We are sharing the tips, tricks and all the best there is to know about living your life beautifully. In this edition of the series, contributor Jane Marie gets down to her basics.

Whenever I’m paring down my makeup collection or cleaning out a purse, I look at each item and try to ask myself, “Do I really need this? How often do I actually use it?” But now I’m taking that question to the extreme. If I could only use 10 beauty products for the rest of my life, which would they be? I am not talking about a hypothetical situation, like being stranded on a deserted island; there I’d want burn cream and Neosporin and hair clippers. No, I’m talking more about an imaginary world, where each person would be allotted a cosmetics bag perpetually stocked with only 10 of their favorite items. In that case, which things would I choose?

Here are my picks, and why.

NARS Blush in Orgasm ($29): Duh. So I don’t look like a zombie.

Crème de la Mer ($150-$275): I KNOW. What a snobby answer. But nothing else makes the skin on my face feel better. The microscopic sea creatures inside may not perform miracles on me while I sleep, but it is seriously calming and moisturizing. It also smells like earned maturity, which is what I aspire to.

Lancôme Color Design Sensational Effects Lipcolor in Corset ($22): Please, please, please don’t ever stop making this! It’s the perfect red and pink and coral and/or orange shade known to humankind and I cannot—nay, SHALL NOT—live without it.

Seche Base Ridge Filling Base Coat ($5.59): If I had to pare down to just one nail product, this would be it. It protects and perfects while adding a pearly white sheen so you don’t even need a nail color on top of it. Sometimes I’ll be doing my nails and I’ll apply this “first step” and then just…drink a bunch of wine and watch TV and go to bed. I’m not even going to add nail polish remover to the list because “if I had to,” I’d just keep reapplying this stuff until my fingers ceased to exist.

Fekkai Essential Shea Conditioner ($25): When you have this, it does not even matter what you wash your hair with. Wash it with sand and actual seaweed by rolling around in the ocean. Wash it with baking soda and Brillo pads. Wash it with dishwasher detergent. No, don’t, but you probably could, and this conditioner would still leave your hair kitten-soft.

Vaseline Original 100% Pure Petroleum Jelly ($3.29-$4.49): I was wavering between Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy  Lip Treatment and some of my other favorite lip balms, but if I really could only choose one lip saver forever, it’d be good-old-fashioned Vaseline. The stuff also doubles as an eye makeup remover and dry skin/cuticle cream. And a million other things!

NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 ($42): It’s foundation, lotion and sun protection all in one. I mean, it almost kills me to say I’d give up foundation if I had to, but this one covers almost as well as the full-coverage stuff I’m into.

Clairol Natural Instincts Hair Color in Nutmeg ($9.89): This is the best at-home root-covering color I’ve ever used. I almost didn’t include this because I thought maybe in this hypothetical future I’d be brave enough to grow out my grays, but when it really comes down to it, I’m not.

Gillette Daisy Classic Disposable Razors ($9.49): Okay, four things:

  1. I just learned something new about myself because of this assignment. I guess I’d prefer to have hairless legs and underarms to luscious-looking lashes. Who knew?
  2. The brand usually includes a free “fancy” tilting, multi-blade razor in its 12-pack of Daisies.
  3. I always, without fail, nick myself with more expensive razors and never have with these budget-conscious ones.
  4. You can use that Fekkai conditioner as a shaving cream. In fact, I recommend it.

Burt’s Bees Facial Cleansing Towelettes With White Tea Extract ($3-$6): I cannot believe I’m choosing these over an actual face wash, which I also swear by, but alas. Given the choice, these cleanse very well and have the added benefit of portability and convenience. Plus, you can splash your face with water after you’ve used one and it feels pretty much the same as washing your face.

Photos: Courtesy of the brands