It’s almost the same shade as the lipstick rolling around the bottom of my handbag, but I want it, for the 1920s-style case as much as the name.
She comes over while I’m testing it on the back of my hand. ‘Do you want to see what it looks like on?’
I’m a sucker for other people doing my make up – I’ve never mastered the art of getting that polished look on my own. And she is, without a doubt, polished. Around her neck, a cursive L hangs from a delicate gold chain and her hair is a mass of carefully styled honey waves, but these softnesses are offset by her outfit, which is head to toe black, from her hot pants to her leather apron.
I’m inelegant and clumsy next to her, not helped by having to clamber onto what is essentially a bar stool. She swipes her brush through the colour and leans in close. I twitch, too strung out with life in general to stay as still as she wants me, and she giggles.
She outlines my lips in pencil and maybe it’s that that makes me feel like a blank canvas, like i could reinvent myself here, in Selfridges’ packed Beauty Hall. It’s noisy, hot, and bright, but I’m totally captivated by her. Her lips are ruby red, the kind of colour I dream of being able to pull off as my everyday look. She applies it straight from the stick, she says, and I girl crush a little harder on this rough-and-ready round the edges admission.
It’s strange, having someone focus so hard on your mouth when they’re not kissing you. She fills in between the lines, stepping back occasionally to appraise her handiwork. If I spent this long on my own make up, I’d never get to work.
‘I can’t get the pigment to even out,’ she says, as she continues to sweep colour over my lips. ‘It’s weird.’
Uneven, chaotic – this has been my mental state for months and I want to laugh at the fact that this gorgeous girl can’t make me look calm and sophisticated, no matter how hard she tries. Eventually, the frustration gets the better of her and she drops her brush onto the counter and swipes her finger roughly over my lips.
‘Ah,’ she says, ‘That’s better!’
Even before she hands me the mirror, I know I’m a sure thing. It’s no longer just the packaging and the name. It’s the sense that here, at 11.45 on a Saturday morning, I might have fallen a little bit in love. I pay, and she hands me the bag before turning her attention to the next girl looking for something pretty. Before I walk away, I linger for a moment by the testers and wonder what shade her lipstick was.
Love bite. That’ll be it.
I joked to @Juniper3Glasgow this morning that I’d crushed on so many gorgeous women this week that I was thinking of giving up men for Lent. I think my love of cock will probably win out, but it did get me thinking that Lent is a great prompt for some flash erotica. And what better way to elicit flash erotica than to have a mini competition?
As I said on Twitter, the prize probably won’t be huge. And because at the moment I’m all about pick-and-mix selections of cute stuff, it’ll also be a surprise. And you’ll get the glory of winning, obviously. Plus, because Lent lasts for-bloody-ever, it’s a super generous deadline.
(1) Your story must be a piece of erotica on the theme of Giving Something Up. The more creative, the better.
(2) The post must (obviously) be your own work.
(3) There is no minimum length for posts, but they must be no longer than 1000 words.
(4) You must post the piece on your own blog and link back to this post in order for your entry to be counted.
(5) The competition closes at 23.59 GMT on Thursday, April 2nd. Any entries submitted after this point will not be considered.
(6) You consent to me linking to your post in a list of all the entries once the competition has closed.
(7) Should you win, you are happy to share your mailing address with me for the purpose of sending your prize.
If I’ve missed anything, or you have questions, please let me know…