Style

What’s in Your Bag?

Jean Shrimpton

Once upon a time, my everyday bag weighed almost as much as I did…

At any given moment, were you to peek inside, you would have found at least one book and enough random beauty products to rival the inventory at the nearest mall. Then, earlier this summer, I injured my shoulder. While it healed, I needed to lighten my load — no more behaving like a snail hauling a Sephora inside its shell.

Out of necessity, I cut my makeup routine down to, well, the necessities. Here is what I learned: A few multi-tasking products are all you need, and a lighter bag translates to a lighter disposition. These days, the shoulder is happy again, but the minimal routine lives on.

Here are the three do-everything products that made the cut:

1. RMS Un Cover-Up
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. One, it’s a foundation and a lightweight concealer in one. Two, it lives in a little easy-to-carry pot. Three, the moisturizing formula blends seamlessly into my skin, and leaves behind a glow-y finish. Four, it doesn’t ever settle into lines or creases. And five, I swear my skin has actually gotten better since using this product. How many foundations can do that?

2. Kari Gran Lip Whip in Suji Red
You know that perfect flush where someone’s had maybe five sips of red wine but their teeth and lips do not yet look purple? It’s hard to reproduce in life; yet here it is, in a pot. The tiniest dab of this formula gives you the prettiest, flushed berry stain. Add more to create a full-on red lip. It smells like peppermint and, thanks to avocado, sunflower and calendula oils, is hyper moisturizing. Insert kiss emoji.

3. Jillian Dempsey Lid Tint in Glimmer
Eyeshadow can be so polarizing. Whatever your feelings about it, this is the most flattering, natural looking eyeshadow of all time. The light, creamy formula goes on smoothly and leaves just a hint of sheen, making you look a little more awake. You cannot mess it up. It also makes a really amazing blush — peachy and slightly dewy, like you spent the day chilling on a lotus blossom.

All three are certified non-toxic and weigh practically nothing.

What's in Your Bag?

What’s in your bag? Are you a stuff schlepper or a light packer or somewhere in between?

P.S. My life in perfume and the best face mists.

(Top photo of Jean Shrimpton, 1961. Bottom photo of my hand, in a plant.)

  1. jessie says...

    aaaah i love the permitted voyeurism of these kinds of posts! i used to lug around a huge tote with a makeup bag, book, journal, knitting project, water–basically, my version of an emergency kit. now, after realizing i was killing my shoulders and neck and never really using any of it (except the knitting–i never leave the knitting behind!) i jettisoned every non-work necessity (I still have a laptop, papers to grade, etc.) except hand cream, face mist and lip balm and lipstick. i just never actually touched up my makeup during the day, and as i get older, i wear less and less anyhow. (right now i have a tin of the classic nivea cream, trader joe’s face mist and tulip sugar balm by fresh. i also like skin food and the dior lip balm that changes color according to your pH, but let’s face it: i’m a high school teacher so that really was a one-time only splurge.)

  2. Alex says...

    Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one on this blog that has a not cool, boring and old fashioned job. In my bag: not one, but two laptops (one for the company I work for, one for my client work), all the necessary supporting characters for those and to make sure I can run a meeting flawlessly at anytime: chargers, a mouse (thank god only one!), back up phone battery, headphones, etc., a small cosmetics bag in case a dinner/drinks comes up and I look beat, small emergency kit with various prescription medications, contact drops, bandaids, tampons, hair tie, powder sunscreen; a huge water bottle, at least three rosebud savles because I can’t function without; glasses, prescription sunglasses, non-prescription sunglasses; pens and a tiny notebook; sticky socks for hopping into a barre class (and then likely a rolled up pair of leggings, sports bra and tshirt). I also don’t have the privilege of a desk or place to store my things at work, so any shoes that I am wearing once I get to the office are in there too. Oh, and usually a big scarf because air conditioning in the offices I’m in is brutal. The only win I can say is that I live in a keyless building (app on phone) so at least I don’t carry keys! (And I don’t drive to work.) The thought of leaving with a tiny bag is so amazing to me!

  3. Interesting read for me. And that monochrome picture is really awesome!

  4. Rosie says...

    Ahh i love this! I have a nerdy obsession with YouTube videos where people go through their bags, and talk about what’s in them. Extra points if it’s for gym bags (i either have waaaaay too much stuff, or not enough. Help me.)

    If i’m going out out, it’s just my phone keys and wallet in my back pocket, but if it’s a regular day then i have all of the things. Pen, tiny make up bag (i don’t wear make up normally, but I like to have the option of it, in case something comes up), packed lunch, banana, hair clip, magazine for the commute, earphones, charging cable, crumpled receipts, loose change and maybe some sunglasses. Occasionally some leggings, t-shirt and a sports bra rolled up too. And i wonder why it’s so heavy!!! Think i need to streamline….

  5. Gwen says...

    I have many many things in my bags..snacks, flashlight, five pens, iPhone, packs of tissues…it goes on and on. Oh and at one point I carried multiple medications just in case.
    I seriously just need…my credit card, license, iPhone and an epi pen for my baby..oh maybe $20 in case the store won’t accept my credit card.

  6. Lynda says...

    Such great timing. I picked up my bag yesterday to leave work and did something harsh to my shoulder because my bag was so heavy. I was in agony on the drive home. I have to get it sorted before Monday.

  7. Catie says...

    I just wanted to say I’m so glad Caroline is back with her perfect lip stick/balm suggestions! :-) I still always keep a tube of Laura Mercier Healthy lips in my bag from her lipstick challenge series.

  8. Delphine says...

    I only ever carry around tiny crossbody bags because I believe that you need to be able to move around light and fast, and without dislocating anything (so of course I pair these with flats and am always up for a spontaneous walk home)! With some thought you can actually store a lot of stuff in those bad boys, I usually have: (small) wallet / keys / phone (acts as book + iPhone + touch up mirror) with headphones / lip balm (love the ones you get when flying business cause they are teeny) / a stray paracetamol tablet / a couple of lipsticks (usually Nars) / some random season-related items (could be tissues, could be mini sunscreen spray – right now a travel-size MILK cooling stick and a mosquito bite rollerball thing) / metro card / Some wrinkled credit card receipts always!

  9. Julie says...

    Oh boy I just looked. It’s bad.
    1. Lil paper umbrella
    2. About 20 receipts
    3. Keys (with blue furry keychain to help me find them)
    4. Wallet
    5. Sunglasses in case
    6. Handful of pens
    7. Two concealers- nars soft matte and Mac moisturecover
    8. Becca beach tint in fig
    9. Lipstuff! Maybelline babylips the clear one, nars jungle red, Bobbi brown crushed in bare, the new Lancôme gloss in the sparkly burgundy shade, laura mercier lipstick in damask,
    10. Earbuds
    11. Miscellaneous hair things
    12. Altoids
    13. External battery
    14. Random washi tapes
    15. Purple eyeliner
    16. Perfume oil rollerball
    17. Pink plastic ring from a child’s birthday party
    18. Kleenex
    19. Packet of finger wipes
    20. Mac studiofix+ (essential for criers)
    21. Retractable makeup brush
    22. Folded papers that could be important but I forgot about them

    • Julia says...

      22. Hahah!

  10. diana k. says...

    I keep a phone, keys, and small card case in a big purse. You never know when you’re gunna find some street books or trash-day treasures.

