They were all the same shade of red. The twist-up tubes, the little pots, the long wands, the pencils, the clever pens with built-in brush that loaded up with pigment at a click of a button... They were all the same colour. It was no good how long she shopped, how hard she worked at it: she always came home with the same black trousers, the same single colour cotton shirts, the same V-neck t-shirts, the same straight on-the-knee skirts. And the same colour lipstick, however hard she was trying for a new look. She quite regularly launched herself into a makeover, only to emerge looking and feeling exactly the same.
She looked at the spread of lipsticks on her bedroom floor and rubbed her temples, willing a new idea to come to her. And eventually one did. She went to bed smiling, pleased with the new version of herself she was going to launch the following day. And the following day, she stepped out of her house, head held high, ready to show off her new look at the office and this time, she was going to be really different. As the traffic swerved and crashed around her, as pedestrians collided while craning to get a look at her, she knew she had achieved something new, bold and unique. Deliberately, she stopped at the corner to apply a touch more lipstick to her midriff and to colour in a smudged patch on the back of her thigh, then she carried on with her hips swinging towards the station, glistening in her head to toe lipstick coating and with a smile on her nude lips.