But however unexpected the invitation, as long as you think ahead, there's no reason why you shouldn't be the belle of the ball in just a few moments.
They may not be your idea of glamour, but the Boy Scouts are on to something: 'be prepared' is the basis for a lot of success in life. If you want to shine on any and every occasion, you just need to make sure you have your survival beauty kit with you... and be sure you know what's in it.
The first step is to clean out your cosmetics bag. Organisation saves precious minutes. So leave out everything that isn't absolutely necessary, and focus on a coherent emergency kit that will save you time rifling through dozens of products you only use occasionally to find the ones that match.
Scented creams and scented body oils allow you to moisturise and perfume in one go, leaving smooth skin and a subtle, but lasting, scent.
When you're rushed for time, opt for natural tones. These allow more margin for error because small flaws are simply less noticeable. And that means natural tones take less time to apply.
Your three basic allies are: blusher, lip gloss and translucent powder. Between them, these three little heroes can help you look good in just seconds.
- Clear lip gloss is perfect for adding a little light to your look, and the less pigment a lipstick contains, the easier it is to apply – you can even get away without looking in the mirror.
- Translucent powder can be a useful substitute for foundation. Simply apply with a brush on the T-zone (chin, nose and forehead) to stop shine and make your skin look cared for.
- Add a touch of blusher and, in a moment, the dullest work-day face is ready to party.
One last trick... if you mix a little of your usual moisturising cream with your foundation, you'll have a moisturiser with colour included that you can apply in seconds to give a flawless tone and satin-smooth skin.