  11. Alexis says...

    As far as makeup goes, I only pack the lipstick I’m going to wear that day. I just did an inventory and learned that I own 5 different red lipsticks. My favorites are Bite Beauty Pomegranate and Pat McGrath Elson.
    Other than that: a travel pack of tissues, wallet, phone, keys, earbuds, knitting project, daily planner (yes, an analog one), and a pen. Oh and snackfoods. I have a 4 yo who likes to snack.

    • diana k. says...

      love those Pat McGrath lipsticks!

  12. I am the most boring. I have a phone in one pocket and my debit card in the other. Everything else I can live without when I’m out of the house.

  13. Mac says...

    Well, I’m a mom of small kids, so big time stuff (and human) schlepper. But after I had my 3rd last summer I just…had enough. I would keep a small essentials kit in my car or stroller, but carried a regular bag with 2 diapers and some wipes. That’s it! Benefit highlighter, the Dr Pepper lipsmackers I’ve used for at least 15 years (perfect amount of tint, obviously tastes great) and a bunny eared scrunchie for myself. I don’t miss the stuff!

  14. Liz says...

    I have been trying to clean up my makeup but am always hesitant to make purchases because of the price of good products. I’m always looking for advice and suggestions so this post came in handy. I just ordered the RMS Beauty Un-cover up and can’t wait to try it.

  15. Just bough the lid tint!

    The RMS product looks amazing but not sure what shade to choose.

    Thanks for the recommendations! They all look fab!

  16. Laura says...

    Caroline, your writing just gets better and better. Keep the posts coming. <3 from California

  17. Laura says...

    I have multiple bags (two purses and a work tote), but my wallet, phone, keys, and a small travel bag goes into each, depending on where I’m going.

    Every bag has its own chapstick/tinted lip balm because if I’m stuck without one, you know I’m going to get the MOST chapped lips. That’s about it in the makeup department, though – after 30+ years, I’ve realized that I will never touch up my makeup at work. What you see at 5pm – well that’s just what a 5pm face looks like.

    The little travel bag (a freebie from an international flight) has a few pads/tampons, headphones, hand lotion, face mist, and hand sanitizer. Also each bag comes with too many pens, and since I’m nursing, some bra pads – lol. My work bag also has an assortment of colored pens for bullet journaling throughout the day (also because I don’t know where else to keep them).

  18. michaela says...

    So glad you reminded me that Kari Gran’s Lip Whip exists! I got a sample of it once and it’s so wonderful. Feels luxurious and actually soothes and moisturizes!

    I always have a lip balm with me—lately it’s been Glossier’s coconut Balm Dotcom. On weekends, I usually only carry a lip balm, my phone, my wallet, my keys, sunglasses, tissues, and maybe a water bottle if I’m feeling virtuous. I might toss some bobby pins or a snack in my bag depending on what activity I’m heading out the door for.

    On weekdays when I’m commuting to and from work, I turn into a pack mule. It’s all that, PLUS an emergency toiletries kit, water bottle, travel coffee mug (trying to get better about reusable cups at coffee shops!), a book to read on the bus, backup cell phone charger, my lunch, snacks, reusable cutlery, sunscreen in case I end up outside, notepad and pen, GoTubb with vitamins, maybe some lipstick if I’m trying to wear lipstick that day (I usually apply before I leave the house and then forget about it), keycards for work… And then there are the days when I have physical therapy or am going to yoga class before/after work, and I have to add in a change of clothes/my yoga mat/a towel/even more toiletries so I can shower and wash my hair after hot yoga. And sometimes I tote my laptop with me too if I’m planning to work from a different location than my office.

    Looking for suggestions of sleek but Mary Poppins-esque bags. Most days my Patagonia daypack works fine, but when I add in the yoga mat and change of clothes, I end up needing to carry two or three bags/items with me, and that’s not always great on crowded buses where I’m not guaranteed to get a seat.

    • Taylor says...

      The Lole Lilly bag. It has a spot that opens to store your yoga mat. It’s a nice size without being huge. And it has straps to wear backpack style that hide when you want to wear it like a tote. This is my go to carry-on/travel bag. Lots of pockets. I have three kids under 5, and I fit all of our carry on items in it. Highly recommend.

      https://www.lolewomen.com/products/lily-bag-law0504?variant=52077064467

    • Sara says...

      I love that you bring reusable cutlery! I want to do this (down with single use plastics!). Is yours a travel set? Where did you find them?

  19. Always carry a lip balm (trying to find a non toxic one, currently Badger Balm), some kind of lipstick I can also use on cheeks, a concealer pencil… and a whole lot of stuff – the bigger my bag, the more stuff I schlepp around! Which brings me to this question: has anyone found a good bag in bag organizer? Ever since I had a baby, it is such a hassle to change bags that I always end up carrying the same one… a good lightweight organizer would be a lifesaver! Maybe Lo & sons will make one one day?

    • Dabi says...

      It only took me two kids to figure this one out! I have a couple of differently sized mesh zipper pouches that I throw in my larger bag. One has bandaids, cream, lactaid pills, hand sanitizer and emergency tampons :) we don’t need diapers anymore but I used to carry those in a wet bag that had a zipper pouch in front to throw wipes and dipes. A little pencil bag carried their markers and a small notebook for distractions and then water bottles and wallet go in free form!

  20. Elizabeth says...

    My bag is a veritable first aid kit since, as a type 1 diabetic, I have to have all the things on hand I would need in case of a medical emergency…most especially snacks and juice boxes (which may not seem like med supplies, but to a T1D, they are *literal* life savers), syringes, and vials of insulin. Also must always have a book. I bought a Kindle this summer and it has CHANGED MY LIFE! I’m currently reading Jane Eyre, since classics are free on Kindle. I save the paperbacks for my arm chair and the Kindle for my bag. Perfect mix.

    As far as makeup goes…only some Burt’s Bees balm for me. BUT, my favorite ever makeup brand, which you must try to hookup with and do a post for, is 100% Pure. Just as the name suggests, they are totally organic and natural–completely plant-derived. (Their “No List” of things they don’t include in their products will make the purists among you swoon). Anyhoo–they are a seriously incredible brand, and I feel they totally align with the ethos of Cup of Jo. My all-time favorite make-up product of theirs is the BB Cream, but I also can’t say enough about their skincare line. Would love to see you all try them out!

    • alison says...

      type 1 here too! bag is full of gummies, and lets face it… so many stray test strips…

    • Anna says...

      Also a type 1 here and I feel like my purse is 60% diabetic stuff – meter, insulin pens, emergency sugar, etc. :)

  21. Debbie says...

    I’m so excited that Caroline and I are both into the same lip whip! I’ve been telling all my friends about it since I bought it a few months ago. The color is perfect and can range from a light stain to a full on evening red lip. But the best part is that’s moisturizing, enough so I don’t even have to carry another lip balm. Ladies, try it out!

  22. Claire says...

    Anybody else struck by how much of a purse’s contents can be about being ready to take care of and tend to other people? Or how much influence some people’s husbands are on what we schlep around with us? Not saying it’s good, not saying it’s bad, just saying.

    • Clara says...

      Once I saw a bookcover with the title “What’s in your bag, Maira Kalman?” and I immediately searched for it on amazon, because I want to know! Alas, it was only a mockup from a designer, learning about covers.

