Friday morning, I was at the Columbia, S.C., airport bright and early. I sat waiting for my flight to Dallas, a neatly packed carry-on bag at my side. Inside were the clothes, cosmetics and sundries needed for a weekend in Dallas, where my husband and I planned to attend wedding festivities.
My spouse and I work in different cities, so he was making the trip by car from San Antonio, Texas. Just as I was about to board the Dallas-bound flight, my cell phone rang. It was my husband, telling me he was turning around and going back to San Antonio because he’d gotten a call every parent dreads: Our son was in a coma after his car collided head-on with a pickup truck.
I grabbed my bag and headed for the Delta ticket counter, where a kind agent quickly put me en route to San Antonio. That, as I mentioned, was Friday morning. As I write this on Monday afternoon, my husband and I are sitting on a sofa in our son’s room in the ICU. We hope he’ll be moved to Acute Care today and are grateful that doctors think he’ll fully recover from a frightening head injury and multiple broken ribs, along with an alarming number of cuts and bruises.
Meanwhile, most of the items I packed for the parties and wedding remain unused in my suitcase. Fortunately, the two casual sundresses I packed were useful for an unexpected hospital vigil. Unfortunately, the two pairs of fancy, high-heeled sandals were not. I dug out a pair of college-logo flip flops I’d left in San Antonio and have worn them with everything, whether they match or not. As for the contents of my makeup bag: high marks for me. Here are the products I had with me, which turned out to be perfect for this unexpected, awful few days:
- Stila Aqua Glow Foundation and Cover FX Custom Color Drops. I’m not a huge fan of super luminous foundations because they don’t particularly flatter my aging skin. I do, however, like the gentle sheen I get by mixing a glowy foundation with a drop or two of the saturated, matte color drops. This turned out to be a great combo for a hospital campout. I’m exhausted, but the luminosity camouflages some of the weariness in my face.
- Tarte Tartelette in Bloom and Lorac Pro Metal palettes. The In Bloom palette contains mostly neutral shades in a combination of matte and metallic finishes. The travel-friendly Pro Metal palette features a variety of shades – such as rose gold, amber and clover – that play nicely with the Tarte palette’s neutral tones.
- Too many lipsticks that turned out not to be too many. My weakness when packing is that I include far more lipsticks than I actually need. This time was no different, but I ended up being glad I had choices. I wore muted pinks and nudes for a couple of days, but switched to something brighter to give my face life after tiredness set in.
- Becca X Jaclyn Hill Champagne Collection Face Palette. With three blushes – one of which I instead use as a bronzer – and two highlight shades, it’s the perfect all-in-one cheek palette.
If you’re planning a trip – one that’s less stressful than mine turned out to be – consider lightening your luggage load by packing some of the items I mentioned. I didn’t include a lot of cosmetics, but the ones I did bring along turned out to be life-savers. Or perhaps face-savers.