My extra-long commute requires me to optimize my beauty routine. Read on to find out all my beauty shortcuts.

By Heather Muir Maffei
August 01, 2019
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My commute is two and a half hours each way. You do the math. Some question how I survive five hours on the train each day. The truth is simple: I love my job (being a beauty director is just as fun as it looks), and I love my home. It isn’t always easy, but after five years of balancing city life with country living, I've got this thing down to a science.

As beauty director of both Health and Real Simple magazines, I take my beauty routine seriously—skipping is not an option. Because I don’t have much time at home in the morning, I use the moments I do have to squeeze in a quick workout and have breakfast with my hubby. This calls for a 4:30 a.m. alarm (yikes!), but now my body is used to the early wake up call.

I typically don't spend a lot of time on my hair; I get a blowout once a week and use dry shampoo and scrunchies to make it last. You can usually spot me on the train with my hair tied up with a silk scrunchie (SLIP Silk Scrunchies, $39; sephora.com).

For the first couple stops on the train, I focus on settling into my routine. I have a long ride ahead, so I can afford to take a few minutes for relaxation. Cue under eye patches. My favorites are Pixi DetoxifEYE Depuffing Eye Patches ($28; target.com). Packed with caffeine to pep and glycerin to hydrate, pop on a pair of these to revive tired skin. It is also one of my favorite times to jade roll. I know, I know, it may seem a little extra, but it feels amazing. The Jillian Dempsey Gold Sculpting Bar ($195; revolve.com) vibrates as you use it to instantly relax and relieve tension—the perfect pre-work ritual. For a more budget-friendly option, check out the Herbivore Jade Facial Roller ($30; sephora.com).

After I've prepped my face and my mind for the day ahead, it’s time to begin my makeup. First and foremost, I start with a primer (L’Oreal Paris Infallible Pro Primer $9; target.com). This helps lay the foundation for my foundation, get it?

The next step is the base. I always use my trusty BeautyBlender Blending Sponge ($20; sephora.com) to apply my foundation, and basically everything else on my face. Beauty hack alert: a beauty sponge is best used wet (it stops the sponge from absorbing excess product). If you are commuting without access to a sink (me!), wrap your sponge in a makeup wipe—like L’Oreal Revitalift Makeup Wipes ($7; walgreens.com)—and squeeze to dampen. For foundation, lately I have been using a CC Cream. The It Cosmetics CC+ Cream with SPF 50 ($39; sephora.com) is packed with peptides and hyaluronic acid to hydrate, along with SPF 50 to protect. After I finish blending my foundation, I go in with the Tarte Shape Tape Concealer ($27; ulta.com) to cover some dark spots under the eyes and around the mouth.

After I’ve covered and concealed, I move on to highlight. The Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter ($44; sephora.com) illuminates without glittering. Apply to cheekbones, middle of the nose, and cupid’s bow. Next, I dust a little blush on the apples of my cheeks with a large brush. The Hourglass Veil Powder Brush ($64; sephora.com) covers lots of surface area and blends product into your neck. My everyday look also requires a baby-bit of contouring, and trust me, it isn’t as hard as you think. Simply apply bronzer under your cheekbones—the Fenty Beauty Match Stix Matte Skin Stick ($25; sephora.com) makes application so easy—and blend with your beauty sponge. This accentuates cheekbones and adds dimension. I finish off my cheeks with a touch of highlight (you can never have too much glow) from the L’Oreal Paris True Match Lumi Glow Highlighter Palette ($12; target.com).

Lastly, it is time for eyes and lips. I keep a spoolie in my bag to brush out my brows to add volume. Pro tip: if you don’t have one, just use one of your old mascara brushes—psst, the Benefit Precisely My Brow Pencil ($24; nordstrom.com) has both a pencil and a spoolie. One of my signature tricks is to apply a bronze eyeliner—try the L’Oreal Paris Infallible Pro Eyeliner ($7; target.com)—to your waterline. The color is dark enough to define your eyes without the harshness of a black. Next, I apply eyeshadow primer—Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion ($24; sephora.com) is my all-time fave. This will help my eyeshadow stick and stay in place all day long. After I’ve applied, I brush on some eyeshadow. I typically stick to warm tones like browns and golden shimmers—the matte for my crease and shimmer for the middle of the lid.

My final step is lips. Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Lip Liner in Pillow Talk ($22; sephora.com) is my go-to shade. I apply it to the outer edges of my lips for a little extra definition. Finally, I add my favorite liquid lip, L’Oreal Paris Rouge Signature Lip Ink, $12; target.com. After all that, my face is done with more than a few minutes to spare.

Right before my train arrives, I let down my scrunchie (remember what I said about making a blowout work for me?) and massage my scalp to amp up the volume. Voila! A full beauty look and no wasted time.

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