I used to carry a full, very large, makeup bag around with me which I very rarely looked at and which quadrupled the weight of my handbags, it was just a comfort knowing I had everything there “in case I needed it”. A couple of years ago I decided to make a concerted effort to put only a few products in my bag and at first it was like someone had cut my arm off. Now, unless I’m going out straight from work, I carry just a few essentials with me. These stay more or less the same throughout the year, except that when it gets warmer I have a sunscreen with me as well (at the moment I just put sunscreen on my face and neck before I put my makeup on). So what are my pared down essentials?
Le Baume Absolution – £13.50
This isn’t just a lip balm, but that tends to be what I use it for. If it’s really cold I put some round my nose and cheeks as well to protect them and I’ve also put it on my cuticles. You can use it on dry elbows, knees and even your feet. It does have great moisturising and protection properties so I think it would well anywhere on the body, I wouldn’t use the same applicator on my feet though.
So what’s in it? The moisturising/hydrating action comes from oil of Perilla which is a plant native to the Middle East and is rich in omega 3 and 6. The repairing action comes from the Marula seed oil which originates from a tree in South Africa and contains 8 times more vitamin C than an orange. It also contains Calendula extract which calms and soothes and creates a barrier against external agressors.
It’s paraben, PEG and phthalate free and contains no synthetic colouring agents or perfume.
Arrow Boost Color Enhancing Lip Balm – £11
Another product I always have at hand is this colour enhancing lip balm from Birchbox’s brand Arrow. It adjusts to each person’s unique pH to enhance the natural lip colour, so it’s a good day time option for a bit of lip colour without wearing a lipstick and it also moisturises. You can layer it up to get more colour. Good if you’re in a dry centrally heated office all day.
Ingredients include mango seed butter to hydrate and protect lips. The formulation is vegan, paraben-free, cruelty-free, and gluten-free.
Boi-ing Airbrush Concealer by Benefit – £17.50
Even though I don’t carry a lot of makeup around with me, I do like to have a concealer as I find my makeup will need a bit of a touch up at some point during the day, especially around my nose and chin and possibly under the eyes. This one is easy to carry and as it isn’t liquid there’s not the risk of a handbag spillage.
This isn’t a heavy coverage concealer so is perfect for my normal daily requirements, if I’m going out on an evening or a weekend I tend to use my Estée Lauder Double Wear Concealer. The Benefit concealer is easy to apply with your fingertip so no need to carry a brush around and it blends in well.
Trinny London LIP2CHEEK in Phoebe – £25
The trinny London products are great to carry around, they click together into a stack for easy portability. Generally for daytime I carry a couple of their products in my handbag. The LIP2CHEEK is handy as it’s got dual functionality, it’s a lipstick and a blusher. So if I’m going into a meeting at work or going for a coffee at lunchtime and want a bit more colour than the Arrow lip balm gives me, this does the job perfectly. You just use your fingertip to apply, so I make sure I have some tissues in my bag in case there’s any residue. I like the fact that the lip products come in pots as I have an awful habit of breaking lip bullets when I get about half way down.
Trinny London LIP GLOW in Lyla – £16
I use the Lip Glow over the top of the LIP2CHEEK as I like a more “shiny” lip. It’s not sticky and I find it lasts well over the other product. I’ve used both of the Trinny London products a lot over the past couple of months and I’ve hardly made a dent in the pots, they are good value for money.
Polaar Lapland Hand Cream – £9
I always have a hand cream in my handbag and currently this is the Polaar Lapland Hand Cream. If you want a good protective cream for winter then definitely get some of this. It’s easy to apply and doesn’t leave any stickiness.
The product is based on ancestral formulations developed by the women of Lapland and has a high concentration of 3 different artic berry extracts; arctic rasbperries, cranberries and marshes blackberries. These berries all contain powerful antioxidants and are rich in Vitamins A, C and E, to protect and nourish the skin. Other nourishing ingredients are shea butter and bee wax. Polaar hand cream is paraben, alcohol and mineral oil free.
Dr Paw Paw Balm – £6.95 25ml
This is so much more than a lip product, you can put it on dry skin, sunburn, split ends and it even works on nappy rash (handy for those of you with babies). I mainly use it as a healing balm. I recently had an allergic reaction on my neck and Dr Paw Paw calmed and healed the rash. I like the way it’s in a tube so you can use it all over from head to feet, without contaminating the product.
The main ingredient is fermented Pawpaw, the fruit of the Carica Papaya plant. The Pawpaw has been found to have natural healing qualities and is rich in antioxidants and minerals, it also contains vitamins C and B which help skin repair and provide anti-inflammatory properties. The product also contains Olive Oil to assist absorption and restore moisture. It’s paraben free.
What are your favourite handbag essentials? I’m always keen to learn about your favourite products.