By Dina Fierro

During my daily commute to my Chelsea office on the N train, I’ve seen many an eyebrow-raising occurrence. A fried chicken feast at 8:00 AM? Check. Steamy make out sessions of every persuasion? But of course! However, one phenomenon that’s stumped me for years are the bold New York women who dare apply a full face of makeup on the subway. The audacity and efficiency of it all both amazes and alarms me. How do they not stab themselves in the eye with mascara, I find myself wondering. Is it a special breed of bravery that permits them to leave the house with a bare face in the first place? Beauty News NYC investigates…


Applying a full face of makeup on the train allows publicist Lauren Branche to aim for efficiency above all. “I get to sleep an extra 15 minutes and it’s all very worth it,” Branche says. Ever the optimist, she adds “Besides, I get more natural light especially when I find a seat near the window.” She suggests using multitasking and miniature products – like a foundation that functions as a concealer, finishing powder and SPF – to save room in your tote and steps in your routine. (BN suggests Bare Escentuals Mineral Foundation).

Brand representative and former city dweller Jennifer Curry blames a mirror addicted roommate for her train beauty routine and insists on carrying a cleanser or makeup remover to clean up any mistakes caused by sudden stops and starts. We recommend E.L.F.’s wee package of Eye Makeup Remover Pads. It’s small enough to tuck into any makeup bag and will remove any makeup mistakes – not just eye.

Shoshanna Rikon, CEO of a Jewish matchmaking site, offers this last bit of sage advice to glamour girls on the go, “If it is an emergency and you have to put your makeup on in a subway car, taxi or bus, you need to time it so that you only apply when the vehicle is at a full stop… remember, safety before beauty!”

After all, you don’t want to stab yourself in the eye with that mascara wand, do you?

Originally published May 2007
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