      Do any of you remember that scene in Amelié – the movie, where Madame Poulet empties her handbag and cleans and reorganizes everything in it. I like doing that too! There is a calming feeling of preparedness that comes with it.
      Thank you for allowing me to sneak a peek into your bags.
      These days, I have switched from a small leather handbag that always was really full – to a backpack by QWSTION that I can carry as a tote as well. It holds my waterbottle, sketchbook, calendar, smartphone, wallet and keys and, neatly arranged in a cocoon-grid: tampons, pen knife, sanitizer, tissues, deodorant, tea bags, lip balm, vaseline, toothpaste and toothbrush, hair brush and (of course) the crumpled powerbar

      What I keep forgetting is a reusable shopping bag, my umbrella and dog poop bags for when I walk the neighbours dog. argh!
      A great idea would be a photo series on how contents of bags evolve over time for women (with uni/job/motherhood/etc)
      PS: great idea to carry cutlery and reusable straw, thank you !

    • Carrie says...

      Never thought about it like that but at least 50% of my stuff is there for “in case”- I LOVE when someone needs something and I’m like hold up, and whip said item from my bag. Such a good feeling!

  23. Julie says...

    My husband says I leave a trail of Chapstick wherever I go, and he is infuriatingly correct. I have at least 3 in my purse at all times.

    Also in my bag: tissues, Luden’s cherry cough drops, my asthma inhaler (I’m sounding sexier by the MINUTE), two shades of lipstick, headphones, keyswalletphone, and a book. Right now it’s “I Feel Bad About My Neck” by the glorious Nora Ephron. And no matter what, whatever item I need is the last thing I find. Stupid magic purse.

    • Lorange says...

      “I’m sounding sexier by the MINUTE” had me LOLing.

  24. Brandy T says...

    I only keep four things in my bag: wallet, keys, phone and lip balm. I travel light!

    • Me too! Plus tissues and gum :)

  25. janine says...

    I schlep so much stuff around all the time. I have the world’s worst stomach, so I have to carry around a boatload of ‘just-in-case’ stomach remedies at all times in addition to all the usual stuff.

    • Carrie says...

      My sister used to be the same way. Not to be crass, but she was having to go potty so often that she was SEVERELY iron deficient. So much so that it was damaging the myelin sheathes around her brain’s nerve cells. She had started to experience numbness, balance issues, etc. She had always had tons of tummy problems. Well, turns out she was gluten intolerant! People poke fun at the gluten free thing but don’t knock it- it can be super dangerous! She doesn’t even have celiac either, just a major intolerance. Something to think about if you’ve never been tested.

  26. Caroline says...

    My purse is my mom bag. I carry band aids, hand sanitizer, a snack, lotion, lip gloss, an epi pen, Benadryl and Tylenol, feminine supplies for me, and my wallet.

  27. Liz says...

    phone, keys, wallet, hand sanitizer. I used to always carry make up with me too but I gave up on the idea that I’d ever touch my make up up after I left the house. I started viewing it as another way societal expectations drain women’s + people who present as women’s energies. I still wear make up, but if it wears off through out the day, so be it! My face is what my face is. I have too many other things to worry about than weather my make up still looks fresh. Clearly, I am a little resentful that society accepts male faces with all their flaws but expects women to look perfect at all times. but also worth noting that in no way do I look down anyway who does — whatever it takes to feel strong and powerful! end rant :)

    • Ann-Marie says...

      I’m the same! Aside from lip balm, the makeup I put on in the morning is what I get the whole day, ha. I also think the less you put on the less you have to upkeep, maybe? By no means is perfection my goal, just a small enhancement. :)

    • Donna says...

      Same same.

  28. Ash says...

    Now this is my kinda beauty routine. Simple and fresh products in easy, travel friendly packaging. Ps. I just went to put the lip product in my shopping cart and noticed it is $86 where I live…I shall look for a dupe :)

    • Jane says...

      If you go to the real Kari Gran website they are only $24 USD so that might help you out a little bit :)

  29. Ashby says...

    CAROLINE. I think I love you… all of these are cruelty-free products. thank you so much for promoting them. I have been looking for a good concealer since switching to all cruelty-free products, so I can’t wait to try RMS Un Cover Up!

    • zeezee says...

      just be aware that rms products are heavily based on coconut oil which either breaks you our or improves your skin. it’s rather polarising. learnt my lesson the hard way when i hauled many rms items at one go and realised with horror two weeks later why i am breaking out so bad. ir coconut oil works for u, go for rms!

    • Ashby says...

      oh I did not know that…. good to note, thank you ZeeZee! I will bear that in mind when trying RMS.

  30. Lilly says...

    I generally carry very few things in my bag on the daily — wallet, cellphone, keys, feminine products, and a packet of tissues — yet somehow it still feels heavy?!

    When I travel though, then it’s everything but the kitchen sink, especially if it’s to a cold weather climate — foldable umbrella, gloves, beanie, ear muffs, a scarf tied to the strap, small water bottle, selfie stick, sunglasses + case, lip balm, camera, wallet and phone. The main difference is that at home I could leave the extras in my car and have them live there until needed.

  31. Steph says...

    I almost bought those exact shoes last week! So funny. All I carry in my bag makeup wise is a pouch full of lipglosses.

  32. Carrie says...

    Phone and Chapstick are my only non-negotiable must haves. If I have to ditch the purse, the chapstick goes in my bra. Right now I’m loving Burt’s Bees Cucumber Mint flavor.

    Otherwise: Maybelline Full n Soft, Milani Luminoso blush and a brush, RMS Living Luminizer and Pixi brightening peach correcting concealer (amazing stuff and matches my skin so well), essential oils, a pen and a note pad. Nail clippers on my key ring!

    I get a secret thrill out of “pairing down” what I carry in my purse. It’s the same reason I love packing. I enjoy the haggle I have out with myself to decide what stays and what can go.

  33. Sarah M says...

    This summer, I’ve been trying really hard to go bag-free. Something about these sweltering summers– the last thing I want is a sweaty leather bag attached to me. If guys can get by without purses, I can figure this shit out. This means I’ve been wearing lots of shorts: phone, house key, credit card, subway pass. Done.

    • Carrie says...

      I honestly don’t know how men do it. I hate using public pens. I need my own. A stranger I just met at a baby shower needs a tampon- I got her back. My niece needs a band aid, I’m all over it. I love to show my mom and sisters what makeup I’m loving these days. A place to put my book, my phone, my keys, and old super smashed granola bar. Purses are the best! I wouldn’t even know what to do with my hands without mine

  34. Gill F. says...

    My bag is the Mary Poppins of bags, and it probably always will be. No shame :D Also, as someone with food allergies/food sensitivities I argue that some of that extra bag weight is out of necessity because I can’t just buy a snack out. That’s my argument anyways. It doesn’t help that I use a tote bag and not a purse so I have ALL the room. I always manage to slide in:
    – a water bottle
    – some sort of snack, or two, or three. Usually an old granola bar that is crumbled and sticky or a fruit cup or a dusty piece of fruit. But food is food when you’re hangry
    – a book because I don’t know I might want to read?
    – chapstick of different varieties
    – compression gloves (my new thing!)
    – keys
    – hard candies because I’m a child at heart
    – an epipen because safety first
    – Benadryl because more safety first
    – old receipts and bits of trash and shreds of napkins
    – actual usable napkins

    • Jessica says...

