There are plenty of universally loved beauty products out there. But for those of us who live in NYC, we also have a few special requirements for our makeup and skin care. Will it withstand 18 hours at the bottom of your purse? Is it easy to apply on an especially rickety C train? Will it actually get city grime off your face? Here are six essential items that no New Yorker should be without.

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mascara devil wears prada NY
20th Century Fox

A Seriously Flake-Free Mascara

Nothing makes us feel instantly polished like jet-black, defined lashes. And nothing ruins that feeling like panda eyes. This cult favorite not only stays put and holds a curl, it’s the only one we’ve found that you can actually add a layer to hours later (say, after work when you want a more dramatic look) and still keep clumps at bay.

laura mercier caviar stick NY
@lauramercier/Instagram

A Chubby Eyeliner-Shadow Stick

Some days, you have plenty of time to try out an advanced cat-eye. And some days, you’re rushing to dinner and need to be ready five minutes ago. Enter the ten-second smoky eye: Just draw on, smudge and you’re good to go. (The imperfection is part of the appeal.)

rms beauty lip2cheek NY

A Pigment That Does Double Duty

No room in your purse for lipstick and blush? No problem. Just toss in a pot (or stick) of sheer, blendable color and you’ll have rosy cheeks and lips on reserve wherever you go.

ole henriksson truth serum NY
Ole Henriksson/Facebook

An Antioxidant Serum

Smog. Dust. Subway particles (ew). You’re exposed to a lot of pollutants every day, so it’s important to counteract the effects with a vitamin-packed treatment. Think of it as the topical equivalent to eating your fruits and veggies…even you’re still sneaking in a cheeseburger now and then.

micellar water NY
Twenty20

A Hardworking Micellar Water

Let’s face it: After a ten-hour workday followed by happy hour followed by impromptu karaoke, sometimes you just don’t have the energy to wash your face. Luckily, a few swipes of this magic liquid and you can still feel virtuous (about your skin, anyway) when you hit the pillow.

living proof dry shampoo NY

Dry Shampoo

We’d sooner give up Shake Shack than our trusted oil-banishing aerosol. Which is to say: Fat chance. 

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