October 13, 2011


Courtesy of This is Glamorous
One thing noticeably absent this Fashion Month, was manners. We are all, works in progress, but good manners are synonymous with elegance. There's nothing more sophisticated than grace and good manners. So you can imagine my dismay with people traipsing across the runway to get to their seat, or holding up tablets to take photos. The Business of Fashion  tweeted about the loss of all decorum at the various fashion weeks. There are unspoken rules that forbid standing on the runway or obscuring one's view. The majority of fashion week attendees have been going to shows for years and know better. 

I couldn't help but notice the trend of grooming oneself in public. Not just grooming, but making sure that you put on a show of touching up your makeup in front of the watchful eye of the street style photographers. I'm not talking about swiping on a little lip gloss. I'm talking about red lipstick and eye liner; makeup that requires a mirror and precision to apply. Not to mention the nail clipper, who was clipping away behind me one morning. Those who follow me on twitter know I was pretty grossed out, with the nail maintenance going on as I waited in line. 

Don't get me wrong, I love a good beauty routine, but I firmly believe that personal grooming should be done in private. If I'm in a public place, then I find a restroom to check-up, touch up, reapply, etc. Away from all the glitter of the shows, we're all so busy, and sometimes it's tempting to primp in public. At fashion week there are many places to freshen up without taking personal grooming to the street. I think we can all agree that nail clipping in public is absurd, but how much grooming is too much in public?

PS- While I was searching for a business card case I stumbled upon this Smythson of Bond Street cosmetics case and beauty pouch. Each year, one of the charities which I'm involved with, auctions this off. I think I have my eye on it this year. 


  1. I agree that nail clipping in public is a little much (if not a bit dangerous!). Though no one's ever told me about whether or not grooming in public is considered good or bad manners, I've always had a gut reaction against grooming myself in public. I think I just feel too self-conscious about being so publicly self-conscious. Or, as I joke with my friends, I'm so vain that I don't want others to perceive me as vain!

    I feel much more comfortable doing my makeup in private and then just being carefree with my appearance in public. I guess there's just something inherently unsexy and unconfident with 'fidgeting' too much with your appearance in public--and it makes me less confident about myself when I have to fidget in public too! It's funny how the performance of an unconfident behavior can sap the confidence out of a person!

  2. Nail clippers, really? I have occasionally filed a torn nail discreetly, but to actually give oneself a full manicure in public? Wow.

    Aside from the occasional dab of lip balm or hand cream, the most public I will ever go with grooming is to reapply red lipstick when I am in a car by myself, windows up. Never on public transport in full view of people. That said, I find it more amusing than awful when I see others do it. It's as though they are totally unaware of being a crowded, public place! Such a zen attitude ;)

    The Smythson case is so pretty - and it's mustard! I carry very little make-up with me, usually just a tiny pot of concealer and either a lipstick or eye liner. Pop it into my Muji olive canvas case, with my vitamins and a tiny vial of perfume.

  3. One thing that really amaze me is women doing their make up at the train! First thing in the morning you are sitting down opposite and they start applying foundation, concealer, eye liner...for around 15 minutes you are like watching a play. When they finish they put everything in the beauty pouch and they are off to work. Seriously, can't they get up 10 minutes earlier and do that at home?

  4. I remember being at the opera house with my father when I was little and I was fumbling around with my dress and he explained to me that's not something you do in public, but something you do at home and then let it be. I must say I don't feel any different about grooming in public now as an adult either. And from what I hear from friends of the opposite sex, putting on makeup in public is anything but pretty and attractive :)

  5. Well no matter where you're from or whatever your background or education (or lack of..) may be, good manners are somehow disappearing. But it is noit new, count it at least 20 or even 30 years ago.
    Some would say that is it old fashion or meaning you are too kind and gentle - as in gentleman or gentlewoman- (in a world where being kind is often thought as being stupid or too weak) or even that is means pure hypocrisy (oops am I writing it right?).
    But I beg to differ: those are rules that made our world and help us to still thinck that we can be human being living in society.
    I personaly never put make up in public place (not even with my friend...) although I do apply sometime some lipstick in the lavatories when I can. But no nails' clipping never ever!
    As for the pouch your showing above, well I should say it was for me love at fisrt sight although I knew quite well I would never use it for my make up tools, my bag is not large enough and I would be reluctant to have one larger.

