7 golden tips: How to do your makeup on the train LIKE A BOSS.

tube make up



This blog post isn’t just about doing your makeup on the train. It is so much more than that. It’s about respect for your limited time in the mornings (limited time in life?!) streamlined efficiency worthy of a high-five from Bear Grylls, building core strength, finding calm and focus on a packed rickety District Line tube carriage. This is the ultimate exercise in not giving a shit about what people around you think, a life goal in itself – which can be honed through quick application of your face on a moving train surrounded by 187,693 sleepy strangers.


I have become a more well-rounded and efficient human for doing my makeup on the tube. If a woman can curl her eyelashes on the tube… she can do anything. This is why I have put this skill on my CV.



For time saving, calm boosting, beautifying, motherfcking efficiency… see my 7 top tips for doing your makeup on the train LIKE A BOSS:


1. Do your base at home


Slap on a bit of foundation and concealer with your hands and/or a beauty blender, this takes 2 mins. It’s best to get this messy bit out the way and not worth trying this on a rattling tube train. NARS Sheer Glow all over someone else’s coat, is not worth risking.


2. Get a seat


And by “get” I mean wrestle your way into one, wear a “baby on board” badge, fake a limp, whatever. Just sit down. I do not advise you put on a full face of makeup standing up… if you succeed at this, tell me how… you are my hero.


3. Compact Palettes


Ones with big mirrors are your friend; they house all your blushers and eyeshadows and stop you from faffing about with individual compacts. My most used palettes are the NARS Virtual Domination cheek palette and Charlotte Tilbury’s eyeshadow palettes. Double ended brushes are a godsend too. Whack it on, blend it out. Job done.


4. Your lap is a self-contained makeup station


Keep your makeup in your bag, and keep your bag firmly on your lap.


5. No smudges


USE TUBING FORMULA MASCARA, i.e. Kevyn Aucoin Volumizing Mascara. I love this stuff. If it gets on your face or eyelid… it wipes off clean, rather than smudging everywhere. Also… If like me, you have to use liquid liner, then apply this at the station stops.


6. Steer clear of


Setting sprays, loose powder, pigment pots and anything with a pipette. Unless you are Thomasin*.

7. Do not look up


… some people (who are not playing Candy Crush) will be staring at you, with a combination of bemused intrigue and total respect. This will most likely make you feel self conscious and thus hinder your creativity and progress. Head down, get on with it. Just last week an old italian lady congratulated me on completing a full Victoria’s Secret inspired face between Parsons Green and Earls Court.



Some time ago, I was on the escalator ascending Warren Street tube station, ahead of me was Thomasin (shout out), the designer who sits opposite me at work… she was doing her liquid liner flicks on a MOVING ESCALATOR, people walking past her and everything. This was a memorable moment of awe and appreciation for her mad eyeliner skills. I was so inspired. Thanks Thomasin!





10 thoughts on “7 golden tips: How to do your makeup on the train LIKE A BOSS.

  1. Jamia Ahmad

    This is awesome! You are a pro! I can’t even do my make up before I leave home when I’m in a hurry! I always take SO long!!! The eyeliner takes the longest though.
    I really enjoyed this post. 🙂

  2. Kyla

    Yesss!!! I do the vast majority of my makeup on the tube (subway here in Toronto). It really is great practice in not giving a fuck what others think. 😉

    1. emmastevie Post author

      Thanks Kyla!!

      You keep doing your makeup on the Subway, don’t let anyone give you anything but encouragement and support!!! x

  3. Charlotte

    *HIGHFIVE* There totally should be a group for us girls that do our makeup on the tube!
    Often I can’t get a seat so I have managed to do eyeliner, mascara and lipstick standing up!
    Yep I get the weird looks and I just think WELP you’re waiting your time just sitting there!
    Multitasking all the way! 🙂 xx

  4. radhika

    Hii emmie ..m Radhika from india
    Trusr and believe m huge fan of you…God bless you. I gotta ask u something can u pls pls tell me the name of lippy and gloss ?

  5. lina

    Hi Emma
    Just watched your video on how to put make up on Tube at Wayn’s. Your are adorable and so natural infront the camera. You should seriously consider having your own channel on you tube. i know i will be subscribing as well as the thousands who thumbed up the video.
    good luck


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *