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August 23 2014

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Beauty Etiquetter: The Lowdown on Touch-Ups In Public

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Beauty Etiquetter is a new column on Beauty Counter in which we address your beauty-protocol predicaments with candid advice from industry experts and those in the know. To submit a question, e-mail celia_ellenberg@condenast.com.

The Quandary: Is it acceptable to touch up your lipstick at the dinner table?

The Expert in Residence: Anna Post, etiquette expert, spokesperson, and coauthor of Emily Post’s Etiquette, 18th Edition.

The Advice: “For business, it’s not acceptable. Take it to the restroom. In the business world, any primping or grooming needs to be done in private. It’s like taking out a hairbrush at the table. It takes you out of the moment and away from the business at hand, and takes it too much to a social friendship. I want people focused on my work, the proposal, or the numbers and what I’m there to say. Especially being a woman in business, I want people to take me seriously and focus on my skills. I don’t want to make myself dismissible. For me, it’s a no-brainer. But if you don’t work in the business world, and it’s not more about being proper and you have a social rapport, then I think it’s okay. As long as it’s not a big production that involves liners, pencils, and gloss, and you can do it quickly.

Photo: Vintage Images /Getty Images

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