So I have been a stylist for more than half my life officially, but unofficially for the majority of my life if you ask my friends and family. I was also that girl with all the right accessories to complete every outfit – ‘you’re so matchy, matchy all the time,’ I often heard as a young girl. I was always very aware of what styles suited my body type and which ones to stay away from, which plays a huge factor in appearing put together & stylish. Another key thing that I have always been known for is my bag of tricks, otherwise known as my purse! So I decided to share with you just what’s in this big momma purse of mine – 22 items I carry on me at all times, my arsenal!
- AGENDA: Organization has always been a key pillar in my life, but even more so now with the business. I need to juggle sales meetings, events, photo shoots, interviews, etc, and without a clear plan my head would explode! And, I would have a lot of disappointed people in my life with double booking myself. I use my agenda constantly! I am a pen to paper kinda gal and this holds true for my agenda style – which is currently Bando.
- CHANGE PURSE: This little gem has come in handy to not only carry change for the endless parking metres that I frequent weekly, but a great destination for some other tiny things in need. For example, when my earrings or rings have been bugging me all day and I just want to take them off before even making it home, in the change purse they go as a safe place to not be lost or broken.
- BUBBLEMINT GUM: Oh ya baby! Who doesn’t love a smack in the mouth of bubble and a cooling after taste of mint…it’s the best of both worlds! I was so thrilled when this flavour came out and there’s no turning back!
- JOURNAL: A journal is necessary at all times for me! Keeping one in my purse is great for those random thoughts that come to mind when I am out and are too good to forget. It could be something as simple as a to-do list or as complex as a journal passage about a moment I just experienced that sparked my soul. I find myself at events or meetings being so inspired by the words of another and want to take note of what spoke to me in particular. Finally, when it comes to my clients I care a great deal about connecting with them and I find writing important things down about them helps it stick with me. If you can’t tell already I have a love for journals, in fact I wrote a whole blog post called ‘Notebook Obsessions’ about it – Check it out (posted on September 1)
- HAND SANITIZER: A must-have for a person like myself who is always on the go and shaking hands with so many people daily! A huge part of my job is networking and connecting…the last thing I want to be known for is the connector who is always sick and spreading the germs, hehe! Clean, dry hands are key for a hand shake that leaves a lasting impression – I want my hands to match my overall style, and it doesn’t hurt when they add a little glitter like in this Bath & Body Works ‘Girl Boss’ one!
- WATER BOTTLE: Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate! I must admit that I am not always the best at this, but when I have my hydration on point I feel so much better! So I ensure I always am equipped with the bottle so I cannot use that as an excuse. And that tickle in my throat always happens at the worst time – release the tickle in a moment!
- CARD WALLET: I don’t like to take up too much room in my purse with my wallet, after all I have too many other things I could use that space for right?! So with that said, I only carry a few cards on me that I use regularly. For all my membership cards I downloaded Beep N’ Go, which is an app that stores all your membership cards in a photo and barcode style that allows you to use them and not have to carry them in your wallet. Less plastic please!
- KLEENEX: Well it’s no secret, I am a cry baby lol! I cry whenever a tear jerking environment surrounds me, which seems to be often! I am so touched by authentic stories and lucky for me in this business I get to hear them all the time in person, not just in the movies. But Kleenex have come to the rescue for smudged makeup, runny nose, and drink spills all the time!
- EMERGEN-C: My saviour! Whenever I am even just slightly feeling under the weather, I mix up this magic potion and boost my Vitamin C intake in a flash. And the reality is, you can’t plan for when that’s going to hit…so I am always prepared! I am really enjoying this pink grapefruit flavour as a change from the regular orange.
- TIDE TO-GO: You remember those drink spills I spoke about earlier that the Kleenex can fix…well not all of them can be fixed, lol! That hot sauce stain that appears front and centre on your white blouse just before a meeting…Tide To Go is the way to go! This one has saved the day for so many in my life over the years.
- TWEEZERS: These pointy, detail-oriented tools have come in handy for so many things other than the obvious, tweezing that eyebrow hair that pops up in what seems like minutes. They are great for fixing that necklace link that comes undone when you are out and about on the town, or pulling out that piece of fabric that gets stuck in your zipper, or squeezing out that unexpected sliver from the wooden table dinner party.
- HAIRSPRAY: This is one that seems to get communal use in the hair department for me and those around me. But, it always acts as a static guard when that cling is out of control in my outfit. It’s also great for spraying the bottom of dark denim that may rub onto light coloured shoes.
