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I am the queen of making lists. I note down my outfits for the week ahead on a Sunday, I have a list on my phone of restaurants I’m desperate to visit and don’t even get me started on my baby name list (currently nearing 63 - 39 girls, 24 boys). And I have a packing list for every type of occasion – beach holiday, wedding, weekend away in the countryside – at the back of my diary at all times. This extends to which beauty products to take on the aeroplane with me and which products are essential for the beachside. I also have a list of what to carry in my handbag at all times. And I thought you might like to read it. In case you find it handy…
Hand cream – A really important one, especially at this time of year when hands are exposed to the elements. I always opt for a non-tacky one, like Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream Intensive Moisturising Hand Treatment, £12. The 30ml tube is the perfect carry-everywhere size. If you’re feeling particularly fancy, then might we suggest Chanel’s chicest launch from last year, their egg-shaped La Crème Mains, £45, or Jo Malone London's Hand Cream Trio, £44? Pop Lime Basil & Mandarin in your bag, Peony & Blush Suede on your desk and English Pear & Freesia next to your bed. We aim to please.
Hand Sanitizer – It doesn’t bare thinking about how many germs and lurgies you can pick up on your commute. As soon as I get off the tube, I’m delving into my handbag for my Byredo Suede Rinse-free hand wash, £20. Naturally, you can pick one up in Superdrug for under £2, but where is the fun in that?!
Lipbalm – Nothing can incite such hysteric panic in me than when my lips start to feel dry and sore, and I can’t find a lip balm. Which is why I don’t transfer my lip balm from handbag to handbag, I keep a pot in every single one. I basically own over 25 lip balms. My favourite is the Carmex Original Lip Pot, £2.69.
Basic makeup kit - If I’m asked last minute to go for a drink after work, it helps if I have a few basic beauty bits to hand to perk up my face. I always carry my concealer – I won’t use anything but Clarins Instant Concealer, £22 – a mini Benefit Bad Gal mascara, £6.95, and a Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Rose, £22 which I dab onto my cheeks and lips.
Face Spritz – I also like to carry a face mist with me – either for a 4pm pick-me-up or to set my freshly applied makeup. There aren’t many people who offer one in a handbag-friendly size, but luckily cult favourites Avene, £4.49, and Caudalie, £12, do.
Nail file – Pretty self explanatory. I started carry one around following a rather embarrassing moment when I laddered my own tights with a hangnail during an important meeting.
Mini perfume – There are so many new ways of wearing scent nowadays, that it really isn’t necessary to carry around your chunky 100ml bottle of fragrance. Diptyque, £34, Tom Ford and Elizabeth and James all offer solid balm perfumes that come in the most attractive compacts and niche brands such as Le Labo, £104, and Frederic Malle have portable cases for their tiny vials of scent, all of which are tiny enough for a handbag.
Breath mint – Yes of course you can pick up a pack of Polos or some chewing gum at the till in Sainsbury’s, but this little bottle of peppermint goodness is excellent at freshening the breath. Aveda's Peppymint, £6, can be used either as a breath mint – a couple of drops on the tongue – or as a mouth wash – diluted in water.
Clarins is my favourite concealer, but it might not be yours. Let us help you find 'the one'.