Its no secret that I love a good old handbag detox, where I empty my bag and rid it of any lone coppers, receipts and lip glosses that inevitably accumulate at the bottom. And this summer I have promised myself to de-clutter my life from such tat, because a tidy bag means a tidy mind right?
Trying to walk the line on this double-edged sword between having the essentials and having a small house hanging off your arm is a tricky one. So here is a list of the essentials which you can build on and tailor to your day, whether its to the office or out with the kids. Anything else is just clutter, so get back to the handbag basics and trust me it will make life so much easier!
First of all: The Bag.
You need something you can just grab-and-go, a handbag you can fit your life in but that also fits into your life. e.g. Don’t even try and get the tube with a massive weekender on your arm because you will have a breakdown at the barriers. Equally, don’t try and leave the house with your little ones and think ‘Oh sure I’ll get by with a clutch and a few wet wipes’ because girl you’re dreaming. It seems like the impossible, but KeriKit have fused fashion with functionality to create practically perfect bags for everyday life. My bag of choice is actually the Thor Nude Backpack – the perfect fashion statement this summer, with designated pockets for luxurious organisation. I cannot recommend backpacks enough – whether you’re in the supermarket or swiping your oyster you need to be hands-free.
Its actually terrifying how quickly our smartphones are taking over the world; I can now leave my house with just my phone and get on the train to London for the day, use the tube and do a bit of shopping all with just the apps on my phone. So its pretty important you don’t lose it! My phone is constantly in my hand while I’m out and about so I love the security of a phone ring. They also make it harder to drop your phone so say goodbye to cracked screens too.
Seeing as my phone has made cash and cards basically redundant I have downsized my bulky purse with this sleek Tilly card-organiser and saved on space, weight and faff in my handbag. You can keep any essential receipts in here too, but have vowed to bin the rest otherwise my handbag starts to look like a hamster cage. Are you honestly going to need your meal-deal receipt in the future?
Portable Phone Charger
Another essential due to the smartphone revolution. I find it baffling that Apple can design cutting-edge technology but they can’t seem to design a battery that keeps up, so I then find myself constantly having to plug my phone in to the extent its basically a landline anyway. And there is nothing worse than when your phone dies on you while you’re on the go; This sleek Iceworks portable charger is a wise investment for space saving and fast charging. My Phone now looks like a brick but it lasts all day so who’s laughing now?
Its great to keep headphones in your bag because you never know when you’ll get a spare 5 minutes on your commute. Its about the only me-time I get so I like to make the most of it! I love the Bose Quiet Comfort Headphones, they’re wireless which makes them fuss free and great for the gym or on the tube.
Of course they’re an essential for protecting your eyes but they can hide a manner of all sins (hangover, bags under your eyes, appalling winged eyeliner etc). I treated myself to this sassy pair of Cat-Eye sunglasses from D&G and they’re rarely off my face, they make me channel my inner diva and I love it. Besides, tan lines from your sunglasses will fade but wrinkles from squinting won’t – an absolute pearl of wisdom from my mother you can have for free.
Face Cream with an SPF
Even on a cloudy day there are still UV rays about, and although it seems excessive to use an SPF in the UK you will be so grateful you did in 10 years time when you’re age-spot and wrinkle free and all your mates look like leather. The same goes for hands – if you look after them then they will look after you. I usually hate using creams when its hot because it makes me feel like a slug, but this Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream feels so light and makes my skin look flawless so I can treat myself to a no-makeup day.
I usually do my makeup before I leave the house if I’m lucky enough to have a spare five minutes, otherwise I end up throwing some bronzer on in the car park before I get out. Emergency makeup is therefore a handbag essential. I usually switch to a light-coverage foundation or even just a tinted moisturiser in the summer so I can get the most out of my tan before it fades – although with my freckled skin Fake Bake is my best friend. I’m a massive fan of this Clarins Mineral Loose Powder because it feels so light and it doesn’t feel like its melting off my face on a hot day.
- A nail file – I’m trying so hard to grow my nails, but always end up tearing off a hangnail when I’m stuck in traffic. With a nail file in your handbag you have no excuse, just make sure you keep it well away from your phone screen…
- Invisibobbles – for when humidity strikes and you can no longer fight the frizz, just whack your hair in a top-knot and accept the bad hair day. Invisibobbles are great because they don’t split your hair or leave a massive kink.
- Secret Deodorant -because nothing will ruin your day faster than sweat-patch paranoia. The new compressed cans are great to throw in your handbag.
- Water – Studies at the University of Pittsburgh have found that basically our thirst mechanism is a bit rubbish; we often confuse thirst with hunger, or even lose fluid too rapidly for our brain to respond in time. So its best to keep a bottle of water in your handbag and sip it throughout the day. Thank God every bag in the KeriKit range comes with bottle holders and the new collection features 4 insulated ones.
- Paracetamol – for when I get a dehydration headache after not drinking enough water.
- A snack – I hate it when my sugar levels drop and I start getting the shakes, so I always keep an emergency energy bar in my handbag. I love these Blueberry and Baobob flapjacks from Graze, handbag friendly and protein packed for an afternoon pick-me-up.
And the handbag spam you should avoid
- iPads or laptops – Unnecessary weight when you have a smartphone that can do all the same jobs, unless you’re travelling.
- Hair brush – Far too bulky, and if your hair is misbehaving it’s rarely fixable on the go. Embrace the bad hair day and tie it up instead, or swap your brush for a comb.
- A Filofax – I hate to be blunt but its the 21st century. Besides, a diary doesn’t alert you when you have a meeting, so I would strongly recommend transferring your diary onto your smartphone. Its a faff but trust me, it will be better in the long run and you can get great coloured coded versions so you can see what is work and what is pleasure and ensure the right balance of both.
- Nail polish – Always carried in case you need a touch up but when has a Tube manicure ever come out well? I now invest in gel nails which are longer, stronger and last ages.