Beauty: emergency makeup essentials

‘Which products would I actually buy in an emergency (in the loosest sense of the word)?’

Last month, I missed the last train home to Brighton and found myself trapped in London. With nothing but mascara, a pinky-beige lipstick (doubling as blusher), lipliner, the clothes I stood up in and a very important meeting the following morning, I checked into a hotel.

It occurred to me that this gave me the opportunity for a useful experiment: which products would I actually buy in an emergency (in the loosest sense of the word)?

Early doors, I went to Boots and bought a toothbrush, toothpaste, tights, Dove deodorant, Nivea Tinted Moisturising Day Cream (£5.49), Rimmel Soft Kohl Eye Pencil in brown (£2.99) and mini Batiste Dry Shampoo (£1.50). I pinched a spritz of Prada scent tester. In Body Shop, I bought a tiny travel bottle of Vitamin E Cream Cleanser (£8.50). In Muji, a flannel to go with it. So far, so frugal. Except, almost involuntarily, I then found myself re-buying Dior’s Glow Maximiser primer (£28.50) on the basis that it makes everything applied over it look so much better. It makes my skin look healthy, my makeup fresh. I wear it almost every day of my life, often with nothing else.

Likewise, Chanel’s Illusion D’Ombre eyeshadow (£25) in golden-brown Mirage – my reasoning being that I’d almost run out, and when smudged over lids with my ring finger, it gives such a deceptively sophisticated finish that it’s more economical than buying three separate shadows and a suitable brush.

It seems I am capable of scrimping on many products, but without those last two, I’m lost.

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Powered by article was written by Sali Hughes, for The Guardian on Saturday 18th October 2014 06.00 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010