No matter how much she sleeps, she always looks tired. There are purple crescents under her grey eyes, which are half closed. She hides the crescents with too much black eyeliner, and puts on another coat of mascara to ‘open up’ her eyes (as beauty campaigns say though really it doesn’t mean much). Her skin is so, so pale and flushes easily when she laughs. She hates that flush, so she covers it (and the freckles her mother says are beautiful) with a thick ivory powder. To her chin, she applies a little concealer and then more powder, to cover a thin red scar that looks like a cat’s scratch still not quite healed. She doesn’t wear lipstick; it makes her teeth look yellow. A quick spray of perfume behind her ears, and she disappears, satisfied. The mirror is empty.

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