The morning commute to work can be a lot of things (delayed, overheated, seriously lacking in personal space), but one of the parts that I always enjoy is watching other women's commuter makeup routines. At the risk of this making me sound like something of a creep (sorry, not sorry): I just love seeing which products real women have deemed worthy of a place in their handbags.
Of course, not everyone agrees. Women applying their makeup on the move seems to be an unexpected point of contention for some and a seriously offensive one to others. In fact, when Japan launched an etiquette video back in 2016 that discouraged women from applying their makeup on trains, Twitter was awash with opinions from people who just couldn't understand why women wouldn't want to get up earlier to do their makeup at home.
For me, the answer is pretty simple: I'll always choose extra time in bed in favour of pretty much all other activities that can be delayed, cancelled or done at another time. Like on my commute, for instance.
Regardless, there are tons of women out there who choose to use their 20 minutes inside the tin can we call the London Underground to apply everything from foundation to mascara. And I salute you ladies.
Recently, though, there has been one particular product that has been cropping up more often than most as the commuter product of choice for busy women. It first caught my eye when I noticed that a lady on the Victoria line was applying the most perfect shade of peachy coral to her cheeks—taking her complexion from "I'm tired and need a coffee pronto" to "I've just had a week off work and I am glowing for it" in mere moments.
Then, earlier this week, I spotted someone on the Piccadilly line creating a seriously dewy skin look using an opalescent shade of that very same product. In between all of this, I've noticed at least two other London girls using this product to add colour and glow to their skin while sandwiched between huffy businessmen and crammed against automatic doors…
Luckily, although I haven't been close enough to decipher specific shade names on any of these occasions, the distinctive packaging means it was easy for me to spot that the product in question was Nars's The Multiple.
Created by founder François Nars back in 1996, after a Harper's Bazaar photo shoot with supermodel Carolyn Murphy where he used lipstick on her eyes, lips and cheeks, the creamy stick is a multipurpose product that can be used all over the face to add colour, highlight, sculpt and define. This means you don't have to faff around with multiple items, as it works as a lipstick, eye shadow and blusher all in one (plus, you'll save space in your handbag). The twist-up stick formula really lends itself to an on-the-go application, as you can apply it straight to your skin and then blend it in with fingertips—no brushes required. Plus, the sheer colour means you don't ever have to worry about applying too much.
Described by Nars as a "shimmering tangerine," I would bet my job as a beauty editor that it was this radiant coral that my Victoria line spot was wearing on her cheeks. I'll be wearing this all summer.
Similarly, I think this pearlescent highlighter was the product behind the Piccadilly line glow of dreams. It has slightly pinky undertones but applies so sheerly that the result is a naturally dewy complexion.
Sticks are definitely the commute-proof makeup item of choice, and this bronzer from Milk Makeup definitely holds its own on the tube. I use it to wake up my tired complexion, and it also doubles as a lovely, neutral eye shadow.
I pretty much always have one of these in my handbag. The pots are small, so they're perfect for carting around, and can be used on the lips, cheeks and eyes. This dusky pink shade is my latest favourite.
This new launch landed on my desk this week, and I think it's the perfect solution to on-the-go makeup. It literally contains everything you could need (highlighters, lipsticks, eye shadows and blushers) along with a handy mirror. Be warned, though: The cute glittery packaging means you'll definitely attract some looks.