Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Here In My Car... and the Bus

She sat down on the bench, reached into her shoulder bag, and produced a bulging makeup kit from its depths. I watched in horrified fascination as she began to slather on foundation. What is it that makes people think that it’s appropriate to conduct large parts of their grooming routines in public? There are some things that are meant for the privacy of your home.

She pulled out a ratty looking brush and scrubbed it into a bright pink blush, then rubbed it briskly and roughly across her cheeks, creating a broad swath of utterly unnatural color on either side of her face.

We’ve all seen the commercials that play to the stereotype of the commuter shaving in the car (or worse yet, in the carpool). What you do in your car is bad enough, especially if you are in the act of operating the car at the same time. But at least you are nominally separated from your fellow man, I suppose. People who do these types of things in the close confines of public transportation are, in my considered opinion, rude and gross.

A large palette of eye shadow was produced and a complicated series of dabs and swabs of different, not necessarily complimentary colors was begun, resulting in a very strange, 1960’s-Cher-esque look.

My own special pet peeve in this regard is people who do things to their nails—finger or toe, equally gross—in public. I’m not talking about someone who breaks a nail and uses the emory board to do a quick smoothing of the resulting rough edge, though I wouldn’t necessarily want them to do it at the dinner table. What I mean is more the woman who got on the Metro early one August morning and filed her nails the entire way from Rockville into town. The sound is incredibly irritating to begin with, like (if you’ll forgive the expression) fingernails on a chalkboard. Worse yet, I could practically see the cloud of pulverized fingernail rising around her and dissipating in all directions, including toward me, making me want to simultaneously cover my mouth and nose with my shirt to keep from breathing in her fingernails and puke at the thought of the possibility of breathing in her fingernails.

I have never seen someone lacquer on mascara like that. Up and down, up and down, layer after Tammy Faye layer. How does she get it all off at night? Oh, God, she’s going back for another coat, this time holding the mascara wand vertically, presumably to ensure that each individual lash gets its full rightful share of mascara.

Miss Manners and Emily Post agree with me on this point. It is permissible to touch up your lipstick, provided it is done discretely, but nothing more. No foundation, no masacara, and if you want to powder your nose, well, there’s a reason why they sometimes call the ladies room a “powder room”. I like to sleep in late as much as the next person, quite possibly even more. I am a busy woman with a very, very full schedule. But I make sure to get up in enough time to complete my beauty routine in my bathroom. If I don’t get up in time to put on makeup, then I don’t wear makeup, and surprisingly enough, the world doesn’t come to a screeching halt. I can almost guarantee that it wouldn’t happen to any of these other people either.

Lip liner is not supposed to be a shade darker than your lipstick. I thought everyone knew that. And Dear Lord, how many brushes do you need to apply lipstick to such a thin set of lips?



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