We’ve all witnessed it before – during the hasty rush hour commute on a crowded subway cart, a girl disassembles her makeup bag and magic ensues. Within the scant 5-minute ride her bare face undergoes a transformation. Just a few, quick strokes of mascara, optimal time conservancy as she dually uses her rose pink lipstick as a blush, and the ever mesmerizing swift, one handedness as she fills in her eyebrows.

‘Get-ready commuter’ culture is very real; it’s a concept where girls govern and conquer, because they all share the common sentiment, “Crap! I overslept.” While they ignore the lame ‘No Primping’ subway rule, we get to watch a true spectacle as it unfolds- mouths gapping open as they apply mascara and a conclusive ‘smize’ reflecting back in the compact mirror as she finishes her work.

It’s a true showcase of talent; bare canvases turn into rosy cheek wonders. But perhaps you’re new to the get-ready, commuter lifestyle. So we’ve put together a list of makeup bag essentials to freshen up a tired face, conveniently and quickly.

Tarte: Light, Camera, Lashes Closeup Lash Liner ($20, Tarte.com)


This liner is extremely long wear and’ll last with only one swipe of the product. because of its staying power, you can use this on the water line, tight line, or alternately use to line the top of your lash line.

Too Faced: Better Than Sex Mascara ($23, TooFaced.com)


If you’re running late because you didn’t catch enough z’s and now you look sleep deprived- this mascara will make you a wide eyed wonder. Apply on the lower and upper lashes for a doe-eyed effect.

Charlotte Tilbury: K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick in Bitch Perfect ($32, CharlotteTilbury.com)


Matte lips are a must and this pink shade doesn’t require the tediousness of needing a liner or the precision required when applying a red lip. Plus, you can use this as a blush  (tip we stole from the random passenger sitting on the 1 train). Just place a few dots of the lipstick along your cheek bones and blend away!

Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer ($28, Sephora.com)


The time it takes to get from point A to point B on the subway is no time for foundation. And you might not want to carry it around all day (especially if its glass.) So concealer is your quick trick. Apply to the center of your forehead, bridge of your nose, under the eyes and chin to brighten up your face.

Bobbi Brown Perfectly Defined Long-Wear Brow Pencil ($42, BobbiBrown.com)


Fill in gaps in the eyebrows with the slanted applicator in small strokes, then groom them into place with the spoolie end.

There you have it! Is it a heavy glam, smokey eye, ready for a night out? Nope. But it a little bit of effort goes a long way, especially when time isn’t on your side.

By: Yasmine Rimawi