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What's in Our Bag

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You may be wondering what the staff at Stylenotes.com totes around on a daily basis, from the handbag itself to makeup, lotion, etc. A lot of products pass by our desks (and computer screens) everyday, so we feel that we have a good idea of the best products and where to get them. We must admit we are suckers for cool, new products, and of course, we always find ways to get the most bang for our buck. Below we've listed our must-haves, the daily essential items that you can always find in our handbag.

The Compact

No one enjoys hauling their entire cosmetic regime around all day, but I like to be prepared in case of a major makeup meltdown, so I always carry a powder compact, like this CoverGirl Clean Pressed Powder ($5.39, Drugstore.com), in my bag. Oily skin, uneven tones, gaping pores -- it can all be solved with a swipe of a puff. The pressed powder also doubles as a compact when you want to check the state of your hair or the hot guy sitting behind you. However, if you pass on the powder, this Tapestry Compact Mirror ($10, Urban Outfitters) is a good alternative. It's polished and stylish, and when you whip out it for a friend in need, you'll look ready for anything.

The Magazine

It's always good to have reading material on hand, even if you don't have a daily commute. You never know when you'll be stuck waiting for any little thing, whether it's for a friend or a dentist's appointment. Many people bring a book with them, but because I like to indulge during these minute, wasted moments, I prefer to stuff a magazine in my bag since it's easier to read in parts (not to mention carry). There are the well-known heavyweights, such as Vogue, but why not try magazines that cover "lesser-traveled" paths in culture? My favorites are Nylon, Black Book, Tokion, and Paper, all of which you can find at Amazon.com ($9.97-$25 for a year subscription).

The Shoes

Finally, I -- like most women -- recognize that heels look sleek and make my legs look fantastic. But also like most women, I can no longer stand the stilts on my feet by the end of the day. That's why I usually pack a pair of easily-scrunched up ballet shoes, like these Tahari Gina Flats ($56.99, Piperlime.com). Even though I might have admitted defeat with my heels, that doesn't mean I'm going to cede to bad style. The faux snakeskin on these flats is very chic.

The Lotion

Not to label me as total germaphobe, I do always make sure I have some type of antibacterial something or other in my bag at all times. Before I would always carry a travel size bottle of Purell, which does come in handy, however it also tends to dry out my skin and everybody in a 20 foot radius can smell what I'm doing. The solution? Anti-Bacterial Moisturizing Lotion from Bath & Body Works ($4 for the 2oz bottle). I find their scents to be so delectable, with my long-standing favorite being Cucumber Melon. There are almost always deals on these too, like 3 or 4 for $10, so share the lotion, not the germs, with friends.

The Concealer

You can call me a concealer skeptic – I have tried concealers from a tone of different brands in a variety of formulations – from stick to liquid, green to beige, expensive and dirt cheap. I want my concealer to really work for me, and not be obviously caked onto my skin, on top of that blemish I am trying to cover up, yet making it more obvious. The only thing that has absolutely done the trick for me, working on both under eye circles, blemishes, and even scars is the Dior Hydrating Concealer ($27, Sephora). The thing about this product is that it is moisturizing, so it blends better into the skin, instead of sitting on top of it. At first, I thought $27 was a bit much, but after the first application, I realized that all I need is a little bit to do the trick, and that the cost of it adds up to less than how much I've spent trying out other brands that have not even come close to the same effect.

The Gloss

As you may have noticed, I like when my products work double time for me, i.e. lotion and antibacterial agent, compact & powder, etc. The same holds true for my lipgloss – it's gotta do more for me than just make my lips super shiny. I really like the Too Faced FUZE Slenderize Guilt Free Lip Gloss in Dragonfruit Lime ($18.50, Sephora), which possesses the same active ingredients as the Fuze energizing beverages. There you go –- dual purpose -– now I can cut back on my coffee intake!

The Business Card Holder

I like carrying my business cards separate from my wallet, and since we are a fashion and shopping site, I've got to have something chic to contain them. I have the Abas Patent Croco Id Card Case in red ($23 shipped, Endless.com) –- it's easy to locate in my bag, and the perfect size for also tucking a few dollars into for an afternoon Starbucks run (that is, on days when I'm not wearing the fuze lipgloss).

The Bag

So what do I use to transport all of these fabulous items in? A large bag, that's for sure! I love tote or hobo-shaped handbags, in fact I am rarely caught without one. Sometimes I do call it "the bottomless pit" due to the challenges of finding that one tiny thing that I need, however, I always regret it when I try to downsize to a smaller bag. The Nine West Interview Cross Body Handbag ($60 shipped, Endless.com) is the perfect size, and comes in the three colors I use most often: a basic black, cream, and metallic.

The Keychain

I'm not really into keychains, and with the exception of a small Swiss Army Knife, ($9.92, Amazon.com) I don't really need charms and chains of any sort making my keys any more bulky than they already are. Since we have four keys for the office, not to mention my array of various other keys for the home, etc, I need to keep track of what key goes where. I love having these Monkey Key Covers ($6 for a set of two, Urban Outfitters) because they not only help me distinguish the keys, but also add a little extra fun and spunk to whatever I am unlocking –- be it the mailbox, bike lock, or door to the office bathroom.

-- The Stylenotes Staff

DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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