      What is this magic bag you have?

  35. Emilie says...

    I have at various points in my life wanted to ditch the purse because a) back pain and b) bulkiness. But something always stops me – it’s where I keep my book. I always have a book on me for commuting, waiting in lines, and general down time, and it’s in my bag. I try to pair down everything else – my heavy wallet, extra makeup, and chargers stay at home – to leave room for the important thing. Also, whether or not I buy a bag depends largely on whether or not I could fit a hardcover book in it.

  36. Marci says...

    I have different bags for different purposes.

    I can tuck my phone into a slim wallet, put my keys in my pocket and I’m good to go for most outings. I’m not going to touch up my makeup or comb my hair while on a trip to the grocery store – or as I sadly realized, most any other outing. I’m just not that beauty conscious most days.

    I do carry a small crossbody bag with a comb and makeup for social or work events when I work a little harder to look pulled together. (Again, I hardly ever think to touch up my makeup but I have it if I need it.)

    I bring a larger tote to a kid’s ballgame or other places where I know I’ll have some time on my hands. I bring a book or two, a notebook and pens, snacks, sunscreen, sunglasses, etc.

    I keep “just in case” stuff in my car, that change depending on the season: warm gloves or sunscreen, a rain umbrella or a huge golf umbrella (for sun shade), a paper towel roll, reusable grocery bags, hand wipes, phone charger, blanket, etc. In Minnesota, you need to be prepared for constantly changing weather and temps.

    After my kids started school, I quit being the family pack camel. If they want it, they carry it (and keep track of it).

  37. Lauren says...

    I love hearing what everyone totes around all day! I have two little ones, so when I’m out with them, it’s a full diaper bag with all the normal stuff…. but solo, it’s just a small leather zippered pouch that holds phone, keys, cards, money, lip gloss, bobby pin, feminine product if needed, extra hair tie or clip… and I toss it in the diaper bag if needed.

    But, what about the men?! How do they get away with carrying nothing (other than phone/wallet/keys)?! Is it because their clothes (almost) always have pockets? It always amazes me and I wish there was more “equality” here LOL :)

    • Kim says...

      Men get away with it because they rely on us. My husband is always asking me for a mint, a pen, some lotion, etc. I’m like, bro you need to get a bag. Anyway, even if I were a man I would probably still carry a purse because I’m all about being Type-A prepared.

  38. I keep a small bag at work with a spare set of touchup items/toiletries so as to avoid schlepping stuff around. Travel sized toiletries, Aquaphor, Cerave lotion, my favorite lip pencils/glosses/sticks, concealer. I used to keep a full second face of makeup in my desk but that was a bit much. When running around with my toddler, I use a State backpack as a diaper bag/purse.

    I second the motion to a “what’s in/on/near your nightstand?” post. Mine is bananas right now.

    • Grace says...

      This is a brilliant idea; why have I not thought of it before?! I keep spare sanitary pads (can’t deal with tampons) in my drawer at work but not makeup. I never carry any in my day bag either coz there’s enough random shite in there as it is and I just cannot deal with powders/glosses/liquids potentially leaking out of their pots/cases and making a mess inside the bag. But I’m also not sure that I care enough about makeup to reapply any of it in the middle of the day in my office’s rather utilitarian bathroom, ha!

    • Claire says...

      I have done this too with some toiletries, including a spare toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss. And I take a spare pack of dental floss along in my purse/ makeup bag too.

  39. Courtney says...

    I carry a variety of these little necessities too – makeup, wallet, sunglasses, various chargers, keys, pens. Remnants of toddler snacks and the odd hair bow. And I like my nice purse.

    But recently I’ve been mildly annoyed about the fact that I carry a purse, daily, at all — when men, generally, don’t. I always have this weight that slips off my shoulder and bumps into my face when I bend over, that needs constant adjusting and re-positioning, and that requires careful placement everywhere (subway, restaurant, stroller, even the office). All those little moments slow me down! I’ve been wondering whether the marginal benefit of having lipstick and a phone charger at the ready outweighs the cost of being (literally) weighed down.

    • Christy says...

      Sooo true when I saw that fanny packs were making a comeback I almost considered it because I have a love/hate with handbags! Couldn’t pull the trigger though.

    • Ann-Marie says...

      Highly recommend a nice backpack (like the smaller, leather kinds) — no bumping in your face or falling off your shoulders. Or, a small cross-body purse. I also really like being hands-free and not constantly adjusting a purse on my shoulder!

  40. Lisa says...

    I’m a chronic over-packer and I’m worried that it’s genetic as my toddler packs a bag to take to nursery (on the five minute walk) with lots of cars and trucks and his “purse”. He then immediately puts it in his box when he arrives, doesn’t touch it all day and carries it home in the evening.

    I feel I may not be adulting properly, because I pretty much never ever touch the make up that’s in my bag. I put it on on the morning and that’s it. I suck at wearing lipstick as well as I apply it in the morning (with great enthusiasm) and then don’t reapply it post breakfast – just remove what remains and think “fuck it”

    • Kirsten says...

      YES I’m exactly the same! Pretty lip gloss applied in the car while stopped at a traffic light otw to work, which promptly fades/smears off after my morning coffee, and then I’m like F it, it’ll be lunch time soon enough and I can’t be bothered to reapply after that! I still carry lipsticks and glosses in my bag, but I hardly touch them once I leave the house/car.

      The rest of my makeup is intentionally minimalist, just an SPF tinted moisturizer, under-eye concealer, pressed face powder and blusher — just enough to make me look alive and awake. Not even eyeshadow or eyeliner, and definitely no mascara coz that shite used to smudge and turn into the dreaded “weeping panda” look no matter what waterproof mascara I used, whether branded or drugstore. It keeps costs down and time spent getting ready for work at a minimum — a solid win-win in my book.

    • Anne says...

      Same! I feel so high-maintenance re-applying doing the day so even if I do remember I’m too self-conscious to actually do it. I do look pretty on the commute into work though:-)

  41. Claire says...

    I don’t really like hauling around a purse with a bunch of stuff, but I haven’t found my way to that level of freedom yet. So: hairbrush, way too many pens, a notebook, a datebook, lipgloss, and a wallet that is probably bigger than it needs to be. Cell phone, always…which I find a nuisance. I miss the days when the phone just stayed put at my house and I could walk away from it and not give it another thought until I got home.

  42. Gem says...

    I carry as little as possible in a tiny bag: phone, money, key. Sometimes I take a book for long subway rides, or headphones for listening to podcasts or music, but I am trying to spend more alone time with my brain.

    When my kids were babies, I was given a diaper bag but never actually used it unless we were going on an airplane – I’d just shove one diaper and a mini pack of wipes in a jacket pocket or the baby carrier. These days, I also have a single band-aid in my wallet. Just in case…

    And now seriously C my love can we talk about the lid dew? I do not trust anything shiny on an eyelid to last longer than a hot cup of coffee. I need time-lapse photos.

  43. Gabrielle says...

    I wear a full face of makeup every day, but I don’t bring any of it with me anywhere! MAYBE sheer powder if it’s going to be a long one, and then whatever lip product I have on + balm. Am I alone in this? So many blogs, vlogs, and websites show people with a huge makeup bag in their purse! What do you do with eyeshadow, mascara, etc in the middle of the day? I always figured once it’s on it’s on hahaha

    • Amanda says...

