A handbag: a bag of leather, fabric or plastic held in the hand or carried by means of a
handle or strap, commonly used by women for holding money, makeup articles, small purchases, etc. And boy did we go to town on the 'etc'.
What it actually means to us: A bottomless vessel meant for carrying everything we could possibly ever need at any given point.
It doesn't matter if you're carrying a pristine Michael Kors edition or a Topshop tote, the truth is our arm candy is all the same on the inside. From multiple lipsticks to a spare toothbrush. Here's 25 of the most unnecessary 'essentials' ever.
1. Multiple lipsticks
It's impossible to stick to one lipstick for every occasion and when it comes to our pout we like to have a handful of options. Come on, it's a basic human right.
2. At least two diaries
Because one set of dates is never enough for our hectic schedules and we like to work with a clean fresh page. We need a work diary and a social life diary and then there's birthdays books, address books... Why don't we just use our phones?
A girl can always make room for samples. Perfume samples, free magazine samples, shampoo samples. We've got the full sizes at home but we NEED these for on-the-go back-up.
We'd rather go starving than eat our lunch without them. Salad cream, salt and pepper sachets from Pret and a years supply of HP. We come prepared.
5. Other people's business cards
When people stop you and present you with their business cards there's really only one place to put it when the bin's too far away. Into the black hole it goes where it's used as a handy nail-painting surface, bookmark or mascara-application device. If they're lucky.
6. The mystery key
There's always that one key floating about in your bag - you have no idea what it does, where it came from and how long it's been there. But it happens to have one of those novelty plastic key covers on it so it's staying. Sorry about that.
It's the stuff of nightmares. That moment you're walking/staggering down the street with your arm-crippling handbag, tilting your head to one side, dodging the uneven pavements and swapping hands every now and again to distribute the pain when... your handbag strap snaps. But it's gonna be ok, because we have Sellotape and teeth (hopefully).
8. Something broken
Our handbags are like a burial pit for broken goods.An umbrella that's seen better days, headphones that are tangled beyond repair, not to mention the broken zipper on your handbag. We've all got one busted item in there somewhere.
Old tampons. They're everywhere. Obviously we're not talking used tammys here because that would be an unnecessary item too far. We're talking about those dog eared tampons that have come out of the wrapper and started unravelling into what looks something like a mouse in a fat suit. Yeah, we won't be using that anytime soon.
10. A smashed blusher
You convince yourself that the blusher you just dropped on your floor can still be used so you put it in your bag. Great. Now there's dustings of rouge all over the bottom and on your brand new diary pages. Soon you're gonna need a new bag and a new diary. See, we've got it all worked out.
11. Clothes tags and receipts
It's simple. We hold onto tags (and receipts) so we can very carefully thread them back onto our clothes and return them. Have we worn them? Obviously. But who knows when we'll need that £40.00 back.
12. The bag within a bag
A true handbag hoarder knows that one bag is never enough. We need more things inside things. A clutch inside your shopper bag for those evenings out or just your daily makeup bag (it's probably floral) wedged inside your Michael Kors. What? It helps us find things.
13. A leaky pen
On average we have about five pens in our handbags. But Lord knows where they disappear to in there, so we just keep adding them in. Pens are essential. But that smudgy Biro that leaves ink blotches all over your bag and fingers... it's gotta go.
14. Empty wrappers
Everyone knows that handbags hide all the best secrets. Sugary secrets to be precise. Well, if you eat it on your way in to work and no one you know sees you, it never happened right?
15. A voucher
If you're anything like us you're likely to have a crumpled up Graze voucher lurking in the zip compartment or a Boots No 7 £5 off voucher that's now expired.
16. Old tickets
At the time you thought you saved it for that adorable scrapbook of memories you were going to make. You know that never actually happens.
We never use 1ps and 2ps anymore, what's the point? We pay on card or with notes like real grown ups. If anything they just force us to buy penny sweets, oh no wait, they cost £5.00 now. Doh.
18. Fake lashes
If your falsies fall off on a night out and you're left glue-less, mascara-less and, let's face it, pretty legless your lashes will end up in your bag. Who knows, you might be able to recycle them. Next morning, WTF there's a spider in your clutch.
19. Household utensils
A teaspoon, an allen key, a laundry peg, a battery operated razor (don't ask). They were in our handbags for a reason, we just can't remember what it was right now.
20. Mouldy fruit
Bananas have gotta be the worst culprit for this. You took it in for your lunch. You didn't eat it. And now it's like baby food in your Birkin. Brilliant.
If you've got enough tissues to offer a stranger one, you've got too many. Nobody needs that many.
22. The useless nail file
Cardboard nail files are meant to be disposable but even when they're bent in half with the emery board peeling away we're still lugging it about in the event of a snagged nail. Sigh.
If you're human you'll put it on in the morning and that should be enough to keep your underarms fresh all day. Even if you're gyming on your lunch hour, save your shoulder the aggro and keep your emergency deodorant in a drawer at the office.
Same rule applies. You don't need these canisters in your bag. Let them go.
Our handbags are like portable pharmacies. The Pill, cold and flu tablets, hayfever relief, paracetamol, aspirin, Nurofen, you just never know when illness might strike... But really, when you're carrying around this much stuff, you're gonna need the pain relief for your shoulder sooner or later.
While we're fessing up, have you got any other handbag faux-essentials that we should know about? Tweet us @sofeminineUK