I don’t know if it’s because my mother is a nurse, or because I was Girl Guide for the entire duration of my childhood, but “ALWAYS BE PREPARED (BECAUSE ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN)” is my life motto.
This extends to my physical person. My purse is Mary Poppins-like in it’s magical ability to contain almost anything that I--or the people around me--could possibly need.
Have a blister? Here’s a bandaid!
Surprise zit? What colour concealer do you need?
Watching UP? Have a tissue. Or sixty.
Contained within the recesses of my pink bag is a well-planned, personalised Life Emergency Kit. No matter the situation--beauty or otherwise--I probably have something in there that will help.
Because this has been so beneficial to me, today I’m going to share with you guys the contents of my Life Emergency Kit, as well as get you thinking about how to prepare your own.
Here’s some of what I carry around with me in my bag:
This is pretty, and very colour-coordinated, but it's kind of overwhelming to look at all at once. Let’s break it down:
To keep beautiful throughout the day, I usually just keep a few favourite lip colours, MAC Mineralize concealer and some powder (Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder if it’s really hot and I don't want to get cakey; NARS Pressed if I need more coverage), on my person. If I’m going to be out all day (or I’m going out at night), I will usually stick an eyeliner in there, too. Sometimes some fresh liner is all it takes to give me a boost when I’m tired, or look put-together even after I’ve been running around all day.
I also carry a variety of lipbalms (tinted and regular) for those times where I just wanna take off my damn lipstick and go home. It's an emotional thing, I think, but NOTHING feels better than wiping off your lipstick when you've had a freaking DAY.
Because I'm all about waterproof liquid liner and mascara, this is about all I need to keep my makeup looking nice all day. Sometimes I will carry additional things for special occasions, like:
- Lip liner, depending on what lipstick I’m wearing.
- A small brush and some eyeshadow, if I’m wearing a makeup-intensive costume.
- Lash glue and tweezers. Nothing looks as crappy as fake eyelashes detaching and peeling off your face. You MUST be able to reapply if need be. The tweezers are for ease of band-application (on a related note, Tweezerman tweezers really are as awesome as everyone says, so if you’re a plucker you should absolutely get a pair).
- A little hairbrush or comb. Gotta keep those bangs looking right.
- Mascara. Usually only if I’m going to be out all day doing something sweaty, then going straight out at night. I didn’t go to Riot Fest this year, but that would be a perfect example.
This stuff is all fairly tailored to me a my routine, but it keeps me feeling (and looking) fresh, pretty and in control. Which is, of course, the goal.
OTHER BEAUTY ITEMS
I am literally never without a nail file. It doesn’t have to be an expensive one; just something fairly fine-grained that will take care of any potential nail issues before they become MASSIVE PROBLEMS. Out of everything in my bag, this is usually what I am most thankful to have.
My Blister Defense Anti-Friction Stick never leaves my bag, because even with shoes you love and wear a lot, you never know.
Never be without a little travel toothbrush, because sometimes gum just doesn’t cut it. And I really find that having a clean mouth makes pretty much anything easier to deal with.
I have a couple extra hair ties and some bobby pins, because those always come in handy. Think of all the times your hair goes weird in the middle of the day, or your bangs aren’t behaving, or someone around you says “Hey, anyone have a bobby pin?”
If you wear glasses or contacts, keep stuff for your eyes close at hand. This means a cases for glasses and sunnies, a lens case with solution already in it (bonus if you scratch your initials onto the caps with scissors), glasses cleaner and a cloth, and contact-safe eyedrops. You cannot have irritated eyes or gross glasses and get stuff done, guys. It is just not possible.
Unfortunately, not all emergencies are BEAUTY emergencies. Sometimes they’re just the regular kind. I have a well-stocked First Aid kit that has served me well over the years, and here’s what is in it:
- A bandage that self-adheres and that you can tear to size. The one I carry has dinosaurs on it, which is pretty great.
