Blogmas Day 21: Handbag Essentials I Do Not Leave Home Without

Every woman’s handbag is a glimpse into who she really is inside; more so the contents rather than the design. The contents of my bag, I feel, perfectly reflect who I am and the type of life I lead. Although I currently use a rather jumble black pleather number with gold chains, my bag clutter would be unsightly for some, but upon seeing the contents, I bet any of my friends or family could guess the bag belonged to me (perfect if I even need to hunt down a missing bag!). I do, however, feel there are some essentials every woman should carry with her, especially if they are leading a busy life like mine is known to be recently.

Fully Charged Portable Phone Charger

I do not know where I would be without my portable charger. It travels with me everywhere, from a shopping trip to Manchester, to festivals in muddy fields. It has saved me from having to go on long journeys with no music, not missing important calls and has allowed me to always stay on top of fast moving email threads without having to resort to my laptop. The one I use has 2 charging ports so it is great for when others need a quick replenish of their phone battery (and which iPhone users don’t?) and also had a torch which has made stumbling through the door at 3am a lot easier since I started carrying it on nights out. The one time I forgot to charge it, I felt utterly stranded in Manchester with no phone. I knew I needed to book an Uber home, so switched my phone off at somewhere around 6% battery, whereas this is the point where I would usually rely on my trusty portable backup. I paid a little more than the average for my charger, but nowhere near the most expensive (around £30 I think), but with enough juice for 4 full iPhone charges and sometimes more, I am glad I didn’t go for the cheapest option I could find.

Notepad & Pen

I am currently living a life which sees me attending last minute meetings and events, and I am not always able to go home to prepare for them, or even head to a shop for that matter, which is why I am never found without a small A5 notebook and a cheap pen in my bag. My trusty notepad has killed what must now be many hours in Manchester Piccadilly station and various coffee shops in and around Manchester whilst I fill any time I would usually sit scrolling through Facebook with something productive. This proved to be useful yesterday when I was waiting for a lift home from work. I sat myself down in Costa and managed to make a usually boring half hour wait fly past just by writing notes for my final few Blogmas posts. I have also been known to use this time to prepare for meetings I know I have coming up, plan my budgets for the month, or simply writing to do lists for when I get home (even if it is just pouring myself a gin and getting cosy on the sofa).

Emergency Lip Products

If you’re anything like me, you’ll take one sip of coffee and become incredibly annoyed that you have a lighter patch of lip colour in the middle of your lips when you were going for a single-tone blocked out look. Either this, or a new product you are wearing has made your lips flake as they are so dry, or become too sticky with gloss. This is why I always carry not only the product I am wearing, but also a tried and tested backup which I know would never fail me when I needed it most. I started doing this after I was caught midday in work with the most uncomfortable lips with product flaking off in chunks because it was so damn drying. Being the only girl in the office, nobody else was carrying any form of lip product and I was stuck with smeared, flaky lips for the rest of the day which I couldn’t wait to take off when I got home. My backup is usually from NYX’s Lip Lingerie line as I find the formula sticks to my lips until I am ready to take it off voluntarily, and I often forget I am wearing anything as it sits so comfortably. I also think the range (once you find a selection of shades right for you) are mega versatile and go with any makeup look or outfit, so are brilliant to carry for those just in case moments.


Living so close to Manchester, it is prone to rain at any given time and after being caught in showers one too many times, I started carrying a small umbrella from IKEA everywhere I go. It is usually my luck that the day I choose not to wear a waterproof jacket, or wear unsuitable shoes is the day it will rain so heavily that I end up soaked right through. I think it is sensible for any northerner, or any visitor to the north, to carry an umbrella with you at all times. Your checklist in your head before you head out the door should not only consist of keys, purse and phone, but also an umbrella. Rant over.


Plasters are a girl’s best friend in my eyes. Yes, they’re brilliant for scrapes and blisters, but they have so many uses they just don’t get any credit for. Girls, have you ever been stuck in a public situation (work, a night out etc.) and the underwire from your bra makes a mad dash and tries to escape, but just ends up digging into you instead? Push it back in and stick a plaster over it to keep it in place and to stop any discomfort. Anything that needs patching or holding in place can be done with a plaster. I have even used (clean) plasters to hold important notes on scraps of paper in notebooks for safe keeping when I have had no tape or post-it notes. It’s potentially because I see myself as the mother hen of the group, but I feel liable for looking after my friends on a night out and I always feel I won’t be able to fulfil this without having a couple of plasters in my arsenal.

I will do a full ‘what’s in my bag’ post soon (read; when I have cleared out all the clutter and receipts), but until then, it would be great to know what you carry in your bag. Or for any guys reading, what would you carry in a bag should you take one on a night out with you?

Emily x

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