Beauty etiquette: What's not okay to do on the bus or at the office

Doing your make-up on the bus? Totally fine, occasionally necessary, inevitably tricky. But what are the things it's not okay to subject your fellow commuters to? Here's a guide.

Sophie Beresiner is one of my favourite beauty people. Former Elle beauty director, she's got all the beauty goodies to play with and loves trialling things. One of the best things she does online? She takes great pride in putting together beauty looks while on her commute, wherever that may be.


She always keeps it classy, but not everyone does. Here are some things I feel aren't bus/train/office appropriate, but feel free to continue to do whatever you like in terms of make-up in public - if anyone has a problem with the processes behind being a woman, they can find another way to get to work.



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Say it, don't spray it

It's not okay to apply deodorant at work, in an open office. Likewise, spraying half a bottle of Elnett onto your fellow passengers on the Luas is not a good move. If you've to spray perfume, wait until you're in the open air. While you might love your Lancôme La Vie est Belle, not everyone wants to smell like it for the day.

No plucking, please

There have been times where I've discovered a long, unruly and unwelcome hair on the side of my face (hello, 30s) while on the go and have had the urge to immediately remove it. I get it. But in truth, I think there's something innately personal about plucking hair, and so that'd be something I'd keep for private time.

Eye contact warning


If you've to suck your finger to take the excess lipstick off the inside of your lips, I would advise a strict 'no eye contact' policy be enforced.


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Clip off

I wouldn't clip my nails in front of anyone, never mind in my place of work or on public transport. Weirdly, I would file my nails. But clipping reminds me too much of toenails, and so I think it's probably a step too far.

Respect the space

Don't take up a seat on public transport with your collection of jars, bottles and lotions. If your train carriage is all but empty, work away, but if someone is standing so your Maybelline Great Lash can sit comfortably, that's not cool.


Smelly cat

Don't be one. If you need to paint your nails, bear in mind the ventilation situation. If you're in a basement office with minimal air flow, clogging up the air with acetone will go down as well as a three-day old tuna lunch.

Read more: The travel beauty hacks you'll never have heard before

Read more: Beauty hacks to help us travel light: Nadia El Ferdaoussi shares her tips

Read more: Ten tips on how to stay flawless while travelling

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