- Bandaids. I carry two sizes--big and regular--because you ALWAYS need them.
- Hand sanitiser. Sometimes you’re not near soap and water and are grateful for anything at hand.
- A little bottle containing a few doses of useful over-the-counter medication.
Make sure you can identify the pills by sight so that you don’t mix them up. For me, this is Chlor-trimeton (nasal allergies), Tylenol, Advil an Excedrin, Naprogesic (for cramps) and Benadryl (for skin allergies).
- If you take prescription meds, have some extra doses with you. Make sure you also have the little prescription information card along with it, so that you can show that you’re legit.
- Latex gloves. Sometimes accidents happen to other people, and if blood (or other fluids) are involved, you’re going to be happy you have a pair of these handy. I always have been.
- Tampons. ALWAYS.
- Medical tricorder. Just kidding (but I want one).
This is all very basic stuff for fixing minor injuries; you’re not gonna reattach a severed hand with anything here. Which is as it should be, because that's what 911 is for.
This is the stuff that doesn’t fit in any other category (but is still important).
So we have:
- Safety pins.
- Dog poop bags.
- Phone charger.
- Granola bars.
- Pens and a permanent marker.
- Spare headphones.
- Flats. CRUCIAL for weddings, parties, long commutes, etc. I buy the really cheap fabric Steve Madden ones, fold them in half and stick them at the bottom of my bag. Easy.
- A circle scarf, because HI FALL. I hate being cold in stores or buildings and having to keep putting on and taking off my coat, so a lot of the time I’ll just drape one of these around my shoulders like a blanket. Bonus: You can put it over your head when it rains or snows out of nowhere! American Apparel has jersey ones that fold up into practically nothing.
- A little umbrella. It never rains when I have it, though the second I leave it at home I get caught in a downpour.
And everything fits neatly in my bag!
So how can you guys put together your own Life Emergency Kit? I have some ideas!
Think about your life as it is, and see if you can forsee any common, little emergencies. I know that my problems are going to be really glamourous things like my dog poops three times and I only have two bags, or I get stuck on the blueline and get MURDEROUSLY cranky because I’m hungry. These are small things that I can plan for. And if I plan for the small things, I’ll be more able to handle those big, unforeseeable things when they happen.
Look at your bag. No, REALLY look at it. I bet it’s cute, but is it practical? Is it the right size? Mine is from J.Crew and I love it, because it has enough compartments and pockets to keep all my stuff organised. Is your bag helping you stay on top of things, or do you spend all your time digging around at the bottom of it for stuff like keys?
I keep my First Aid stuff in its own little cosmetics bag so that it all stays together. In situations where I need it, I’m not always at my best--sometimes I’m hurt, sometimes someone else is hurt--so it helps to only have one thing to find. What way of storing stuff is going to be most helpful to you?
How much are you carrying? Be good to your body, guys! Don’t lug around an extra twenty pounds of stuff on the off chance that you might need it. Your Life Emergency Kit is meant to make you feel better, not sore and tired. She who travels lightest, travels furthest.
Be open to editing. Sometimes you’ll think you’ll need to carry something that turns out to be superfluous. I thought I would need to carry perfume when I was working in an office, and I lugged a big glass bottle of it to and from every single day. I never used it. Keep an eye on what you reach for most often and are gladdest to have versus what you’ve never touched. Add and subtract accordingly.
Speaking of, there’s really no reason to carry full-sized versions of anything. Go to the travel aisle of a grocery store and grab some mini versions of things. If you use expensive lotions and potions, get some empty travel-sized containers and fill them up. Buy a tiny perfume rollerball, or get one as a free sample from a fragrance counter. Think little.
Replace the stuff as it gets used. Otherwise you won’t have a tampon when you really need one, and THEN where will you be?
I hope that this is helpful! Do you guys carry stuff in case of emergency? What is going to go in your Life Emergency Kit and why?