Welcome to Pillioness!

You love motorcycles.
We love motorcycles.
(And so do our cats.)

We should stay in touch!

Enter your email
Get updates!

Pillioness is supported by our users. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission (at no cost to you). Learn more
motorcycle helmet makeup

Motorcycle Helmet Makeup: The 5 Minute Method!

How do you wear makeup with a motorcycle helmet?

The YouTube beauty queens say you need 55 products – and about 2 hours – to get ready for a motorcycle ride.
Are they kidding?
Who has time for that?
Not me!
And probably not you, either, right?

Motorcycle helmet makeup should be light, fast and simple.
When you do it right, it takes no more than 5 minutes.
Starting with non-greasy moisturizer and sunscreen, you move on to 30 seconds of eyeliner, a coat of mascara, light foundation and a swipe of moisturizing lipstick.
Done. So easy!
Pull on your leather jacket, and you’re ready to ride. 

Google “motorcycle helmet makeup,” and you get 2 kinds of results.

First, you’ll see that the topic appears on motorcycle forums.
Women ask for advice on how to wear makeup on a bike.

Guess who answers them?
Usually men.

They say things like:

You don’t need it, darlin’ – just go natural!

Hmm. That’s sweet.
But not really that helpful.
And also not even slightly realistic.
Clearly, these men have not seen me first thing in the morning.

So what other kind of help is out there?

There’s one more source of advice: makeup videos on YouTube.
Now these are truly fascinating.
The instructors must be part-time models.
They may be professional makeup artists.

Whoever they are, their product knowledge is mind-blowing.
Sign up for this ride, and you’ll go on a makeup journey that’s truly baffling…

What Do These Gurus Say About Motorcycle Helmet Makeup?

These women are obsessed, consumed, in love …
With makeup.
I wonder if they write love poems to lipstick.
They have a soul connection with certain kinds of eyeshadow.

Me, I pick a lipstick in a color I like.
I read the ingredients to check that it doesn’t contain chemicals.
I put some on my lips, and then get on with my life.

But not the YouTube makeup ladies.
They’ll take you through complicated routines involving DOZENS of products.
I’m not exaggerating.
I actually kept count.

In one video, a stunning woman looks you in the eye.
She seems to be deadly serious.
Patiently and gently, she explains how to apply:

  • eyeshadow primer
  • 6 eyeshadow colors
  • 4 kinds of eyeliner
  • concealer
  • foundation
  • contour
  • highlighter
  • 2 kinds of blush
  • lip-liner
  • lipstick
  • you’ll need 8 different makeup brushes for this, and then finally…

It’s true. I’m not even joking.


heavy motorcycle makeup


Well I guess it’s midnight in a club somewhere in the world.

Another apparently 25 year old supermodel-in-waiting recommends:

  • 4 primers (WHAT!?)
  • 2 foundations
  • 2 concealers
  • 3 powders
  • bronzer
  • blush
  • highlighter (that’s 14 products on your skin before starting on the eyes)
  • 7 eyeshadows, and
  • 6 different makeup brushes.

When I finally stopped laughing in amazement, it all became clear to me.

I’m a disgrace to womankind.

I don’t know how to stick on false eyelashes.
I own maybe two makeup brushes.
And I have no idea how to contour my face with different shades of brown stripes.
I’ve honestly never thought about it.

But, look, I’m not a cave woman.
I do wear makeup.

I use a handful of products that are quick to apply, make me look better and are not full of chemicals.
That’s my whole makeup philosophy right there.

I apply the same basic approach to the makeup I wear under a motorcycle helmet.

So if you don’t want to wrestle with eyelash glue, contour, highlighter, blush, and Special Lipliner Brush no. 435, try these simple tips instead.

Motorcycle Helmet Makeup:
5 steps, 5 minutes – no fuss!

How about we try a real-world approach?
Here’s what I do…

Step 1: Prepare your face

On a motorcycle, your face is attacked by the wind and sun all day.
If you don’t protect your skin, you’ll be a withered hag by the time you get home.
Maybe sooner.

So protect your face from the get-go.
Start with clean, moisturized skin, and then add the secret power product – sunscreen.

The sun will burn any part of your face it can find through your helmet.
And if you take your helmet off and have a coffee in the sunshine, BOOM!
The sun will strike again.


don't forget sunscreen


Be sparing when applying moisturizer and sunscreen to your forehead, though, as that part of your face will be pressed all day into the foam of your helmet.

Unless it’s a very cold day, you’ll sweat in your helmet, so go for non-greasy moisturizer and sunscreen.
You don’t need to add more shine before you start.

And don’t forget your neck!

Apply sunscreen there too, and put a physical barrier between your delicate neck skin and the drying wind – a thin cotton scarf in summer, and a heavier woollen one in winter.

Step 2: Eyes

Do your eyes next, so if you get smudges or flakes of eyeliner or mascara falling onto your face, you can fix them without wiping off your foundation too.


A thin crayon line on your top lid is all you need.
Don’t line underneath your eye, as makeup will transfer there anyway if you’re sweating.

FORGET layering on 14 shades of co-ordinating eyeshadow.
All that glittery powder will blow into your eyes the second you open your helmet visor.


Do you have any waterproof mascara?
Use one coat of that.
It’ll be helpful if your eyes water in the wind.

But if you only have water-based mascara (like me), just use that.
Apply two light layers of your usual brand, and check it for smudges when you reach your destination.

There’s no need put mascara on your lower lashes.
If you do, you’ll have panda eyes 10 minutes into the ride.

And as for false eyelashes … uh, NO.
What happens if the wind blows one of those furry caterpillars into your eye?


false eyelashes in a motorcycle helmet



Once your helmet is on, your eyebrows will be getting smushed around by your helmet liner.
All. Day. Long.

