In Defence of Doing Your Makeup on the Tube

We can't all be blessed with the Kardashian Khromosones or plucked from the same exquisite gene pool as Victoria's Secret models, so sometimes I like to draw on myself to feel better. But should that compromise my precious sleeping time?

As a real person with a real job, I know it's imperative I find some way to hide my rampant unprofessionalism and, for me, that means turning up to work with polished skin and perfect brows.

I just don't want to get up any earlier to do it...

We can't all be blessed with the Kardashian Khromosomes or plucked from the same exquisite gene pool as Victoria's Secret models, so sometimes I like to draw on myself to feel better. But should that compromise my precious sleeping time?

I swear those extra few minutes in bed in the mornings make a difference and I'm not giving them up to "look more normal" or "not offend the people around me".

But in all seriousness, if I show up somewhere makeup-free you can bet someone will ask if I'm tired, or ill, or even just not recognise me at all.

To put things in perspective, I once showed up bare-faced to a uni lecture and was asked if I was in the right class. I had been, all year.

"No of course I didn't wake up in a bin three hours ago, I'm wearing concealer, idiots!"

Luckily, there is a middle ground, and you're probably sitting on it. Public transport.

According to the national office, the average UK commute is 54 minutes, with London dwellers facing 74 minutes of unadulterated sweaty-armpits-in-your-face-hell.

That's 74 whole minutes I could potentially not be conscious enough to comprehend the crushing responsibilities of adulthood.

And honestly, how else am I going to pass the time?

I'm on Tinder. I'm an X-factor judge with RSI. "It's a no from me". YOU: a gap year student in a v-neck vest with a drugged up tiger. ME: giving up all hope, roaming the streets like a female Joey Tribbiani. "Hot guy? Hot guy?", I call. There is no answer. There'll never be an answer. Drowned in a sea of epic banter and snowboarding photos.

No thanks. And I firmly believe anyone playing games on their phone is basically just a giant baby disguised as a functioning person.

The trouble is, applying makeup on the tube is apparently really rude. *cue one billion eye rolls*

According to modern manners experts Debretts, "applying make-up on public transport can jeopardise that all-important first impression and make you appear disorganised."

This may be true. While it does show you completely care about the opinion of everyone at your chosen destination, it also shows a wild disregard for the shits given by everyone else on the train.

I'm genuinely super sorry to that guy I spilt my loose powder all over that one time, but it was kind of his fault for sitting with his legs so far apart (your-ex wife was right, it's not that big).

OK, I'm not this crazy

But there's also another side...

Amidst the stares of disgust are some more stares as well. Stares of admiration (and not just the nod of solidarity you shoot at the woman doing her makeup across from you).

It takes a certain level of expertise to apply a smoothly drawn flick of liquid eyeliner in a moving carriage, so much so that I once got a ROUND OF APPLAUSE from a packed table on a London to Brighton Southern Service.

One man actually leant over to tell me what a stellar job I'd done, although that may have been a thinly veiled way of telling me how terrible I look without makeup.

The point is, it's a skill. A talent. It's a journey, in more ways than one. After enough practice I can now apply my makeup absolutely anywhere.

So really, it just boils down to asking some serious questions. Do you want to wake up earlier? Do you really care if everyone thinks you're insane? What day is it and who is that guy on your sofa?

The answer of course, is probably no. Also it's Wednesday, get it together.


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