Almost half of women admit applying make-up when they are driving - most commonly at traffic lights or when they are in a jam, according to a new poll. And 43% say they put on their slap in their cars on the daily commute even though they know it is wrong. A further 42% say they use their car's rear-view mirror to adjust their make-up.

Time pressures are blamed for commuters' last-minute beauty top-ups - with the majority of women admitting they don't get out of bed until the last minute. The results came in a survey of 1,000 women by leading Harley Street clinic Debra Robson LDN, the UK's premier semi-permanent make-up brand.

Insurers estimate that as many as 450,000 accidents a year are caused by women drivers being distracted while applying cosmetics. Yet only 14% said that using make-up in the car had an adverse effect on their driving, according to the poll. Most women say they top up their make-up during the daily commute.

It's not so much a case of Mirror, Signal, Manoeuvre as Mirror, Signal, Mascara with nearly half of women (46%) saying they apply make-up while driving. More than six out of ten (63%) put on make-up on the train and a further 43% on the bus.

The most popular make-up products applied by commuters are: lip gloss (chosen by 35%), mascara (30%), lipstick (25%), bronzer (6%) and eyeliner (4%). The last minute rush is caused by women staying in bed too long. Almost half of women (51%) say they almost always leave it till the last minute before getting out of bed before work. That leaves them with less time to put on their slap at home. A fifth (21%) are so rushed they spend just five minutes doing their make-up before work whereas 42% spend 10 minutes and 22% spend 20 minutes. Only 10% of women spend 30 minutes or more putting on their make-up before work. Just 5% of women don't wear make-up at work.

Debra Robson said: "We all know putting make-up on in the car is wrong - but nearly half of us do it.

"It's because most professional women do everything in a rush, particularly in the mornings when they are juggling a multitude of tasks.

"That's why so many women are finishing off their make-up routine on their daily commute - whether that is in the car or on the bus or the train.

"Faced with such time pressures, increasing numbers of women are trying semi-permanent make-up. It saves vital minutes in the mornings and means your make-up looks great from the moment you wake up."

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Words by Katy Pearson