Beauty, Eco & Organic, Makeup, New York, SkincareThe Summer Subway Survival Kit

Picture this: It is a balmy Saturday night in the city. You have been invited to a chic rooftop party sure to be frequented by some high profile guests, so you need to look your absolute best. You pick out the perfect little black dress, pair it with some bold jewelry and gorgeous heels. You then spend the next few hours styling your locks and applying an elegant palette of makeup. You grab your clutch and head out the door, turning heads as you strut down the sidewalk. You head down the subway steps only to be greeted by a hot cloud of sticky air. You shake it off. You look too good tonight to let anything get in your way. As you await your train, you begin to sweat. Your perfect smoky eyes begin to drip down your cheeks. Your beautiful curls turn into a frizzy mess atop your perspiring scalp. The perfect look has somehow gone all wrong!

Sadly enough, this a scenario we gals can all empathize with. There is nothing worse than spending hours getting ready to have your look ruined in an instant by the muggy subway platform. This terrible phenomenon that is sure to plague us as temperatures rise seems unbeatable. Luckily, TDO is here to help. We have sampled a wide range of products as well as caught up with Rachel Gangemi, a talented make-up artist at Valery Joseph Salon in New York City, to bring you a list of subway must haves and tips to help you fight the dreaded summer subway.

1) Oil Absorbing Sheets — Sweat is inevitable in the hot summer heat and the humid platform air. Thankfully, these pocket-sized products allow for a quick and easy touch-up that won’t smudge your makeup. Both Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets and e.l.f. professional Shine Eraser Blotting Sheets work miracles and are easy to pack in the smallest of bags.

2) Waterproof Mascara — As makeup expert Rachel advised, the best tip for a flawless made-up face even (in high temperatures) is following the age old rule “less is more!”  Mascara is a must-have basic for any face, but runny mascara is an immediate outfit killer. There is nothing worse than showing up to the party looking like a damp raccoon. Fortunately, Lancôme Hypnose waterproof mascara not only stays on beautifully, but really lengthens and separates your lashes. I even tried this mascara out in the ocean, and it stayed on perfectly. When I am jetting all over town, I use this mascara because I know that even if I begin to melt, this mascara will not.

3) Waterproof Eyeliner and Eye Shadow — Summer time is a great time to lighten up the makeup and play around with bolder colors and looks. Bright pinks and golds are great additions to the color palette for the summer. Physicians Formula Eye Enhancing Shadow & Liner allows you to amp up your eyes with three different color trios in one portable compact. This lightweight makeup is great for on the go touchups, too. (I didn’t need to because this shadow is extra long lasting). Physicians Formula Custom Eye Enhancing Eyeliner pairs nicely with this shadow, and its dual tip allows for quick and easy on the go access as well. For the daytime eyes, Rachel likes to use Laura Mercier Metallic Creme Eye Colour, which is water proof, lightweight and non-greasy (great for hot summer weather). Transitioning from a day time look to night time look seems like it would be a hassle. However, Rachel gave me easy advice on how to make the jump effortlessly. She recommends stepping up the eyes a little bit with a soft, smokey eye. Take a MAC Kohl Eyeliner, and smudge the color into the lash line. Set the look with a little powder shadow, finish with some mascara and you are ready to go. Who knew getting ready could be so easy!

4) Anti-frizz Hair Serum — To avoid the frightening frizz, try Avon Advance Techniques Anti-Frizz Capsules. This product causes minimal build-up unlike other hair serums and makes you hair sleek and shiny for a night out on the town. Plus, the compact packaging makes this product easy to throw into your purse for an emergency hair rescue. Be warned: if you use to many capsules at once, the result can be pretty sticky.

5) Light Cover Up/ Bronzer — When we asked Rachel what would create a solid base for a flawless look, she recommended sunscreen!  Of course, a lightweight foundation is also key to blemish-free, flawless looking skin.  Look for foundations with SPF to kill two birds with one stone. We recommend trying Physicians Formula Talc-free Mineral Wear with SPF 15. The Physicians Formula foundation moisturizes and hydrates your skin without being heavy. Its mineral enhanced formula adds a natural hint of color to your face that won’t disappear the second it gets hot.  Best of all, it stays on through high heat and is made for those prone to breakouts. For an added touch, use It Cosmetics Get Wet Waterproof Highlighter and Bronzer over the Physicians Formula foundation. This bronzer trio highlights and accentuates your cheekbones and chest; its waterproof formula makes sure it stays put (again, we tested this product out in the ocean). If you need to touch up, Rachel recommends just blotting and lightly reapplying what you really need. Once again, the golden rule is reiterated-less is more!

6) Blister Band-Aids — Walking all over town in a cute pair of heels often means a little sweat on those feet. And sweaty feet seem to equal painful blisters. Luckily, Band-Aid makes a great blister buster. Band-Aid Advanced Healing Blister Cushions does the trick every time, so you can keep your feet looking cute and feeling happy. Throw a pack in your purse for those unplanned on nuisances.

7) Lightweight, Non-Sticky Lip Gloss — Beautiful lips attract positive attention. Of course, sticky, heavy lip-gloss is nothing but a drag. Try Pangea Organics Lip Balm as a base coat for great hydration and Revolution Organics Freedom Gloss on top for surefire long-lasting, attention-grabbing lips. Revolution Gloss comes in great summer hues from Truth (fuschia) to Vibe (golden brown). As a bonus, these products are free of harmful chemicals, so you can look good without any negative side effects!

8) Unscented Deodorant — There is nothing sexy about body odor. Be prepared with Tom’s Original Nature Care Unscented Deodorant. Make sure to be discrete if re-applying, lest you run the risk of some unflattering candid photos (I’m thinking paparazzi style!).

9. Acne Prevention — For many of us out there, besides being no fun, sweat can cause undesirable side effects like sweat acne. Who wants those obnoxious little bumps on their chest, back, or arms? Though unnoticeable to the general public, acne never makes you feel good about yourself  – and you’ll be trying to cover up  those sexy limbs when you could be showing off! Luckily, VMV Hypoallergenic makes a miraculous product called ID that reduces sweat acne by targeting the fungus that causes sweat acne, and preventing skin disinfections that can clog pores. This gel is antibacterial, fragrance free, allergen free, and preservative free. All you have to do is apply it to problem areas and let it dry. Then you are ready to hit the streets, with one less problem to bog you down.

9) Fruity Gum — It takes work to look so good, but don’t forget your breath! Why not freshen up and enjoy a simple pleasure like Trident Tropical Twist Gum or Stride Forever Fruit Gum. These yummy fruit flavors will remind you of the pleasures of summer that await you above ground, while making your breath smell great so you can impress the people you’ll be meeting.

10) Water — As Rachel reminds us, always carry water while in summer weather – whether it’s your own reusable bottle or grabbing a bottle of Evian on your way! Staying hydrated helps your body stay cooler and keeps your skin will looking great, too.


  1. Shree  |  18 June 2009 at 9:01 AM

    Sadly enough, this a scenario we gals can all emphasize with? You mean “empathize” right?

  2. Intern Sarah  |  18 June 2009 at 10:19 AM

    oh gosh, my editor and I both missed that one! thanks!

  3. Mariana  |  25 June 2009 at 2:02 AM


    Just wanted to warn you that Tom’s unscented does not work very well in very hot weather, I would not recommend it if you’re planning on walking around in your heels for miles, or if you plan on dancing up a storm that night! 🙂

  4. Intern Sarah  |  3 July 2009 at 8:31 AM

    Hmm I found it to be very effective.

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