My Handbag Essentials

If you have a large handbag, it’s so easy to take everything bar your vanity mirror with you on your daily ventures – after all, you never know when you might need to reapply that lippie, or spontaneously stay at a friend’s house overnight. But if you don’t like toting around a comically large Mulberry, or find that dragging your entire makeup bag everywhere is weighing you down, then it might be worth having a sort through your stash and narrowing your beauty essentials down to a few multitasking products. These are my handbag essentials for travel:

Dr Jart+ BB Beauty Balm is great for multitasking as it keeps skin hydrated and acts as a light coverage foundation. This is quite thick for a BB cream, which I think is perfect as it’s very moisturising, and gives decent coverage. Great for perking up post-partying skin. I also take NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer with me most places. It’s great because it takes up so little space, and gives me that little bit of extra coverage if my dark circles are looking particularly pandery the morning after a visit to Monsieur Raptor’s. Using this plus the Dr Jart+ BB cream eliminates the need to bring a moisturiser, primer and a foundation.

A lipstick is also a great idea, as it can really pull a look together, but that’s not the real reason I love to bring it along – my Clinique Different Lipstick is the kind of shade that can double as a blush! I just rub a little on the back of my hand, then apply it to my cheeks as I would a cream blusher. No one will suspect a thing!

I also love to include a petroleum jelly product, such as Vaseline, or this Papaya Gold Paw Paw Moisturising Balm in my bag-stash. Not only is it great for chapped lips, but can also be used for removing makeup, highlighting cheekbones, grooming eyebrows, and even as a thick moisturiser if you’re stuck somewhere overnight and your skin needs a drink.

A perfume also never goes amiss. I love Jo Malone’s 30ml bottles because they’re so dinky and handy to keep in a bag – the bottles may not be the most exciting shape, but that makes them excellent for travel. At the moment, I’m loving Blue Agava and Cacao because it’s a great Winter scent for day or night.

What bag would be complete without a resident hairbrush? I’ve had this one for years as it’s a great size and shape for storing in my handbag’s secret pouch. You could go for one of those mirror/brush contraptions, but I find them rubbish for brushing my hair, so I prefer to use a regular brush.

Lastly, not pictured here is Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Powder Compact, which I occasionally take with me on my travels to Monsieur Raptor’s when I have work the following morning. This is great because it pulls together my makeup look by mattifying the BB cream, but there’s also a little mirror and sponge included in the compact, so you don’t need to bring a separate mirror or powder applicator.

What are your handbag essentials? 

Dr. Jart+ Regenerating Beauty Balm

I bought this after I decided I needed a lighter foundation for summer, with more sun protection. This does the job perfectly, with a sheer, but buildable coverage, that adjusts to my skin tone beautifully. 

From the Boots website, here’s what we know about it:

  • Suncream to help protect the skin.
  • Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil to lubricate the surface of the skin.
  • Snail Secretion Filtrate to hydrate and moisturise
  • Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil for calming and smoothing out the skin.”

FYI, I’ve just found this out now: I had NO IDEA it contained snail gunk before I bought it!? I don’t know how I feel about this…

Anyway, it’s hailing itself as being a “wonder product“, making skin look “smooth, perfect and natural“, and that it “moisturises, protects and corrects“.

Fair play to this, I doubted it would live up to all these claims (most BB creams I’ve tried rarely do), but it actually does. I’m a little bit amazed, actually. I apply a little onto the back of my hand, and the blob of product looks grey and ashy. I then apply it to my face, and it still looks ashy, but when I start buffing it in, it blends to my exact skin tone, making my skin look perfect without looking like I’m wearing makeup. It has a surprising amount of coverage, while still looking natural. I genuinely think I could swap my everyday foundation for this and a little concealer for any glaringly obvious blemishes. 

The fact that it’s also a moisturiser and sunscreen is great. I still apply moisturiser underneath, because my skin dries out really easily, but with this on top my skin is hydrated all day, looking dewy and lovely. The SPF of 30 is a perfect amount, not just for summer, but for winter too. 

And there’s no irritation. It just feels like a lovely, soothing moisturiser. I guess it does have a thick feeling, like you’re applying a sunscreen (which you essentially are) or a really thick moisturiser, but I don’t really mind.

The packaging is really nice – it’s a little metallic tube, which is hygienic and great to save on product and mess. My two current foundations (NARS Sheer Glow and Estee Lauder Double Wear) are both pumpless, so this is a Godsend.

I don’t often say this, but this really is a wonder product, and I love it to bits! 


Consistency: Very thick, but doesn’t feel gross on the skin. A little goes a long way, so use sparingly.

Lasting Power: I think it does rub off a little after a few hours, but it’s mostly okay for 5 or more with powder and if you don’t touch your face too much.

Sensitive Skin Suitability: 5/5. Actually find it soothing some days!

Price: £21.00 for 30ml normally. I bought it on sale for £9, but I’d happily pay full price.

Overall Rating: 10/10. Great everyday BB cream. I love it.