Revlon Red

Describe an influential person, piece of literature or artwork that has inspired you and describe how it has influenced you.


On my dresser, hiding behind a stack of books, is a half-filled bottle of Revlon Red nail polish. I haven’t used it at least a year, not since the day I left it open on a white carpet for my dog to knock over. But last month, after visiting my Aunt Paula and her newborn daughter, I felt an impulse to retrieve the Revlon Red from its hideout. I held the half-filled bottle to the sun and watched the liquid swim in the light. As the bright red polish glistened, I was transported back to the evenings and weekends I spent with my Aunt Paula exploring makeup together, memories that I had long buried in the back of my mind.

It is a cold, blistery winter night in 1995, and I am sitting at the edge of my seat, toes barely touching the floor and scribbling away with my Crayola glitter crayons at my kid-sized drawing table in the living room. I am intently focused on drawing the right shape of my doll’s head while listening to the laughter and gossip coming from the kitchen. I hear the scraping of chairs on the tile floor and chink-chink of plates stacked one on top the other. Through the wooden floor, I feel vibrations of footsteps coming closer to me. As I look up from my picture I see my aunt coming towards me with a wide smile on her...

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