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How to Do Your Makeup on a Bus, Tram, or Train

How to Do Your Makeup on a Bus, Tram, or Train
Fragrance Direct Blog
Writer and expert4 years ago
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We’ve all been there. While applying makeup on the morning commute is far from ideal, sometimes there’s just no alternative. If you’ve overslept or had an early morning disaster, you might well find yourself bundling your makeup into your bag to be applied on the way into work.

Applying makeup on the bus, tram, or train can be a great way to spend the empty part of your day. Instead of staring out of a window or mindlessly scrolling through Instagram, you can get yourself sorted and feeling good for the day ahead.

If you’re worried that getting ready on public transport is a controversial behaviour, you’d be right. 28% of people in the UK are offended by public makeup application, and a third of women have encountered a rude comment from another passenger while putting ok makeup. Why? Who knows! If you need to do your makeup on the commute, we say you do you and don’t let anyone else’s judgement get in the way!

Applying makeup on a bus, tram, or train

A public transport makeup routine can be a little trickier than at home, where you probably have a big mirror and plenty of space to work. If you’re thinking about putting on makeup on your way into work, you might need to make some tweaks to your daily steps to ensure everything sits right.

Choose the right products for on-the-go application

This is a biggie. If you think you’re going to be applying your makeup on the commute, it will be important that you choose products that can handle your on-the-go approach.

Whether you choose these products to be part of your everyday makeup collection or build a special makeup bag to take with you in the morning, choosing compact and functional products is a must.


When it comes to foundation, try one in a creamy stick formula that you won’t need to pour out onto your hand. When you choose a stick foundation, there’s no risk of spills or mess, simply apply the product to your face then blend it out with a foundation brush – no fingers necessary! You might also like a compact cream or powder foundation, which can be lifted and applied with a brush. These compact options are great for on-the-go application because they often come with a mirror in the lid.


To colour your cheeks, choose a single shade blush in a small compact. There’s no need to bring your giant palette of shades along for the commute – the bulky container will only get in the way and make your application even more annoying to any prickly passengers nearby. There are plenty of great single shade blushes to choose from, and these small, light products will pop into your bag no dramas.

Eye colour

Eyeshadow? No problem. Choose a creamy eyeshadow stick or pot that can be easily applied and blended out with your finger. If you’re including this step in your on-the-go makeup routine, you might want to keep some tissues or wipes in your bag to clean off your finger afterwards.

Lashes and eyebrows

For lashes and brows, why not choose a brown mascara which can double up as a brow gel? For extra compact points, choose a mini travel mascara that won’t take up as much room in your bag. Choosing a small mascara instead of a full-sized product helps you stay in control of the want, too, which means you’re less likely to poke yourself in the eye. Praise!


A swipe of your usual lipstick or balm completes the look, and you’re ready for the day! Of course, you can add or remove steps to make sure your travel makeup routine suits you perfectly.

Quick hairstyles for the morning commute

If you don’t have time, don’t worry about straightening, curling, or fastening your hair into a fancy do. Some of the best hairstyles are the simplest, from a sleek ponytail to a sweet low bun, there are plenty of options which can easily be achieved on-the-go.

Here are some of our favourite easy hairstyles for those mornings when there just isn’t time:

  • Push it back with a headband
  • Twist it into a low bun
  • Line some clips along your fringe to keep it out of the way
  • Pull together a sleek ponytail
  • Weave a loose plait

Keep a comb or a compact brush in your on-the-go makeup bag for last-minute hairstyling and make sure you’re always looking sleek.

Searching for more makeup and hairstyling inspiration? Keep exploring the Fragrance Direct blog for everything you need to know about feeling great, even when you’ve overslept!

Fragrance Direct Blog
Writer and expert
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