15 Handbag Essentials

These are a few of my handbag essentials and I haven’t always carried them, but over the years I’ve figured out what I can’t leave my home without and what always comes in super handy.

I like to think of my essentials as those that not only I need, but those that a friend might need too.

1. Tissues. You never know when you’ll need one or someone else will need one.

2. Gum. Preferably sugar free, for those moments when your breath is anything but fresh. Stay away from the onions.

3. Tampons. Even if it isn’t that time of the month, having them handy is so helpful for those early days or to help a friend in need. Keep them in a small cosmetics bag so that you’re not embarrassed if your bag contents fall out.

4. Hand lotion. Something small and travel size is always great and it’s even better if it has an SPF. Your hands are your biggest tell tale signs in age. Keep your hands soft, moisturised and protected from the sun. Something I’ve noticed is that whenever I take my hand lotion out and offer it to a friend, 95% of the time they will use some too. Sharing is caring.

5. Hand sanitiser. Your hands are the biggest germ spreaders in the world. Keep a small bottle so that you can clean your hands or even the grocery trolley handle.

6. Lip balm. Something that isn’t tinted but has great moisture. This is a great base for your lips before adding a slick of colour. It’s also helpful in case your man needs some lip balm too and doesn’t want to look like he made out with a tub of pink glitter or Ke$ha.

7. Your wallet – ensure you always have spare change for those parking tickets or car guards.

I bought this wallet from Colette Hayman – it has so many card holders and space for everything I could need.

8. Hair brush and hair bands. You can tie your hair up for those days that are too hot or if your hair decides to have a bad hair day.

9. Painkillers. There is nothing worse than a headache getting in the way of a busy, wonderful day.

10. Pen. This is always handy. I have often found myself in situations where I have needed a pen and have to ask around for one. I’d rather be that person now who can offer it out.

11. Deodorant or Perfume.  Necessary for hot and sticky days or even for a fresh burst of fragrance before an evening out. Find the travel size of your favourite perfume or decanter.

12. Bandaids. Just carry a few. You never know when that pesky blister might pop up from those heels or when you can come to the rescue for a friend.

13. Make-up bag. A small one with only the essentials. If you are going from day to night then pack slightly more, like a compact powder, an eyeliner, mascara, a lipstick and concealer. Otherwise just a compact, lipstick and mascara is good.

14. Cellphone and if you have a portable cellphone charger – you’re a winner.

15. Sunglasses case and cleaning cloth. Get into a habit of placing your sunglasses back into the case and not just dropping them into your bag. Scratched lenses aren’t ideal and neither are dirty ones.


If you are someone who changes handbags often, I’d suggest you put your small essentials into a fun make-up bag. It just makes life so much easier when you need to swop.

This is what is in mine:

Tissues, gum, tampons, bandaids, painkillers, a lipstick and a hair band.

What are your essentials?

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