Everybody loves a good what's in my bag, don't they? I think my problem is I'm just too nosey for my own good. I love having a sneak peak into what people deem important enough to carry around with them wherever they go. Now, the contents of my bag rarely make for a beautiful blog-worthy display so I thought instead, I would share with you the ins and outs of achieving the perfect lived in handbag- a.k.a. 'what's on my arm most of the time because I'm too lazy to clear anything out'. The bag in question is from Zara but I don't think you can get it anymore. Anyway, without further ado- here is my tried and tested recipe. Here's what you'll need:



  • 1 diary
  • 1 phone
  • 1 set of house keys
  • 1 wallet
  • 1 bottle of water
  • 1 pack of extra spearmint gum
  • 1 coin purse
  • 1 set of work keys
  • 1 mini issue of Cosmopolitan


Start pre-setting your bag with the essentials- make sure everything neatly slots in and has a home. Allow to sit for 10 mins. During this time start constructing your emergency pouch. You're going to want a small, eye-catching and easily accessible bag. Once complete place pouch into bag. Your handbag is now ready for it's first outings.

  • 1 pack of tissues
  • 1 pack of Day Nurse
  • 4 tablets of soluble paracetamol
  • 1 pack of co-codamol
  • 3 rectangular plasters
  • 1 circular plaster
  • 2 tampons
  • 2 panty liners
  • 16 hair grips
  • 1 clear tongue stud


As the days roll on, throw your lipstick of choice into the bag. Allow them to collect at the bottom of the bag. For best results make sure at least half of them are indistinguishable when swatched. Let any MAC lipsticks sink to the deepest depths of your bag, camouflaging so well they are near impossible to find unless its entire contents are tipped onto the floor.

**CHEF'S TIP** This process takes time and skill. Despite appearances this effect can not be achieved by simply emptying your entire lipstick collection into the bottom of your bag.

  • Maybelline ColorSensational Shine Gloss in Glorious Grapefruit and Fucshia Flash
  • Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Striking
  • Burts Bee's Lip Shimmer in Fig
  • MAC Lipsticks in Ruby Woo, Vegas Volt, Patisserie and Syrup
  • Rimmel Kate Moss Lipstick in 08
  • Sleek Gloss in Rising Phoenix
  • Vintage Clinique Lipstick
  • NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Iberico
  • Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfecter in 05
  • Blistex Medplus
  • Blistex Relief Cream


  • 1 hand warmer (polar bear shaped)
  • 1 hat
  • 1 pair of gloves (black)
  • 1 pair of Ray Bans 


Add any seasonal ingredients. Extra layers work well for winter. Scarves, sandals and sunscreen work well for summer. If you have the good luck of living in England both sunglasses and an umbrella are essentials year-round... although I have yet to get my hands on the latter (yes, it has been 4 years). You will find after roughly two weeks 'mini office' items will begin to mysteriously appear in your bag- do not be alarmed. They are, in fact, incredibly useful. 

  • 5 black biros (open)
  • 1 blue biro (closed)
  • 1 yellow highlighter
  • 11 brown labels
  • 1 'to do' list (outdated)
  • 1 pay slip
  • 1 calculator




  • 1 Harry Potter Studio Tour ticket
  • 1 Kokoro Sushi loyalty card
  • 1 Utility Kitchen Store business card
  • 3 rail tickets
  • 1 Pho Loyalty Card
  • 1 Edinburgh bus ticket
  • 15 receipts (crumpled)
  • 3 receipts (neatly folded)
  • 1 Outreach International business card


As your handbag matures season to taste with paper items (cards and receipts). Let them fall haphazardly in your bag. Create texture by crumpling some, whilst neatly folding others. Finally, garnish with any totally useless items of your choice. Some of my favourites are samples and napkins, but crumbs, gum wrappers and broken items work well too. Serve and enjoy!

  • 1 Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair sample
  • 1 back of sticky name tag (crumpled)
  • 1 mint tin (filled with 51p)
  • 1 pill caddy containing vitamins (unused)
  • 1 hair grip
  • 1 broken purse string
  • 6 napkins (crumpled)
  • Assorted crumbs 



Now that I've meticulously taken all of that out of my bag to write this post I am repacking with only the essentials and the emergency pouch. But we all know it's only a matter of time before it's back to 'lived in' status. As mentioned above, I'm super nosey so I'd love to know what totally useless items can be found in the bottom of your handbag!