      I totally second this!!

    • Rachel Garrett says...

      Third! I keep lipstick in my clutch but that is literally the only bit of makeup that leaves the house

    • Hanna says...

      Totally agree! A lipstick and MAYBE some powder to take the sheen off, that’s it!

  44. Laura says...

    anyone got a clean mascara recommendation? so far I’ve tried Ilia (not volumizing enough – you can’t tell I’m wearing anything at all!) and Tarte (suuuuuper clumpy and smudges everywhere).
    And yes to the comments about the lip pots – I have to apply these with a brush – meaning I keep those at home because how do you transport a lip brush?!?

    • Sarah says...

      Kjaer Weis !

    • Eliza says...

      Burt’s Bees!

    • Megan O. says...

      I like the W3LL People one or the Juice Beauty one!

    • Christina says...

      I’ve heard good things about Milk makeup’s KUSH mascara, but I haven’t tried it yet. Shavonda Gardner (SG Style) and Carmeon Hamilton (Nubi Interiors) are who turned me onto it.

    • Ann-Marie says...

      Laura + ladies, I’ve tried many and the best by far is Lily Lolo! At the Detox Market online for $20. It’s amazing, and even better than many normal non-clean mascaras! Thickening, stays on, no smudges. I don’t know how they do it.

      Milk Makeup’s Kush totally smudged everywhere on me and W3LL People’s didn’t have much oomph at all.

    • Megs says...

      Eco Bella mascara doesn’t clump or smudge. I love, love, love it!

    • Annie says...

      I’ve tried soooo many clean mascaras and my favorite is Lily Lolo. My biggest concern is smudging/flaking and I found it to be the best in this area. Also gives nice length. I didn’t get the hype with KW, it flaked a lot on me and didn’t have much oomph. It was fine but nothing to write home about. W3LL people smudged a lot for me. Hope this helps. My hobby is trying new non toxic beauty items, much to my husband’s chagrin!

    • Katherine says...

      I love Benefit’s They’re Real! mascara. (Once someone actually asked me if my lashes were real when I was wearing They’re Real, lol.)

    • Katherine says...

      ..,oops, not sure if Benefit is considered clean, though. Open to suggestions!

    • Rachel says...

      I’m really liking the new Glossier mascara so far…

  45. Gillian says...

    I’ve been wanting to try the Jill Dempsey lid tint , does it crease?

    • Caroline Donofrio says...

      It doesn’t for me! The formula is really sheer, almost like a veil.

      Not sure if it’s the same for all the shades, though. (“Dew,” the totally clear shade, is thicker and more of a gloss. It’s amazing, but can move around your lids a bit more.)

  46. Lauren E. says...

    I carry the world on my shoulder – literally. Wallet, keys, 100 lipsticks (I swear, the ONE time I took them out of my bag someone asked for a bright red lipstick for a photoshoot and I came up short). I also carry reusable bags, hairbrush, book, deodorant, eyedrops… It’s embarrassing, really. But I’m always prepared.

  47. Rachel says...

    re: the lid tint…why am I not seeing a Glimmer option/shade online??

    • Gemma says...

      Try NYC Lid Lingerie. They are glimmery and shiny and last FOREVER

  48. Heidi says...

    Just wanted to say that photo of Jean Shrimpton is my late summer- early fall fashion and hair goals right now. Those perfect pants (Not too short, not too long, not too tight not too loose), that hair and the cool satchel style handbag. Get it, girl.

    I love the Kari Gran lip pots but I hate that I have to stick a finger in there. I wish they were in a tube!

    • Meghan says...

      Same! I do not like using my probably dirty hand to put on make up, especially my lips. Bummer.

    • Elizabeth Velasquez says...

      Love the look of those straight leg white jeans. I need a pair!

  49. Lorraine says...

    I’m not a makeup person but somehow my bag remains quite heavy. My wallet weighs about 100 lbs, probably because I have far too many unused loyalty cards. My “makeup” bag contains floss sticks, chapstick, a tampon and bobby pins. I usually have a book and I often tote back and forth workout clothes in a little bag – don’t have a real gym bag.

    • Karinny says...

      You can get an app to carry all your loyalty cards, I use Stocard.

  50. Bonnie says...

    I’ve often thought a “what’s in your nightstand” would make for a good photo blog, or game with friends. Open up your drawer, snap a photo, share. No tidying, no removing articles. Right?

    • I was JUST thinking this last night. It’s so telling, right? I have colored pencils and cookbooks on my nightstand right now. It’s bananas.

  51. What doesn’t my bag have is the question!
    I tend to carry around a lot, but I used it all so I guess it works, my bag isn’t super heavy either (only when I have a water bottle in it).
    My phone, ipod, kobo (ereader) go between my hand bag and wherever I am at home.
    Then things that always stay in my bag include:
    car keys (with a waterproof torch and far to many cute keyrings haha)
    Sunglasses
    Glasses or at least their case when I’m not wearing them.
    Purse
    Small notebook
    Small pencil case which includes: phone battery charger, coloured pencils, scissors, pens, highlighters and a permanent marker all have come in the scissors especially!
    Pepper spray (thanks to a paranoid dad)
    Allergy medication, panic attack medication, asthma puffer, bandaids, and advil
    Pads
    Mints and a nut bar
    Small purse with a few lipsticks and my favourite lipbalm.
    Reusable shopping bag that folds up super small (it has cats printed on it).
    I do go through my bag every couple of months and recently did a huge lipstick removal. I also actually carry a separate bag (in addition to my handbag) for when I study rather than just having a bigger bag for everything as I know I would fill it up fast haha

  52. Oh, this is so funny. Before I met my now-husband, I carried almost nothing. Tiny bags or just my phone and keys in my jeans pocket. But when we got together (and he had several phones stolen from jacket pockets), I upgraded to a bigger bag. Before too long, that bag held everything: both sets of keys, two big wallets, phones, hand cream, water bottle, a book, endless bits of paper and mints. It was enormous and heavy, and even when I cleaned it out, it felt like everything was NECESSARY.

    Then I had a kid, and within a year I switched track. I carried his stuff in a Spiderman backpack and downsized to a small cross-body bag. The husband and I both transitioned away from huge wallets to small card holders (and a small cash purse for me). My current handbag contains my card holder, purse, phone, keys, ID, lip balm and sometimes a small powerbank. It allows me to run after my 3 year old without worrying that I’m leaving my valuables at a restaurant table, and leaves my arms and hands free to hold him and play with him.

    I still have the big bag and the big wallet, and one day I might need to go back to them. But for now, I am ALL about that tiny cross body bag life.

  53. SS says...

    Has anyone found the perfect bag to carry lots of items? Recent neck and shoulder issues have me now considering the weight of my handbag and how the straps will distribute the weight. Please reply with suggestions for a cross-body bag with lots of compartments to store: water bottle, wallet, make-up, phone, reading glasses, sun glasses, phone, etc.

    • Christy says...

