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If you found yourself stranded on a desert island, the beauty products you’d most urgently require probably wouldn’t be the first thing to come to mind. But once you’d figured out the more pressing concerns, if you’re anything like me, your thoughts would likely eventually return to all things beauty. It’s a game I often play with myself – I know, I’m a fascinating person. And after months (or years) of consideration, I’ve come up with a pretty conclusive list of exactly what I’d need to survive in style.

The first item which comes to mind is a cleanser. There’s nothing more disheartening than the feeling of a grimy face – and when you’re stranded on a desert island, you need to feel as cheery as possible. I imagine harsh outdoor climates would leave my skin feeling a little bit delicate, and so my choice is the Kiehl’s Centella Sensitive Facial Cleanser. This has a delightful, pudding-y texture, and effectively removes any makeup or dirt without stripping or irritating. I could happily use this for the rest of my life and I can’t foresee ever having an issue.

In terms of keeping skin glowing, I’d go for something easily transportable like the Elemis Dynamic Resurfacing Facial Pads. Exfoliation isn’t just for the benefit of others – I want to look like a smooth shiny baby even if the only person to appreciate it is me. These are just the right balance of gentle and effective, sloughing off dead cells and thus preventing both acne and aging.

In times of extreme weather, I tend to turn to the Weleda Skin Food anyway. But on a desert island, I can’t imagine wanting anything but this thick, unctuous, almond-scented cream. It’s not only a delight for the skin, offering the utmost in terms of emollient hydration, but a delight for the senses. Rubbing this into the face daily would be (almost) enough to keep me sane while I awaited rescue.

While living on a desert island, SPF would be of the highest concern. Just because I’m alone doesn’t mean I’m ok with a lack of proper sun protection. I think I’d go for something with a hint of tint, too – just in case that was the day I got rescued. The Dr. Jart Cicapair Colour Correcting Treatment or the Kiehl’s Ultra Light Daily UV Defence CC Cream both blur imperfections, minimize redness, and give skin a healthy sheen.

A lip balm would obviously be another desert island essential, and I’d go for one that also had happiness-inducing properties, like the Glossier Birthday balm dotcom. It has that typical occlusively moisturising feel, but unlike the others in the range, it’s packed with holographic shimmer and tastes like cake. Need I say more?

Wearing perfume is another sure-fire serotonin booster, and thus I would not be on a desert island without one. After much consideration, I think the fragrance I’d bring would be Maison Margiela’s Mutiny. What I love about this fragrance is that it doesn’t lean too far in any direction. It’s somewhat floral, but also somewhat gourmand, somewhat fresh, but also somewhat sweet. And that stunning weapon-esque bottle doesn’t go amiss, either.

Waiting for rescue on a desert island would likely leave you with a lot of time on your hands – which surely means it’s an ideal time for masking. You’d obviously want a deep-cleansing option (the Fresh Umbrian Clay springs to mind) and then plenty of sheet masks (the DHC Bio-Cellulose and the Sarah Chapman Skinesis 3D Moisture Infusion are my current top two).

And when masking, it’s important to never forget about hair. All that seawater and wind won’t be doing you any favours, so you’d want something uber nourishing to keep your hair looking mermaidy in the right way. The Christophe Robin Regenerating Hair Mask with Prickly Pear Seed Oil is one of the best I’ve ever tried – and I’ve pretty much tried them all. A few minutes with this on seems to magically undo years of hair-mistreatment. Plus, sitting with a hair mask in always makes me feel like everything will probably turn out ok in the end.

Shop 11 no-fail picks our beauty editor would take anywhere!

Featured images via Urban Outfitters / Weleda

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