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While the likelihood of any member of the StyleCaster staff (or anyone, for that matter) ending up stranded on a desert island is, fingers crossed, slim to none, it’s wise to have a game plan in mind. And by “game plan,” we mean the one beauty product you’d salvage should everything else go to shit. After all, being trapped on an uninhabitable piece of land doesn’t mean you should totally let yourself go.
Nine of our editors shared the one item they’d never leave behind come hell or high water.
“I don’t care if there’s not a single soul around for miles—bad brows are a non-negotiable. Urban Decay Brow Beater in Dark Brown ($20) is one of the only products I’ve found that darkens and thickens without making me look like I used a product to darken and thicken. Plus, a slightly stronger brow vastly improves the strength and symmetry of my face, so I’d want to look like my best self in case I meet any cute natives.” —Perrie Samotin, site director
“When I take a beach trip, Leonor Greyl Huile Secret de Beauté ($66) saves my hair from the sun and salt water—and I also use it as a moisturizer at night. I like to travel as light as possible, so the two-for-one factor is amazing. I was introduced to the product by my stylist and colorist who are both French, and they use Leonor Greyl at the salon.” —Melissa Medvedich, creative director
“I’m not a brand loyalist—my curiosity and profession mean that I’m constantly cycling through new products—but the one item that has firmly fixed itself in my arsenal is the Sarah Potempa Beachwaver ($199). I never used a curling iron until I tried this rotating one, which creates the perfect messy waves at the touch of a button. It’s totally foolproof and makes me look like I actually know what I’m doing with my hair, when I can assure you that I do not.
Sure, it’s unlikely I’d need to curl my hair if I were stranded on a desert island, but it’s equally improbable I’d end up on one in the first place, so let’s just say I’d rescue this bad boy if my apartment ever burned down in a fire.” —Cristina Velocci, managing editor
“If all but one moisturizer, eye cream, blemish treatment, and piece of makeup were to be pried from my hands, I’d hold on to my bareMinerals Oil Obsessed Total Cleansing Oil ($30). It’s my favorite everyday face wash, and somehow manages to remove makeup that wipes and other face washes miss. Also, since I started using this product I’ve noticed my pores are visibly smaller—which probably doesn’t really matter on a desert island, but it can’t hurt.” —Jasmine Garnsworthy, editor
“Assuming I can’t bring a lifeboat-shaped beauty product, my go-to would have to be L’Occitane Divine Cream ($110). I’ve been obsessed with it for years—not only is the packaging gorgeous, but the crème itself smells, well, divine, and makes my skin incredibly luminous. So if I couldn’t be rescued from my sandy spit of land, at least I’d have perfect skin.” —Beth Stebner, lifestyle editor
“My eyebrows are very important to me, but because my everyday brow-grooming routine involves a cream, a gel, a brush, and a spoolie, there’s no way I could choose just one to salvage in a life-or-death sitch—but you can pry my SkinCeuticals Physical Matte UV Defense SPF 50 ($34) from my cold, dead hands.
My skin has been known to fry in the five-minute walk from my apartment to the subway, so sun protection is beyond crucial, and this one in particular has everything going for it: It’s mattifying, so your face doesn’t get slick and oily even when it’s humid, and the lightweight, skin-perfecting tint and pore-blurring mousse-like formula lend a smooth, flaw-free complexion sans makeup. Perfect for that dirty-sexy, naturally appealing, I-only-bathe-in-streams Kate Austen vibe.” —Rachel Krause, associate beauty editor
“If I were stranded on a desert island, I’d like to think that I could make do with what I had—salt water as a natural surf spray, sand as an exfoliant, the sun giving me a nice natural glow but the one thing I’d absolutely need is NARS Brow Gel in Kinshasa ($23), which can literally take me from ragamuffin to polished in a matter of minutes.
If your eyes are the window to the soul, then your eyebrows are the window treatments—and who would ruin an amazing view with ugly curtains? The spoolie brush deposits just the right amount of thick, pigmented gel onto your brows for soft definition and color. After a few quick swipes, my brows look full and defined, and my whole face has gotten a lift. It’s a serious game changer.” —Cady Lang, social media editor
“The one product I cannot live without is my NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer ($29, a magical concealer that I discovered during my days interning in various beauty closets at magazines. I love it so much that I have backups just in case I lose mine or run out. I’m very particular about what concealer I use—a lot of them are too oily, make me break out, or simply don’t have the right kind of coverage. This one is great because of the consistency. Also, I can use it under my eyes and on blemishes; it has the duality that a lot of concealers just don’t have.” —Kristen Bateman, associate editor/producer
“I’d say Tata Harper Nourishing Oil Cleanser ($64). It’s the one product that convinced me to switch to cleansing with oil: It’s smooth, luxe, hydrating, removes all of my makeup, and smells like I just ran through a field of roses. I know it sounds crazy, but it just makes me feel good using it. I love it so much that I actually get sad when I go on vacation and can’t take it with me in my carry on. (Praying for a travel size to enter my life soon.) Plus, the ingredients are all-natural so I actually feel like I’m doing something good for myself.” —Caitlin Miller, editor