- BABY POWDER: Big props to whoever invented this wonderful powder – smooth and dry as a baby’s bottom…that’s my hair! The cheapest dry shampoo option out there, and for me the best one! Win, win – cheap and good! Sometimes a mid-day oil slick seems to land on my hair and having this powder on hand is a dream – instantly fresh and fluffed clean hair!
- COMB: So this is an obvious, a must-have for taming hairstyles and working through tangled locks. But a non obvious and much needed tool, is the fur tamer! That’s right, a comb is necessary to smooth out and work with fur vests and jackets (which frequent my wardrobe often)…especially in Vancouver where the rain can turn your fur into another animal if not maintained.
- HAIR CLIP: Whether it’s to change up my hair style from a day to night, or from a free flowing to let’s get down to business look, the clip is handy to serve my hairstyle calling in the moment. It’s also great to double as a paperclip and hold a bunch of loose papers in my purse together after an event or networking. And finally, I can’t forget the ability a clip has to make a piece of clothing transform on a model for a photo shoot – life-saver!
- LIP COLOUR: I like to come armed and prepared for any look! I always carry on me a lipstick, a lip gloss, and a lip stain. All 3 styles come in handy for different scenarios and its great to have the option. I also ensure I have a variety of shades to accommodate different outfits – a fun loving pink, a bold red, and a muted neutral. A bold lip can change any look instantly and is my ‘not so secret’ weapon, hehe! Some of my favourite brands are Smashbox, Stila, Too Faced, Bite, YSL, and so many more…no shortage of love in this department!
- MAKE-UP BAG: I do not have a big makeup collection. Several years ago, I did a big purge and decided to only purchase the necessities and dabble in a few experimental pieces here and there. So with that said, I practically carry all of my makeup on me! It allows me to do touch ups whenever necessary and lend a girlfriend product when in need. Having this on me ends up being a ton of fun when I arrive super early somewhere and have time to kill in the car – time to up the makeup game right then and there!
- CLEAR NAIL POLISH: This is fantabulous when I have regular polish on my nails as I can add a quick top coat when they are losing their shine! Also, a lifesaver when there is a run in my pantyhose, clear nail polish to the rescue! Finally, it’s great for that fashion jewelry that has a lot of tiny stones that may be coming loose, slap on a layer of top coat and I don’t need to worry about becoming stoneless!
- PERFUME ROLLER: Scents are my jam…for real tho! I am so drawn to fragrance in any store or any environment, so it’s no surprise that I like to have perfume on me at all times for a mid-day pick me up. Rollers are great as they do not add a ton of weight and are easy to take in any size purse. My absolute favourite scent is Talia by Johnny Was Clothing (an American Boutique).
- PEPPERMINT OIL: Oh how much I respect thee! This bad boy does so much and I am sure that I only know a fraction of it’s capabilities. I use it to cool my body temperature down when I get over-heated by rubbing some on the back of my neck – it works wonders! I also rub some on my temples when I have a bad headache. And finally, I put some in the palm of my hands and cup my nose for some deep breathes when I am sick or just need a refresher – it acts as an inhaler. So good right?!?
- TIN OF FIX-ITS: This tin is full of all the necessities that come in handy at a time of ‘crisis’ – band-aids, bobby pins, safety pins, needle and thread. I do not have to use it daily, but every time I take it out I end up needing it and wishing that I had it that day. It now does not leave my purse and has saved many photo shoots and special occasions!
- SUNGLASSES: Even if sunshine does not appear as often as we would like in Vancouver, when that sun comes out I want to be sporting my shades and not the squinty eye look. They are my saving grace when I look like you haven’t slept in days and have no makeup on, but I need to run into the store quick to refill my bubble mint gum stash – go undercover lol!
A woman’s style extends far beyond just what she wears on her body, but how she portrays herself with her inner self shining through. First impressions are so powerful and unfortunately something we cannot get back, so make it count! When I feel prepared with all the tools to ensure I present my best self in my handbag, the sky’s the limit! It also feels pretty amazing to help out that other woman I meet in the washroom saying she wished she had ‘something’ on her in that moment and I can dig into this black hole of mine (my purse is currently black, hehe) and put a smile on her face! Although my back may suffer from carrying my very full handbag, my heart is just as full!
Cheers to my fellow big momma purse sistas!
Lots of Love XOXO
Founder of I Like Her Style Vancouver