From lip balm to the mandatory set of headphones, Dairne Black gives us her top list of handbag essentials.
Like many women, and indeed men out there, I am no stranger to the phenomenon of carrying your life in a bag. What was life before handbags? Satchels, shoulder bags and clutches, filled with everything we could ever need, no matter where the day takes us.
 
Excuse us while we delve into our bags, and give you our definitive list of handbag essentials.
 
Lip balm 
With the ever changing weather in Ireland, keeping your lips in good shape is a must. My favourite is Vaseline with a hint of Aloe Vera which keeps them in great condition whatever the weather. It’s cheap and can be found in all good chemists, supermarkets and even Pennys.
 
Hand-cream
A small tube of good quality hand cream is the perfect way to make sure you’re ready to impress whatever the situation. From handing in that thesis, to holding onto handrails on the bus, or even grabbing a quick coffe, your hands are so important and it’s easy to forget how much wear and tear they go through.
 
Notebook and pen
Names, dates, lectures and last minute ideas; everyone should carry a notepad and pen to record information. Keep it small and thin so it won’t weigh down your bag and make sure your pen has a cap. Leaking pens can destroy even the best of bags.
 
Make-up
Providing you have a good primer on, your makeup should stay more or less in place for the day. However, it’s always good to have a few little bits and pieces handy to help keep your look as fresh as possible. I recommend keeping powder, lipgloss and something for your eyes in a small makeup bag. Whether it’s lunch with the girls or an evening date, putting your best foot forward is crucial.
 
A plaster
There's nothing worse than having your favourite pair of shoes turn on you. You’re half way walking to college when your shoe starts to slip and next thing you know your heels are covered in blood and you’re in searing pain for the rest of the day. Pop a plaster on the back of your heels and you’re good to go.
 
Purse 
On nights out, I always leave anything important out of my wallet just in case, but don’t forget to put them back in. Showing up to the gym without your membership card still doesn’t count as going. Keep a smaller purse for change, and leave notes and cards in your main one.
 
Bottled water
Perfect way to save money and quench your thirst, while staying healthy at the same time.
 
Headphones 
For anyone making a long journey to and from college, there’s nothing better than popping in the headphone and curling up for an hour or so. Relax, de-stress and deal with everything else when you reach your destination.
 
Photo: Maria Morri/ Flickr