Makeup Lessons

March 14, 2017:

Kazumi teaches Nerina how to use Butterfly Wings. They can't fix everything… but they help.

Andrea and Kazumi's Apartment


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

"So, like, this doesn't translate well to regular makeup." Kazumi explains. She's red skinned today, rather like a devil, and dressed in just a tank top and running shorts. No shoes and her hair is back in a pony tail. She's got Nerina sitting on a stool in front of a large mirror in the apartment. "For one thing, this is an all in one product. With normal makeup, each thing has its own special rules." She holds up the wand, a tool with different ends for different purposes. "On one side, you've, like, got a thicker applicator for lipstick and eyeshadow. Click the button and it opens up to work with blushes and foundations. On the other side, you've got a narrow applicator that can duplicate a pencil."

Nerina's dressed in… well grey sweatpants and a grey hoodie, very familiar sweatpants and hoodie. Her wardrobe's not too varied but there's a reassuring radiance of lilac bath soap seeping warmly out her clothes. Thanks to the other roommate's generosity, the vagabond got herself a good bath and is looking clean, though no less haggard around the eyes. Oddly, she's yet to let her hair air out from under her clothes.
Those same blue eyes stare down at the wand in incomprehension as she tries to follow along. Nerina nods slowly.

"Top comes off." Kazumi insists. "I need full access to your face, Artemis." She opens the jar of Butterfly Wings set on a nearby stool. She also sets her phone down next to it. The Buttefly Wings app is up and running.

The blonde blinks as she reaches for her hood. "The whole top?" she asks, glancing at the rest of her sweater.

"We can, like, get you a t-shirt, but that hoodie will get in the way." Kazumi shrugs. "If you, like, want to be shy you can go change in the bathroom?"

"I like this hoodie," Artemis grumbles as she gets up from the stool and walks back into the restroom. She walks back out only a few seconds later with the sweater slung across one arm and a loose gray t-shirt dangling off her. It's a men's shirt with crossed fishing rods and white text on the front: The Rodfather.

What draws the eye more though might be the vagabond's bony forearms - or the unkempt mane of blonde hair that's now free to fall all the way down her back when it's not falling forward over her shoulders instead.

''Artemis'' sits back down and puts the sweater in her lap as she looks back at Kazumi, one of her eyes covered from view by a wayward bang. "Better?"

"Almost." Kazumi says as she grabs the hair and ties it back with a piece of string. "There. Now, like, its out of your face and we can get at your face." She moves around to the front. "We'll, like, start simple. Eyes and lips. No need for full face."

The blonde squirms a little at being handled but doesn't protest. Once she can see to the dark-haired woman's content, she folds her hands and nods - going a little extra far forward to make up for the weight hanging off the back of her head.

"You look good as a blonde." Kazumi notes. "Nice to see your hair, bae." She uses the thicker side of the wand to scoop out some of the makeup. It looks like a clear gel. "Now, like, purse your lips a bit like this." She demonstrates. "The key here is, like, not going too thickly. Some makeups require multiple layers. Butterfly Wings will work that out for itself."

"There's a lot of it to see," Artemis murmurs. Sure some of it was poking out of the hoodie before, but not a meter of it. Judging by her matching fair eyebrows, it's the waif's natural color.
Otherwise wordless, she presses her lips shut and stares dully ahead. The expression comes perhaps too naturally.

"Just draw it across your lips, from one side to the other. First the bottom. Then the top." Kazumi says as she demonstrates with the wand. Soon, Artemis's lips are shining and glossy. "Now." She puts down the wand and picks up the phone. Tap tap. Swipe. Tap. The goop on those lips turns emo black.

Nerina looks down at her lips in the mirror then stares flatly at Kazumi. After a moment she opens her mouth and rolls her lips, then tastes them with her tongue to get a feel for the butterfly goo. She even scrapes a little with her teeth to see if they'll come off.

The goo doesn't come off on the teeth. It tastes, vaguely, like licking silicon gel. Kazumi runs through a number of colors. Red. Blue. Green. Pink. Pearl.

Artemis watches the kaleidoscope of colors cross her lips with a slowly raising eyebrow - which blessedly is still blonde. "This can turn into more colors than you, si?" she quips.

"Theoretically." Kazumi says with a small giggle. She hands Artemis the phone. "Color is, like, easy. You can use the wheel here, dialing in by color name. Or, like, you can enter specific percentages of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. Go ahead. Experiment."

Artemis takes the phone and pokes at it as her eyes flit between the screen and the mirror to watch her lipstick change. After some initial chaotic bouncing around, she drags the color towards a natural pinkish shade not too far from where she started, then slides it curiously towards a rosy red and around to dusty gray. "Impressionante," she blurts before looking back at Kazumi and offering the phone. "And the rest?"

