I watch in amazement — and with no little envy — as the woman opposite me applies blusher, then lipstick.
She has no mirror and clearly nows the contours of her face perfectly. She straightens her skirt, then steps off the train ready for the office.
My instinct is: ‘You go, sister. Anything that saves vital minutes on the work commute is fine by me.’
We’ve all done it: discreetly combed our hair or powdered our cheeks as the train pounds along, so I was amazed to hear that a passenger complaints survey cited ‘commuters doing their make-up’ as a major source of irritation.
One complainant said he was so offended by the sight, he moved carriages. ‘It’s something for someone’s private space — their bedroom or bathroom. ‘So to find myself sitting on a train, then suddenly in someone’s bathroom is very unwelcome.’
While for 60-year-old Gerard, a woman applying make-up in public is anathema. ‘There is something so totally “in your face” about females who insist on their dubious rights in this matter,’ he fumes.
It made me laugh to think of these gents getting so angry - presumably they would prefer us to be ethereal beings who preserve our mystique by never being seen getting ready.
Public transport is the grimiest space imaginable and I’d argue that it adds to the gaiety of life if our neighbour applies a little sweet-smelling vanilla or paints on the perfect Clara Bow red lip. It’s theatre for the senses.
Though even I wouldn’t wet-wipe my feet and clip my toenails, as I saw one gentleman doing on a coach journey.