She broke out the compact and started applying blush. Her trained hand moving with the weave of the commuter train. The same technique for the soft rose lipstick. Even the mascara was applied precisely despite the oscillating train car.

“That is real skill,” said the man across the aisle.

She looked over at the man. mid-thirties, strong cheek bones, and almost inhumanly perfect skin.

“Thank you,” she said politely.

Almost like a magician he presented his card, “I’m Marcel, and I run the makeup counter for Chanel at Macy’s. Come see me. We have some amazing new moisturizers and hypoallergenic blush. Really, you’ll thank me later.”

With that, his stop arrived and he got up and left the train. The train continued as she read his card, ‘Marcel Thibadieu, Cosmetics Expert.” She tucked the card into her purse and went to check mail on her phone when the woman behind her tapped on her shoulder.

“All the ladies on the train go to Marcel. He’s amazing.”

“I just hate how perfect his skin is,” another woman volunteered, “I think it is completely unfair how beautiful he is. He makes it look effortless.”

“Seriously. I used to hate makeup, but he makes it easy and my skin feels so much better,” said another woman down the car.

“His secret,” said the scruffy faced man from across the aisle, unexpectedly, in a deep gravelly voice,”is that Marcel is Imperial Empress Forty-Two. An amazing drag chanteuse. So he uses all the products himself, so he knows what works. If anyone understands how much hard work being beautiful is, it is Marcel.”

December 22, 2017