These are the two bags I use, the smaller one I bought a few months ago from River Island to use when I am on the go. I don’t like to have big hefty bags over my shoulder as I end up with a numb arm very quickly. So this little cross-body bag was handy and didn't look too casual (I seem to have a problem with trying to do casual).
The big bag is my work bag. I looked for months for a decent work bag. Your work bag is like your shield. I always feel like if I have a serious bag, it helps you to look a bit less like someone coming back from maternity leave. I usually buy a Fiorelli handbag every two years (which is how long it takes me to break them) and I found this one by chance in TK Maxx with an RRP of £90 but costing £25, which was closer to the price I wanted to pay anyway. It’s big, so I don’t carry it over my shoulder and it holds everything I need for the day.
When I started taking things out of my bag it was a reminder that I carry around way too much. The things below don't include the receipts and tissues that form the bottom layer inside my bag.
You can see my trusty purple organiser from filofax and my latest lunch time read - The Prince of Mist by Carloz Ruiz Zafon. My purse was brought from Evans a few year ago for £5 in the sale. It has lasted me ages, but is ripped inside now, so a replacement beckons.
I carry spare contact lenses and eye drop vials (by Celluvisc) as I get very dry eyes. I usually ahve ibuprofen in my bag, but because I am still nursing my youngest, I have to stick to paracetamol for now.
The green keyring is a Pakistani flag. I picked this up on a flight stopover in Kuwait on the way back from Pakistan fifteen years ago. I has £5 left from my holiday which bought me two of these (one each for me and my brother) and some Ripple chocolates.
My husband drops me to work in the morning, so that is a time I get some quite time to do my morning dhikr, hence the prayer beads. I kept breaking tasbeeh's, so this is one hubby gave me that is very strong.
The cream in the silver and green tube is Body Shops's Hemp Hand Cream. I've tried many grands andthis is the best I have come across, much better even than more expensive brands.
I have a real thing for green, hence the green mini umbrella and this green make-up bag which I loved on sight. I hardly wear make-up any more because of a number of reasons: it doesn't feel right for work, it takes too long to take off and re-apply if I need to make wudhu (ablutions for prayer), I like my face to feel clean, I have learnt to like my face as it is. I still haven't let go of the habit of carrying make-up around though. Inside are Max Factor False Lash Effect mascara, a nude coloured lip liner from Aveda (courtesy of Kooky Little Sister) which is a perfect nude for my brown skin, Avon Port Wine lip pencil (a gift) which I mix with darker colours, MUA black eye liner and Rimmel Brown Eye-liner, both of which I use as lip liners to blend with reds and nudes, Astor Perfect Stay Lip Tint (again from Kooks) in Prune Flush, which is a very bright colour that I don't really wear any more and various shades of nude lipstick (probably all from Kooks - the girl is handy isn't she?). My one essential is the Clinique Rinse-Off eye make-up remover which I always keep with me in case I get a brainwave to do my make-up and make a big mess.