Francesca Perks: why I won't stop applying make-up on the trainFrancesca Perks is a midsize fashion and lifestyle blogger and vlogger living in Shropshire. Here she shares her feelings about doing her make-up on public transport, and the judgement (and camaraderie) that comes with it…


Hello, my name is Francesca Perks, I am 22 years old and I can say I am quite an inoffensive young woman. I comply to the elevator system of standing on the right and walking on the left. I wouldn’t dream of littering, and I even smile at strangers when I walk by. But there is one thing I do that grinds the gears of a certain generation around the UK. I sometimes apply make-up on trains.

I must stress, the thought of unintentionally bugging someone sends me off into an extensional crisis. But if there’s anything that completely overrides that personality trait, it’s the idea of an extra hour in bed. Cue angry commuters – sweeping general statement – of said certain age.

He proceeded to give me the the look of sheer disgust reserved for those who dare to get ready on a train

Where I live, even before getting to the glorious three-hour-journey into London, it takes me an hour to reach a town where there is even a train station. Do you really think Colin, I am going to be sitting in my boudoir at 4:30am baking my face and applying blush to my cheeks like the goddess I am? No kind sir, I’m chugging a poorly-made coffee and scoffing my second piece of peanut butter toast whilst I clamber into the car blurry eyed and sans make-up. Now tell me, would you rather do the hours’ worth of make-up on the train where you have nothing else to do other than listen to Little Mix and read the texts of the people in front of you, or would you prefer to wake up an hour earlier? I’ll let you mull that over Col.

My favourite recollection of angst was from a gent on an 7:02 train to Euston. Spritzing my perfume caused a gentleman three rows down to instantaneously wheeze à la Wheezy from Toy Story 2. Seemingly at that moment I had fumigated the entire carriage. He proceeded to give me the the look of sheer disgust reserved for those who dare to get ready on a train. Oh give it a rest sir, it’s Floral Street Ylang Ylang Espresso, it’s my signature scent and you’re lucky to get a whiff of it.

He tuts and rocks his head, and I am made to feel like, despite paying the exact same train fair (probably more as I still haven’t cracked the code of booking early to save money) that I am nothing but a street urchin compared to him and his manmade fibre suit. I’ve never had someone my own age make the slightest fuss in regards to my *LIVE* full glam tutorial. If anything the opposite – I’ve had times where women watch like an interactive YouTube video and then compliment my brow-drawing precision (when actually it’s all down to Benefits’ Precisely My Brow. It does what it says on the tin.) I have even had a woman asking for a spritz of my perfume that she smelt me spray, as she was on her way to a first date.

Doing your make-up on public transport certainly divides the nation. In some it creates irritation, while others watch in fascination and sometimes admiration. We’re a supportive group, no question. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to grab Benefit’s Roller Liner to finish drawing the perfect wing before we arrive at our destination.

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