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12 April 2011 @ 09:37 pm
Title/Prompt - Lipstick
Author - isabelquinn
Word count - 889
Rating - G
Summary - Tiffany Kilbourne tries to learn how to use lipstick.
Link to table - link.
Author's note - Moar Kilbourne fic! This is set during the events of Snob, one of my other prompts. Thanks to ozqueen for beta-ing :)

Tiffany Kilbourne twisted the bottom of the tube back and forth. She watched the lipstick as it poked up and down, up and down, like a cherry-red meerkat. It had been years since she had used makeup. She hadn’t even really thought about it since she was five years old. She had gone through a phase where she would steal her mom’s makeup and smear eyeshadow across her face, painting perfect rainbows on her cheeks. They’d looked pretty good, especially when she started using black eyeliner to add detail. But her experience with makeup had ended once her mom had wised up and hid everything.

But she wasn’t five anymore. Makeup was no longer a game. The first day of sixth grade had been like entering a brand new world. All the girls she’d known since kindergarten were suddenly wearing makeup, or had sophisticated new haircuts. She was the only one who had started the new school year looking exactly the same as her elementary school self. It was now the third week of school and she still didn’t look any different. She’d been trying not to think about it. All she’d ever done with makeup was draw ridiculous pictures on her face. She didn’t have the faintest idea how to put on lipstick and avoid looking like a clown.

The lipstick was a stupidly bright colour. Tiffany couldn’t fathom what she’d been thinking when she bought it. Perhaps she’d been so thrown by the price (who knew lipstick was so expensive?) that she just grabbed a red one. “Lips are red” had probably been a logical thought at the time, but now that she was in front of the mirror her lips seemed awfully pale. Much paler than the lipstick. She’d never noticed this before. Were lips supposed to be so pale? Maybe she was dying. Or maybe this was why lipstick existed – people suddenly noticed that their lips were not the color they’d always assumed. All those years using red crayons to draw lips, and it wasn’t even right! She felt so wrong-footed.

She wanted help. She wanted someone to tell her what to do. But who could she ask? Mom? Tiffany couldn’t even bring herself to consider asking her mom for advice. She felt slightly guilty about this – wasn’t she supposed to want her mom’s help with makeup? It always seemed to happen that way in sitcom families. It was meant to be some sort of bonding moment. But the Kilbournes were not a sitcom family, and the very idea of asking for her mom’s help made Tiffany cringe. She’d rather go it alone, even if she ended up with a clown face.

Her first try wasn’t as dreadful as she’d been expecting. She didn’t color outside the lines (or whatever the right phrase was for makeup) and it didn’t feel at all paint-like or sticky. But it was still wrong somehow, and she decided that it looked stupid. She grabbed a tissue and rubbed the color away, relieved to get her pale (normal?) lips back. She pushed her too-long bangs out of her eyes, in preparation for Round Two, and –

BANG. Tiffany’s door slammed open and Shannon exploded into the room like a gunshot.
“Hey!” protested Tiffany, jumping back from the mirror.
“Have you seen this?” demanded Shannon, shoving a flyer in Tiffany’s face.
Tiffany’s eyes skimmed across the paper. Need a baby-sitter? Blah blah blah, call the Baby-Sitters Club… she wasn’t really paying attention. Her mind was too busy realizing that there was a whole other non-Mom makeup-wearer in the house. She looked up at her sister’s face and, yes, Shannon was wearing makeup. Eyeshadow and lipstick, at the very least.
“What about it?” Tiffany asked, handing the flyer back.
“What about it?” Shannon’s repeated incredulously. “That new girl in Mr. Brewer’s house has been handing them out. Kristina, or whatever her name is. She’s after your baby-sitting jobs! Our baby-sitting jobs!”
Tiffany shrugged. “She’s welcome to mine. I don’t really like baby-sitting that much.” It really wasn’t worth the money, especially when she spent it on stupid things. Five hours with the bratty Delaney kids last week, and all she had to show for it was a tube of lipstick that she’d probably never have the guts wear.
But this was clearly not the right answer. Shannon was giving Tiffany a stony glare.
“What?” asked Tiffany, confused. “What’s the big deal?”
“The big deal is that some new girl is coming in and horning on our baby-sitting territory,” snapped Shannon.
Tiffany was barely listening. Is she wearing mascara too? she wondered. Shouldn’t I be able to tell if she is? It was surprisingly hard to get a good look at someone else’s eyelashes.
“She can’t do this!” exploded Shannon, making Tiffany jump. “She’s new! She can’t just waltz into our lives and take things away from us!” She stormed out, leaving Tiffany perplexed.
“Shannon, it’s just baby-sitting!” she yelled, rolling her eyes as the door slammed shut. Sisters. Clearly, Shannon was another wrong person to ask for help.

