To every girl, the working girl handbag should be like Mary Poppin's bag. It should contain everything you need, may need and probably won't need, but slight chance you might need. Everyone knows (I hope they do) that you should never open a woman's bag without permission. It is a sacred and secret rule, that what hides in a woman’s handbag stays a mystery. Well I am about to break that rule and make sure all of you know what you SHOULD have in your bag.
There are the obvious necessities such as your lipstick, eyeliner, concealer stick and perfume, but what about the bits that you forget?
A woman should always have a mirror on them at all times, just in case you can't get to the bathroom and you have a sneaky suspicion that your perfectly slick eyeliner you applied this morning has evolved into a smudgy or gloopy line that needs putting in its place again.
Tissues or wet wipes are needed, just in case there are any "accidents" like spilling food or a coffee on yourself. Never a good look. You should also carry a little tube of sanitizer. You never know when it might come in handy.
If you're like me and sat on the computer all day, tapping away at the keys, your hands and fingers tend to get quite dry and rough. You can avoid this by keeping a small tin of hand cream in your bag. There are plenty of brands out there that are effective and only a couple of pound. Hardly breaking the bank and it's definitely worth it. I use O'keefe's working girl hand cream, costing £3.50.
An umbrella is definitely essential. Don't be caught out by England's changeable weather. It might be blue skies and rainbows when you left the house, but by the end of the day, those rainbows may have turned into black thunderclouds, ready to soak you on your way home from work.
Drugs (the medical type!)
You could get carried away and keep excessive amounts of drugs in your bag, the medical type, but who has the space? One sheet of painkillers is plenty, in case you feel stomach cramps coming on or are suffering from the excess amounts of wine you glugged down the night before.
No one wants to look like one of them trashy girls walking down the street, mouth open, chewing gum, but no one wants to have bad breath either. Keep a pack of polos, tic tacs or something minty to refresh your palette after eating. It will make you feel better too.
Girl essentials (for those pmsing)
We girls are quite organised when it comes to our menstruation cycles, but sometimes we are caught off guard. Keep a few spare "lil lets" in the zipped pocket of your bag just in case. Make sure they are zipped away. Don't be the girl who drops her bag and out fly the little fellas for the whole office to see.
This is a personal preference for me, but I keep a small comb and hair spray in my bag, as my hair has a tendency to stick to my head, flat as a pancake as soon as I leave the house; no matter how much I back combed before I have left. This way, I can give it a quick fix throughout the day. A sea salt spray or volume powder could be used instead, depending on your hair type.
Notepad and pen
It is work you’re off to after all, not a fashion show, so although it takes up room in your bag, a notebook and pen would come in handy, even if it's just to write down your number for the cute guy who works at the desk opposite you.
Now I know everything is managed on iPhones nowadays, but I am still traditional and take a small diary/ organiser to work. I find it easier to organise myself with deadlines, planning and events that I need to remember. It's also easier to schedule your social life around work too. You might be a techno siren, but you can't beat good old fashioned writing sometimes.
Obviously you don't leave your house without your keys, phone and purse, but what's in your purse? I completely forget to take cash with me. My purse usually contains my bankcard, discount cards, and a few loose pennies, and I mean pennies. This is a big mistake. Carry a couple of pounds around with you, or even a fiver, as some places don't accept cards or purchases under a fiver. Not cool if you have to borrow some money off a colleague or pay on your card, when you're trying to watch the pounds. Every penny counts!
My hair at work, really annoys me. If you're like me, I love wearing my long ombre hair down so you can see the colours, but at work, it gets in my face and frustrates me while I'm concentrating. Pack some hair grips in your bag. You never know when you may need them. They do have a tendency to magically disappear, so keep well stocked and if you take a few out, remember to put them back.
This might sound a bit silly, but after a long week at work, your feet are killing, especially in heels. Quick tip: put some flat shoes in your bag, so you can change into them when to-ing and from-ing from work. You can buy flat fold out dolly shoes that fold into the size of your palm. No one will even notice.
Reading material (i.e. gossip mags)
If you're using public transport to make your way to work, it might also be worth having something to read. I always take a magazine in my bag, whether its for reading on the bus or on your lunch break, it keeps you entertained and keeps you updated with the important things going on in the world.
Rape alarm (can never be too careful!)
Now to get serious for a minute ladies. When working in the office, especially in the winter, we never see the sunlight. It's usually pretty dark by time you finish and if you have a long journey home, which entails walking, it can be a bit scary. We can't be ignorant, bad things do happen sometimes. So it might be a good idea to keep a small can of peppermint spray or buy a rape alarm to attach to your keys. I know I sound a tad pessimistic, but it can't harm to be prepared and you'll feel safer when walking home alone in the dark.
Spare battery (for your phone)
When it comes to technology, I can't function without my iphone. When I see the 10% battery sign, I know I've got 20 minutes tops before it cuts out. It seems silly, but I panic. I might need it to contact someone if something happens, it's my security! Now I don't have to worry, because I keep a portable charger in the pocket of my bag. It’s battery operated and plugs straight into my phone. Just remember to replace the batteries every so often. In fact, it might be handy to keep a spare battery in your bag also, just in case.
Last but not least, every working girls savior: Plasters. Whether it's for your poor feet that have struggled all week in heels (the mega killer heels you wore at weekend) or a paper cut that looks so small but hurts so much. Be prepared and keep a couple of different sizes in your bag, just in case.
There you have it, the essential items any working girl should keep in their bag! Remember, let everyone in on the secret. If it's just you, everyone will be asking to borrow your stuff all the time! Sharing is caring... so share the tips, not your stuff!