Ignore the signs asking you to keep your makeup kit in your purse. You’re in a hurry, the train is stalling and you’re eager to get the day started and put your face on. Whip out your compact (or an iPhone on selfie mode is totally fine) and spend the next few stops beautifying with these commuter techniques that may just become your daily routine. If the manspreader next to you gets eyeshadow pigments on him, well, that’s his problem.
In lieu of any brushes, which may cause you to end your commute one eye short, use your fingers (pack hand sani) to apply eyeshadow. Go for a palette that has three complimentary shades: One you can apply up to your eyebrow, one just on your lid and the third at the outer corners. For eyeliner and mascara, wait for the train to come to a complete stop and then quickly swipe on a product that has a short stick or wand, which gives you more control.
Try: Tarte Cosmetics Tartlette Amazonian Clay Matte Palette, $45, DermStore.com
Again, brushes are your enemy when you’re dealing with crowds who can’t balance at a sudden stop or unexpected bumps on the treacherous 4/5/6 line. Opt for a blush stick, which you can color on your face like a crayon — how fun! — and blend in easily with your fingers. Same goes for highlighter, which is also widely available in stick form.
Try: Trestique Blush Stick, $34, Trestique.com
Unless you can wait until you’re on a subway station bench to apply your lipstick, skip it. It’s too risky! To avoid the hot pink mustache look, opt for a stain or gloss that can be applied directly from the tube, tracing the outside of your lips first and finishing in the middle. A little stain goes a long way, but once you master the technique you’ll see why this subway skill is seriously worthwhile. Pack a few extra tissues in your makeup bag for emergency blotting!
Try: Flower Color Proof Long-wear Lip Creme, $8, Walmart.com
While clipping or filing your nails on public transit is a major no (seriously, gross), those in need of a last-minute mani (no pedis, please), can use liquid-free press-ons in a synch. You may even like them better than your regular manicure and there’s absolutely no drying time required!
Try: Glossique’s nail stickers, $15, Glossique.com