      SS, I love the nylon baggu pouches to keep items separate in my larger bag. Especially if you don’t need all your stuff all the time. Blue pouch is for cosmetics/green pouch is for money and credit cards/Red pouch is for kid stuff. If I’m without my kid, I don’t even take the red pouch. If I just need $$ I only take the green pouch. That way I can throw the pouches in different bags and I never forget anything accidently and I’m not carrying a ton of stuff. For parents- in a pinch they double as a dirty diaper holder if you’re desperate and there’s nowhere to toss it. I ordered a few sets years ago and keep them in my bag- always.

      Another huge bonus is that they wipe clean if something spills and have literally saved my nice leather handbags from sunscreen, lipstick and poopy diapers. It looks like they have pretty sets now with flowers so it might be time to upgrade!

      https://baggu.com/collections/nylon-pouches

    • Karen says...

      I have also been trying to find a bag with lots of compartments and can’t find one! I know people like to use bags to separate everything but I don’t want more bags inside my bag :) What I really want is a medium tote completely lined with pockets/compartments for everything you just mentioned (water bottle, two iphones (work and personal), sunglasses, reading classes, wallet, keys, etc.). I’m at the point where I think I’m just going to have to have a custom one made because I can’t find anything with more than one or two pockets maybe three at the most. If anyone has found something like this please share!

    • Alex says...

      dagne dover makes some really great looking options!

  54. Klara says...

    No make-up in my bag. I have: wallet, keys, phone, earphones, foldable shopping bag, pen, collapsible coffee cup, tampon or pad, hand kerchief, and small bottles of hand sanitizer and sunscreen. If I know I’ll be away for the day or have a longer train ride, I also fill up my small water bottle and I’ll bring one of those tiny books from the library (I’m not sure if you have them in the US: https://www.dwarsligger.nl/over-dwarsligger/ )

    • Meghan says...

      Tell me more about the collapsible coffee cup!

  55. Callie says...

    Best thing I did for myself recently was downsize my wallet to a minimalistic slim wallet that holds nothing but bills, cards, and the occasional business card. No more coins, no more loose papers sticking out all over, no more feeling like the wallet is the heaviest thing in my purse.

  56. In my bag you’ll find sunscreen, a small purse, sunglasses x 2 (a pair for me and a pair for my toddler), my iPhone, and a pen! But my secret to not being weighed down is carrying a backpack instead of a shoulder bag. I have a cute leather backpack and couldn’t revert back to a handbag now!

  57. Nicola says...

    I swear by RMS products too! They are multitaskers that don’t cause pimples. They’re easy to apply with a finger, stay put, and made with natural ingredients. Yes, they cost more than drugstore brands, but I’ve found the little pots last a surprisingly long time.

  58. J says...

    Love seeing the stuff people carry, there needs to be an Instagram feed (probably already is). My life changed when I added to my purse tarte powdered foundation, maybelline full and soft mascara, mini tweezers for stray hairs, nail clippers because I hate long nails, and a mini phone charger with accessory cord.

  59. Sasha L says...

    I’ve never gotten into the purse habit and always felt pretty weird about it. If I can manage I just carry my phone and remote car key in a jacket pocket. If I have to I carry a really small sherpani crossover bag: Burt’s bees peppermint chapstick (I live in fear of being caught without it, I’m completely addicted), key, phone, zip pouch with drivers license, 1 credit card, Target card (5% off people!!), random small amount of cash, hair ties. But I don’t leave the house all that often……. Husband does all the grocery shopping, I work from home and my most frequent trips out are hiking. Want to hear what I carry in my BACKPACK lol? Bear spray, two water bottles, rain coat, ibuprofen & Benadryl, band aids, dog leashes, poop bags, remote collar beeper, hat, bug spray, bandana, jacket/sweater, snack/lunch, phone, 3 Burt’s bees peppermint chapsticks (you just never know).

  60. A says...

    Once my kid was potty trained i stopped carrying anything except my most basic needs. Now i use a tiny cross-body purse that fits my wallet, keys, phone, and sunglasses. In the winter I’ll add chapstick. My almost 3-year-old carries her own water, snack, and toy in a toddler-sized backpack and thinks its the coolest thing ever. #parentingwin

  61. Leni says...

    Is eyeshadow polarizing?

  62. Tiia says...

    For me, I can make do with keys, phone, wallet and handsanitizer. I wear so little make-up, I don’t have to do touch-ups (others may look at me, though, and disagree :) ). But… when I’m with my toddler and new baby, it’s a whole other ball game – then it’s everything but the kitchen sink!

  63. Diane says...

    More Caroline. Always!

  64. Sharon in Scotland says...

    I have tried to edit down, but I just can’t. Currently dragging around little old school nokia in my nephew’s old tiger sock and charger, portable DAB radio and bud ear-phones, purse for notes, a coin purse, purse with 2 x lip-balm, purse with tweezer, mini swiss army knife and silver tiffany key king, a fan, a mirror, a tube of skin food, little bottles of lavender and tea tree oil, hand cream, a make-up bag, driving licence, cheque book, credit cards, sunglasses, glasses, ID for work, car keys, glasses cloth, pen, tissues…………………..uncle Tom Cobley and all!
    When I travel I edit everything down to a much smaller bag and everything else goes in my suit case. I don’t use the make-up on a daily basis or listen to the radio, but it makes me very nervous not to have them in my bag. I think I will keep stuff in my car/work, treat myself to a little bag and set myself free

  65. Esra Erdogan says...

    Question! Is the RMS a concealer or a foundation? I thought it was concealer all these years!

    • Laura says...

      I use it as a concealer only … maybe it’s whatever you want it to be!

    • Caroline Donofrio says...

      It’s technically both a foundation and concealer!

  66. Jodi says...

    I use to carry a bag the size of my torso at all times. During college, I had the party purse, carrying an 12-pack of cold Coronas in my bag to frat parties so I wouldn’t have to drink the crappy cans. And a few years later the weird contents continued. I once won a game at a bridal shower for most strange thing in your purse… I had a kiwi. Nowadays, my back can’t take that (and, to be honest, I’ve grown up a bit hah), so I’m now carrying a small Lo&Sons bag, which makes me feel so naked, yet so liberated. Woo!

  67. Elise says...

    I’m a child and family therapist intern and carry SO much around in my work bag. It includes tissues (for clients), a homemade handkerchief (for me), dried fruit, clif bar, bamboo cutlery + stainless steel straw, a pouch with period products + ibuprofen + lotion + extra chapstick + hand sanitizer, notebook, a folder with important documents, wallet, badge, keys, work phone, pens, a deck of cards. That doesn’t even include the bag of toys and games that I use for play therapy!
    I have a backpack that I use for class days, and on my days off from either I just carry my wallet and phone – I need a break!

  68. A Martin says...

    Laura Mercier caviar eye sticks are legit. Eyeshadow and eyeliner in one. I have the plum one and it does not smear.

    • Laura says...

      For years I used MAC paint (does anyone else remember those? they came in little tubes like actual art supplies) but since they’ve been discontinued, i’ve been looking for a stay-put-don’t-move eyeshadow (deep-set eyes makes this challenging) and the Laura Mercier eye stick is the best substitute I’ve found. I like that it’s a stick too – it’s cleaner and easier to apply than rubbing something on with my fingers or having to use a brush (that requires extra cleaning)

    • Lisa says...

