I've Never Understood "On The Go" Beauty Until I Found These Makeup Products

I don't have flights to touch up after or spend time in cross-town cabs reapplying makeup.
Publish date:
December 26, 2016
etude house, travel beauty, Make Up For Ever, Shiseido, Beauty On The Go

"On the go" beauty seems geared towards, well, people who don't live in the real world — or at least, not my real world. Yes, I’m constantly busy and rushing, but there’s never any time in there to consider my makeup. I don't have flights to touch up after or spend time in cross-town cabs reapplying makeup.

To be honest, it feels a bit like "on the go" beauty is best suited to beauty editors and the upper class. Most people my age are working hospitality or other low-income jobs where stopping to re-do your makeup is unheard of. And when YouTubers talk about makeup palettes being "perfect for travel," I suspect their idea of travel is a little different than mine — their weekend in LA or press trip to Bora Bora compared to my overnight at a cheap holiday home an hour’s drive away (in the offseason to keep the price down).

The other reason that ‘on the go’ beauty has seemed a bit distant from me is that I’ve never found products that make sense in that context. If my makeup is breaking up at 3pm, putting more foundation over the top won't help. If I want to put on eyeshadow, in my mind I’ll also need my lash curler and mascara to finish off my eyes, and then I might as well put blush on, and soon enough I’m weighed down by carrying a full face of makeup in my handbag.

I’ll correct that: I had never found products that make sense in that context. But I’m starting to get it. Let me explain.

It began with the Etude House Zero Sebum Drying Powder. I bought it because of the cute packaging, but discovered that it’s so invisible when it’s applied that I can use it on a bare face or over foundation, and it works equally well in both cases. Return to the fact that I am always in a rush and live in a city made entirely of hills, and you’ll understand how useful this powder is to me.

Then I got new glasses. They’re super cool, but I think they look best and more balanced on my face when I have my brows filled in. While I’m waiting for someone to offer convincing-looking brow tattoos in my city, I’m still relying on my Anastasia Brow Wiz. The Granite shade is cool-toned enough that it looks natural even if I have no other makeup on my face — so into my handbag it goes.

Along with shine (let’s be real — it’s sweat), rushing up and down hills all the time results in redness. I can’t be bothered toting around a liquid foundation or getting it all over my fingers (and I don’t want to risk it leaking and ruining my nice handbag). This is where the beauty community’s new favourite foundation format comes in — stick foundation. Bless whichever brand brought them back — Make Up For Ever? Bobbi Brown? My current favourite is the Shiseido Makeup Stick Foundation. It’s creamy, provides good coverage and I can blend it across my reddest bits without having to do my whole face.

My miniature, three-piece "on the go" makeup bag probably bears no resemblance to a real beauty editor’s, but it meets my most basic of beauty needs and everything is super quick and functional.

  • What are your "on the go" beauty products?
  • Do you reapply your makeup throughout the day as frequently as travel beauty product marketing would lead us to believe?