"Eyes next. Comes in different levels. Liner and shadow and mascara." Kazumi goes to work. The liner is the hardest part. No one takes well to having a somewhat sharp object tracing an outline so close to sensitive eyeballs. The eyeshadow is easier. Mascara, too, though even that can be daunting.

Nerina's hands squeeze her sweater as her eyes lock onto the wand approaching at the instinctive distance of 'too close' and she flinches back. The blonde visibly tenses in her seat, though ironically her blueish, puffy eye sockets take readily to the gel.

"Almost done… almost done." Kazumi keeps her voice soothing and soft. When she's done, she activates a default on the phone and the makeup darkens enough to be visible but doesn't approach goth or even night on the town.

The vagabond settles for keeping both her eyes firmly shut and cycling breaths a little too tense through her nose as the makeup artist keeps working. Trying to calm down is the worst way to calm down…
Once the wand draws away, two little sea-blue rings peek out again as ''Artemis's'' pupils snap back to focus and watch herself change in the mirror. Hey, the sleepy-bags are gone, and so are a few of the weathered creases too.

"You can play with that, first." Kazumi says, replacing the phone in Nerina's hands. "Find something you, like, like."

The waif abruptly slides the new makeup all the way to black, creating a stark set of raccoon eyes and matching lips that might belong on a Kabuki stage more than in a New York apartment. Another tap brings the makeup back to somewhere normal and Nerina wanders rather aimlessly through more natural tones, colors, and accents. A couple times she stumbles through complements to her sun-baked tan, but both times keeps right on sliding. She might not have much fashion sense.
Hard to imagine given her wardrobe.

Kazumi doesn't say anything. She watches. Some things have to be explored. Experienced. Finally, after a few minutes, she says. "If you, like, take your picture with the phone, it will make suggestions based on parameters. Your skin tone, face shape, and your purpose for the makeup."

Watching the young blonde might be nostalgic. She's got all the direction and focus of a girl playing with her first makeup kit. Thankfully, Kazumi's application and her patented wings have kept it from looking like a matching disaster. "Is there anything else to add? To change the rest of my face?" Artemis asks, gesturing especially to her cheekbones.

Kazumi tilts her head, considering Artemis. She may act like a bit of a bimbo sometimes but she's not. "Mmmm. You mean, like, enough to defeat facial recognition software?"

Artemis' newly-thickened and raven-black eyelids flutter for a moment as she cocks her head. "No, to fix… this," she gestures again at her cheeks and the small shadows cast into them by the overhead lights. While not down to skin and bones yet, the girl's emaciation is showing.

"Honey…" Kazumi begins, then takes a breath. "We can, like, make it better. But it'll still be there. You need a good diet. Good sleep. You need a life that involves a bed and regular meals."

The blonde scoffs lightly and looks back at Kazumi with a dry grin. "Easy to say," she replies before her up-turned lip drops back to level and she turns towards the mirror again. "Just do what you can."

Kazumi leans in and kisses the blonde lightly on the lips and then nods. She snaps open the thick end of the wand and begins showing the waif how to apply blush to fill out the cheeks and color to help add some texture to the skin and remove the paleness.

The vagabond's eyes jump wider and she looks back at Kazumi for a moment like a dog that's just been startled from its nap. Blink-blink. Then Nerina's mind catches up and she looks back at herself in the mirror without a word, forcing another stone face for the wand to work across. It might be a good thing her cheeks are getting covered now.

Kazumi finishes and puts the wand down. There are profiles already built into the app specifically for this purpose. A lot of women in the tech industry worried they'll get destroyed by male colleagues if they show any sign of weakness, so they hide being tired with makeup.

With her face fully prepped, the effect of the butterfly wings becomes truly dramatic as Nerina's skin slides at the tap of a finger from its blemished and mistreated natural form through an art gallery of foundation-smoothed and glossed accents. Given the opportunity, the blonde busies herself trying a few of the preset norms, then bouncing into the more exotic section for fun. Wonder what's in there…

Oh, there's quite a few interesting profiles. Want to look like an anime girl? Or a Barbie doll? Profiles based on celebrities, based on characters, based on animals, based on alien races… there's hundreds of them.

Nerina lands on a Halloween skeleton face with a white-painted "skull" against a black background. A little on-the-nose perhaps, but on the blonde is fond enough of to stop and look to Kazumi again, showing off. "This makeup really is powerful."

*Tap* And now she's devil-red with dark accents around the eyes.

"See?" Kazumi says with a laugh. "Make-up is fun. I'll let you play. I'm going to, like, go get a beer. I think I've totally earned it."

"You have," the littler devil replies with a little less tension in her shoulders than before. Her hands have long since released her sweater for sake of maneuvering Kazumi's phone and in face at least, they match now!

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