...

I've perfected the art of makeup application on the subway, the delicate act of balancing a tiny mirror with my right hand as I twist open loose powder with my left index finger and right index and thumb, which also juggles a jumbo powder brush. I set down the base on the seat besides me while the lid containing the powder rests carefully on top of my makeup bag which is on top of my purse. We stop at 175th where a bunch of people enter the car, one girl with her iPod blasting what I think is Rihanna's "Rude Boy" certainly doesn't want to sit next to the smelly man with all the Daffy's bags... I know what that means, so I scoop up the base container of loose powder to make room for her, rest it next to the lid softly so the contents don't spill into my purse and try my best to finish this part of the job. Next come my eyebrows which I swiftly fill in using intermittent underground light to figure out where the shadows best belong. My face is already transformed... the eyebrows do the trick. Tiny bit of lipstick, curling eyelashes, mascara and presto.

In Spanish, mascara means "mask"- ah, the irony. It's always the last thing I apply. Such a personal routine marked by expressions that look like I'm "oohing" and "ahhing" with odd facial contortions, and an eye or two winking or squinting- there for all of the commuters to enjoy. One woman in particular is fascinated, the same way I was fascinated by a girl's routine last week probably (she had a great blush application technique). The guy across from me is gazing at my makeup bag's innards. I can't even begin to wonder what's going on in his mind, inspecting an arsenal made possible by Bonne Belle, Nars and other strategically chosen brands that in the end don't really matter. In a weird way, my makeup mastery delights me in that it serves as a reminder that I live "somewhere else" now. Yes, in LA car makeup application was an equally thrilling challenge, but with different obstacles- not poking my eye out with eyeliner on a sudden turn was replaced by keeping an eye out for a cop hiding behind a tree as I drove along with one elbow on the wheel. I've cried on sidewalks with nowhere to hide, seen many other people reassure me that I'm not the only one that does that, witnessed some of the most public feuds out on the street and now put my mascara on in a moving wagon in less than 10 minutes with a group of Westsiders watching. Privacy is overrated.

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I'm an LA transplant now living in Brooklyn. I develop film projects by day, write at night, and have a dangerous predilection for vintage Robinson Golluber scarves- this blog serves as a tiny window to everything else I do when I'm not satisfying those first three passions. I'm trying to blog more and tweet less @annabelleqv. What about you?

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