Home > Open Season(14)

Open Season(14)
Author: Linda Howard

“But I’m already going to be spending so much money—”

“Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish. Do you think General Eisenhower could have established a Beachhead on Normandy if he’d said, ‘Wait, we’re pending too much money, let’s only send half as many ships’? You’ve saved your money all these years, but what good is money if you never use it? It isn’t as if you’ll be spending everything you’ve saved.”

Daisy could be convinced, but she couldn’t be bull-dozed. She gave their proposition a moment’s thought. “I want to try it my way, first. Then, if I’m not satisfied, I’ll find a consultant.”

Having known her all her life, both mother and aunt knew when she’d made up her mind. “All right. But don’t let Wilma do anything to your hair just yet,” Aunt Jo warned. “The damage could be irreversible.”

“Wilma does your hair!” Daisy said indignantly.

“Honey, I don’t let her anywhere near me with chemicals. The things I’ve seen in that beauty shop would make your blood run cold.”

Daisy had a sudden vision of how she would look with green frizz, and decided she’d wait before booking an appointment with Wilma. Maybe she should go to one of the bigger cities to have her hair done, even though that would mean a trip every month for maintenance, and even more money. Wilma might be bad, but she was cheap.

On the other hand, Wilma might be cheap, but she was bad.

“Remember Normandy,” she muttered.

“Exactly,” said her mother in a tone of satisfaction.

Daisy was stubborn enough that she stopped by the drugstore on the way home and spent an astonishing amount on a small bag of makeup. Mascara, eye-shadow, blush, lip liner, and lipstick barely amounted to enough weight for her to feel them in the sack, but she was twenty-five dollars lighter in the pocket and she hadn’t even bought the good stuff. This project of hers was turning into a real money pit.

She also spent some time researching the beauty magazines, and chose one that seemed to give the most instruction on makeup application. Anyone who could read could learn how to do this, she thought with satisfaction, and went home with her goody bag and instruction manual.

“What did you get?” Aunt Jo demanded as soon as Daisy walked into the house.

“Just the basics.” Daisy listed the contents of the bag. “I don’t want to try anything complicated, like eyeliner, until I get the hang of the other stuff. I’ll put all of this on after supper, and we’ll see how it looks.”

Because it was her birthday, supper was one of her favorites: meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and green beans. She was too on-edge to do justice to the meal, though; a lot had happened that day, and her nerves wouldn’t seem to settle down. After the kitchen was cleaned up, her mother and Aunt Jo settled down in front of the television to watch Wheel of Fortune, and Daisy went upstairs to put on her brave new face.

She studied the beauty magazine first, studying the correct way to apply eyeshadow: lightest shade under the brow, medium on the lid, dark in the crease. That sounded simple enough. There were diagrams using Audrey Hepburn-type doe eyes as an example. Daisy opened the little container and stared at the four shades of shadow, in various shades of brown. Brown was so dull; maybe she should have gotten the blues or greens, or even the purples. But if she’d gotten the blue, it wouldn’t have matched her green eye, and if she’d gotten the green, it wouldn’t have matched her blue eye. She couldn’t even imagine the purple, so she’d settled for brown.

It seemed as if she’d settled for brown a lot in her lifetime.

She carried her little trove into the bathroom and lined everything up on the vanity. The eyeshadow applicator was a tiny foam-tipped wand; she picked it out of the slot and swiped it across the lightest shade of shadow, then swabbed the color under her eyebrows as directed. She eyed the result in the mirror; well, that was practically unnoticeable. Relief warred with disappointment.

Okay, the next step was the medium shade. There were two medium shades, but she didn’t suppose it mattered which one she chose. She swiped one of the medium shades across one lid and the other on her other lid, so she could compare the two. After a moment of critical examination, she decided she couldn’t tell much difference between them. Her eyes looked more dramatic, though; kind of smoky. Feeling a little excited now, she used the darkest shade in the crease of her lids, but she misjudged the amount of shadow she needed; the resultant dark stripe looked like some kind of tribal marking. Blend. The magazine said to blend. Daisy blended for all she was worth, trying to spread that dark stuff around.

Okay, so now she looked more like Cleopatra than she did Audrey Hepburn. All in all, that had been fairly easy. She’d just take it easier with that dark shade the next time.

Mascara came next. Mascara, according to the magazine, gave eyes impact. Enthusiastically she twirled the wand around and around in the tube, then began swiping it on her lashes.

The end result looked as if caterpillars had crawled up on her eyelids and died.

“Oh, no!” she moaned, staring in the mirror. What had she done wrong? This didn’t look anything like the models in the magazine! Her lashes stood out in thick, clumpy spikes, and whenever she blinked, her upper and lower lashes wanted to stick together. After she had pried them apart the second time, she did her best not to blink.

She would be a coward if she stopped now, wouldn’t she? She had to see this through. Blusher couldn’t be as bad as mascara. She swiped the small brush across the oblong of color, then carefully applied it to her cheeks.

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