4 tips to nail your makeup when you’re on the go

For a perfected look wherever you are

Beauty Crew Beauty Writer / July 12 2017

Sometimes, applying makeup can be hard enough when you’re standing in front of the bathroom mirror with all the time in the world. We need only look back on the amount of failed smoky eyes or disastrous winged liner looks in our past to know this.

But sometimes, time is not on your side and you need to apply your makeup on the move, such as on your way to the office while on public transport, or in the back of an Uber post-work as you head to a dinner date.

That’s where handy on-the-go beauty products and some clever makeup tricks come in. We spoke to three top makeup artists who shared their top tips for nailing your makeup, wherever you are as well as sharing some of our own.


Keep it simple

Given the time constraints associated with applying your makeup on the go, Hoai Tran, makeup artist at Blown Lux, says the best thing you can do is to just “focus on the features you want to accentuate as you don’t have the time to go full glam.” National Makeup Artist for Elizabeth Arden, Stephen Gaskett echoes this advice by stressing the importance of picking your favourite feature on your face before “playing up its natural beauty.”

For instance if your lips are your best feature, opt for a quick slick of a popping lip colour to lift a natural base, or, alternatively, if you want to accentuate your eyes, blending a gold shimmery eyeshadow and applying lashings of mascara is a quick and easy look that will leave you looking polished.

Keep your touch-ups simple, and you can’t go wrong.


Hydration is key

Perhaps one of the most important steps in any makeup routine is moisturising. If you’re applying your base in the morning on the way into work, make sure to hydrate your skin just before you leave the house or right before you apply foundation if possible. Not only will this make blending your base products a breeze, you will have created the perfect canvas to ensure you makeup looks its very best all day long (and maybe you can avoid any future touch-ups in the day).

Any lightweight daily moisturiser is suitable, but if you’re on the lookout for a new one, we recommend Elizabeth Arden 8hr Intensive Daily Face Moisturiser.

Elizabeth Arden 8hr Intensive Daily Face Moisturiser


Opt for multitasking formulas

There’s nothing worse than lugging around a huge makeup bag stocked full of products. That’s why makeup artist Nicola Burford suggests “looking at having a few handy multifunctional products, such as a powder foundation, a lip and cheek all-in-one, pencil liners that can be used to line or smudge for the lips or eyes, and bronzer that can double up as an eyeshadow.” We suggest adding a multitasker like INIKA Certified Organic Lip and Cheek Cream to your handbag.

INIKA Certified Organic Lip and Cheek Cream


Give stick formulas a go

Makeup application on the run doesn’t quite give you the luxury of time or space, so stick formulas – be they foundation, blush, bronzer or highlighter – are the perfect products to have in your travel makeup bag. Not only can a stick make application quick and easy, you can expect minimal mess, and less of a need for application tools.

Because you are blending with your fingers, it’s important to make sure that a) your fingers are always clean to reduce the chance of transferring bacteria onto your skin, and b) that you have makeup wipes on standby for a quick cleanup post makeup application (nobody wants a foundation smudge on a crisp white work shirt!).

If you’d like to jump on the stick formula bandwagon we’d recommend trying Revlon PhotoReady Insta-Fix Makeup, Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Blush Stick and NARS The Multiple in Copacabana.


If you’re unsure exactly how to go about doing that, follow our top insider tricks for creating a flawless base.

Do you regularly apply your makeup on the go? Share your top tips, tricks and product recommendations with us in the comments section below.

Image credit: @meghanmarkle

Kate started working for BEAUTYcrew in early 2016, first as a contributor, and was then named Beauty Writer in 2017. She loves picking the brains of the industry's top experts to get to the bottom of beauty's toughest questions. Bronze eyeshadow palettes are her weakness and she's forever on the hunt for the perfect nude nail polish to suit her fair skin. Her words can also be found in Men's Health magazine, and she now works in PR.