Applying makeup on the train isn’t a one-time touch-up thing; it’s a way of life that takes extra skill and planning. It should be respected, admired, and appreciated; not attacked by the MTA, ugly people who deem it “tacky,” or Allure Editors who give you a pass if it’s done apologetically (and this is supposed to be an editorial platform for empowering women?)
I used to share the same arrogant subway-makeup-shaming attitude and turned up my Jewish nose because I did my makeup at home. “HA,” I thought, “Everyone will think I was born poreless and with shimmery eyelids!” Commercials put women’s products from bras to menstrual materials, cosmetics to surgery, so why do we feel so ashamed to restrict our makeup routines to our closet-sized bathrooms when half our time is spent underground in the MTA’s catacombs?
We’re paying twice the rent for half the square footage compared to the rest of the country, on top of a long, stressful, and frustrating commute, and yet expected to look NYC chic 24/7. So here are my quick and dirty tips for applying your makeup in a just as dirty, but not so quick environment!
1. Plan Ahead
The time you take in planning prevents you from contaminating your makeup and making sure things run smoothly when the [insert your NYC train line here] doesn’t.
Make sure you have these products in your bag at all times:
- Antibacterial hand sanitizer, preferably in an odorless formula, because the guy next to you will start bitching.
- Pocket napkin packs; cheap dollar store brands are fine, but that handful from Dunkin Donuts probably won’t do.
- A cheap, effective chapstick; Queen Helen cocoa butter knocks Sugar out of the park any day.
- Blending sponges inside a plastic bag: Because you don’t want it absorbing dirt from the inside makeup bag. Clean or discard as necessary.
2. Don’t Take Risks
Unless you’re a professional juggler, surfer/tightrope walker, you should wait to get a seat. It is not worth falling over like an inexperienced tourist, sparing an ounce of product, or ruining your perfectly blended crease. Wait till you get a seat to proceed with your regular makeup routine.
3. Don’t Give A F
People will start to look, perhaps because they’re amazed with your skills, beauty, or find it tacky, but I’m prone to believing its admiration for your ability to multitask. Given our standards of living, streamlining your makeup routine on the train is an essential part of living the NYC dream, so don’t be afraid to tell others to deal.