Makeup on the move: the rise of commuter cosmetics

We all have tricks to shave time off our morning routine, whether it’s skipping breakfast or showering the night before. If you can repurpose a few minutes of public transport ennui to apply your lippy, then hell, why not?

You won’t be the only one. Surveys reveal that as many as 67% of British women do makeup on the move. As more of us are living in, or commuting into, cities, smearing on the slap on public transport is now so popular a time-saver it has forced the beauty industry to develop more portable, compact and easy-to-apply-on-the-move products, according to market research agency Mintel.

“Women are defending their right to apply makeup on-the-go,” says Mintel’s global cosmetics analyst Charlotte Libby, who predicts the arrival of more solid formats, and products that can be applied one-handed or straight from the pack. In 2014, 4% of product launches involved on-the-go application strategies; by 2016, this figure had almost doubled.

With so many of us at the mercy of jerky bus drivers and one sweep of the mascara wand away from temporary blindness, such innovations are a welcome addition to the commuter’s makeup bag.

Sephora’s Fingertip Eyeliner, for example, features a cap you stick on the end of your finger, so the liner feels like an extension of your own hand. Pout Case, the “world’s first beauty phone case”, has a hidden makeup palette that slides down from the back of the handset, and can hold three products. Lipstick Queen’s “lip transformer” lipsticks can be used safely without a mirror because the sheer colour adapts to the pH of your lips, to create a shade that flatters your skintone.

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