      It was a few years ago (I don’t buy make up frequently) but I got the Mac paint product, but it was in spot (not the paint tube). I’m pretty sure it was the same product as it was like a creme eyeshadow and it didn’t crease

  69. Amy says...

    My bag usually has lip balm, wipes, handkerchief, small hotel cream, sunglasses, spare shirt for my toddler, random doggy bags, swell bottle, reusable spoon, phone, keys and some random candy to bribe my toddler with :)

  70. marie says...

    i carry literally nothing. my phone case carries 5-6 cards and i put my keys in my pocket.

    sometimes i have a gym bag with shoes, change of clothes etc, other times a baby bag with diapers, toys, wipes. but when it’s just me on a normal day it’s just my phone, keys, headphones. v v v v liberating. if you *need a lipstick you just go without, if you *need an advil you just drink water or buy some or wait until you’re at a place where you keep some (ie: at work). it’s really great and now i never lose anything because i never have anything to lose.

  71. Sarah says...

    So. Many. Things. My husband is one of those guys who likes to be prepared for any eventuality (has a bag on the ready that includes things like a suture kit, compass, axe-he’s such a boyscout), and likes me to do the same. So in addition to my wallet, sunglasses, check book, etc., I have a wound patch kit, pepper spray, folding knife, .380 Glock and a flashlight strong enough to blind astronauts when I point it at the sky. Add to that the every day baby items, paci, teethers, toys…and this shoulder is getting STRONG. In every other way we’re minimalists, but I find myself heaving around this giant bag of apocalyptic proportions. If someone were to empty my bag and look through the contents, I think they would be thoroughly confused!

    • Anna says...

      Wait, you carry a gun in your bag? At all times? In addition to all those other things? Wow lady, you must have a strong shoulder! Am really interested in the gun though (I’m Australian and curious about how Americans live with guns daily) — do you have a special bag that you use? I assume your bag isn’t a big tote with your things in a crazy jumble at the bottom like the rest of us? Sorry if that sounds completely ignorant, just don’t get the logistics of it all!

    • Carol says...

      I literally did a double take when reading your comment. As an Aussie, when thinking about what people might have in their bags, a gun just doesn’t come up. I mean, sunglasses – same! Torch – so practical! Pepper spray – let’s hope we never need it but a good thing to have! Pocket knife – sure, Swiss army knives are handy! Gun – *record scratch*
      This is not to judge or criticise your choices at all, I just thought I would share the perspective of how, to me, it’s such a shocking thing for average citizens to carry around in their bag.

    • Girl Scout says...

      A Glock?! And teethers and toys. Wow.

    • Kris says...

      Oh my god, I had to laugh. This is my husband! We have everything but canned goods!

    • C. says...

      Anna & Carol – Most of us do not carry guns in our bags. I only know one other person who does that- my sister, who is a police officer.

  72. Vanessa says...

    Does anyone bring around cutlery? I got mine from a Japanese dollar store, and it comes in a cute compact pouch. It’s saved me when I pick up lunches to go or am confronted with a minimalist pot of yogurt. Washing is a problem, so I usually wipe down with a napkin and tell myself no one else will use it anyway :-p

    • Amy says...

      I do that too! I also carry a handkerchief, However that one I make an concious effort to throw in the wash after!

    • Elise says...

      Yes! I also carry a stainless steel straw.

    • Lisa says...

      Yep. That’s me :)

    • Callie says...

      YES! I have a spork with me all the time. They also make great little gifts (mine is from Light My Fire, a Swedish brand). They are technically for camping, so the material is super easy to clean, and nothing ever sticks to it. And yes, I have gone for longer than I am willing to specify without properly washing mine, it always just looks so deceptively clean.

    • Kate says...

      I carry a metal straw and a biodegradable spoon with me so I can cut down on those times when I might need to use one dumb little piece of plastic to enjoy my food. I’ve eaten a lot of ice cream with that spoon :)

  73. Colleen S says...

    I carry too much. Lip balms, hand sanitizer, wallet, coffee snuggy (which is useful for keeping hands either cool in the winter from being burned or from freezing from cold ones), Advil, tiny hairbrush, eye drops for allergies,hand lotion, and a tube of sunscreen for my visible tattoos.

  74. Ann says...

    I like having “in case” items, but I try to keep it to a minimum. I recently discovered that if I put all the little items in a mini zippered bag I can just move that from purse to purse quickly in the mornings — this saves so much time digging for each item separately! I wish I’d done this 10 years ago.

    I always have my iPhone, massive wallet, bundle of keys, sunglasses in their case, lip balm (Hurraw in Black Cherry!), a nylon folded up reusable bag, a hair tie, a pad/tampon, and a snack bar, and if I’m out all day I’ll also bring sunscreen. That Kari Gran Lip Whip looks amazing! I’ve been using rms lip2cheek on both lips and cheeks and like it, but would love to try this next.

    • I agree with your way. I keep a small spare deodorant, hand sanitizer, fresh wipes, lip crayon, small hairbrush in a zip bag. Make up in another bag. Two different coloured bags so I can just grab them and go and I know what is in which. Always spare drinking water. My worst is to be stuck in traffic with no water.

    • Juliette Cule says...

      My friend just got me Hurraw in Black Cherry and oh my goodness it’s like eating a perfectly ripe cherry! So great and feels so moisturising, great choice!

    • Ann says...

      @Caroline: Oh yeah, we always bring water if we take the car (in fact my husband keeps a massive 2 gallon container of water in the back!) but when I’m out on foot I know where there are drinking fountains in case I get thirsty. :)

      @Juliette: So good, right? I love that they’re organic, vegan, and raw, and the red tint is just the right amount!

  75. I used to carry my whole life in my purse. Every time I tried to downgrade, I would quickly switch back to a bigger bag. Then last winter, I wore a coat with two zipped breast pockets. I took to carrying my cards/cash/ID in one pocket and my phone in the other. I only took my purse with me if I went to work and even then I realized, I’m not using anything out of it. It felt … liberating. So for spring I bought a smaller purse and wallet and I haven’t looked back yet!

  76. Cait says...

    Be careful with the RMS un coverup ladies – it gave me cystic acne and I had pretty happy skin beforehand :( I wanted to love it because it is natural, but alas, it did not love me back.

    • Same here! :(

  77. Maria says...

    I sooo appreciate natural products being featured here. Thanks for your review for the Rms un-cover up. I’ve been searching for a natural foundation that works with my skin and will have to give it a try!

  78. Hani says...

    I’ve edited down my carry items to a very small zippered clutch with a lip balm, a lip pencil, boy brow, a slim stick concealer, a tampon, a skinny tube of Tylenol and a tiny tin of mints.
    I have a credit card clutch w/my drivers license and money, and that fits in there too. Okay so this all sounds lovely and minimal right? But I owe this light mobile functionality to the fact that, in the trunk of my car I have a whole separate secret utility crate equipped with every last thing you could possibly need: diapers, wipes, first aid, insect repellent, jumper cables, water, sunscreen, dry snacks, a book, eye drops, worst case scenario manual, flares, change of clothes, tool set, and on and on.
    Idk, I’m an American mother of two and somehow both minimal and ultra prepared live in harmony inside my value system. Ya gotta do what works.

    • shannon says...

      “worst case scenario manual” 😂😂😂😂 it sounds like you’ve struck the perfect balance!

    • Sasha L says...

