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Etiquette Past vs. Present: Primping in Public

Many of us take public transportation to and from work, which makes me think you've been witness to women primping on the bus or the train a few times too many. Public grooming has always been a pet peeve of mine, and as it turns out, Emily Post agrees:

"Let your grooming wait. Quickly combing your hair or freshening lipstick won't offend, but peforming your morning grooming routine on public transportation — or, more dangerously, in your car — is something to avoid."

Are you in agreement with us as well, that making yourself presentable should be done behind closed doors?


Join The Conversation
HoneyBrown1976 HoneyBrown1976 8 years
Touching up make-up or hair is one thing, but doing a full-on make-up session is not cute.
Beastiegirl5 Beastiegirl5 8 years
Lipgloss or powdering your nose in public (but never at the table) is fine. But my big peeve is getting behind the woman who is putting on eyeshadow/liner/mascara in the car. Yes, you're at a red light, but it turns green and they still do it, swerving around. Do it at home, or duck into the restroom when you get to where you need to be. But don't endanger others because you're late. (I'm known to put the bare minimum on at home and then hit the bathroom when I get to work when I'm running late. Suddenly I look so refreshed on my break- I blame it on the caffeine!)
austerity austerity 8 years
I totally second cfp. Duh, you don't want anyone thinking you actually need that much makeup! ;)
LoveSarah LoveSarah 8 years
Like dear said, touching up your lipstick or quickly combing through your hair is fine. Heck, you can even put a little powder on your face. But to do your whole make up and beauty routine in public is just tacky.
PiNkY-PiNk PiNkY-PiNk 8 years
I don't care as long as the person isn't driving. I do my makeup sometimes in the car while my bf is driving and I couldn't care less if someone is bothered or grossed out.
Autumns_Elegy Autumns_Elegy 8 years
I used to do my makeup on the bus on my way to school. I found it really difficult, it's only 'annoying' because it takes so long. I have done my lipstick on the train though, I just hunkered down in my seat and did it before the carriage filled up, so I didn't have to worry about being bumped or hitting anyone with my lip brush. If someone were plucking their eyebrows or squeezing a zit in public then I'd be grossed out. I leave that to when I'm home. Anything which involves discarded body parts is really foul. Giving yourself a manicure in public for instance. Doing my makeup in the car is alright, as long as I'm not driving. If I am then it's done before I get into the car. Regardless of how late I'll be, I'd rather have a quick dash of eyeliner and be driving safely then try and handle my foundation while zooming down the expressway.
Ac2366 Ac2366 8 years
Merie, you're so right about hair. Other peoples hair totally grosses me out. Yuck.
merie33 merie33 8 years
I think brushing your hair on a public transportation thing would be more gross than doing your makeup! I can't stand when people play with their hair and have the loose ones going all over the place...I don't want the stranger next to me getting her hair on my jacket!
psterling psterling 8 years
If you need a mirror, just don't do it in public. its that simple
DevonJade DevonJade 8 years
I've never done it, but I really couldn't care less if someone primps in public. I have better things to do and bigger things to think about. The fact that the girl across from me is doing her makeup isn't worth passing judgement on, and is really none of my business.
MegN MegN 8 years
I don't understand why it's gross/tacky/irritating. It's not getting in my way, I don't care. So what if I would rather read a book on the bus? Mind you I find most primping to be a waste of time in general, if you're going to completely redo your face might as well do it on the bus and that way it's time you would have wasted anyway.
cupcake_ cupcake_ 8 years
I always do my makeup at home before I leave - always always always make sure I have enough time to do it in the morning. I do touchups during the day but I always try to make sure I'm alone while I do it. But I don't care if someone else puts on make up in front of me - doesn't bother me at all but to each their own.
genesisrocks genesisrocks 8 years
A swipe of lipstick's fine but I hate when people go all out with concealer and mascara. It's just too much and I think it makes you look shallow
xopiperxo xopiperxo 8 years
i could care less.
gooniette gooniette 8 years
I'll brush my hair and freshen my lipstick, but anything more than that is done at home or in a bathroom (like if I have a big pimple that just Has to be covered up or disposed of). I don't mind if other people feel the need to do more though as long as it doesn't involve copious amounts of perfume. I don't want to smell like another person.
bengalspice bengalspice 8 years
I'm just waiting for someone to poke their eye with a mascara brush or liquid eyeliner brush so I can point and laugh at them on the train.
bluebird bluebird 8 years
If you're in a rush, I don't see why it's a big deal to do your makeup on the bus or something. In a car would be far too distracting. I can't really say much else here, because I only wear eye makeup and it takes me under five minutes to get everything presentable.
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 8 years
Tacky as hell, actually. Can't find a bathroom some where?
meeshee meeshee 8 years
i don't understand what's so annoying about it. i get that if the person in front of u is driving and is wasting time, it could be annoying, but other than that, as long as it's not hindering you in any way, i don't think anything is wrong with grooming in public! hell, i do it! :P
momma-tikita momma-tikita 8 years
Why is some grooming fine but not others? Because they take longer? Or because you need a mirror for one and not the other? I dont know to me it doesn't bother me...there are times that if Im late I throw on some blush on the bus or a taxi why not? Sometimes eyeliner (very carefully). I dont understand how that would bother someone!? What do you care if the person didn't have time in their house...what do you care if this person is holding a mirror and putting foundation on? Turn around and do something else.
dm8bri dm8bri 8 years
I think women who do a lot of public primping make themselves look shallow and desperate for attention. Obviously, occassional touchups are one thing, but I used to work with a girl who was CONSTANTLY reapplying and re-checking her look rather than doing actual work; it was annoying and she came across as being more concerned about her looks than anything else. Also, when women "primp"...a lot of the time I can't tell the difference between the before and after.
candace87 candace87 8 years
I wouldn't pull out a bottle of foundation and some sponges and do my whole face up in public, but I've done powder touch ups and of course lip balm. Also if i'm running really late and I haven't got ANY makeup on I will put on a bit of mascara in the car (parked car!) but thats about it. It wouldn't bother me if someone else did their makeup in public though. Oh, except eyeliner. Watching people pulling on their eyes is unattractive.
princess_eab princess_eab 8 years
I personally wouldn't ever do it on a NY subway or bus - how do you apply mascara on public transportation, really? I've seen it done but I don't want to put out an eye! not to mention strange men staring while you put on your makeup. no thank you.
cfp cfp 8 years
I think that all major primping should be done in private. For women, the whole point of wearing makeup is that you are supposed to just look naturally better than you do without it. If you allow others to see your grooming routine and how it takes you twenty minutes to put your face on properly, it completely defeats the purpose of wearing makeup at all because now everyone KNOWS and sees for themselves that you don't look that good naturally. Putting on some lip gloss is one thing, but sitting there and doing your whole makeup routine in front of people is a no-no in my opinion.
Jeny Jeny 8 years
ughhhh sooo annoying! Especially when you're waiting at a red light behind someone and it turns green and they're just sitting there doing their make up .. soo annoying
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