How to commute-proof your hair, makeup and other things that sweat on your way to work.

Raise your hand if you commute to work? Keep it there if that commute’s been feelinng a tad ~uncomfortable~ on recent warmer days?

Yep. Us too.

If you’ve been getting to work and feeling like a puddle of dampness and humidity post-commute, there’s a better way.

So we asked some people who know more about these things for their best commute-proof beauty and style tips, because no, you shouldn’t have to spend the day all clammy and caked in pressed powder.

Like the celebrity makeup artist who paints faces like Jesinta Franklin’s and Bambi Northwood Blyth’s. Or the hairstylist who gets Sylvia Jeffreys ready for the Today Show.

They can help us.

And honestly, we need all the help we can get (she says as she flicks the sweat pooling on her upper lip).

How to stop your makeup from sweating off.


A.k.a operation ‘stop my makeup from sliding off my face before 9am’.

When it’s hot and sweaty, your makeup is generally the first thing to go on your morning commute. Sweaty upper lips and chins, as well as under your eyes, can make you wonder why you even bothered spending 20 minutes on your face before work.

But celebrity makeup artist Tobi Henney is here to help. She gave us some much needed direction on how to prevent (or at least, delay) your makeup from disintegrating before you’ve had a chance to order your first coffee.

Aside from the obvious – “if you can, do as much of your makeup at work, en route or as late as you can” – Henney advised including products in your routine that are designed to soak up those annoying droplets of forehead sweat.

“Skin prep is really important, I recommend using a micellar water even after you’ve cleansed in the shower, ” she told Mamamia.

“Particular on your eyelids, a lot of women get oily eyelids, so start with micellar water on a cotton pad and swipe across your eyelid. It’s going to help get off that excess oil to start and give you a good base so it lasts longer.”


Another tip? Layer your products.

“With your base, start with a cream product or foundation and set with a pressed powder. I love Mac Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation ($50) for my T-zone. A couple of taps on my forehead, chin, under my eyes gets me by and knocks off the shine.

“Same goes with eye makeup, have two products on top of each other for longevity. I always start with a cream shadow, and then layer a powder shadow on top. That’ll give it more staying power.”

And blotting papers; by god you’re gonna want to buy some blotting papers. Henney recommends pressing them on and peeling them off, which will absorb oil without you needing to pack on more powder.

Our favourites are the the FENTY BEAUTY Invisimatte Blotting Papers ($24) or MECCA MAX Press Refresh Blotting PaperS ($10).

Also, invest in an Urban Decay setting spray, like the De-Slick Oil Control Makeup Setting Spray ($49) or Chill Cooling And Hydrating Makeup Setting Spray ($49).

“A good quality setting spray will lock your makeup into place,” Henney said.

Wise words.

How not to arrive at work with wet hair (but not because you just washed it…)

This heat-free hairstyle is perfect for humid commutes. Image: Supplied/Jaala Brinsmead.

Channel Nine wedding and event hairstylist Jaala Brinsmead knows a little something about styling hair under hot, stressful conditions.

Because taming the manes of the likes of Sylvia Jeffreys, Sonia Kruger and Erin Molan at 5am in the morning (or a bride on a hot summer's day) isn't sweat-inducing at all.

Thankfully, we wrangled her into sharing her best commute-proof hair tips for those long, humid trips to work.

The first? The ultimate heat-free hairstyle for lazy girls who want to fight frizz and snooze for a few extra precious minutes in the morning.

"There's this little trick I do when my hair is wet, and it's perfect for when I'm either squeezing those extra minutes in the morning before my 3am alarm goes off," Brinsmead told Mamamia.


"Start by towel drying your hair to remove as much moisture as you can. Then apply a serum. Serum is like liquid hydration for hair and I never leave home without it. I use about three pumps of my favourite Wella System Professional Luxeoil Reconstructive Elixir ($32.90) on my ends to mid-lengths. Then a light misting of Evo Salty Dog Spray ($32.95) if I've freshly washed my hair."

If you have fine hair, Brinsmead then advised to work your hands through your hair. A vigorous scalp massage feels good, but it'll also give you the volume you get from your hairdryer, without the heat.