So any color you add will smudge down onto your brow bone and look like you applied eyeshadow randomly in the dark.

It’s kind of a weird look.

The only product to bother with here is some clear eyebrow mascara.
At least you can try to give your brows some shape.

Step 3: Foundation (& concealer if you want to)

There are two good reasons to use a light hand with foundation under a motorcycle helmet:

1. You’ll be in direct sunlight, so less is more.
2. If you trowel on layers of thick foundation, most of it will end up on the inside of your helmet anyway.

Concentrate on applying your foundation mostly in the center of your face.
Be more sparing around the edges, as that’s where the foam of your helmet presses.

Go light on your forehead area, too, as your helmet touches it for the whole ride.
A lot of product on your forehead will wipe off on your helmet lining, and transfer into your bangs or fringe.

That leads to a really attractive (not!) kind of helmet hair problem.

If you need a dab or two of concealer, pat some on and blend it in.
Yep, we’re getting pretty technical at this stage…

Right, what’s next?

Step 4: Powder

Use pressed powder sparingly on your chin and nose to help keep everything in place.
A little (just a little!) on your forehead will help control oil and sweat build-up.

Or you could use blotting papers which absorb oil, rather than putting more layers of product on your skin.


powder in a helmet

Step 5: Lips

Choose a moisturizing lipstick in a natural color.

Lipstick (especially when teamed with its good friend mascara) can really add some polish, even if the rest of you looks completely wild and crazy after a ride.

Remember to use some actual color here, not untinted lip balm.
It’s the color that pulls everything together.
Something slightly darker or pinker than your natural lips works well.

But bright reds or oranges are way out of place.
Bold, flashy lipstick and feral helmet hair will make the locals wonder if a clown school has opened around the corner.

And while we’re talking about lips, remember: when it comes to motorcycle makeup, lip gloss is the work of the devil.

Bugs LOVE it.
You might as well put sugar or honey on your lips and watch them fly right at you.


lip gloss on a motorcycle


And dirt sticks to glossy lips too, the second you open your visor.
By the end of the ride, there’ll be a gloopy, sloppy mess to deal with.

So that’s pretty much all you need to know about motorcycle helmet makeup.

Pretty simple, huh?
You didn’t even need a video to master it.

But what if you want an EVEN QUICKER approach to looking better than you do when you just wake up?

Can we break this down any further to even less fuss, and fewer products?

Of course we can!

The TWO Minute Extra Simple Approach to Motorcycle Helmet Makeup

Now you know the standard way to do effective makeup for a motorcycle helmet, you can strip it back even further when you’re in a hurry.

An extreme minimalist version of motorcycle helmet makeup looks like this:

1.  Apply non-greasy sunscreen
2.  Use dabs of concealer only where you need it
3.  Quickly powder your t-zone
4.  Add one layer of mascara, and
5.  Finish with a quick slick of lipstick.

This way, you’re still protecting your skin, and adding a hint of color and definition.


Oh, and there’s one more question we need to address here…

Can You Make Motorcycle Makeup Last?

Let’s talk turkey here.

No makeup routine is going to be 100% motorcycle helmet proof.
To keep your makeup perfectly in place all day on a bike, you’d need a layer of spray-on glue.

That’s probably not so great for your skin.

So sure, you could try plastering on 4 primers, 5 foundations and 16 kinds of powder.
Personally, I’d be too scared to take my helmet off in public after riding in all that goop.
That’d look worse than no makeup at all.

Luckily, there’s a much better way to make sure your makeup lasts on a motorcycle…

Just bring a touch up kit with you on the bike.

Genius, right?


make motorcycle makeup last

What to Pack in Your Motorcycle Helmet Makeup Touch Up Kit

Start by getting yourself a small zip-up bag.
Naturally, mine has green and blue sequins like a mermaid’s tail.
If I can find a way to girly things up, I’ll do it every time.

Put together a strategic handful of products, and you’ll be able to fix your face anytime you stop on the road.

Here’s all you need:

  • Fragrance-free cleansing wipes to deal with road dirt, or makeup smudges
    (you can also use them to clean your hands before you touch your face).
  • A mirrored compact in case there are no proper, well-lit mirrors in sight
    (use the bike mirror if you have to).
  • Pressed powder or oil blotting papers to absorb shine and sweat
    (also handy if you re-apply sunscreen on the road).
  • Concealer or foundation to replace the makeup that migrated to your helmet liner (and yeah, you might want to wash the liner now and then).
  • Lipstick for an instant glamor top-up.

That’s it! That’s all you need.

Bringing a touch up kit is a smart way to wear less makeup under a motorcycle helmet.
You can remove shine, and add coverage and color as you need it.

That’s much easier than trying to fix 25 melted makeup layers in a dimly lit bathroom.

Well done – now you’re a motorcycle makeup expert.

At this point, you could even start filming your own YouTube makeup videos.

But in the meantime, you know exactly how to wear makeup in a motorcycle helmet – without looking like Biker Barbie that someone left out in the rain.


Like this article?

Then you need this next…

Skin Care for Motorcycle Riders: 4 Simple Steps


    I do my eyebrows everyday and ride to school everyday so I need them to stay on and I’ve learned that, for them to not get rubbed off I just use a bit of hairspray on a spoolie and brush it through my eyebrows. Sets them down and they last all day and don’t get wiped off when I take off my helmet.

      Brilliant, Libbi! Thanks for the tip, must try it. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Are you addicted to motorcycles? Will you survive helmet hair?

Find the answers to burning questions like these on our Motorcycle Quiz page!

This will close in 0 seconds

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are okay with that. Click to close.