This photo really made an impact on me. The stare in your eyes is spot on as if you are looking into nothingness rather than directly at the camera.
I'm not really sure what the read stripes represent but as Englishman they kind of represent the St.George cross - however whatever the represent is probably of little consequence as they add to the overall impact of the image (think war paint or similar...)
The dust/sand on your face I at first glance thought was perhaps glitter but it really is sand. This I like as it's using natural materials in a very unique way, often we see sand used on models for modelling swimwear or for other summery apperal but the fact this image seems cold and very much the opposite to summer strikes a very good juxtaposition.
Whilst browsing photography you become very aware of how over saturated some of the colours in photographs are. Whilst this works very well in some photographs in others it ruins the whole scene. I must say though that you've struck a very good balance between a nice vidid image without the colours being over saturated. I think the shadows in this photograph mean more than the colours and to that effect you've pulled off a great composition!
I first saw this as a thumbnail and even then was amazed by it. Once it was pulled up to a larger size I found the incredible attention to detail extraordinary. Sand can be such an abrasive, and in this portrait I feel it provides a contrast between the softness of the skin. Almost as if to say that one can be soft on the outside, yet can be abrasive if handled incorrectly.
It is as if you are saying without word that you can be both pleasant yet harmful depending upon how you are being treated, a mask of personality worn for all to see. I can also see how it could be seen as a way to show that just because you are female it does not mean you are frail and afraid. Perhaps it is a portrait of a warrior who has partially wiped away the mark (the actual sand being a metaphor) of an aggressor, and with victory you have used their spilt blood to mark the transition from enslavement to freedom.