You might be familiar with the Uber scramble—and no, we're not referring to those hand-wringing moments when your driver cancels your trip even though you are literally standing right there. We're talking backseat beauty touchups, where the stress of putting yourself together on the go is amplified by the fact that at any moment, you might hit a bump and end up with lipstick on your forehead or a mascara wand in your cornea. Fun!
Fortunately, we've done this enough times that we have it down to a science: It's about picking a look that travels well, yes, but timing, too. That red light? Fifteen seconds of complete stillness. Put on your lipstick! Fill in those brows! Go, go, go!
With this in mind, we rounded up six gorgeous going-out looks and broke them down into steps that can be done in motion, and the ones to save for stop lights and heavy traffic. See how to strategise from the beginning of your ride to the end.
A vampy lip is totally doable in the backseat of a car—a stained, dappled look is just a little more forgiving to whip up when you're dealing with potholes and brake slams.
At a red light: Quick! It's time to tackle that blood-stained lip. Start by applying Illamasqua's Glamore Lipstick (£20) in Kin to the center of your lips, and use your finger to distribute the color out towards the edges of your pout—this will give you that slightly messy, stained look (and also helps you avoid smears from color overboard). Repeat until you've reached your desired hue, and touch up the edges at the next light with a lip pencil.
Fight fire with fire and embrace a slightly messy, super-sultry eye makeup look.
At a red light: Smear and blend the cream shadow a little more strategically while you're sitting still, carefully applying it on your lower lids as well. Finish off with some mascara and fill in your brows if you have time.
Aside from looking gorgeous, a messy braid practically encourages some jostling around—loose pieces and a tousled texture are just part of its appeal.
While you're moving: Roughly sweep your hair off to one side and braid the end, securing any loose front pieces or bangs with bobby pins. Got some extra time? Make it a loose french braid.
At a red light: Swipe on Nars Lipstick (£20) in Jungle Red, and dust your entire face (including you lips) with translucent powder.
If you're not so confident with eye shadow even when you're sitting perfectly still in phenomenal lighting, choose shades of taupe or brown—they're mistake-proof and still layer well to make an impact.
While you're moving: Pull your hair back into a messy updo, pulling some front pieces out to frame your face. Smooth on some lip balm, and gel your brows into place.
At a red light: Use your finger to apply some brown shadow (Maybelline's The Nudes Palette, £10, has every shade you could possibly need) across your eye lids. If you have a small brush on hand, sweep a sheer layer underneath your lower lashes as well. Finish with mascara.
A word to the wise: Even we aren't super confident about applying liquid liner while in motion. You can still get a gorgeous winged look with shadow, however, and you're eons less likely to accidentally doodle on your face.
While you're moving: Smooth down flyaways with Living Proof's No Frizz Nourishing Styling Cream (£21), and groom your brows with any residual product you have left on your fingers.
At a red light: Using a brush, sweep on a charcoal eyeshadow across your lids, extending it out along your brow bone into a wing. Brush underneath your bottom lashes, too, so that the color meets at the outer corners of your eyes. Layer the color so that it's more concentrated near your upper lash line.
We call this look The Kate Moss: Kohl-lined eyes, tousled waves, and you're ready to rock and roll.
While you're moving: Part your hair in the middle and scrunch in some texturising spray, like Sachajuan's Ocean Mist (£18).
At a red light: Line your lower waterline with black eye pencil. (Urban Decay's 24/7 Glide-On Pencil, £16, won't budge all night.)
Which look is your favourite? What's your backseat beauty strategy? Tell us your tips in the comments below!