For women with thick or curly hair, please disregard that tip - you're not to touch your hair, as this will only create unwanted frizz.

Then, part your hair how you'd normally wear it down, before sectioning and winding sections of hair, curling them back to secure into a loose bun (see the pic above for inspiration).

Let your hair dry like this, before removing the bobby pins and gently shaking out the waves with your hands. Add an additional pump of serum and viola, perfect summer waves.

This style is an absolute winner for your commute because a) it does all the work, leaving you free to scroll/read, and b) your hair is kept off your face and away from hairline sweat.

As for her product recommendations, Brinsmead reckons it all starts with the right shampoo and conditioner.

"Use the smoothing Kérastase Discipline Bain Fluidealiste 2 Shampoo ($40) and Cleansing Conditioner Curl Ideal ($72) for total luxury, or for cost effective option, go for Ogx Shae Soft & Smooth Shampoo and Conditioner range ($10) found at most supermarkets," she said.


She also advised beating heat and humidity with cult favourite, CPR Control Smooth & Sleek Blow Dry Creme ($21.20), and using the Clairol Final Net Lacquer Super Hold Spray ($9.50) to finish your look.


How to choose an appropriate summer work outfit.


This might just be us, but sometimes no amount of setting spray or blotting papers can save us from the fresh hell that is commuting in your office appropriate outfits. Black pants, tight fitting pencil or midi skirts and blazers can be unbearable if you're commuting in the warmer months. Extra sympathy if you take the train or bus.

Trash to Treasured blogger and stylist Tina Abeysekara is an expert bargain hunter. Yes, that's a title. She also lives in Sydney and is accustomed to sweaty 9-5 commutes.

Her advice? Focus on fabric and cut.

"I’m not fussed about brand labels but when it comes to summer work wear (or summer in general), double check the material composition and try to go for natural, breathable options to keep you cool through the day," she said.

"Look for things like 100 per cent cotton, linen, silk or even chambray/tencel for a touch of denim without the heavy material. Man made fabrics like rayon also work but not as moisture wicking as cotton so best for dry heat environments."


As for breezy silhouettes, Abeysekara recommends going for pieces with a roomier, looser fit. Especially if the material is a blend or synthetic.

"I sometimes size up with my shirts andtops and keep them light in colour, and mostly swap tapered pants for culottes and A-line midi skirts, and fitted frocks for shift and skater dresses. With these loose silhouettes going on, I like to add some shape to the looks with either a belt, or opting for high waited pants/skirts I can tuck my top into."

Abeysekara loves Glassons' linen range, and Uniqlo for quality and affordable summer pieces, as well as Kmart and ICONIC for your seasonal pieces like culottes and sleeveless or linen blazers.

How to find public transport friendly shoes.

This one's easy - go low.

This season's obsession with low heeled mules and statement sneakers aligns conveniently with our goal of not having to bandage up our bloody, blistery heels by the time we've made it into the office.


We love these metallic low wooden heels from Rubi Shoes as an an affordable option, and Kmart have an excellent range of on-trend slides and sneakers in rose gold and glitter. Jo Mercer's mid-heels offering is also worth a look if you've got between $150-$250 to spend, and there's always a trusty pair of Addidas Stan Smiths or Converse to fall back on if you can commit to keeping them white.

And if you do want to continue wearing heels that are pretty, but painful, just suck it up and wear your sneakers on the way to work. Everyone does it. It's fine.

How to stop... chafe.

We've written about the magical powers of Neat 3B Cream ($13.75) before, but we're bringing it up again because it's that bloody good.

Rub a generous amount of this barrier cream anywhere that leaves your skin feeling angry and red after your morning commute for chafe-free comfort.

This writer's been known to use it on her inner thighs, bikini line and under her, erm, bum cheeks.

If your thighs rub together, as thighs do, this will change your life. Better, it'll give you the freedom to wear skirts and dresses again. Hurrah!

A final note: If you take all of the above on board, and you're still feeling like a sweaty mess, here's one last piece of advice. Don't worry about it, because look around.

Everyone is just as sweaty as you are.

Feature image: Tobi Henney/@tobimakeup, Jaala Brinsmead, Tina Abeysekara/@trashtotreasured.