Raise your hand if any of these things have been found in your bag at any point in time:
- Sunglass case with no sunglasses
- Gum wrapper with discarded gum folded inside
- An opened, crumbled Nature’s Valley granola bar
- A tube of lipstick without the lid
- A book with the cover bent back
- A garment of clothing
- A single earring whose mate’s location is unknown
- An ink pen with detached cap
- A crumpled wad of cash whose origin is uncertain
- A taser/pepper spray/pocket knife because you never know
- Dental floss
- A sole penny that never seems worth putting back in your wallet
- A charging cord/pair of headphones that will never untangle
- A ticket stub that brings memories flooding back
- A pair of shoes
- A literal rock painted with glitter by a 5-year-old
- An opened jar of nail polish
- A can of bug spray
- A tube of SPF 100 sunscreen
Okay, thank you. You can all put your hands down now.
I think we’ve all been there with at least one of these, but I can honestly say I check every single thing on this list. I’m pretty good about making sure I de-clutter my handbag when it gets a little unruly, but sometimes the collection of odds and ends that ends up in the bottom of my bag is quite entertaining. No matter what kind of crazy stuff I take out of it, there are certain things that live in my bag 24/7. Below are all the things in my bag I don’t think I could live without.
Warby Parker prescription sunnies – $95 & up, warbyparker.com (similar)
As someone who gets a headache from squinting so much when I don’t have my glasses, these prescription are a godsend in more ways then one. Contact lenses are the bane of my existence and I think it’s cool how different frames can completely transform a look. So when I started lifeguarding last summer and needed a sturdy pair of UV-protective sunglasses, I knew exactly where to look for a cute pair. There are so, so, so many reasons I love Warby Parker.
First of all, they’re super inexpensive compared to most prescription glasses/sunglasses on the market. Buying glasses from your eye doctor can cost hundreds (like $500-600) and that’s just for one pair. When you make a purchase from Warby Parker, they also give a pair of glasses to a person in need, a social mission very comparable to TOMS’s One for One campaign.
Second of all, OMG how cute are all of their frames?? I nearly died when the first time I saw how many options they have and how easy they make it to find the exact style, size, and color you want! They’re always coming out with new frames, too, so you can come back each season and find something new you might fall in love with. They have trendy ones as well as classic styles, so it’s not hard to find something great.
THIRD, since they only have a few retail locations, they make buying glasses online insanely easy. You can select up to 5 different frames (sunglasses or regular eyeglasses) to try on at home before you order and their customer service is phenom if you’re not completely satisfied with how the frames look/feel (or, if you just decide to purchase eyewear from somewhere else). I could honestly go on for hours about how much I love this company (and they don’t even pay me to talk about them!), but for now I’ll just leave it at I don’t know what I would do without these sunnies in my life.
A 2-sided magnifying compact mirror – $12.99, amazon.com (similar)
Have you ever tried to fix your lipstick/eyeliner/lashes using the front-facing camera on your phone while out in public? I have. Have you ever gotten home and looked in the mirror after using said camera for said fixes only to realize that the “fix” didn’t really get the job done? I have. That’s when I decided I needed a real mirror in my bag to actually fix makeup mishaps while on the go. I think I picked this one up at a TJ Maxx or HomeGoods, but the similar one I listed even has a lighted option! What’s not to love about that?
Bath & Body Works PocketBac Hand Sanitizer – 5 pack bundle for $6, bathandbodyworks.com
Obviously I haven’t needed to purchase any replacements for my hand sanitizer in a while – this one that I’ve had in my bag forever looks so much different than the ones Bath & Body Works is selling today! I think I started buying hand sanitizer from Bath & Body Works when I was in middle school and they were on-par with those goopy Victoria’s Secret Beauty Rush lip glosses in terms of popularity. It seemed like you had to have a whole collection of PocketBacs and lip glosses to have any sort of social status… I can’t tell if I should be laughing or cringing.
I’ve certainly traded in my lip glosses for Big Girl Lipsticks (and glosses, too!) but I still rely on these good ole PocketBacs to take care of all my hand sanitizing needs. They just smell so good and don’t leave that weird grimy feeling on your hands like some other brands do. (I’m looking at you, Purell.) They also have so many cute accessories/holders for their PocketBacs that definitely give simple hand sanitizer a kind of glam feeling!
Portable 2-port power bank – $19.99, amazon.com (similar)
Oh hunny if you don’t have a portable battery pack in your life WHAT IS YOU DOIN. I can’t even count the number of times I have been down to 10% battery on my phone (or been with someone else who was) with no outlet in sight and no plans to get home any time soon – in those moments this battery pack is a (metaphorical, obvi) lifesaver. The best part? It has two ports so you can charge your Kindle and your phone or your phone and your friend’s phone or any other two things you need to charge at the same time! It’s also relatively compact and lasts forever. I can charge my phone probably 7-8 times before I have to give the power bank more juice. Plus, it has an LCD screen so you know exactly how far you can go before E.