She tossed the lipstick aside and glanced at her clock. It was about the right time of day for a Full House rerun. She opened her bedroom door with a sigh. Maybe she’d be lucky and get an episode with makeup advice from Aunt Becky.
lucida: knee deep in waterlucida on April 13th, 2011 02:34 am (UTC)
Cute! Tiffany's insecurities remind me of some of my own when I first started wearing make-up. ; ) I especially like the scene with Shannon and Tiffany, though. You did a great job contrasting their personalities. :D
-: Baby-Sitters Club - Sea Cityisabelquinn on April 15th, 2011 03:48 am (UTC)
Thanks! :D I'm glad you liked the scene with the two of them, I was worried that would feel out of place.
Nikkiimamaryanne on April 13th, 2011 07:33 am (UTC)
So cute! It really is very logical to think red is the right lipstick color....
-: Andrea Corr - glassesisabelquinn on April 15th, 2011 04:15 am (UTC)
Thanks! :D Oh, it really is.
11oo1: chickoneoneohohone on April 16th, 2011 07:19 am (UTC)
i loved it! i find it very daring to write another side of something already written. (i don't know why) but it felt very right, i believed every second of it.
-: Enid Blyton - Naughtiest Girl (flowers)isabelquinn on April 16th, 2011 01:20 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad it was so believable for you :D
LuxKen27: BSC - Stacey smileluxken27 on May 20th, 2011 09:51 pm (UTC)
Better late than never, right?

This is awesome! ♥ Poor Tiffany - eleven is *such* an awkward age. I really get the sense from this piece that she's not ready for all the changes she's trying to force herself to make, but at the same time, she doesn't want to feel left behind her classmates and friends. They're setting an example and she's not really interested, but thinks she should be. I think you captured that sort of in-between awkwardness so nicely.

Even though she's unsure of some things, she has strong opinions about others. This line especially made me smile - Five hours with the bratty Delaney kids last week, and all she had to show for it was a tube of lipstick that she’d probably never have the guts wear. The whole second scene is a great counterpoint to that part of 'Snob'. We know Shannon's not really upset about baby-sitting, either...and you show this breakdown in communication really well.

I think you're my Kilbourne-writing hero(ine), LOL. Keep up the good work! (And I'll try to be more timely in my responses, hehe.)
-: Stock - balloonsisabelquinn on May 21st, 2011 06:02 am (UTC)
she's not ready for all the changes she's trying to force herself to make, but at the same time, she doesn't want to feel left behind her classmates and friends.

That's pretty much exactly what I was going for :D Most paragraphs have something childlike in them (eg "all those years using red crayons to draw lips") because I was trying to get that very idea across :D Thanks!
gloriafan on July 31st, 2011 09:14 pm (UTC)
Haha, this was great! Really enjoyed it.

(BTW, that's one of my favorite Full House episodes...LOL.)
Mistraliwith_rainfall on January 20th, 2014 04:32 am (UTC)
Oh, the days before online makeup tutorials! Tiffany's voice comes through really well in this. And I liked how you just slotted it into that moment in Snob.