It’s always fascinating to look inside another woman’s bag. Especially if she’s chic & well kept, you have to wonder, ‘Whats her secret?’ There are some staples, that every woman should have in her bag. It helps us stay organized, have a touch up when we need it, & just generally help us to be more efficient. Here I will list some must haves in your purse, as well as some optional things.
Bring just enough for touch ups, whatever your favorite staples are, whether they be eyeliner, mascara, or lipstick. Don’t bring the whole caboodle with you; just the essentials. If your staples are eyeliner & mascara; then bring them. Only lipstick? Bring it. You don’t need to paint on your face every day, but unless you’re one of those women that look fabulous barefaced, just a touch of it will do.
I know you’re not going to cry every day, but these are wise because you never know when you may have to sneeze, or you may eat somewhere & forgot napkins, or you’re drinking something & you accidently spill it, etc.
this may seem obvious, but there are some people, (more so men than women) that love to just stuff their money in their back pockets. And I think this is unwise. Not only do you take the chance of losing your money or cards, but this is unorganized. Pick out a wallet, whatever type you prefer, & stick to it. Every once in awhile clean it out of all the receipts you have.
Tip: if you’re an international traveler you may want 2 wallets. Or at least a wallet that can carry 2 sets of bills. For me this is convenient so my currencies don’t get all mixed up.
Get a small one to put in your purse, for you never know when you would need it. Let’s say you’re about to eat pizza & you have no idea where the restroom is. Or conversely you just ate & you have no idea where the restroom is either. This is also great i.e. if you have kids, they make a mess with their hands when they eat; wipe them off with tissues/ baby wipes, & then sanitize them.
-A compact mirror:
OK you don’t need one by Prada, but a basic compact mirror will do. God knows how many times I smeared my eyeliner & had no idea. This is a great way to check yourself i.e. before a big meeting, or on a date; you will need one in your bag.
A small hand held one is great for inside the bag. One great thing about scented lotion is that it radiates scents more naturally than perfume does. There are women who love to constantly moisturize for dry hands; I personally prefer to moisturize my hands at night. Also if it’s scented, there’s no stopping you from putting it on in other places to radiate the smell! If it’s only for the scent, put it on your arms, wrists, or on your neck.
-Cell phone with a cell phone case:
Yes, I know this is obvious & everyone has one nowadays, but I think it’s important to have a case to go with your phone. Not just to be decorative, but the case protects your phone (No matter how blingy it may be). If you have a screen protector, even better! If you get the leather case kind, they usually come with pockets to stick your cards in which I know some people love.
If anything you should carry a few. It may sound like common sense, but there are always people who think ‘Oh i have my cell phone, I can always write things down on there.’ But no, it’s not enough. You never know when you might need to sign some forms, for a credit card, or just to give someone your email or write down your phone number. As digital as we get, at the end of the day you will still need to do something by hand.
-Key chain & keys:
This may seem obvious as well, but you can get key chains anywhere & hang all your keys. And even better if you pick them up on your travels!
Tip: they offer different options nowadays to get different colored keys at the hardware store, so that if you have a million of them it’s easier to remember which one’s which.
An atomizer or a rollerball of perfume is great on the go. Just a quick rub or spritz of your favorite perfume can be revitalizing. The cheaper alternative? Get the atomizer for you can spray whatever perfume you want to carry, & it only costs $6! Rollerballs usually cost at least $20. As Coco Chanel once said, “A girl without perfume has no future.” Click here for a wide selection of rollerballs!
A good lip balm or chapstick:
Even better if it has SPF in it. One of the least protected parts of our bodies is: our lips. Last thing you want is to be sunburnt or have sun poisoning on your lips. And I always need a good Chapstick or something for rough lips.
Tip: Your lips will look far more appealing to a man when they’re nice & smooth, vs. cracked & peeling.
Nail clippers & or nail file:
They sell versions that you can just hang off your keychain! I know most people do this at home, but god knows how many times I’ve broken or chipped a nail at work, only to be walking around with a jagged nail all day. Just get the nail clipper will do. And quite often, it hurts.
A sanitary pad / tampon:
I’m not saying you need to carry a whole load with you; but there are times when your period shows up unexpectedly & you have nothing on you. Just carry one on you just in case. I have been asked by friends if I had any; & I’m sure you’ve asked your friends as well. Best to be prepared for any surprises that come your way.
Whether they be Altoids, or lifesavers, a breath mint can freshen up your mouth right after a meal. You don’t want garlic breath right before you talk to your boss, & you definitely don’t want it after a date.
Kindle or Ipad
This great for people who love to read, for this minimizes all the books into one convenient tablet. Just be careful that if you read on public transportation, & the crime rate is high where you live, best not to bring it out. BUT this is a great way to kill time on your commute to school or work.