      I too have a whole crate full of *stuff* that just loves in my suv. Dog stuff, hiking stuff, extra shoes, jackets, hats, allergy meds, eye drops, Band-Aids, maps, so many poop bags, rubber bands, containers, ice grippers for shoes, ice scrapers, emergency shovel, a bag of sand, baby wipes, so many hair ties, silverware, pocket knife, extra chapstick, extra sunglasses. I’ll need it all someday, God willing 😂

  79. lana says...

    I learned from my Grandma and her ailing shoulder not to carry a lot. I have only items that I use regularly or are special. I have a tiny bottle of coconut based perfume, lavender hand sanitizer spray, a mirror from Copenhagen (I just bought with leftover euros), tiny brush, lip smacker (been carrying that line forever), a flat wallet that takes up almost no space, keys, phone and sunglasses in my Born crossbody. Works for me and my back.

  80. Do you have any dramas with pots and air travel – I have found my screw on lidded pots leak with air pressure changes :(

    • Thuy says...

      This literally just happened to me with one of my face creams – now I know why!

  81. Melanie says...

    Is anyone else slightly grossed out about sticking their finger into a lipstick pot? I would need to use a lipstick brush. I still need a tube of lipstick. When I think about touching my sticky, germy kids…nope, can’t do it!

    • laura-london says...

      Yes agreed – none of my makeup/skin routine is in pots. Just gross.

    • Tameka N Moseley-Hartley says...

      ME TOO! I CAN’T STICK MY FINGER IN A POT AND WIPE IT ON MY LIPS. I’VE NEVER BEEN ABLE TO DO IT.

  82. Melanie says...

    Love these suggestions for cosmetics in small packaging and multi-use. After I use up ALL my stuff (toooooo much makeup) will try.
    I’m a semi-schlepper…a 7-yr old and 5-yr old occasionally requires the bottomless tote bag for longer outings!

  83. Amy says...

    I’ve got three kids under 8, so there’s always a diaper and wipes (wipes are so convenient, I suspect I’ll still be carrying them when there’s no diaper necessary! Picnic tables, dirty hands, stinky armpits…) and a camelbak water bottle with bite valve to share.

    But for myself, I have Burts Bees rose-tinted lip balm and a Clif bar for my hypoglycaemia. Plus a reusable bag that stuffs into itself so that I can more than double my carrying capacity at any given time, and a menstrual cup because using conventional products leaves me with contact dermatitis for three weeks :| For any that find they can always feel the Diva Cup – try the Athena cup! It made a huge difference for me.

  84. Holly says...

    I love Iliza Shlesinger’s stand up (Netflix) about digging through her purse looking for her eyeliner. “Why is there always a crumbled Nature Valley bar at the bottom?!

    • Melanie says...

      She’s hysterical! I actually laugh out loud watching her!

  85. Eva says...

    I, too, used to love giant bags—into which I could cram my various shopping purchases throughout the day. Probably why I, too, have shoulder/neck problems. The past few years I’ve happily been in a tiny-crossbody-bag phase, and I love to try to make it as light as possible. To supplement, I carry a tote bag for potential purchases. Especially love the ones that fold up nice and tiny!

    That said, I never carry makeup because I’m too lazy to reapply, except some rosebud salve. Even when I diligently pack a lipstick I’ve neatly applied at home, I generally forget it’s there :)

    • Bonnie says...

      I’m with you, Eva – small crossbody bag with a few cards in a small zip case, one liptint, a hankie, my keys and at times, my cell. It’s easy for me to keep an eye on, isn’t in anyone else’s space on public transit and if i need something that I don’t have, oh well. Life goes on.

  86. Lauren says...

    Ugh, my bag is always too heavy because I live in constant fear of suddenly finding myself stranded somewhere with nothing to do. So, there’s at least one book, typically a knitting project, headphones just in case I have to resort to phone stuff, etc., etc. Also, a healthy collection of hair pins because I’m slightly obsessed and always want to have plenty of choices. ;) Too much stuff!

  87. Bridget says...

    I too used to carry a very heavy bag… no more diapers or change of clothes or toys. Not even lipstick anymore! Now I have a backpack for work (ok, it may have lipstick in it), but if I go anywhere else, its just my tiny wallet in a back pocket. Minimalist all the way. I hate carrying purses or bags or a backpack. If I have one, a kid or friend will ask me to put something of theirs in it. Free the back and free the shoulders.

  88. gfy says...

    Well this will make things much easier. Thank you for these amazingly concise recommendations! I’m just out of concealer and my eye game needs a refresh to I can’t wait to try these!

  89. Frankie Rose says...

    Now that I have a new baby, leaving the house is a trip and I’m loaded down with stuff. In my previous life, my bag essentials consisted of glossier balm dot com (original or coconut), a flushed lip product from Colourpop, peppermint hand sanitizer and a book a la Rory Gilmore.

  90. aran(ie) says...

    water bottle+oyster card+uni pass (im on a holiday rn, but i dont trust myself t not lose it so. it comes with me)+passport+2ds+a book+some sort of energy bar (been v partial to clif bars lately)
    …+riding crop+gloves+helmet 3 times a week bc im too lazy to splurge on a sports bag

  91. Audrey F says...

    SO.MUCH.YES. to RMS un-cover up. It’s my one “if I were on a deserted island…” beauty products.

    • sof says...

      I was on the fence about trying this product but your comment just gave me the push I needed! Now to figure out which shade!!

  92. Sarah says...

    I’m in the parenting stage of having a purse full of little cars and tractors, tiny neon hair ties, and string cheese wrappers. It will be interesting to see how the contents evolve as the kids grow :)

  93. My bag essential is just my aquaphor lip repair! Mostly for lips but also works on cracked cuticles in winter. Love these recs! That lip product looks great!

  94. Ann says...

    Love that photo! She is wearing Dr. Shoals!

  95. hali says...

    I recently got one of those book-like phone cases that holds my cards and some cash. It’s lifestyle changing in that I don’t actually carry a purse anymore! No more crinkled receipts, destroyed jewelry, coins, unmailed letters, old chapsticks, etc. Most errands I run require nothing more than a phone, keys, cards, and maybe sunglasses. Now, I mostly leave the house with free hands and shoulders for errands, dinner, drinks, appointments, …almost everything! (I must gravitate towards dresses/jumpsuits with pockets when I’m not wearing denim.) If I’m out for a whole day or want to wear a nice purse for an occasion, I pack accordingly. But I LOVE having my hands free! I’m like a dude now?! Plus, my car has tampons, pens, chapstick, concealer, hairbrushes, and a million other handy things hidden in it and in LA, my car is always pretty close by.

    • Eva says...

      Weirdly I am so good at going bagless when I travel, but I can’t bring myself to do it in the home routine! Love the phone-wallet idea.

    • Callie says...

      Me too Hali! I commented here about how downsizing to a slim wallet (only bills and cards) has simplified my life so much. I leave the house bagless all the time now, and since I’m a pants girl anyway, I actually do the guy thing and use my back pockets. I LOVE having my hands free! Turns out I actually don’t need as many things with me as I used to think.

    • Lisa says...

      I use Apple Pay a lot and it has ruined me. I’m nkw so used to using it to pay for everything, I never have cash and my dream scenario is also for the house keys to be on my phone because then I don’t have to carry anything but it. But I’d be seriously screwed if it stopped working / got stolen / ran out of battery