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Dear All,

could you be so kind and help me understand the meaning of "hard, brilliant gloss" in this sentence? Could it be said in other words, that her face was diligently and skillfully made up, and she was fashionably dressed (I am not quite sure about "retail chic") ?

"Darcy lived and dressed as if she were the subject of a fashion magazine layout, ready for photographs
to be taken at random angles. Her exterior was a hard,
brilliant gloss of perfect makeup and retail chic. " (excerpt from L. Kleypas "Dream Lake")


Huge thanks!

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Kristina Lukosevicecould you be so kind and help me understand the meaning of "hard, brilliant gloss" in this sentence

It is metaphorical. A chrome bumper on a car has a hard, brilliant gloss. It is harsh and superficial and inaccessible. A woman can't actually have that, but her external appearance gave a similar impression.

Kristina LukoseviceCould it be said in other words, that her face was diligently and skillfully made up, and she was fashionably dressed

That is the image it conjures, yes.

Kristina Lukosevice (I am not quite sure about "retail chic") ?

Her clothes were not haute couture. She wore top-of-the-line pret-a-porter.