ImageOk, so I am definitely pro-grooming. I think it’s courteous and polite to look good and neat when you leave the house. But I have recently witnessed an alarming new trend that needs to be nipped in the bud. Now.

 Public grooming.

 I have touched on this in the past, thanks to way too many scrapes (literally, bleurgh) with manicures gone awry on the tube but I am beyond horrified at the intimate physical touch ups (hehe, that sounds worse than I meant it to) that people feel comfortable with doing in public. And I just don’t get it. If you are vain enough to groom (which I am) then how are you ok with everyone seeing you in a compromising and probably unflattering position? And I know that everyone looking at me will know that grooming has gone into it. No one will look at a woman with smooth legs and assume that they just have no body hair but nevertheless, the whole point of grooming is to create the illusion that grooming is unnecessary. If you are going to highlight your “flaws” by “fixing” them in public then fixing them becomes moot. So, here is The Etiquetterie’s definitive guide to public grooming:

 –No manicures

-I shouldn’t have to say this, but in the name of all that’s holy, no pedicures

-No de-wedgification. In fact, general adjusting of any sort is a tad uncouth. Men rearranging their man places, women fiddling with the toes of their tights or the positioning of their boobs in their bra etc. I know how annoying and uncomfortable this stuff can be (ok, not the man-places, but the other stuff!) but still, if you can’t do it subtly, then I’m afraid it will have to wait. When I am struggling not to hike up the crotch of my tights or yank down a slip that has risen up, I try and imagine that I’m a celebrity. Would I be happy with pictures of me doing this published in magazines and online with captions like “Lovely Lady Humps?: The Etiquetterie in Camel Toe Drama!” or “What’s eating you?: The Etiquetterie’s derriere tries to eat hearty pants. View the battle for supremacy here!”  No? Well, the other people around me are, technically, my audience (oh dear, delusions of grandeur much? ;-p) and they don’t need to see me being inelegant any more than TMZ does.

-No picking of teeth. Or, if you must, hide behind your hand.

-No picking of nose. Obviously. You may of course blow your nose if necessary but make sure to turn your face away from those around you. Especially if you are at dinner. Same goes for sneezing. But please, make sure you hold on to your tissue. I once saw a woman rip off a tiny bit of tissue, shove it up her nose, then remove it and let it drop. On the train.


-Ok, let’s talk about make-up. Now I suspect I’m a bit of a fascist about this as public make-up doing seems to be the done thing. Every morning on the train I see at least 50% of the women whip out humungous make-up bags and “do” their faces. I don’t get it at all (see my above point about vanity. Putting concealer etc. on in public just seems like pointing out my spots and blotchy patches to the world. Likewise trying to make my eyes look bigger/nose look smaller just announces that I think I have small eyes and a big nose. The point of make-up surely is to make it look like your face is just like that naturally.) However, I understand that a lot of women like to wear make-up daily and I also understand that waking up early sucks. Big time. So, while I would like to put a blanket kibosh on all public make-up doing, I will be lenient and just say this:

-Lipstick/gloss/balm is fine. It needs reapplying throughout the day anyway and while I know that back in the day, it was considered the height of bad taste and sluttiness to apply lipstick in public, it doesn’t offend me at all and can even look quite sexy.

-Eyeliner/mascara/eyeshadow etc. To be honest, I am so impressed by women who can apply a straight line of liquid eyeliner on a moving train during rush hour that I am too busy mentally applauding to be offended.

-Foundation/concealer/blush/tanner etc. I would really rather you did this at home. First of all it makes my eyes water (not sure why, I think it’s because women are so violent with their faces sometimes whilst applying it). Secondly, you look like a lunatic with half a different coloured face for much of the time spent putting it on. And thirdly, surely you don’t want everyone to know how much of your face you need/feel you need to conceal!


-Going out with rollers in your hair. I know that was kind of a thing a couple of years ago, and yes, when celebrities pose for photoshoots wearing them, it does look quite retro and cute. But walking down the high street while children ask their parents if that’s what an alien looks like isn’t quite as glam.





-No plucking of any sort. For all the above vanity reasons and also because what are you going to do with the hairs after. Put them in your bag? Ew. Let them fly away? Mega ew. There is no ew-less option here.

 True story: I once saw a girl pluck her bikini line on the beach and rinse the tweezers in. the. sea.

 Forget Jaws, it took me months to get back in the water after that. We’re gonna need a bigger boat to ship her off this planet asap.

I think I need a lie down.

Thank you!


 The Etiquetterie