Girl Friday: The Absolute Handbag Essentials

Posted on October 15, 2010


I hate not having the things I need with me all the time. Having a makeup malfunction right before a meeting sucks, or trying to spruce up when you leave work,  without jumping in the shower, is pants. But short of wheeling a massive suitcase around carrying everything from shower gel to eyeliner, how can you have catered for every occasion in just your handbag?

The following is everything that I have in my handbag. By the way, it’s a big handbag – and yours may be smaller –  but you know what you need.

Feel good

My One Green Bottle, Berry Beautiful Moisturiser. This neat, small, pellet shaped moisturiser is really good. It comes out on a roller ball so no need to get your hands covered in it, it quickly soothes dry skin, and gives it a vital kickstart. Great concept.

All for Eve hand cream This is bigger than you might want to put in a handbag, but it’s perfect hand cream, absorbed quickly with a subtle scent. I love it.

Connock Wonderbalm, this is great for dry hands, dry cheeks, dry elbows, dry anything! It’s been living in my handbag since I bought it and I’ve used it at least once a day. Very handy.

Energys Youthful Skin Elixir: this is great pick me up for when you’ve emerged from the meeting for hell and have to head out into the cold winter nights. A few sprays over or under makeup and a few deep breaths have sorted me right out.

Savlon antibacterial gel: Since I found out about all the horrible things on the poles on the tube I don’t leave home without this, it’s better than the others as it moisturises while disinfecting and doesn’t smell like industrial strength bleach.

Look good

*Disclaimer: this section has essentially turned into a Benefit makeup section, which is actually a complete accident, they just make great versatile makeup that’s excellent on the go!

Benefit, Some Kinda Gorgeous foundation faker: I swear by this stuff. It’s intelligent, smooth and adaptable – blending to your skin tone throughout summer and winter. It goes on like a dream with the sponge provided. In a neat, flat pot with an added mirror this is the kind of thing you should never leave home without.  

YSL Touche Eclat: I don’t know any self-respecting woman who doesn’t have this in her handbag, or doesn’t aspire to have it anyway. It’s a magical way to awaken tired eyes and complexions. Use sparingly.

Benefit Big Beautiful Eyes: This set of three eyeshadows ranging from albaster pink to mocha shimmer and deep chocolate will suit nearly all skin tones, and comes with various brushes for blending. As a major bonus the set also contains Boing concealer – a vital staple for handbags and the only thing you need to touch up your foundation if you’re pushed for space and time. The set is great value, in a flat neat pack.

Charles Worthington Shine Gloss Spray: this works wonders for me when my hair is starting to look a little frazzled.  A couple of sprays and my hair’s transformed – chic, smooth, shiny. It also smells suprisingly nice too.

Benefit Rush Hour: A neat lip and cheek stain that requires minimal effort to look good, if I’m in a big rush this is the ONLY thing I do at my desk before dashing out the door.

No.7 Longer lashes mascara: This is the only mascara that I can put on, on top of other mascara that doesn’t clump and glides on neatly. It’s often included in their free giveaway sets so you can even get a mini one. Perfect.

All for Eve crystal nail file: This is a lovely nail file, and will last for ages. It’s also solid so won’t bend or snap in your handbag. Made from Swarovski crystals its smooth on your nails and looks lovely. I love brandishing it in the office when someone asks me for a nail file.

Smell good

Dove Deodrant: Girls, this should go without saying, but you should have some deodorant with you always. I’m yet to find something in a mini-size that I trust as much as my regular deodrant, but I am liking the Dove Invisible Dry 150ml at the moment. It’s small enough to not be heavy and doesn’t have an overpowering scent.

Travalo: Genius idea. Tiny little bottle that you can decant some of your perfume into, lasts for about a week, so you can chop and change. They only cost £7.99 so it’s worth buying a couple and filling them up with your favourite perfumes

Sarah Jessica Parker – NYC: If you can fit this in, I think it’s a super handbag option. Not only does it look lovely (I get happy when I just look in my handbag and see it nestled in there), but it smells good, fresh and fun – a perfect evening scent. The bottle also slips out of the cool casing, so you could replace it with one of your other faves, size permitting. Get it (and the Travalo) at The Perfume Shop.

Posted in: Girl Friday