OK, I realize that the “what’s in my bag” story has been told many times and you probably have your own favorites, BUT I figured I would share mine in case you want to try something new. When it comes to my handbag, most staple items never change, especially my make-up. As my friends well know, I don’t leave my house without eyeliner and powder at a minimum. So here goes my take….

Simple & Compact

My take is to keep things simple and compact, especially if you want to fit it into a crossbody bag as shown below or one from my previous article. The Laura Mercier multi-pan compact is a perfect example of a great space saver – I’ve been using this for years to house my eye liner, shadow and blush. And yes, I carry enough make-up to get ready for a black-tie affair, even though that is extremely rare!

I like the idea of finding practical items that are affordable yet stylish. Take the Mark Cross bag below at over $2,000 – it’s a great looking, functional bag but I don’t have that kind of a budget! A look-alike version is available at Nordstrom for $99. In addition to black and silver, there’s also a turquoise that will be cute for spring. A card holder is perfect for those times when you only need your driver’s license and credit card and they are a fun way to express your personality without a huge expense. For a more extensive list of card holders at Nordstrom, click here.


The quality of a product is a big deal to me (learned over my 17 years at Neiman Marcus) especially when it’s something you’re putting on your skin, whether it’s your lips, your cheeks or your hands. Everyone has different issues with their skin. I, for one, need good coverage for my sun spots (why didn’t I do a better job with sunscreen?!?) The dual finish powder from Lancome is amazing. I started using it when I was a teenager. It’s almost as good as a foundation (for those of you that need it.) Bobbi Brown is a good alternative but doesn’t conceal as well. Cheeks are the place to add brightness. I always feel (and look) happier with blush on, so blush and a small brush are always in my bag.

My eyelashes are pretty long but they are fine and lighter in color – the Lancome Monsieur Big mascara gives my lashes great volume without clumpiness. I’ve always worn eye-liner – I literally don’t walk out of my house without it. A skinny, flat brush is a necessity for applying a thin line right along my lash line. For touch-ups during the day, I dampen the tip of the brush with some water (have a bottle with me usually), tap the eye liner powder and dab along my lash line.

I’m not much of a lipstick girl (my mother has harped on me for YEARS about this) but I do try to keep them from drying out. I love lip glosses and treatments – Aquafor or Jack Black yes, Chapstick no – it dries me out more. When I want a little color, the fresh sugar lip treatment is my go-to and comes in lots of fun colors.

For the hands

Smells make me crazy – like lotions and candles that smell like something you would eat. Stick with sanitizers and lotions that have a fresh, clean smell and won’t offend the person sitting next to you! L’Occitane makes great products but I also love Kiehl’s Hand Salve (not pictured.) Tissues are a staple but be sure to save space with the slim pack ; )

Tell me some of your favorites and I’ll add to this category!