Business card holder with YOUR business cards:
This is something I highly recommend. And it doesn’t have to be anything fancy or expensive, & there are lots of websites that are willing to print out business cards for free. Whether you’re a working professional, I think it’s wise to have own your own business card, if only just to give out your name, number & email and / or website. It makes you look much more professional. If you have anything to promote, whether it’s a service, your own business, heck even to promote a blog, you should have a business card.
Roll up flats, $9
And they come in a pouch that you can stick your shoes in! I live in NYC, I’m sorry, but there are too many women that wear suits with sneakers. It’s so tacky! Sneakers should be for the gym, & the gym only. Your heels are hurting you? Whip out those flats! I bet you could walk around in the office in flats as well!
Tide Stick, $3
I love this! I’m carrying one in my purse now! Quite often I’m a bit clumsy, & I end up getting makeup or food stains on my clothes. One time I accidentally got blueberry stains on my dress. The tide stick took it out in a pinch! It comes in marker, & you basically ‘draw’ on your stain to release the stain remover. This is also great if you have kids! Amazing!
This is great because it blots the oil off your face without wiping off your makeup! The proper way to use them is to blot & press against your skin for 15-20 seconds, instead of wiping. I have a co worker who found blotting papers at Duane Reade for $1!!! The deals are out there! It’s up to you to find them!
You can pick up the travel size to fit in your bag, for I would definitely need this in the summer!
Travel sized hairbrush, $1.50
You could also pick this up in the travel size section of Target, or at Ulta. This would be a good idea i.e. if you wear a hat & you don’t want to show up to work with hat hair.
If you have a tendency to have bags under your eyes, this would be a great fix for you. Just dab some underneath your eyes & you’re good to go!
This is great especially if you wear real jewelry, & would love to take it off at the end of the day. Or sometimes your necklace or earrings are just too heavy, & you don’t want to wear it on the way home. You don’t want your jewelry to break or get crushed inside your bag, which has happened to me before. This is great particular after a special occasion (i.e. like a wedding) or when you travel.
This greatly depends on where you live: if you live in an area where it hardly rains, then obviously you don’t need to worry about it. However, if it rains a lot then it’s best to carry even a small portable one in your bag. This is great particularly for travel, for we never know how the weather will change, & you don’t want to be scrambling around in a foreign country looking to buy an umbrella. I regularly check the forecast, but yet there are always times when I’m caught in the rain without an umbrella.
-Mini spray on mist:
Some women love this for they feel more hydrated afterwards. Especially in the drier months, this may be something that soothes the skin. Conversely, Tony Moly also has a Pocket Bunny Sleek Mist, for oil control.
-A small bottle of water:
For me this is a must have. I talk a lot at my job, & I can just refill it when I need to, & it’s not heavy to carry around in my bag. Plus there are times when I commute, & I’m dying for a sip of water on the way. I don’t need to constantly buy beverages on the road. I have some co workers who have larger bottles, & love infusers, & will add things like tea, fruit, honey, or lemon. Get one if you need it!
-Advil, Vitamins, or other types of medicine:
I don’t need it all the time, but there were times I had a headache at work & there was nothing I could do about it but ask my co workers if they had any. It’s horrible to have a headache or be in pain of some kind & then have to suffer throughout the rest of the day. (Especially during that time of the month!) I also have horrible allergies during allergy season, so I would need something to help me get through it Also there are women who need to take vitamins / medication, & to have a small bottle on you would make it so much easier on yourself.
Eyeglass / contact case:
If you wear sunglasses, or contacts, you will probably need a case for them. The last thing you want to do is break or smush your glasses; & for contacts maybe you just want to bring some eye drops in case your eyes get dry after staring at the computer screen for too long.
A Travel Size Tube or Spray:
That is, if your favorite lotion or mist bottle is too big for you to carry. If you check out the travel size of Target, or Bed Bath & Beyond, they have lots of travel sized options as well as bottles for you to carry your favorite stuff. Not just lotion, either! If your favorite spray bottle is too big, you can get the smaller bottle to put in your bag.
Things you SHOULD NOT carry:
Nail polish or remover:
Do you want to take the risk of nail polish spilling all over the inside of your bag? And where are you bringing nail polish anyway? To work?? If i.e. you have a friend & you’re going to do your nails at her place, put them in a separate plastic bag. If you spill nail polish or remover inside your purse you will never forgive yourself.
I’ve done this before. Once or twice I was in a rush in the morning, grabbed a muffin to go for breakfast, & had nowhere to put it but in my bag. And I ended up with a smushed muffin & crumbs all over the insides of my bag. It really is the last thing you want: food crumbs all over your makeup or something.
Tip: Make it a habit of cleaning out your bag. I know it’s something I detest but it has to be done. Ideally, we should clean out our bags once a week, minimum at least once a month. I used to never clean out my bags & realize I was carrying things like documents that were months old around on my back.
Now get your stuff & get going!!