Sunday, September 14, 2014

Handbag Essentials

It's official. I've finally splurged and bought my first designer handbag.

So I bought it from the outlets at less than half the retail price. STILL COUNTS.

While I'm all about purses, shoes, scarves and the like, I've never been one to shell out insane amounts of money on accessories. Actually, I've never been one to shell out insane amounts of money on anything. I think there is something to be said for spending a little extra on a quality piece, but if I can avoid paying full price, you can bet that I will find a way.

Up until this point, the majority of my purse collection has been a mishmosh of Kohl's clearance rack purchases and retired Vera Bradley pieces. And while I do still love them all, with their various shapes, sizes, and funky patterns, they don't always scream "professional adult". I decided it was about time that I bit the bullet and bought myself a beautiful, classic leather handbag that I could rock through any season.

The outlets offered me many a choice in designer labels - Michael Kors, Coach, Tory Burch, Cole Haan, Fossil, Guess. In the end, though, I found my calling with Kate Spade, whose playful yet sophisticated style is right up my alley.

Of course, with a new handbag in my possession, I've got to show you some of my favorite essential items that I'll be packing in to it. Take a peek!

As a blogger on-the-go I rarely leave home without my blog journal and planner. While my planner (which I recently reviewed here) helps me keep track of appointments and plan out upcoming posts for the week ahead, my journal is the place where I jot down post ideas, notes on products, and any other inspiration for things I'd like to write about.

With fall on the way, I've got myself prepared to face the cooler, drier air of a new season. Mario Badescu's Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater ($7) not only refreshes and hydrates skin, but also sets makeup, and tames dry frizzy hair. It's got a very simple, gentle formula without any ingredients I can't pronounce, and has lovely rose scent.

Dry shampoo has quickly become one of my beauty essentials. Even if my hair looks amazing when I leave my house in the morning, it will inevitably need a little pick-me-up by the end of the day. I keep this travel-sized version of Klorane Extra-gentle dry shampoo with oat milk ($8.99) on hand to refresh my do as needed. It has a very light fragrance (which unsurprisingly reminds me of dry oatmeal), and doesn't leave behind any white powdery residue.

I'm a huge fan of rollerball fragrances. They're so convenient for on-the-go application, and the bottles are often oh-so-pretty. Since I purchased this set from Sephora I've had these 5 fragrances on constant rotation in my purse. My favorite of these is Tocca's Colette ($20), which I ultimately ended up redeeming for a full size. Now I can spritz from the bottle in the morning, and touch up during the day with my rollerball as I need to.

Blotting linens are an oily-skinned girl's best friend. My T-Zone is inevitably shiny by lunch-time, so these Green Tea Blotting Linens from Boscia ($10 for 100 sheets) are the perfect way to degrease without disturbing my makeup. Not only are they all natural, but the green tea extract also helps to calm irritated skin.

A good lip balm is always important to have on hand. While they're a bit pricey, Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments ($22.50) are the most buttery, beautiful lip balms I've probably ever tried. There are tons of different shades to choose from, but right now I'm rocking the ever popular Rosé.

Fun fact, I suffer from relatively frequent tension migraines. They usually originate in my neck and shoulders, and can crop up unexpectedly. To keep me prepared I carry around this little jar of miracles with me wherever I go. If you've never tried it, Tiger Balm ($6) is amazing stuff. It's like Bengay on steroids. It also smells a bit like Christmas, which I kind of love. It immediately soothes sore muscles and relaxes tension that for me can eventually turn in to a migraine.

The world is full of germs, so I always make sure to keep some hand sanitizer on me. Bath & Body Works PocketBac line ($1.75) is practical, adorable, and features their most popular fragrances. Since they're very inexpensive it's easy to invest in a few different scents and change them up as you'd like! Right now you can even buy 5 for $5 and they have a ton of fun new scents for fall.

On the same note of practicality, I can't ever be without hair ties and a nail file. Two of the things that annoy me most are when I can't pull my hair back, or when I break a nail and can't fix the jagged edges. I've been loving Twistbands ($6 for a set of 3), which blow those boring elastic hair ties out of the water with all of their fun and adorable patterns and colors. This box of mini nail files is also something I proudly carry with me. Not only are they more convenient than a loose file to keep in your bag, but they're also miniature, polka dotted, and too flippin cute.

I can never get enough hand cream. I feel like I wash my hands a hundred times a day, so it's extra important for me to kind a way to give them back some moisture. Lately I've been absolutely in love with this Shea Butter Hand Cream from the Soap & Paper Factory ($18.00). Not only are their products free of parabens and petroleum, they feel lovely, smell great, and have absolutely beautiful packaging.While they have seven different scents to choose from, my inner lemon lover is obsessed with Verbena.

Do you have a favorite handbag? What are the essentials that you pack in it? Post me a comment and let me know!