I’ve loved a good handbag since before I could even remember. My grandmother gave me my very first purse at three years old. A brown leather crossbody in the shape of a triangle, embossed with tribal patterns, a hummingbird, that would shut with the snap of a button. In that crossbody, I religiously carried lip smacker lip gloss, a small plastic comb made for dolls, and old loyalty cards from Robinson’s May or grocery stores that my mom gave me as pretend credit cards.
By middle and high school, I had grown to love Coach and Dooney and Bourke. This time around, the contents of my bag had a serious upgrade, and now I was carrying my school ID, pens, lotion, gum, candy, a Nokia cell phone with a blinking antenna, snacks, some kind of lip gloss, my house keys and notes that I would write and pass back and forth to my friends. You name it, I had it. A mess.
Cleaning out my purse one day, after having lunch with a friend, I became engrossed in a YouTube “What’s in My Bag” video. Fell in love. I’ve since grown into more practical use of a handbag and make a conscious effort to limit my accoutrements to absolute essentials. I do, though, have a ridiculous amount of lip glosses. I guess some things don’t change..
Whether an oversized travel tote or an everyday crossbody, the contents of my bag rarely change. If anything, I’m adding to it. This is my version of “What’s In My Bag,” and … I’m not mad at it!
CONTENTS OF THE BAG:
- Face mist – I love these. I mostly spray them when my skin feels dry and needs quick hydration, when I’m hot and want to cool down, when I’m stressed, and maybe even when I feel fancy? I’ve tried quite a few, and this week my fav is Mario Badescu’s Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs & Rosewater. Between the size and the price, I think I might let this one rock for a minute.
- Perfume – A toss-up between the many samples I keep in a small drawstring pouch and my Tom Ford travel bottle. Both are small, and both fit in everything. Here’s what I’ve got to say about this: collect samples. Samples samples samples. You know when you shop at your favorite stores (Sephora and Nordys are notorious for this), and they load your bag up with tons of perfume samples? I have a notoriously bad habit of storing them in my makeup bag and keeping them in my purse because you just never know…
- Headphones – I can’t even remember the last time I even used them. I used to own Apple Airpods until a friend managed to convince me I was frying my brain with dangerously high electromagnetic waves. But don’t all Bluetooth headphones do that? Exhausting..
- Gum – Does anyone else have the habit of chewing gum when they’re going anywhere?
- Hand Sanitizer – because, germs. I want to make the transition to sanitizer sprays once this bottle runs out, but that price jump from $2.00 to $9.00 a bottle is insanity. Although, I did find a hack for refilling the Touchland Hand Sanitizer spray bottles, and I’m thinking about making my own mix with essential oils. To be continued..
- Lip gloss – I have an embarrassing amount of lip gloss. This week’s favorite is Summer Fridays Lip Butter Balm in color Beige Vanille.
- Lotion – Essential. I apply lotion almost obsessively. After sanitizing, after washing my hands, if my hands begin to feel too dry. Still on the quest for the perfect hand lotion..
- Sunglasses – because necessary.
- Pepper Spray – although effective, I would advocate for multiple means of self-protection. Preferably those that are discreet.
- Jet Lag Mask – I legit carry the Summer Friday’s Jet Lag Mask everywhere I go. I like to apply it before I reapply my sunscreen because it just feels better.
- Mini Vaseline – doubles as lip balm but really has multiple uses. I instantly reach for it when the corners of my eyes or the inside and creases of my nose feel dry.
- Toiletry Pouch – which holds all the things, and essentials like instant stain wipes, aspirin, and feminine products.
- Sunscreen – Can I just say, Black Girl Sunscreen is a dream. I’ve experienced sunscreens that feel great upon first application, and then by the time I’m ready to reapply, there’s this grainy texture that feels like an exfoliant and my skin starts to hurt? Paula’s Choice, I’m calling you out. Black Girl Sunscreen has been so consistent for me thus far, to the extent that I keep one in every bag. Honorable Mention: no white cast. Never without.
- Baby wipes – I don’t like to touch a lot of things. I notice that I use baby wipes as a quick and easy way to cleanse my hands, wipe off excess makeup, or simply a fresh feeling.
- My Wallet – when local, I carry my regular wallet, but when traveling, I only like to bring a card wallet that allows for my ID, a credit card, and a small amount of cash.
- Business Cards – Essential.
- Car Keys – say less.
Sounds like a light list, does it not? Easy, go-to items for any and every occasion. After carefully placing everything back in it’s rightful place, I’ve managed to convince myself that each of these items are pretty much seems the basics. I don’t know that I would really want to go any more minimal than this.
What about you? What do you keep in your bag, sis?