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? 

5 Autumn/Winter Fragrances

I have a bit of a penchant for buying too much perfume. It’s getting to be quite a problem, really. I won’t spend excessively on that dress I’ve been eying up, but I’ll smell something a little bit beautiful and go “I must have it now!“, my reasoning behind actually buying it being that “it’s an investment – it’ll last me a long time and I’ll smell like a fucking meadow – who can put a price on smelling like a meadow?“. BOOM. £70 pissed away on some funky smelling liquid. 

Nevertheless, here’s 5 of my favourite Autumn/Winter scents, some I’ve bought recently, some are quite old, but all of them are delightful to wear on an evening spent curled up by the fire (or partying the night away).

Lancome La Vie Est Belle EDP – from £44

I bought this in summer, but haven’t worn it much because I definitely feel it’s more of an A/W scent. Deep, sweet and gourmand, it reminds me a lot of Thierry Mugler’s Angel, which my mum used to wear. Definitely a night time scent – but let’s face it, Winter is basically perpetual darkness anyway, so I could comfortably wear it to the office. The bottle oozes understated sophistication, and the scent has notes of blackcurrent, jasmine and vanilla.

Jo Malone Blue Agava and Cacao Eau du Cologne from £40

This is a beautiful, warm, chocolatey perfume, perfect for day or night. It’s not too sickly sweet and gourmand, so it’s a little less cloying than some perfumes with accents of chocolate or vanilla. It manages to stay quite fresh, probably because of the lime and agava flower notes. This is my current favourite.

Guerlain La Petit Robe Noir EDT from £35

Definitely a night time scent, I can imagine wearing this at a festive cocktail party, and the bottle is ridiculously pretty while remaining elegant and classy. The La Petit Robe Noir collection packs such a olfactory punch, I went for the eau de toilette as the eau de parfum was a little overwhelming. Cherry, apple and musk feature in this sweet and delicately sexy scent.

Valentina by Valentino EDP from £41.50

This is such a feminine, sophisticated perfume, featuring bergamot, orange blossom and wild strawberry, with amber base notes. Perfect for day or night, this was my go-to scent last winter. It’s delicate and powdery, and there’s something about this perfume that makes you feel like a real lady.

Vera Wang Princess EDT from £40

I have a real soft spot for this perfume. I got it for Christmas 2 years ago, and I still adore it. Vanilla, apples and water lily make this sweet and girly, but not in a sickening way; this is definitely one for the younger lady, but it smells so comforting, I still have a little spritz now and again. Perfect for an evening out with the girls, and the heat-shaped bottle is ridiculously cute too – great for travelling.

What’s your favourite festive fragrance?

NEW: Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt Cologne

I know I literally just reviewed a Jo Malone scent, but I really need to share this one with you ’cause it’s so shiny and new: yup, it’s the Wood Sage & Sea Salt cologne from the new range.

I know it’s not out yet, but if you go into a Jo Malone store, you might be lucky enough to be offered a sample (like the cute little one I’ve got here), or you can request a scented postcard online. I didn’t even know there was a new range coming out, so I got embarrassingly excited in the store when the SA said it would be available in September

I’ve tried it out, and I love it! I’ve lived by the sea all my life, so this evokes memories of scampering along the sand dunes among the long grasses and brambles, with the salty Atlantic air blowing in my face. It’s quite a unisex fragrance, and that usually puts me off ’cause I like to smell girly and feminine, but this is very wearable and not too masculine- clean, fresh and outdoorsy. Delicious. I’d say it’s more of a daytime scent, but don’t listen to me – wear it however you want,

I think this will be my next purchase from Jo Malone.

Price: £40 for 30ml or £80 for 100ml

Overall Rating: 8/10. Not my favourite Jo Malone scent (that title goes to Wild Bluebell), but definitely one I’ll be adding to my collection when it’s available.

Jo Malone Wild Bluebell Cologne | Review

I think I may have found my signature scent…

This actually smells like an enchanted woodland. I can’t stop jamming my nose up against my wrist to get as close to the scent as possible. It just smells so clean and natural – you know how traditional perfume just kinda smells like a bunch of chemicals mixed together to make a scent? Well this (and all of Jo Malone’s stuff) literally smells like what it’s supposed to smell like – a bouquet of bluebells. It’s very light, a bit aquatic and smells like a secret woodland carpeted in bluebells that’s been jewelled with dew from an April shower. Heavenly.

I suppose my only “problem” – if you can even call it that – with this is how short the longevity is, but it’s a cologne, so it’s not like Jo Malone is promoting it as an EDP/long lasting scent anyway. It’s important to understand how fragrances work, otherwise you may expect this to last longer than it does and end up disappointed; I’ve seen so many people badmouthing the brand because the colognes don’t last all day, but they aren’t supposed to! It’s like complaining that your tinted moisturizer doesn’t cover all your blemishes or last 12 hours.

All the colognes come in 30ml bottles, so they’re perfect for handbags. I think I may invest in the 100ml though because I love it so much! 

Price: £40 for 30ml, £82 for 100ml

Overall Rating: 9.5/10. The sillage and longevity are not great because it’s a cologne. That doesn’t make the product bad, it just makes me a bit sad that I can’t smell it after a few hours and I don’t have a bottle on me 🙁