The true test of a beauty product lies in whether it makes it into the inner sanctum that is my handbag [currently [and pictured] the Whistles Harrington Roll-Top Clutch]. Whilst for the body balms and hair pomades of the world, this is a sadly unachievable feat, the lipsticks, powders, hand creams, and body sprays compete for a place in my portable beauty stash. This renders the below the crème de la crème; for after all, the products set to deal with our on-the-go beauty mishaps and petulant makeup demands ["I want this base to last all day long"], are up against some serious obstacles. The secret lies in the product's ability to be innovative - whether it can be applied mirrorless or one-handed, lasts through tears/downpours/passionate lip-locking, fits into the tiniest clutch, or encompasses the merits of two or more products in one. See below for my own fine-tuned edit of handbag-worthy beauty.
Carthusia Aloe Lip Balm* I'm head over heels for the crisp, clarifying aroma of this silky balm, which [despite not being in stick form] is my current lip care love. It soothes, plumps, and softens dry lips but is completely weightless, and sinks in without leaving that sticky residue which somehow always ends up being wiped off [by accident or not].
Aesop Resurrection Rinse-Free Hand Wash I always keep a hand sanitiser in my handbag beauty stash, and in the winter I replace the drugstore's typically drying offerings with something a little more luxe. Despite being alcohol-based, Aesop's gentle formula boasts moisturising properties which ensures hands aren't stripped of moisture. It boasts a citrusy-herbal aroma and leaves my hands feeling super clean, soft, and refreshed. The perfect handbag companion.
Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm Everyone's favourite hand cream and the jewel of my on-the-go beauty kit. This vibrantly-scented lightweight cream provides an instant injection of moisture, which soothes and relieves even the sorest of chapped hands. It absorbs quickly and easily, leaving my mitts smooth, matte, and grease-free. An antidote to winter's worst.
No7 Precision Lips Pencil in Nude A product which most certainly requires no introduction on TGG; this creamy nude pencil allows me to sport the full pout I was unfortunately not blessed with upon birth, at a ridiculously budget price. It's the perfect match for my lip colour and prevents my lipstick from bleeding as well as providing a strong matte base which keeps even the loosest of glosses in place for hours.
Only Fingers + Toes Glass Nail File* I'm sure a nail file is an essential in any girl's handbag, but I feel that my quality of life reached dizzying heights with the addition of a glass file to my stash [gross exaggeration]. It works like a dream; restoring chipped nails to their super-smooth selves in seconds, and [unlike a traditional file] can be used in both directions without causing damage.
Electimuss Perfume in Saggita* Rather than carry a bulky and fragile bottle of perfume around with me I opt instead to make use of the miniature perfume samples which I've somehow managed to accumulate in their multitudes over the years. They're ideal for taking on holiday but I always keep one in my handbag, and I relish having the opportunity to try out a range of different fragrances. My handbag currently sports this rich, musky fragrance from Electimuss. With notes of citrus, aniseed, and vetiver, it boasts a warm, heady, masculine aroma which is ideal for evenings when grabbing a "quick drink" with friends turns into midnight mojitos.
& Other Stories Fig Fiction Body Mist It's no secret that I'm a fool for a fig scent, and with the advent of the new year I shelved my traditional 'winter' favourites in favour of fragrances which for me, epitomise summer vibes. This fresh, zesty offering from the connoisseurs of affordable mais quality fragrance, & Other Stories, offers something a little sharper than the typically sweet norm. A ripe, musky green scent which evokes vivid memories of summers spent lazing in sun-filled Mediterranean courtyards; this is summer in a bottle.
Eve Lom Sheer Radiance Translucent Powder* I'm quite convinced that this product was designed with on-the-go application in mind. A sleek gold bullet which opens to reveal a soft fluffy brush, and delicately dispenses powder as you dust it on. No faffing around with brushes and compacts required; what could be more handbag appropriate?? The powder itself is incredibly finely milled, and has a brightening 'soft-focus' effect which instantly blurs imperfections and absorbs excess oil without leaving the complexion looking matte or dull.
Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Powder Fear not, I'm in no way excessive [or oily] enough to merit using two powders. This compact hit pan long ago and now serves only as a mirror [albeit a chic one].
MAC Lipstick in Cosmo As my go-to 'my lips but better' shade, this is a non-negotiable handbag essential. The beauty of a MLLB shade is that [if necessary], you can apply it mirror-less and without having to worry about missing a spot or overdoing application; and if you do, it probably won't be that obvious. It's also ideal if you're having an episode of indecision re. shade choice and need to slap something on in a hurry. I love this warm pink for adding a little depth to my naturally thin lips.
Nars Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil in Hopi Like the above this is a slap-it-on-quick no-mirror-required gem, which of course has the added benefit of being a 2-in-1 lip liner and filler. A beige-toned pink with a serious shine factor and lip-plumping properties, I keep this on hand for when public transport is on the cards and ease of use is essential.
Swell Ultimate Volume Dry Shampoo* The dry shampoo to trump ALL dry shampoos; and that's no exaggeration. I know I keep harping on about 'no mirror required' products, but truly, when that term can be applied to a dry shampoo you know you've struck gold. Grey streaks and patchy application are a thing of the past since Swell's offering made it into my bag. Unlike an aerosol this applies as a feather-light puff of powder which disappears into the hair and adds instant volume [a 2-in-1 lifesaver; hallelujah]. And unlike most dry shampoos, it actually does enable you to hold off on the hair wash.
What are your handbag beauty essentials?