In a world where public transportation has never been easier or more accessible and our schedules just won鈥檛 slow down, you may have found yourself in a dreaded moment of needing to do your makeup on the go during your morning commute. It鈥檚 never an ideal situation, but most definitely necessary on those mornings you hit snooze one too many times. I鈥檝e observed many people executing this task, the most impressive of which was a woman applying mascara in a crowded train 鈥 while standing. Mind. Blown. This is not a task I鈥檇 advise the average, unrehearsed gal to attempt, but there are a few morning routine tips and tricks of the trade that I find extremely helpful for moments when you鈥檙e in a commuter-beauty bind. I even took a day to travel throughout SF with our beauty photographer Kurt Andre to make sure this routine was possible on every form of public transportation. Read on for three game-changing hacks and some words of advice for doing your makeup on the go.


Hack 1: Strategically Pack Your Travel Beauty Bag


鈥 stick foundation

鈥 stick concealer

鈥 stick bronzer

鈥 stick blush

鈥 stick shadow

鈥 dual-ended brow pencil

鈥 mini mascara

鈥 eyeliner

鈥 lipstick/lipgloss

鈥 compact powder (with mirror)

For my travel makeup bag, I used the tr猫StiQue Essential 8 Set ($175), which you can custom build with your colors. This particular kit is my go-to because each product comes in stick form, which is ideal to use while traveling. Not to mention, it鈥檚 a major space saver. I ended up using a different makeup bag than the one it came with because I added more products to my travel kit. You鈥檒l want a travel-size mascara because it鈥檚 easier to hold while in motion. I love my Benefit Roller Lash Mascara Deluxe Mini ($12). Finally, get a two-for-one by packing a powder compact with a mirror and brush built in. I鈥檓 using Benefit Cosmetics 鈥淗ello Flawless!鈥 Powder Foundation ($34).

Hack 2: Be Prepared


Real talk 鈥 public transportation is fantastically convenient for the most part, but atrociously unsanitary if you鈥檙e planning on touching your face. Make sure you have a hand sanitizer at the ready before diving into your routine. You鈥檒l also want to have tissues to wipe your fingers between each makeup product, since you鈥檙e probably not using brushes and you don鈥檛 want to accidentally smudge the wrong hue in the wrong place.

Hack 3: Nail Your 5-Minute Commuter Face from Start to Finish


Step 1: After you鈥檝e sanitized your hands, apply your foundation, followed by concealer and then bronzer. Blend in gently with your fingers. The tr猫StiQue set I have actually has built-in brushes on the other end of each product to help blend, which is super clutch!


Step 2: Next, smile and get that sun-kissed glow by adding blush to the apples of your cheeks. I literally saw three different women on the train doing their makeup while shooting this tutorial. The struggle is real!


Step 3: Don鈥檛 skip your brows just because you鈥檙e on the go! Instead, choose a moment when you鈥檙e waiting for your ride.


Step 4: Eyeliner can be a SCARY thing when you鈥檙e moving, but you can get it done. Same rules apply as above 鈥 make sure you鈥檙e at a standstill or in very slow motion before getting to this move. Listen: If I can do this on a bus, you can too!


Step 5: Apply mascara with caution! Having the travel size really does help you control the wand for this part of your routine.


Final Moves: Wait for your walk from the train/bus/curb to apply the face powder that will set your makeup. The lighting is often insane on public transportation, so you鈥檒l want that final step done in natural light where you can make sure everything is blended and in place. Finally, add your lips, and voil脿! You鈥檙e fresh faced, glowing and ready to tackle your day!


See ya out there!

Do your five-minute hairstyle, grab your commuter beauty kit and get gorgeous on the go! This routine is so easy and under the radar, you may end up making this your go-to beauty regimen whether you鈥檙e en route or at home and actually have five minutes to spare.

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Hair/Makeup/Art Direction/Model: Misty Spinney

Photography: Kurt Andre