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Women are often ridiculed for the size of their handbag. It’s understandable, as recently everything seems to be oversized; from sunglasses so large they could easily pass for a Halloween mask to caramel macchiatos that border on being Olympic sized swimming pools. Still, a handbag is a necessity to the often overwhelmed, under appreciated, multi-tasking super woman that carries it.

Most women don’t actually ENJOY toting around a bag the size of a Buick, but to be the prepared and organized woman she no doubt is, it sometimes feels necessary. It doesn’t need to be; it’s probably more practical and easier on your back to choose a smaller bag and scale down to a few essential items inside.

Think of it as becoming less crazy bag lady and more Mary Poppins.

You will still need a decent sized bag, but unless it’s doubling as a diaper bag, your day time tote should only be big enough to hold the following list. In addition to the usual items of keys, cell phone, and wallet, including the articles below should ease your nerves, shrink your bag and still have you feeling ready for the worst.

1.) Small Makeup Case

Sometimes your face melts off by lunchtime, sometimes getting ready in the dark helps in forgetting to fully completely said face… or sometimes happy hour happens. Whichever does happen, you always want to know you have a safety net. It may be difficult to part with your entire makeup bag or four different shades of the same wine colored lipstick, but it can be done. This is the one item that will take up the most room in your bag, but it will be a life saver having it; it will also keep all of these items in one place instead of scattered at the bottom of the black hole called your handbag. Find a case that is just large enough to fit the following items.

Face Moisturizer:

Any time you feel like touching up your face, it’s always more refreshing to start with a clean palette; moisturizer helps do that. Try and obtain samples from department stores (Clinique’s free-with-purchase gifts often include tiny bottles of their delicious moisturizer) Set aside these finds for keeping in your purse… or keep one sample size bottle and regularly fill it up from your at-home bottle.

Concealer:

A little concealer under your eyes at the end of the day will brighten and clean up your face immediately. A good buy might be a small tub from a cheaper brand like Wet’N’Wild. You could also mix a little concealer with your moisturizer to put on your entire face. It will help smooth out your skin like a tinted moisturizer.

Compact:

This will be normal sized but it’s pretty essential to a made up face. Again, try and look for this in a cheaper brand as you won’t need it every day. Try a shade that is slightly darker than your skin tone to give your face a little more color.

Mascara:

At the end of the day, it’s hard to reapply your mascara without getting clumpy spider eyes… but it also seems to be the kind of makeup that is easy to forget to put on in the morning, and any makeup-wearing woman knows how naked your face will feel if you have forgotten to put on mascara. Keep it as a precautionary measure. You can probably find sample sizes of these from department stores as well.

Lipstick:

ONE tube… ONE. Choose the color that you like the most, and buy two of them; one for at home and one for your purse. Another idea is to buy it in a slightly sheer shade that could also double as a blush. Just dabbing a bit on the apples of your cheeks and rubbing it in will give a little glow to your face. The handbags will be available at this blog that performs the function of small makeup kit. All the makeup items can be put in the bag and applied wherever requirement is. There will be no necessity to carry the makeup suitcase.¬†

Eyeliner/Shadow:

Nothing will take you from day to night better than a smoky eye. Black eyeliner or dark shadow is a good thing to have in your bag for those dates or trips out after work. Instead of buying a brand new liner, you could wait until your current pencil liner is used down to the length of a tube of lipstick and throw that one in your bag. Buy a new one for your at-home case. As for shadows, you can find tiny little tubs of those at the drug store for a buck a piece. Find a gray shadow or whichever color is most flattering to you.

Emery Board:

Toss a small keychain sized one in. Broken nails can really ruin a day.

Clear Nail Polish:

Pantyhose snag? Disgustingly annoying. Be careful that this is closed tightly so that it doesn’t leak; if you’re not sure, leave it.

Travel Size Toothbrush/Toothpaste/Floss:

Just in case. You’ll be so happy you have it if you need it.

Extra Contact Case/Small Bottle of Solution:

If you wear contacts then you know the feeling of desperately needing solution sometimes. And also, you can play hero when the chick in the next cubicle needs it and doesn’t have it.

Travel Size Hairspray:

For when hair falls flat.

Tide To Go Pen:

Awesome invention, take advantage.

Band-Aids:

Chances are you won’t need one because you’re bleeding, but more likely because your heels are rubbing your feet in the wrong places.

Bobby pins/Hair Ties/Mini Clips:

Needing a ponytail holder and not having one can make or break you.

PainKillers:

You can buy a little travel bottle of Advil or Tylenol or whatever… keep refilling it from your larger at home bottle.

Travel Size Deodorant:

It’s so worth the space.

Lip Balm:

Nobody likes chapped lips.

Safety Pins:

Straps break, things happen.

Tampons/Panty Liners: It’s a necessary evil. But. Ya. Just. Never. Know.

Throw this all in your makeup case and rest easy, it should be enough to transform you quickly and easily for any situation.

2.) Small Accordion Manila Folder

This should be the size of a business envelope. This is the perfect place for stamps, deposit slips, check book, coupons, bills, shopping list, a few index cards for jotting things down, letters waiting for the mailbox, etc. It can slip in your bag easily without any bulk or much weight.

3.) SMALL Date Book  amp; Pen

You can find date books that are as small as 3×5. It’s hard to leave behind your planner, but it’s probably as big as a Calculus text book; unless you are doing something during the day that it is absolutely required, throw this in your bag instead. Jot down any appointments or things that need to be recorded while you’re out, and then transfer it to your regular planner when you get home or back to the office.

4.) One pack of gum

It’s not nice to have smelly breath, is it? But you don’t need more than one pack, unless you’ve just quit smoking, in which case it’s excused.

5.) iPod/MP3 Player

Tunes probably get you through the day, and if they do, you better have it. Lucky for you and your bag, they’re only getting smaller.

This should include everything that you would or should need. You may have reasons to subtract or add to this list, but it should help manage your bag space. The best part about this system is that when you are ready to switch from one handbag to another, it won’t resemble a spring cleaning on your purse; just empty and reload.

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