3 Why-Didn't-I-Think-Of-That Tips For Applying Makeup On Your Way To Work

But seriously, don't apply makeup while you're driving.
Publish date:
August 8, 2013
eyeliners, How-To, travel, makeup bags

It's hard to get your face painted on in the mornings if all your products get lost in your makeup bag and/or purse. It's exponentially more challenging if you suffer from Procrastinating Perfectionist Syndrome (PPS) like I do and savor the rush of getting ready in 1.5 minutes and applying makeup on your morning commute.

Like that machine that transformed Steve Urkel into Stephan Urquel, we may enter the train looking vaguely like a meth head, but every lash will be mascara'd and every brow hair shaped once we exit the train.

So, my applying-makeup-while-commuting comrades, what will make this easier and quicker, thus giving us more time to procrastinate? Follow these simple steps:


Going through a hanger, yesterday’s muffin, and weaving thread just to get to my damn eyebrow brush is time-consuming (full disclosure: that is a real-life thing that has actually happened). My purse is therefore affectionately known as My Black Hole of Loose Change, Dirty Gum and Broken Dreams. She's (obvi it's a her) like My Little Pony but with more baggage. (See what I did there?)

When I'm on my game, I've found that bags within bags are great for organizing my totes. Similarly, find a makeup bag that allows you to compartmentalize.

By the way, since when did makeup bags start costing as much as Birkins? I searched high and low, however, and nabbed a gem from e.l.f. Their pouch is only eight bucks, and spacious, but it's small enough that it doesn't become a second tote. I reserve one section for the face, one for my eyes, and one for lips and brushes. I'm simply good at following e.l.f's namesake instructions.


I leave larger/awkward/messy items at home. My large, mirror-less container of loose mineral powder does not accompany me to work; I can't afford mishaps before a work meeting, na'mean? (By the way, I think every makeup container should have a mirror, its just so much easier!) My mirrored thin powder compact by Black Opal is bawse in these a.m. travel situations.

I also lurve my L'Oreal retractable creamy eyeliner. You don't want regular eyeliner pencils because that requires sharpening: more mess + more wasted time = not bawse.

For those who prefer liquid liner, those are more susceptible to the herks and jerks of the subway. This L'Oreal liner is a fair compromise my friends.

I also like the eyeshadows that have three or four shades in one space-saving case. My everyday shadow is a golden smoky eye assortment by CoverGirl.


To maximize space and keep your makeup bag light, get creative! My dark eyeshadow doubles as my eyebrow powder. I actually prefer it for my brows because it looks less stark than straight-up eyebrow pencil.

Also, while I'll occasionally do a red lip, I'm not super-into lip shades. Most days I'll just go for gloss, but when I want to jazz it up, I'll take a dab of gold eyeshadow and spread it in the center of my bottom lip. I'll then blend that with a neutral gloss. It's like having gold lipstick without taking up any of the space.

These tips may not apply if you can't even nab a seat. They also may be irrelevant because you're that girl with her life together who wakes up early enough to apply makeup at her vanity after your balanced breakfast and breezy five-mile jog. Bitch. JK, love ya and wanna be ya.

So while I'd love to help everyone else be that girl, I must be realistic, people. I'm not Sarah and you're not Bristol--why preach abstinence when I know you're gonna be making sexy times?

Here's to safe, consensual makeup commuting!