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Commuter Beauty: Glamming up on the go

by Sarah Taylor
by Sarah Taylor

Where do you stand when it comes to glamming up on the go?

For some people it’s an absolute no-no, believing that there should be some mystery when it comes to the art of making-up, or that it’s inconsiderate to other passengers, whereas others argue that with such busy lives getting ready on the morning commute is their only option.

Now, I can appreciate both viewpoints, but I haven’t quite made my mind up which camp I’m in. This indecision stems from the time I took a coach trip across the North Yorkshire moors where I witnessed a fellow passenger apply a full face of make-up as the coach twisted and turned it’s way along the bumpy, winding roads, and I realised that I was simultaneously both seriously impressed by her ability to deftly apply her make-up whilst the coach was in motion, and equally concerned by the potential dangers of this beautifying feat!

Women touching up make up in car at night time.
Women touching up make up in car at night time

Although, I must confess that since the clocks have gone back and the mornings are growing ever darker and colder, I can certainly see the appeal of hitting snooze a couple more times and getting ready en route!

However, this is where my acutely sensitive make-up artist’s health and safety conscious reflex kicks in, causing me to start spouting words of caution that if you are going to do any kind of glamourizing on the go there are a few things to bear in mind to minimise the potential dangers of pampering on public transport. So I’ve put together some tips to help make the act as safe, speedy and simple as possible.

But first, a word about manners, as the fact is that public transport is just that, it’s public, and as previously mentioned some people are really not on board with the notion of on-board beautifying. I sought guidance on this thoroughly modern matter from a very traditional source, turning to specialist publisher’s Debrett’s who have been advising us (or should that be we?) British on matters of manners and etiquette since the mid 1900s, who state on their website that applying make-up on public transport can “jeopardise that all important first impression and make you appear disorganised.”

Now, I think that appearing disorganised is possibly not the primary concern of anyone indulging in this particular beauty behaviour, but the impact of it on other passengers arguably makeupsubwayshould be. All that’s needed to avoid the scathing side-eyes look, or full on glare from a disapproving fellow passenger is an awareness that your beauty routine doesn’t cause you to infringe upon anyone else’s personal space, and that you are mindful of the type of products you are using, as some products could potentially negatively affect those around you. So any strongly fragranced products, or anything applied from a spray can or aerosol should be left at home. Same goes for any loose powder products, some people have allergies that can be triggered by such products, and you don’t want to run the risk of accidentally engulfing your neighbouring passenger in a powder cloud – as that could make for quite an awkward journey!

Now let’s move on to my top 3 commuter beauty tips …

  1. Keep it clean!

Hand sanitizer should be considered the most important product in your mobile make-up kit, and should be used before your fingers go anywhere near your face. I’m not fearmongering here, but chances are that by the time you’ve taken your seat you’ve probably handled some change and held a handrail or two, potentially picking up some bacteria you probably don’t want in the vicinity of your visage – particularly during cold and flu season.

  1. Give brushes the brush-off
Attractive Woman Putting on Lipstick While Driving.
Putting on Lipstick While Driving

Creamy formulations are the most commute-friendly products and should be blended with fingers wherever possible. The benefits of this are two-fold, firstly it’s easier to manoeuvre your fingers than a brush when applying make-up on a moving vehicle, and secondly, should the vehicle come to an abrupt stop, or hit a speed bump, you are less likely to poke yourself in the eye. For the same reason it is advisable to avoid both mascara and eye pencils, as if a jolt does cause your hand to to slip and you scratch your eye it could damage the cornea, leaving it vulnerable to infection. Go for cream eyeshadows that can be swept across the eyelids and blended quickly, and if you can’t bear to go without your signature scent many fragrances are available in a rollerball, which are much more suitable for use in a confined space like a train carriage or bus.

  1. Save space and time with multitasking products

Multitasking products really earn their place in your make-up bag in this particular scenario. Dual lip and cheek crayon type products are particularly useful as they streamline your routine, and are one of the most user-friendly products as they can be applied directly from the packaging and easily blended with fingers. Finally, instead of hairspray try using a tiny dab of moisturiser or hand cream to tame flyaway hairs.

Follow these simple tips to hit the road with your beauty regime, and arrive at your destination in style – who says if you snooze you lose?

I’d love to know your thoughts about commuter beauty, are you for or against applying make-up up on the move? Tweet @SarahUrbanEcho


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