I’ve lived and breathed London for many years now, having lived in practically every corner of the city and commuted half way across it pretty much every morning. Although I’d like to think I was pretty organised, when it comes to getting ready in the early hours I always end up running late – there’s never enough time to do my hair *and* apply mascara. More times than I care to admit to, I’ve sat on the tube (and now the train) with my makeup bag in hand attempting to put the finishing touches to my look. Although it sometimes causes strange looks from men, mainly fascinated by my ability to keep my mascara looking fresh when the tube carriage is jerking from left to right, it goes pretty much unnoticed by most. The key is to be quick, focus only on essentials (applying foundation is just unnecessary) and keep it clean! Although I’m hypnotised by other women doing the same, it’s become quite the talking point online: is applying your makeup on the train really that much of a crime?
I personally don’t see the problem with applying a layer of mascara, a touch of eyeshadow and lashing of lipgloss while others are deeply engrossed in a book; although I could get up a little earlier and be a touch more organised, I’d rather have an extra few minutes in bed and see what’s going on in the world while I sip my morning coffee. The time spent on a train is ours to do with it what we wish, be it perfect our eyeliner or read the financial section of The Times, as long as it doesn’t affect others. Painting your nails, plucking your brows or picking a spot may be taking it too far, but applying lipstick no longer has the social stigma that was attached during the nineteenth century. So why does it cause so much hoohah and debate?
According to Debenhams, up to two thirds of us now apply our makeup on public transport – no surprise seeing that the average commute is 45 minutes. An article in The Times stated that if men wore makeup, they too would be applying it during their morning journey to ensure a time efficient approach that allowed more snoozing. However, etiquette experts are very vocal in saying that applying makeup in public “is as bad as eating in the street. Some things should be kept behind closed doors. Make up should always be used to enhance your features – creating some magic in the transformation. It would seem senseless to reveal your beauty secrets to all and sundry!” Personally I find this an incredibly old-fashioned and outdated approach, especially when women are increasingly happy to embrace the ‘natural’ look and celebrate their imperfections.
Although I’ve seen many a heinous makeup crime during my travels (dirty old brushes, makeup that’s been around as long as Take That and mismatched colour palettes,) I love looking at how other women apply their products and having a secret snoop inside their makeup bags. Applying slap on the go is a skill and something you learn to perfect over time; I don’t see the harm at all. For women that are continually juggling life’s dramas and demands, being efficient with our time should be celebrated and not condemned. It wouldn’t surprise me if ‘tube makeup classes’ started to be offered on beauty counters and edits featuring ‘tube appropriate makeup’ started to be featured in magazines… If I can get away with an extra coffee and five more minutes in bed, I’m gonna embrace it.
What do you think about those that apply makeup on public transport?