Last week I met fellow Irish blogger Colette from Wide-Eyed and Blind for drinks in the trendy new Dublin restaurant and bar Roberta's. We'd met at a few events before and always got chatting so we arranged to meet for coffee to talk about collaborating on a blog post. Colette had the idea that we would go somewhere for after work drinks and bring along our little bag of essentials that we have with us on days when we need to freshen up during or after work. There are lots of times when I'll go to a press event before, during or straight after work (I actually attended an event during my lunch break today as it happens) and on those days I'll bring a certain few products with me to make sure I'm looking (and smelling) as fresh as I can be. I'm always curious as to what's in a person's handbag makeup bag because to me those products are a good indication of trusted, failsafe products that you rely on every day.
Let's start with my makeup bag which is from Stella and Dot and was a gift from my sister. This version is currently sold out but they have similar ones here and let me tell you they're so worth it. I love the size of this one, its sturdy and structured and you can fit a lot in despite it actually being quite small. In fact this is the makeup bag I brought with me to New York and I fit all of my makeup (except brushes) in it no problem. I usually bring a smaller pouch with me if I'm using a smaller bag but this is the one I use if I have my backpack with me.
I always have a few self explanatory essentials with me including tissues, chewing gum, a nail file (because my nails always break in work), a hair tie, earphones (these bluetooth ones have changed my life and they come in a handy pouch) and blotting papers. These Essence Oil Control Papers are so inexpensive, I think they're about €1.50 in Penneys, but they're great for anyone who gets oily during the day and wants to get rid of any excess oil before powdering. For powder I have the Soap and Glory One Heck of a Blot which I don't use that often but it has a mirror which is another absolute essential because I'm always getting lipstick on my teeth!
Another makeup refreshing essential is MAC Prep + Prime Fix+, this is the travel size which is €10 and it's great if you feel like your makeup is looking dull or if you just want to refresh your skin. It's a hydrating liquid that has green tea, chamomile and cucumber in it as well as vitamins and minerals. There's plenty of other similar products like the Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray which is another favourite of mine and again comes in a handbag friendly travel size for €12. I don't usually bring any base products with me as I tend to use products that last throughout the day anyway. The only other makeup fixing tool I have with me is a Real Techniques Mini Miracle Eraser Sponge. These are great for getting rid of any under eye creasing or mascara/eye shadow fall down or smudges and it's also useful for blending and buffing out any product that you've applied too much of without realising it. You get two in a pack and I use one for blending my concealer and then I keep the other in my handbag.
I seem to have (only) five lip products with me here. First up is the YSL Top Secrets Lip Perfector which you can read more about in my review here. This is an essential first step for keeping my lips smooth, soft and hydrated all day in work and is the perfect base for any lipstick. Another similar product is the MAC Prep + Prime Lip Base which again I've written about here. This is the eighth one I've had in two years, so if you're a lipstick fanatic like me this is a must have. I usually have one lip colour for daytime and one for after work emergencies. Here I have Glossier Generation G in Crush which is a raspberry pink that has a sheer matte formula. I'll be writing a full review of this so I won't say too much for now except that it's such a gorgeous sheer colour and it's so easy to apply.
The second more bright lipstick is Lady Danger by MAC and it's the most recent addition to my lip collection. I actually got it for free with Back to MAC mostly thanks to my stash of the Lip Base empties. You can see it in action here. I also bring my Sephora retractable lip brush with me for occasions where I might need to apply a bold lipstick on the go. This is my number one way to take daytime makeup to nighttime makeup in one step.
One product I always have with me in my bag is a perfume. At the moment I'm wearing Molecule 01 by Escentric Molecules. This has been a favourite of mine for a few years now and the 30ml refill is such a handy size for my makeup bag. This is probably my most repurchased scent and if you haven't tried it yet, I highly suggest giving it a sniff next time you're near a stockist.
My final product is this sample size hand balm from Rituals. This is the Ayurveda scent that has sweet almond oil and Indian rose and if you haven't tried anything from Rituals yet, every one of their products smells unbelievably good. I get very dry skin on my hands and I use their Soothing Night Balm on my hands every night and I don't think I've ever used anything that heals my hands like it. Do yourself a favour and check out Rituals if you haven't already, they're probably my favourite body care brand.
As you can see Colette's product selection is a lot more streamlined than mine and what I really loved is that a lot of her products are multi-functional. Her little leather pouch is from COS and again it fits in a lot more than you'd think. The Boohoo sunglasses are self-explanatory (I always have sunglasses in my bag too) especially at this time of year when it's so bright outside (well, sometimes).
Hand sanitiser is probably a handbag essential for most people, except me because I don't care about hygiene (JK, obviously). Next is this Eco Lips Medicinal Lip Balm that has tea tree oil, lemon balm and calendula in it and as Colette says it's cheap and cheerful, organic and cruelty free. The second lip product in her stash is the Boots Soltan Moisturising Suncare Stick with SPF 30. This is something I always forget about like most people I'm sure, but it's so important to make sure your lips are protected from the sun as the skin on your lips is some of the most delicate on your body and is easily susceptible to sun damage. Rant over.
Next up we have two multi-purpose products, the Wet n Wild Megaglo Cheek and Lip Tint and the Body Shop Lip and Cheek Stain. Although Colette said she only uses the Wet n Wild one on her cheeks as she doesn't like how it looks on her lips and vice versa for The Body Shop tint. She uses it over lip balm in the centre of her lips for a gradient effect (a look I totally love) but not on her cheeks as again she doesn't find it works that well on the cheeks. Another multi-purpose products is the Youngblood Brow Artiste Kit which contains two shades of powder, a tinted wax, a mini tweezers and a dual ended brush. Colette said she really loves this and uses it all the time and even sometimes uses the brow powder as liner to add some definition to her eyes of she's going out after work.
You might be wondering what the funny little compact is with the face on it (I was too). It's the Klairs Mochi BB Cushion. Klairs is a brand I hadn't heard of before but after having a look at the website and reading up on them, it seems like a brand I can get behind. They're focused on simple products for sensitive skin with natural, effective and cruelty free ingredients. I'm really curious to try it now after seeing it in person and reading some reviews.
The last products in Colette's bag is the & Other Stories Punk Bouquet Mini Hand Cream which smells incredible! I keep meaning to go in and buy one because it's only €5. I haven't actually bought anything from & Other Stories yet but any of the beauty products I've tried so far smell so good. It's a brand I definitely want to try some more.
You can read Colette's post here, check out her gorgeous Instagram too!