Formula B (Beauty) | Inquirer Business
Chic Driven

Formula B (Beauty)

Tips on excelling in the new ‘motorsport’ of putting make up in the car

TEAM Formula B (from left) the author, Pia Casequin, the author, Brenda Tuason and Sheila Johnson all set for the make-up test

Wet hair, bare face, heels and make-up kit in your hands, an angry husband or boyfriend who waited for a hour but still getting told that you are not ready for all this upon sitting on the passenger seat. Sounds familiar?

My husband, the racer who takes about 15 minutes to get ready even for a formal event, constantly nagged, joked and got angry about how long it takes for me to dress up.  And I am not alone: most of the women get this treatment when they spend longer than 30 minutes to beautify themselves.


With my sheer determination and discipline, I was able to excel in the race for a made-up face in the hardest of situations: inside a moving vehicle, with a small mirror, little or no light at all, plus the time pressure to finish your face before you get to a destination.

LOOKING good after doing the makeup ‘on the run’

Fernando Alonso has nothing on me even on the day he sees Sebastian Vettel in his side mirror on the last lap. I can do my night makeup in 10 minutes flat from the passenger seat.


NO room for error with these products

So when I started my Chicdriven column, one of the ways I tested vehicles is on the ease of putting makeup on while riding in a car.  After that, some readers emailed me asking about the products I used, which prompted me to do a test on the makeup itself.

I took three of my girlfriends who have varying skills in putting makeup on inside cars.  Our controlled variables includes: regular Formula B racetrack (Daang Hari stretch); top speed of 60-80 kph; a 3L turbo-diesel BMW X5 with size 20-inch wheels, Bridgestone HP tires; and our Formula B driver, Kuya Lando. We took turns in testing the products and clocked in more than 15 laps and came up with the following results.

STRETCH your lids for better application

(Just to clarify, I strongly discourage putting makeup on while driving; not only will germs from the steering wheel promote break outs, it is also downright dangerous.)

Keep your tools in tip-top shape. Start with putting alcohol on your hands to make sure that you don’t put germs in your face. Bring a small container of make-up remover, cotton balls and wipes. These are very important in removing your accidental moles (unless you’re channeling Nora Aunor), severe brows or overdone blue eye shadow (Elvira is that you?).

TAKE advantage of stoplights and toll booths to apply the tough ones like Mascara.

Internalize and relax. With all the rush and stress that has happened before getting into the car, your sweaty face is not the ideal canvass to put make up on. Relax and place your face a few inches away from a 21-degrees air-con for 5 minutes; this will help close your pores and give you time to plan your next steps.

Have good hand and eye coordination. Your clean hands and fingers are the best tool. It will give you the best feel and dexterity when applying eye makeup, lessening the chances of poking yourself. It would also help you blend the products better on your face.

Do a prime up lap. A primer or make-up base gives you a fighting chance of 2:1 in producing a fresh face than of an offroad racer on a dry day.  This will make your makeup easier to apply and the colors more vibrant and easier to blend. From the products we tested, Sheila liked the Maybelline Baby Skin Pore Eraser (She claims it was easy to apply and very soft on her skin) and Brenda and Pia loved the Shu Uemura Primer (offered a matte finish perfect for oily skin).  I opted for the Shiseido White Lucent with SPF 35 (It can stand alone for day makeup).


USE a primer to avoid looking like a joker.

Hit your color apex. We found that color on stick form is the best but you would also need one that would be very forgiving in terms of blending using your fingertips; the Laura Mercier Sugar Frost stick, the YSL Eyeliner Moire and Lancôme Absolue Impact 3D worked well moving at speeds of 60kph.  It gave the best, vibrant color with easy adjustability for the eyes.

For the cheeks, the winner is the Nars Multiple, which is very versatile because you can use this on your lids and lips.  Maybelline Cheeky Glow got Sheila’s and Brenda’s votes, although in powder form its consistency makes it possible to apply with your hands and blend the colors naturally.  If you’re scared to look like Raggedy Anne Dolls, enhance your natural blush with Smashbox O-glow or Benefit’s Benetint.

A WOMAN’S vanity area, the passenger’s seat

THE NARS Multiple is not that easy to handle.

Maximize the momentum when you brake. Mascara, liquid eyeliner and eyebrow pencil are hard to put on even when stationary.  We usually opt for liquid eyeliner inside a car due to its brush or felt tips, which will not render you blind when the car hits a pothole.   It is best that to stretch your lids to give you a more stable canvas.  Smudge the liner a little bit to give a softer look and to diffuse some of your crooked lines.  The Shiseido Automatic Fine Eyeliner and the L’Oreal Super Liner made both of this possible for us.

For the Mascara, this is the time to take advantage of the stoplight and/or paying at the tollbooth.  Choose one that does not clump your lashes because you will only be able to put a few strokes on.  Try the Maybelline Magnum Volum’ Express for high-impact lashes, the Majolica Majorca Lash King for natural-looking but still thick lashes and Lancôme Hypnose Star if you need your lashes at performance level the whole day.

SHU Uemura Primer

Preparation is key. Another helpful tip is to prepare your make-up bag in a manner that it would be easy for you to grab something.  You can arrange the items on the center console or glove compartment.   This saves you time and you can avoid turning green from motion sickness after you finish applying your makeup.

Putting makeup on inside a car is a skill one must learn through practice, preparation and control.  In this race, less is more and shocking colors will not necessarily create the best impact.  There is only one winner in this speed test and that winner is you. So now come race with us.

The testers:

Sheila Johnson (president of, mom of 2; Make-up skill level 2/5 as expert)

Brenda Tuason (project manager at Asiatype; skill level: 3/5)

LESS is more and shocking colors will not necessarily create the best impact.

ARRANGE your make-up items to make them more accessible. Take advantage of the center console.

Pia Casequin (house manager, mom of 3; skill level: 4/5)

For comments and suggestions, please email me at; like  us on Facebook/chicdriven or follow us at twitter @chicdriven. Check out our blog for behind the scenes and other topics.

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TAGS: column, Jeanette Ipapo-Tuason, Motoring, motorsport
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