  6. Wow, nail clipping in public! That is definitely a first. Not cool. I will do a quick sweep of Kohl liner at my desk in the office from time to time, but that's it. In a way I feel like it would be more vain to take a break just to re-apply my liner, when it really is done in 5 little seconds. And everyone knows I'm vain anyway ;)

    I hear you on the general lack of manners. I can't say anything about fashion week, but really, I feel like people's manners shock me every day. Adults whining, bitching, cutting lines and elbowing their way down the street is a regular occurrence. What ever happened to catching more bees with honey than with vinegar?

  7. nail clipping really crosses a line. like ammu, i'm more amused than disgusted when i see people do their make-up on public transport. especially on a moving bus. i saw someone doing eyeliner once and i kept thinking she was going to poke herself in the eye, but she didn't.

    bad manners annoys me as well, and i always find myself wondering if i should be going up to correct them, but i usually end up not saying a word. unless it's queue-cutters - i show no mercy when someone cuts my line or steals my taxi.

  8. I'm going to be the first one here to openly admit I don't mind freshing up my lipstick in public. There, I said it. I definitely think manners are important, and that too many people seem to have lost their appreciation for good behaviour nowadays.

    Still, there's something charmingly old-fashioned and elegant about re-applying lipstick, with a beautiful pocket mirror, while waiting for the bus or after a cup of tea at a café. There goes my limit, though. Nail clippers should never leave the bathroom, if you ask me!

  9. 0000- Nail clipping in public really surprised me. Especially when people are usually very aware at fashion week that there cameras everywhere. Today anything goes (for better or worse), but it has long been considered bad manners to out and out groom yourself in public. I always have to hid my amusement when I see that.

    I hear you when it comes to confidence. I like to feel confident when I leave the house. I dislike feeling self conscious because of my appearance. There's too much to spend too much time fixating solely on that.

    Ammu- I was shocked and everyone who was with me was equally confused. Discreetly filing a nail is completely different.

    I agree about the lip balm and hand cream. I can't live without balm and hand cream. I keep both just about everywhere. Nail clipping excluded, I find it very amusing to watch all the grooming. Society has become so laid back.

    Yes, the Smythson case is mustard! It's the perfect item to satisfy my itch for that color. I love the idea of using it for travel, since I don't carry to much makeup with me. I do like to leave pouches in my desk at work and in my gym locker. I love the Muji organizers and pouches- they are so efficient.

    lunaday- I hear you. It's become too commonplace today. It always amazes me to see people feel so comfortable (almost like they're at home) in a public place. You can't help but notice, even when you try not to.

    Waking up earlier to groom properly seems reasonable. Of course, this is coming from an insomniac;)

  10. Florina- I was just talking with a friend about how the opera is one of the last remaining places that inspires elegance. My friend got to attend the opening of the Met- such an elegant event.

    What a great lesson you learned at a young age. There's something very liberating about getting yourself ready at home and letting it be:)

    My male friends say the same thing. They never find that sort of grooming attractive or intriguing.

    Eveange66- Such a good point you mention. The loss of manners spans across backgrounds, socioeconomic class, education etc, etc- it's universal.

    I know what you mean about people thinking that these rules are antiquated, but I would agree they make society more civil.

    I think the makeup bag would be a bit much for carrying around in your bag. It's something that I would keep stocked at work or use for travel.

  11. Maja Piraja- It was definitely a first for me too. I was so surprised. Applying makeup at your desk is so different from grooming yourself on the street. I hear you on being vain. It would be ridiculous for me to even pretend that I'm not;)

    It really is amazing to see the behavior that adults get away with these days. I find that adults can be worse than children. The line cutting and whining is the worst.

    lin- It so crosses all lines. I definitely find myself more amused than disgusted. I always think people are going to poke themselves in the eye when I see them doing their makeup in public.

    I've always heard that it's just as rude to correct someone on their poor manners, unless they've offended you. In the case of someone cutting the line or taking your taxi it's perfectly OK to speak up. I always enjoy seeing someone look sheepish when they've been called out.

    Maria- Good for you! I love a girl who's not afraid to speak up! It would be such a boring world if we all looked, thought, acted the same way.

    There is something so old fashioned about pocket mirrors, perfume bottle, and vanity tables. I love looking at them because I always feel like I've been transported to another time.

  12. The only type of grooming appropriate in my opinion is applying lipstick. Period.

  13. Joy- I hear you. I keep it to lip balm. I can't go too long without reapplying it:)