The Hills is one of my guilty pleasures.
My husband is convinced that it's the one thing that makes me feel 16 again. What he doesn't realize is that I happily left teenage angst behind when I hit 30 (as well as any angst that I could remember from my 20s).
No, what I love about The Hills is wallowing in the gratuitous consumerism and unfettered shallowness that it represents. It's mindless entertainment during a time when most TV channels are filled with draaah-ma. (I am fairly sure this is what said hubby sees in ESPN.)
And Heidi Montag — er, Pratt, is my favorite. She's plastic surgery done right, unabashedly superficial and she and Spencer don't hide the fact that they are, above all else, media whores. Hence their recent arrival (and even quicker departure from) NBC's I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here.
For those who missed the duo's appearance on the show, allow me to fill you in: The pair arrived to find the A-list treatment seriously lacking and the celebrity co-stars seriously D-list, so they left the show in episode one, supposedly because Heidi was ill, but more likely because she was heartsick about the destruction of her dry shampoo.
All this scripted, reality draaah-ma got me thinking about what beauty must-haves one would need to survive on a desert island — because food, water and shelter are clearly overrated.
You may not spot that rescue plane, but as long as you look pretty peering into the sunset, who cares? I've recently discovered, and become obsessed with, Mascara 38˚C Eyelash Base ($28) and Mascara 38˚C ($32) from Sensai by Kanebo.
Apply the base coat first followed by the mascara for long and lush lashes that left one of my friends inquiring where I'd gotten my lash extensions (touch 'em—they're real). Plus, thanks to what the company calls "Thermo-Sensitive Resin" technology, the mascara won't budge until removed with water 38˚C or above (which is just over 100˚F).
Send an S.O.S. to the world
No need to send out a skin care S.O.S., so long as your desert island musts include Freeze 24 7's Ice Shield, the first ever wash-on sunscreen and cleanser all in one ($48 at freeze247.com). This multitasking product is sure to save space and time and is recognized by the Skin Cancer Foundation as an effective UV sunscreen. Leaving you more time to scavenge for food and to distill water, natch!
Your skin is glowing (and protected) your lashes are eye-poppin', but this whole desert-island beauty thing is just a mirage without great hair. And let's face it, the elements are against you. Suddenly, you can empathize with Heidi and her distress in the face of bad hair.
And that's why a good dry shampoo really is the crowning glory of any desert island beauty bag. The best, hands down, is Fekkai Au Naturel Dry Shampoo, $23 at Sephora. Natural ingredients neutralize odors, banish excess oil and prevent dirt buildup all without water.
On a real desert island, it's survival of the fittest, but in the concrete jungle, with these beauty life-savers, survival of the prettiest is my mantra.
— Carolyn Brundage is the founder of tampabay.prettycity.com, a guide to all that is hip and happening in local beauty. Need beauty advice? E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.