While our personal grooming and beauty routine usually takes place at home, there are times outside of the home when a girl wants or needs a little touch up or freshen up to keep her looking and feeling her best.
Whether your day involves going from place to place running errands, making face-to-face contact with clients or customers, business meetings and lunches, working away at a desk, shopping or just a casual catch up for coffee with friends, here’s our list of top handbag ‘must haves’. Apart from being conveniently sized, they are, of course, all toxin-free, cruelty-free, eco-friendly and absolutely fabulous:
1. Concealer Pencil
You know the scenario. Your face looked just fine when you left home this morning but as the day progresses, you notice a pimple popping up. No, it's not the end of the world, but sometimes a little concealer can go a long way to restoring your confidence if you're feeling a little self-conscious. One of the most convenient mineral concealers is a concealer pencil like the Sante Coverstick or the Zuii Certified Organic Concealer Pencil, both of which contain natural, soothing ingredients like Castor Seed Oil and Shea Butter, along with natural pigments for colour. Concealer pencils are compact and can be dabbed directly onto any spots or blemishes and blended with your fingertip – no need for a brush.
2. Eyeliner Pencil
If you find your eyes looking a little tired and dull throughout the day, applying a little eyeliner, or freshening up your existing eyeliner, is a great way to bring your peepers back to life. Having your eyeliner in your bag can be especially convenient if you’re going out directly after work and want to switch your look from 'understated daytime' to 'bold and glamorous evening'. And don’t be afraid to stray from black and brown. You can add some drama and really make your eyes 'pop' with a more vibrant shade like Pure Purple or Emerald from Inika Organic or perhaps Night Blue from Sante Naturkosmetik.
Even if you’re not really the makeup-wearing type, there’s one cosmetic item that can really light up your face – the humble lipstick. It’s amazing the transformation that a bold lipstick like the Inika Certified Organic Vegan Lipstick in the stunning After Dark shade can make to your look, even without any other makeup. But you can also go for a more subtle shade, if you prefer, like Sweet About Me, a translucent and shimmery pink shade from Neek Vegan Lipstick. Lips that are completely naked can somehow look bereft so, at the very least, why not keep a lip gloss or a tinted lip balm in your makeup bag. Of course, make sure any lipstick you choose is lead-free, naturally.
4. Hand Sanitiser
For those times when soap and water aren’t an option, hand sanitiser is an absolute must. Hands can pick up germs from many surfaces like door handles or stair rails, shared computer equipment and other office supplies or perhaps from public bathroom facilities where there's no soap (what's with that, anyway?). Natural and organic hand sanitisers usually contain ethanol (alcohol), along with essential oils, and are designed to be 99.9% effective against most common germs.
5. Hand Cream
It’s common for our hands to become dry throughout the day, especially if you need to wash them frequently as many of us do. Applying a hand cream like Weleda’s Pomegranate Regenerating Hand Cream after each wash, or whenever your hands feel dry, is a great way to restore moisture to the skin of your hands, nourish them and soften them, as well as promote skin elasticity and firmness. After all, our hands are one of the first parts of our bodies to really show ‘wear and tear’ and our age. A hand cream packaged in a small, handbag friendly tube makes caring for your hands throughout the day super easy.
6. Roller Perfume
Being able to dab a little perfume onto your skin whenever you feel like it might sound like more of an indulgence than an essential thing but we think otherwise. The right perfume can stimulate your senses, lift your mood or simply make you feel more desirable and feminine. Tube style perfume bottles with a roller ball for easy application like the Vrindavan Roll On Organic Perfume Oil are small enough to keep in your handbag. Simply roll on pulse points like the inner wrists, neck, behind the knee and ankle and enjoy a naturally exotic and sensual fragrance that’s free from parabens, phthalates and synthetic musks.
7. Panty Liners
Whether you’re just looking to keep your underwear fresh or after some ‘just in case’ protection, panty liners are another great item to keep on hand with you. Natracare Long Panty Liners are made from certified organic cotton and are free from chlorine, perfumes and dyes. They’re slightly longer than your average panty liner to offer just that little bit more protection and they’re individually folded and wrapped so they're easy to pop into your handbag.
No matter how well you style your hair before going out, chances are that throughout the day, it’s going to need some attention to keep it look at its best. But there’s no need to go overboard. After all, you can’t exactly pack your hairdryer, styling wand, round styling brush, hairspray and other styling products into your handbag! But you can include simple comb like the Bass Brushes Bamboo Comb. Compact, slim and lightweight, it’s made from 100% sustainable and eco-friendly bamboo and is ideal for keeping your tresses in check.
9. Nail Polish
A chip in your nail polish is no reason to panic but it can make you feel a little self-conscious when you’re in the company of other people and your hands are on display. Kester Black and Zoya are two toxin-free nail polish brands with a range of gorgeous colours to choose from. If you carry your current nail colour in your handbag, it makes touch-ups, wherever you are, a breeze.
10. Nail File
Perhaps a little more inconvenient than a chip in your nail polish is a broken nail. Having a nail file in your bag is invaluable when it comes to broken nails. A nail file will allow you to smooth the edge of the broken nail and prevent it from snagging on clothes and the like and potentially breaking off even further. We love the Sienna Byron Bay Glass Nail File because it doesn’t create more waste like disposable nail files, it won’t corrode like metal nail files, it’s hygienic and gentle on nails and it seals together the keratin layers at the edge of your nail to help reduce further chipping, peeling and breakage. If you've never tried a glass nail file like this one, you'll be amazed at how smooth it leaves the edge of your nails.
And, because everyone loves a bonus, we’ve got one more handbag essential item to add to our list:
11. Papaya Based Lip Balm Treatment
Paw Paw lip balm - is there anything better? As you probably know, the external part of our lip doesn’t produce moisture meaning it is naturally dry. Sometimes, however, our lips can become too dry, resulting in chapped or cracked skin. One of the best and most popular treatments for dry lips is lip balm containing Paw Paw (or Papaya). That’s because Papaya is rich in nutrients, has high levels of Vitamin C and contains unique enzymes that gently exfoliate, repair and restore lips. But take care when choosing a paw paw balm as some of the popular commercial brand ones are more petrochemical than they are paw paw. While petrochemicals and mineral oils, like petroleum jelly, do provide a protective barrier against, say, wind damage, they can potentially be contaminated with carcinogens like Polycyclic Aromatic Hydracarbons (PAHs) and 1,4-dioxane. Personally, we prefer a paw paw balm like P’ure Papaya Care’s Papaya Lips, made with naturally derived hydrating ingredients like Macadamia Seed Oil, Jojoba Oil and Shea Butter plus, of course, the all-important paw paw fruit extract. Note also that some commercial brand paw paw balms contain as little as 4% paw paw compared to the Emma Organics Lip Rescue, for example, which has 30% paw paw extract.