A Love Letter to Everyone Doing Their Makeup on the Subway

Applying Makeup on the Train
Photo: Getty Images

I can barely get my footing as the J train and there you are, applying a coat of mascara in the corner with nary a smear across your eyelid. You have the skill and steady hand I can only dream of. You are an artist. You are a wizard.

The MTA has flyers up all over the train, telling people not to dance on the poles, encouraging men to stop sitting with their legs so freaking wide, and not to do their makeup on the train, but you don't care—you have places to be and your cat-eye will be totally intact once you show up. Your makeup bag sits in your lap, and you work your way through each product with ease, possibly to the dismay of the person sitting next to the arm you're using to blend on your shading powder.

I've tried to do what you do, and fail miserably every time. I'll drop my makeup brushes, or end up with uneven stripes blush everywhere aside from where they should be. These days, I'll settle for simply applying lipstick en route, or powder, if I'm feeling crazy, but it's simply because I don't trust myself enough to do my brows in a moving subway car.

Even when you can't get a seat, I still see you, propped up against the door, opposite from the side opening, blending out a look that would easily take me an hour to perfect—and mind you, that's when I'm standing still.

Godspeed, you absolute queen.

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