Every woman’s handbag is like my best friend. It comes with her everywhere and holds all of my secrets. Okay, maybe not all secrets, but if you dumped it I might be embarrassed as to what you find, but I digress. My personal handbag has tons of stuff in it. Some things, like my wallet and keys, are obvious, but what about the other things?

These are the 19 things that every woman should have in her bag…

Hand Sanitizer


When we are outside we touch things that have been touched over 100 times and never wiped down. After visiting the ATM I count out my money. When I meet someone new I shake their hand. Every now and then I sneeze into my own hands (don’t make that face we all have that moment). For these and so many other reasons, hand sanitizer is a must. It helps protect me as well anyone I come into contact with from spreading yucky germs.


Safety Pins/Sewing Kits


I can begin to tell you how mortified I’ve been when I looked down and saw that, yep, my blouse is missing a button. It’s the perfect excuse to buy another top, but if it’s the middle of the day and I’m still at work, what am I supposed to for the next few hours? Safety pin and mini sewing kit to the rescue!


Hair Items


I always keep a few hairbands and bobby pins in my purse. They’re especially handy when I find myself over heated and need to pull my hair back.


Pain Killer


A headache can put a damper in my whole day. By keeping a travel sized bottle of aspirin I’m able to banish that headache to some faraway place and get back to the important things I needed to do.


Notebook & Pen


I normally like to use the note application in my phone to store information. This doesn’t work when I need to write directions down for a tourist or for an emergency like when my battery dies. A small notebook from a local bookstore and any pen will do!




I carry a lighter strictly for emergency purposes only. Emergencies like lighting candles on cake, and burning off stray threads on clothes. Plus, if I’m ever stranded in the wilderness and need to build a fire, I’ll be prepared!


Cash (About 20GHC or $20)

File photo of the new Canadian 20 dollar bill made of polymer displayed at the Bank of Canada in Ottawa

I must warn you, keeping a $20 bill in your bag at all times is going to prove to be a challenge. You’re going to want to use it on fabulous shoes, lattes, and fashion emergencies. Don’t do it! This is for when you discover you’re debit card’s been demagnetized, your wallet’s been stolen, or you find that for some reason you need to take a cab.




I hate it when there is something in my eye and no mirror in sight. What about checking your teeth after that salad you ate for dinner? I guess you could always ask a stranger if your hair looks okay, but if you’ve got a little mirror you can do it yourself.


Tampon or Pad


I can’t imagine anything worse than needing a tampon and not having one. By keeping one in my bag I’m always prepared. And even if I don’t need it, I might run into a lady in the bathroom that does need one. How much is she going to love me when she see that I came prepared?!


Breath Mints or Gum Mints


How much do you hate it when someone has to speak to you after eating tuna for lunch? Don’t make the same mistake yourself. Save any embarrassment and keep this one in your bag at all times! Bad breath can be quite a turn off.



I like to keep a healthy snack like a granola bar, trail mix, or some kind of a power bar in my bag for those days when I’m stuck in traffic or end up at the DMV longer than I expected. Having something to snack on prevents me from attacking McDonald’s later on.


Lipstick or Lip Gloss

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I think that at any given moment, I have about 10 different lipsticks, lip balms and lip glosses in my bag. I could try to come up with some excuse for my addiction, but why? My lips love me for it. They’re never dry and in a pinch I can go from casual to fancy with a few sweeps of my red lipstick.


Oil-Absorbing Sheets


There is nothing is worse than having an oily face right before taking a picture or meeting someone after a whole day of running around. You try to wipe your face but the greasy oil is still there, not only does it look unattractive but the impact it has on your mood is worse! There is no better way to avoid that situation than having oil-absorbing sheets in your bag at all times!


Baby Moisturizer/Lotion 


A lot of the times I find random patches on my face that are dry or at other times my knees and legs are ashy, especially during the colder seasons! Although a lip balm can be used to solve the problem, it’s more than likely that its tinted or shiny. Instead a baby bottle of lotion always comes in handy!



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Most of the time whenever I wear new shoes, I am in pain. Breaking in new shoes is hard, but somebody has to do it right? So next time you decide to sport your new shoes while having a long day ahead, grab a couple of band aids and drop them in your bag because your feet will thank you later!


Small Pack Of Tissues


There is nothing more attractive about a woman than hygiene, which is why it’s important to maintain cleanliness and keep up your appearance! One thing that can help with that is a small pack of tissues that you can stick in your bag. There are so many instances when they came to my rescue, especially when i got the case of the sniffs, spilled a drink and needed to wipe my fingers!




Deodorant is my lifesaver during long and busy days. I hate running around especially during those hot summer days and feel self conscious about whether or not i have an odor. So I try to keep a baby deodorant in my bag at all times for the moments when I need to freshen up! They are super adorable and useful!


Roll On Perfume


For those times when I feel like taking an extra step when freshening up, I like to keep a roll-on bottle of my favorite perfume. I just roll a few drops onto my wrists and neck, and tend to catch the addicting scent throughout the day. Not only is it the perfect size to keep in my purse, but it’s also convenient and easy to use.




I am a complete music lover, so it’s important for me to keep a pair of headphones in my bag for those long rides on the train or bus or long walks to my next destination. I tend to think that music is entertaining and fun, and it makes the time pass a lot faster!

There’s all of this, and plenty more, in my bag right now! Do you carry other things in your bag? Please let me know what your bag essentials are!


Bonus Items

Fresh Pair of Underwear


Folded Flats