Please don’t laugh as I've been waiting for a nice hot, sunny and summery day to write about this but the weather hasn't been playing balls. Then I thought I could wait for the first official day of Summer (was it 21 June?) but it tipped it down on that day like you wouldn't believe. This morning, it was cloudy but I was greeted with the most delightful hot breeze, it is so rare that we have warm winds in this country so I thought this is it: perfect time to share with you my summer handbag essentials. Most of you will hate the weather we had today and will find it 'stuffy, close, sticky' but I love it: it reminds me of the tropics where I spent the first 18 years of my life, of the greenhouse my mum keeps her orchids in and it just puts a big ‘papaya slice’ grin on my face.
On a sunny hot day, in England, and if there is a possibility that I spend a little bit of time outside (not full on sunbathing for hours) this is what I would take in my handbag.
I'll take a cheap pair of sunglasses (1). These are from BHS and cost me £8 if my memory is correct. I don't really know if these suit me to be honest, so they gravitate between my handbag, my eyes when it's very sunny and my head as a hair accessory.
Having worn had long hair pretty much all my life, I am going nowhere without hair accessories. You'll have to excuse me as I don't remember all the prices but I can tell you with confidence that my cute little butterfly claw (2) is from Superdrug and that it is probably my most repurchased hair accessory together with this pretty basic 'wooden' effect hair claw (4) from Claire's Accessories. I actually find it quite difficult to find a good hair claw which keep my hair in place. Most of the hair claws these days have got some stupid long winded teeth while I find that short straight and simple teeth, like the basic hair claws you'd have at the hairdressers' work best for me. I go through those mini claws from Claire's Accessories (3) so fast as they're so small, I spend my time losing them or stepping on them with my big wedges. But they are the best thing for keeping my side fringe out of the way. Love love love them!
Come rain or sunshine, winter or summer, anytime of the ... month, I will, without a fail have some tampons (6) in my handbag. My 'magic day' app on my phone is there to remind me when the pixies come to visit me but I always like to have some with me for peace of mind and just in case mother nature decides to play tricks with me. Those bright green sweetie-like wrappers are actually the Tampax Compak* (£3.15). According to a recent survey from Tampax a third of women voted tampons as a vital accessory in their handbags. Apart from a purse, phone and keys half of the women surveyed revealed their handbags always contain makeup, followed by tampons (38%), a diary (30%), and, to keep hunger pangs at bay, food or sweets (28%).
I must share with you some other bits of the survey which made me feel good about myself and the amount of stuff I carry around with me.
'Women spend 858 hours of their life searching through their handbag, rummage for items buried away into their handbags an average time of 4.8 times a day, and the average handbag weighs around 3.5lbs' (is that 7 kilos? OMG!!). I think I might be rummaging through my handbag more often than that, but there is no way that my handbag weighs that much :)
I will probably never be able to forget the boots marketing campaign on Soltan, years ago, with those pretty and young models covered with age spots. Boots really sold their 5 stars UVA protection to me (UVA rays are the ones responsible for ageing, the UVB for browning and ... burning) so my conscience feels better when I have a broad spectrum of sun protection and when I use Soltan. My purse also feels good as Soltan is usually on offer during the summer months. I had to buy a new one (5) before my week end in Amsterdam and it was at half price (£4.49).
The smell is not too overpowering, it doesn't leave me with a white cast after application, and it absorbs quite quickly. I have yet to test it thoroughly used in conjunction of a foundation. They say that once opened, a tube of sun cream doesn't last long so I don't feel guilty to skip carrying a normal moisturiser for my poor elbows and hands and use the Soltan as a sun protection and moisturiser on the go even for small parts of the body. For the sake of this post, I wanted to re watch the advert, and guess what, it *stills* sends shivers down my spine.
Ideally, it would be the Dove 'pomegranate' or the 'lemon' deodorant/anti perspirant which I would love to carry around with me, as I just can't get enough of those deodorants but they don't do the miniature of these 'flavours'. The cucumber deodorant (7) does the job more than adequately though and it doubles up as a foot spray.
Item 8 has a special space in my heart. It's a miniature coconut body mist from Yves Rocher (£5) and I like to save it for summer days and it makes me feel on holiday even when I am going no further than my local park. While people have Caudalie, Bioderma and other poncy French skincare on their shopping lists whenever they go to France, I never come back from France without a trip to Yves Rocher and a good supply of mini coconut body mist. You thought the Bodyshop coconut stuff smelt good, you gotta try the Yves Rocher one!
It's my closest colleague who introduced me to item no.9. For 89p at half price or less.com you get 2 packs of eye makeup remover pads which are just perfect to correct makeup mishaps during the day, when you have rubbed your eyes forgetting you had eyeliner on and so on.
You could easily get some cheaper face and hand wipes than this 99p little pack of 10 H&M (item no.10 on the photo above) but you'd be hard to find a pack with a cuter packaging and one which smells of vanilla. If I were a little more organised, I'd keep a normal size pack of wipes and put it in my handbag when there's only 10% left, but that would be way too organised and boring, no?
I am a little bit shy at sharing with you what I carry around with me in terms of beauty products. I actually carry very little and I hope you will still consider me as a beauty blogger a little bit.
I've never really been a lip person, I will carry more on a night out, but during the day, I can't get enough of Collection 2000 cream Puff powder puff (swatched and reviewed in full here). Lasting power is not very good at all, but the colour, the feel on your lips, and the smell is to die for and makes it one of my ultimate favourite lip products.
I am as surprised as you to find that I carry a lip balm (16) in my handbag. To tell you the truth, it's this very lip balm, Sugar Lips* (£2) from MUA which converted me to lip balms. In short, my lips are moisturised without being sticky, the smell again is divine, and I get excited like a big kid to pull out this giant sweetie out of my bag. (swatched and reviewed in full here)
The rest of my beauty products is not very exciting really: a very inexpensive black eyeliner. The one you see (13) is from 2true and only costs 1.99. The black eyeliner one from Collection 2000 is better really but this is the one I had knocking about at the time of the photo. Even more important than my little mirror (15), and purely for peace of mind I like to carry around a small pot of eylure eyelash glue (12). I usually keep it in my actual purse or back pocket as in there is no chance i'll find amongst all my crap, if I chuck it straight into my handbag.
Last but not least, I will have a box of sweeteners with me, a bottle of tabasco to liven up a burger or a bland soup at work, and a small purse (the one you see is quite recent actually, I got it from Claire's Accessories) big enough to carry my 3 essential cards (debit card, superdrug beauty card and boots advantage card) and the change for a tenner. Now, many a times I've had some mishaps with my bottle of tabasco whereby I've not closed the cap properly and it leaked everywhere. Since then, tampons are lodged in back 'money' pocket of handbag and tabasco is wrapped in lame carrier bag, which I didn’t photograph.
So that's it. These are my summer handbag essentials. I hope you haven't found the contents too boring and that my small amount of makeup and my budget items didn't turn you off.
Do you carry around similar things?
What are your summer handbag essentials?
disclaimer: items marked with asterisk were provided for review purposes at some point in the past.
with makeup and blogging about it. More about me here.
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