The Daily Telegraph - The Telegraph Magazine

Celia Walden comes down in favour of eye creams

Confession­s of beauty-cream thefts past…

- Celia Walden

ROMAN ABRAMOVICH once gave me a lift home on his private jet. Boom. Nearly took your toe off with that namedrop, right? I was in the hospitalit­y suite at a football match in Manchester a few years back when I spotted the teetotal Russian oligarch turning down the offer of a glass of champagne. I wished him a happy birthday in Russian, and when an invitation was later extended to join him on his Boeing Business Jet, it seemed churlish to say no.

He was quiet but charming as the bodyguards kept the Cristal flowing. But the best part of the whole surreal experience came when I popped to the on-board loo. Beside the sink was a basket overflowin­g with Crème de la Mer products. There must have been a couple of grand’s worth in there easily. I spent the remainder of the flight agonising over what the general stealing etiquette was in these scenarios. And yes, I know that theft isn’t the correct way to repay someone for a random act of kindness, but was Roman really going to miss a tiny tub of La Mer The Eye Concentrat­e if I stashed one in my bag?

That tiny tub lasted me over a year (and wiped away the signs of 10), but all the time the guilt gnawed away inside. Still now, when I see pictures of the Russian gazilliona­ire looking a little creased around the eyes, I feel responsibl­e. Roman, if you’re reading this, I’m now in a position to make amends. And yes, you were right to have picked la crème de la crème, but say the word and I’ll pop a whole new selection of equally age-busting products in the post to you. It’s the least I can do.

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