My name is Alison, and I've applied makeup in public.

(Now you say, "Hi, Alison.")

I mean, I'm not walking down the street applying mascara, but I've definitely touched up my lipstick on the train.

But, friends, I am publicly repenting. I have seen the error of my ways.

We've taken personal grooming in public too far.

On the train to work the other day, the woman sitting in front of me applied deodorant.

Deodorant! She lifted her shirt, giving everyone an eyeful of her midriff, and liberally applied the product.

I mean, she really took her time to ensure even application.

I can only imagine what the reaction would have been had I not been sitting in the Quiet Ride Car. My fellow passengers and I take very seriously the sanctity of the Quiet Ride Car. So instead we stared, agape. One older, dapper gentleman mouthed to me, "Can you believe this?"

No. I could not believe it. A line had been crossed.

At least the line wouldn't be smelly.

Look, I get running late. In the past, I've silently applauded women who apply liquid eyeliner on the train, acknowledging their clearly expert skills. (Liquid eyeliner can be tricky when you're NOT on a bumpy train.)

But it's clearly a slippery slope. A quick lipstick touch-up apparently can easily become trimming your nails. In public. And letting the clippings fall where they may.

Which I also have seen on the train recently.

Not only did the clipping noise disrupt the aforementioned sanctity of the Quiet Ride Car, but the nails in question were toenails.

The resulting gagging noise made by several nearby passengers also proved disruptive.

The bottom line? No one thinks my lips are naturally Wish Upon A Berry-hued. But no one wants to watch the process by which they are tinted, either.

Alison Smith will never again apply lipstick on the train. Got a burning beauty question? Email