ASOS Metal Tip Satchel £28 from www.asos.com

We girls carry our essentials around in our handbags – mobile phones, keys and purse/cash can always be found in there but what about the other things that should always be found in there?  Well I’m going to make myself a handbag survival kit. Here is what it will include :

 1. 2 plasters – handy for cuts  but also great for the back of your heels if your shoes are rubbing you the wrong way.

2. Tissues – don’t get caught short with a runny nose or when there is no toilet paper in the ladies bathroom. Plus, I’ve learned (a bit to my annoyance really) that the men in my life expect me to have tissues about my person, both my Dad and my boyfriend have been stunned when they couldn’t rely on me for a tissue – apparently that’s what handbags are for.  BEWARE :Tangent coming up, if you don’t want to read it then skip to number 3 - MEN NEED HANDBAGS – I don’t care how girly or pansy-ish it looks. They carry everything around in their pockets  and quite frankly apart from being impractical (ever seen a man trying to take a wallet or mobile phone out of his jeans pocket while sitting down?) it is also restrictive, good luck getting your i-pad, book, kindle, notepad or whatever else into your pocket. But they don’t need to put that stuff in their pockets after all because your handbag is readily available! If this annoys you too, (I like small handbags, they fit the stuff I need in them with barely any room to spare for boyfriend luggage) then turn it to your advantage with phrases like ‘WE need to get me a new handbag.’ I should put a disclaimer here – my boyfriend actually isn’t a handbag stuffing culprit, in fact it is usually me offering to put stuff in my bag for him but it still annoys me ( I know I’m crazy but hear me out) It annoys me that he doesn’t have a a regular  handbag/manbag to carry around with him because lots of us (male and female) think it looks a bit wierd. The ‘I care about what other people think’ part of me might cringe at my boyfriend carrying a handbag but the logical part of me knows that that is due to gender stereostyping rearing it’s ugly head.  Just because handbags are firmly in the female domain at the moment does not mean it would be ‘wierd’ for my boyfriend to carry one rather than stuffing everything he needs in his pockets. I’m not saying I want him wearing a pink bag with butterflies on it, just that it shouldn’t be something worth commenting on if he chooses to carry one of the male equivalents of a handbag.

3. A taxi number – I don’t care if you have one saved in your phone already, if your battery dies then your stuck. If you haven’t memorised a taxi number then make sure there is a card in your handbag.

4. Mints – we all need a little minty fresh hit from time to time, like when you just had something with a strong smell for lunch and you have an after lunch meeting. Chewing gum isn’t going to look very professional or demure but a little mint is very discreet.

5. Sanitary products – yes I said it, I’m female, I bleed once a month, get over it. That being said, I don’t like waving those things around in front of everybody so I have a few of those pretty little cases that Bodyform do, they look stylish and discreet in my hand bag. They are also great if you  are short on space and don’t want a full pack of tissues or make-up remover wipes in your handbag, just pop a couple of each in a bodyform case and you’re good to go. Plus, even if for any reason you don’t actually need these, it is still a good idea  to carry them – At some point in a ladies bathroom you will save the day and make a friend for life.

6. Make-up remover wipes- (confession- I actually use baby wipes, they are cheaper to buy, you get more for your money and they do the same job. Plus if they have been given the OK for newborn skin I know I can trust them on my face) If your wear make up you should have some of these in your handbag. Sometimes I forget that I’m wearing mascarra- give my eyes a quick rub – suddenly I’m a panda. But at least I’m a panda who has baby wipes.

7. Mirror – for when you haven’t realised that you have turned into a panda.

8. Personal alarm – I don’t have one of these yet but I’m going to get one – I was travelling alone in France for a while and there was an incident where I wished I had one. Thankfully everything turned out ok but there were a few tense minutes when I was thinking that things were not going to be ok. It’s a very sad piece of advice but if you are female I would recommend having one of these.

9. Lip balm – sure you can carry a whole make up bag around with you but if I could only fit one make up item in my bag, it would be this (and I don’t even wear a lot of lipbalm.) My reasoning – this is something that you can put on without a mirror (even though you should have one in your bag) so if  you are not feeling your best and suddenly need a quick touch up because you have just spotted someone that you don’t want to see while looking less than your best – you can whip it out and put it on before they reach you – and even if they reach you before you’re done it’s not like you were putting make-up on, your lips were just a little dry ;)

10. Change – yes you might have change in your purse but that gets used up and replaced on a daily basis. You should have a handbag selection of change that stays in your handbag, in a zipper compartment for easy access. This is for when it’s not practical to just run to the shop to make change – i.e when you go to a public toilet and then find that you need to pay to get in, or when  you need to use a payphone and there are no shops open/nearby, or you realise that your bus is due in one minute and you don’t have change in your purse. Relax – you have your handbag change. I would reccomend keeping £4 in there (I’m from the UK – you will have to work out what’s best for where you are) 2 x £1 coins, 2 x 50p coins, 4 x 20p coins and 2 x 10p coins.

11. A Hair tie / bobble – you went out with your hair down and suddenly it’s rainy or too windy and you need your hair off of your face.

12. A kirby/bobby pin/clip – I don’t really need this but if you have a fringe it might be a good idea as sometimes you just need to get your fringe off your face.

13. A mini brush – useful for anyone who does not have a pixie crop.

14. Notebook and pen – you can get really tiny ones if space is an issue. These will always come in handy. There will always be something that you need/want to take note of.

So there you go – that’s my handbag survival kit. It might sound like a lot but everything is relatively small so you will be able to fit it all into most handbags and you can prioritise the items to your needs and skip a few if you are using a bag which is on the small side.

What items do you carry with you at all times? Is there anything that you think that I should add to my handbag survival kit?

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