Viktor & Rolf FlowerBomb rollerball – $30, sephora.com
FlowerBomb is one of those scents that’s as popular as it is expensive, which makes me die a little inside every time I think about it. I can’t remember when I bought this rollerball exactly, but I’m sure I had the same mentality as those people who go to really fancy restaurants just to order dessert – if you can’t afford the real thing, then sometimes the cheaper alternative comes kind of close. I love having this in my bag on days when I’m out and about pretty much all day long and need to stop and refresh periodically.
5 WinterMint Ascent gum –$8.73 for pack of 10, amazon.com
Nobody likes stanky breath. I really like this flavor. Enough said.
Smith’s Rosebud Salve – $6, sephora.com
My sister actually introduced me to the tinned, solid version of this product a while back and she’s basically the queen of lip balms/soft lips, so I knew it would be a purchase I would not regret. I use Aquaphor (also per her recommendation) every night before bed, which is AMAZING if you enjoy having a baby-soft kisser, and this salve is very similar in formula/texture. The only difference I can tell is that it’s slightly tinted and smells like roses, so it’s perfect for those no-makeup-makeup days when you want to give your lips a lil extra something.
Up & Up Oil-Absorbing Sheets – $4.49 for 70 count, target.com
If you haven’t learned by now, I am oily. I am an oily, greasy, slime ball of a human and I depend on these oil-absorbing sheets like no other when my skin makes me look like those pigs they make people chase at the fair. They really do make a huge difference in the shininess of my T-zone and it’s so
satisfying gross to see all of the oil transfer to the sheet before you save it to show your friend later throw it away.
Tide To Go pen – $5.99, target.com
After spilling coffee down the front of my shirt a million and one times, I finally got the brilliant idea to keep one of these bad boys in my bag. Tide To Go pens have been around for a while, but I was shocked at how well it worked the first time I tried to get a coffee stain out of my white blouse (it’s inevitable, I’m telling you). Even better, the wet spots dry very quickly, so nobody has to know I have the sipping capabilities of a toddler. Seriously – if you have a habit of wearing your coffee/breakfast/snacks/dinner after you’re finished with it, pop one of these suckers in your bag/car/desk and never look back.
H2O+ Beauty Specialty Care Hand + Nail Cream – $5, ulta.com
So I got this hand and nail cream as a freebie from the Create + Cultivate conference Lauren and I went to way back in October, and I am honestly so impressed with H2O+ Beauty’s skincare line. This hand cream is light in both texture and smell – two things I am specifically very picky about (as I’m sure you’ve figured out by now). One of my biggest grievances with a lot of “healing” lotions is that I can feel them on my hands and basically leave a distinctly gross trail on everything I touch. Not so with this one. It’s light and fresh and just ahhhh. So nice.
Kindle Fire – $64.99, amazon.com
I think I got my need to constantly be doing something from my mother. She is notorious for bringing a bag full of magazines and books and other reading material with her when she knows she’s going to be sitting idly somewhere for a while (read: the orthodontist’s office, long car rides, dance competitions, etc.). I remember getting annoyed by it when I was younger and didn’t really understand, but then I grew up and realized adulthood is a lot of sitting around and waiting when you could be doing more important things. Rather than carrying around a bunch of heavy books/magazines or straining my eyes on my tiny phone screen, I love having my Kindle Fire handy while I wait.
When I was still in school, it was super helpful for accessing e-textbooks or the articles my professors uploaded to Blackboard without having to carry 30 pounds on my back across campus. Now, it’s perfect for reading Cosmo and ebooks I haven’t committed to purchasing in hard copy. I know there’s some debate surrounding tablets and cheaper alternatives to the Holy iPad, but for me the Kindle’s greater accessibility to the Amazon store sets it apart from others on the market and meets my needs perfectly!
BIC Atlantis Exact Fine Point Ball Pen – $15.96 for pack of 12, amazon.com
Like my pickiness when it comes to lotions/moisturizers, my pen-snobbery is almost unparalleled. There are some pens I detest using and others, like these, that I don’t think I could live without (dramatic, I know, but it’s how I feel about my pens sometimes!). For those of you who are likewise picky about pens and writing utensils in general, you will be pleased to know these guys are some of the smoothest pens I’ve ever used. They’re comparable to the Pilot V5 Precise pens, but even smoother, finer, and easier to use. Plus you don’t have to worry about the cap coming off and ruining something valuable in your bag!
Advil Travel Capsule – $3.99 for 2 pack, target.com
Advil is something you don’t really think about needing in your purse until you actually need it – and then you regret not having it. I think it was one such time when I was glad I was close to a drug store so I could run in and get this little guy to keep in my bag for future use. Since then I’ve helped friends in need of sweet relief countless times in addition to my own moments of muscle soreness, headache, or other obnoxious-and-uncomfortable-but-not-debilitating pain. I know some people might just use a random container to store their pain reliever while out and about, but I prefer having clearly marked labels and drug information so I everyone knows what’s up.
Your turn! What’s in your bag? Do we keep any of the same things? Leave a comment and let me know!
Note: I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase from some of the links in this post. I understand that might make some people uncomfy, but just know all of my opinions always have been and always will be my very own. Like the fact that I think mustard is a government conspiracy to thwart the condiment industry and I AM NOT AMUSED.