Like peeking into an illuminated window as you walk by a house or checking out the book a nearby passenger is reading, knowing what beauty products are inside a woman’s handbag is fascinating—and useful!
I ask celebrities and beauty pros to rifle through their bags all the time and dish on their must-have products, and now, by a co-worker’s request, it’s my turn.
Here are the 11 tubes, bottles, and packets that are currently rattling around in my bag:
1. Yes to Blueberries Travel Towelettes, $3, yestocarrots.com. Great to have around for all sorts of unexpected cleanup needs, but I use them most to take makeup that I’m testing off the backs of my hands.
2. Tarte Rest Assured, $22, tartecosmetics.com. When I look into a mirror, and think, “I look exhausted,” I whip out this nude eyeliner and draw it along the inner rims of my lower lids. It’s an instant eye-opener.
3. Fresh Sugar Blossom Hand Treatment, $38, neimanmarcus.com. The most important attribute of a hand cream is that it soaks in superfast—and this one does. Plus, I love the scent so much that I apply it just to smell it.
4. Clinique Almost Lipstick in Shy Honey, $15, Clinique.com. I’ve been using Almost Lipstick since high school. It’s so sheer that I can swipe it on in a bumpy cab without a mirror.
5. DermaDoctor Med e Tate Wipe, $48 for 30, dermadoctor.com. This is an antiperspirant in towelette form. I have to admit, I’ve never used it, but I love knowing it’s there for an emergency!
6. Colgate Wisp, $8 for 16, amazon.com. Another emergency fixer, these disposable mini toothbrushes (with a minty dissolving, fresh-breathening bead) are perfect for freshening up after a work lunch.
7. Shobha Sanitizer, $2, myshobha.com. I get bikini waxes at Shobha here in NYC, and they sell these slim spray hand sanitizers—so much easier to spritz than a gel you have to squeeze into your hands.
8. Vaseline Lip Therapy, drugstores. This bedazzled mini Vaseline jar was a gift from the brand, but keep an eye out for their non-blingy, extra-mini lip therapy jars, showing up in drugstores now. Keeping one in my bag has saved my lips this winter.
9. DDF Mattifying Oil Control Moisturizer, $42, ddfskincare.com. I got this travel-size tube at Sephora last summer; I love that it doesn’t leave my skin greasy-looking, has SPF, and is thin enough to apply under makeup.
10. Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Sun Defense Stick SPF 50, $20, elizabetharden.com. If I find myself outside mid-day, I’ll swipe this stick over sunburn-prone spots like my nose, lips, and shoulders. I keep one in my ski coat and beach bag, too.
11. Chanel Rouge Allure in Coquette, $32.50, chanel.com. When I don’t have time to apply all my makeup, I swipe this bright, warm pink on my lips and dab it onto my cheeks. It’s enough to brighten up my whole face.