- At Home
I confess: I love when people invite me to see what is in their handbag. It’s fascinating when someone who appears so perfectly put together has a handbag with old tissues and crumpled dollar bills.
One of the biggest mistakes I make is changing my bag during the week. This is not a good idea, especially when I forget to throw in the lip balm, the roll-on itch repellant, etc. and have to start the day without my essentials for being fabulous.
So, what’s in your handbag? First, I’ll tell you what’s in mine:
1. Lightweight straw tote - Let's start here. They’re inexpensive and light, and they look absolutely fabulous with summer clothes. A big heavy leather bag doesn’t work with summer colors and shapes. You can find these totes everywhere - Check out Target for an expansive selection of bags that are both attractive and inexpensive.
2. Sunscreen - It’s a must. No two ways about it. You should apply sunscreen to your face, arms, and neck (and legs if you’re wearing a short skirt or shorts) every time you're in the sun. If you have particularly fair or sensitive skin, check out brands that tailor to your need (this might mean adding a "just for faces" product to your lineup).
3. A hat with a broad brim - Take a look at the company called Outdoor Research for a hat that's lightweight and comfortable, while offering solar-shield technology. A "smashable" hat is a must if you're going to tote it around in a filled bag.
4. A tinted lip balm or gloss - A matte lipstick looks too heavy in the summer…you want to look as if you’re glowing, not drying up like a prune, so forget lipstick altogether and opt for a lip balm. I like Le Clerc’s Lip Balm. It’s a bit pricey but it feels great and is an awesome moisturizer (balms with the active ingredients of camphor, phenol, and menthol can actually dry out your lips).
5. Blotting papers - I do not use powder on my skin, especially in the summer, as the heat will open the pores, allowing the powder to fall in and create whiteheads. Here's a better option: Press a blotting paper to your face to remove oil while leaving your make-up intact. I like Neutrogena's blotting papers, but they're made by several cosmetic companies.
6. Bottled water - but you already knew that.
7. Paper fans - Do you remember when a lady would open her bag and take out a paper fan to cool herself? Shop for ‘paper fans’ on Google and you’ll find them for about $1. Buy ten and share them with your friends. Adorable!
Ellen Lubin-Sherman got her start in business feeding gossip items to Liz Smith, the esteemed former gossip columnist at the New York Daily News. Those early days of name-dropping were the perfect foundation for her later work in cultivating and branding identities for some of the country’s most luxurious products. Ellen went to work for some of NYC’s top communications firms, advising top tier brands including The Gap, Perrier Water, and Martha Stewart. Today she uses that expertise to coach corporations and business leaders in the art of creating a polished presentation. She does this through LAUNCH, her coaching and consulting firm for business leaders and corporations who need to craft the visuals and the messages that will burnish their reputation as leaders and differentiate them in the marketplace. Today, in addition to executive coaching and consulting, Ellen is a sought-after speaker for companies and groups that are desperate to know how they can become fabulous.