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Makeup Application in Public Spaces

I have two somewhat contradictory opinions when it comes to putting on makeup in transit:

One, Why does it seem to make people so mad? I remember both times I was hurriedly applying some makeup on my way to work and found myself on the receiving end of several stink eyes.


Is it because it breaks the "I woke up like this" social contract of women being effortlessly attractive regardless of how much gold eyelids don't appear in nature?

And we're not talking about sloppy application here — I'm not tossing loose powder all over the place or hosing my hair down with Elnett.

Two makes me feel guilty because it somewhat contradicts One: This morning on the train into work, I saw a woman with a bare face pull out a CoverGirl pressed powder foundation compact and dab at her face with the puff for about 20 minutes. By the end, the powder had settled into all of her fine lines and made her quite nice (and not at all oily) makeup-free skin look incredibly dry.

She did not apply any other products.

I feel like I see the powder foundation "fix" happen a lot on transit, and while I know I would never approach them in a million years, a part of me does want to rush over and go, "No! There's a better way!"


It's not about shaming anyone, or laughing at anyone, which is part of why I never say anything out loud, but a part of me does always want to help. I also want to say that I have no problem with women applying makeup on transit — if you're in a rush to get to work, you gotta do what you gotta do.

Which then makes me feel like part of the makeup-in-public problem, because it does seem to ultimately be about policing women's appearance. But at the same time, the urge to fairygodmother someone is strong.


Anyway: makeup in public. What are your thoughts/feelings/gripes/tips?

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