Whilst I was over in New York, I treated myself to a handbag. So I though I'd follow in that age-old tradition and give you a little look at what's inside it!
I was finally able to trace the design of my bag and can confirm that it's the Kate Spade Cameron Street Byrdie in Crisp Linen ($298). I'd been looking for a nice mid-priced bag (that was a little nicer than something from the high street but wasn't designer) for SO long however in the UK I feel like the options are quite limited (i.e. Michael Kors or nothing). When I was in New York I decided to check out Kate Spade in Macy's, however after a cursory browse nothing really caught my eye so I quickly dismissed the idea. But on the morning we were due to fly back to the UK, my boyfriend wanted to go back to Soho to buy a jacket he'd seen earlier in the trip and it just so happened that there was a Kate Spade boutique right around the corner...
There was so much more choice in the boutique, so if you're in New York and really want to pick up something from Kate Spade then I would 100% recommend visiting there as opposed to going to a concession. There were several bags that caught my eye, mostly in this same off-white/beige Crisp Linen colour, however when I clapped eye on this; I knew it was The One!
It's made from Saffiano leather, which mean it has a very fine grain, making it much more durable than soft leather. I am quite careful with this bag, however any little marks I have got on it can easily be wiped off (I also don't find that the dye from my jeans transfers onto this, which is a big pro) and it's pretty scratch-resistant. It also comes with a dust bag to keep it clean and protected. The hardware is all gold-toned and as you can see the strap clips on and it also has a subtle 'Kate Spade New York' logo on the front flap (important to me because I don't like in-your-face branding) and there's a buckle which you can use to adjust the strap. Inside there's a silk-look blue and white fine striped pattern and a wide (non-zipped) pocket. The bag is really interesting because it's obviously a saddle bag that's round in shape but it has a square flap. The gold-toned fastening is hidden underneath the flap and it's just a small clip button you press to release. It has a pocket at the back that totally blends in with the seam so you barely know it's there however it spans the entire area of the back of the bag. This is really useful if you just need something close to hand like your Oyster card or phone, though obviously it's just a pouch so doesn't zip closed securely.
Although I obviously bought this from the States, it's now available in the UK for £268 here.
I think that's all the details on the bag itself but please do let me know in the comments if there was anything else you wanted in terms of information!
This is pretty much my go-to weekend bag; it doesn't fit everything I might need for a work day, however it can hold all the essentials for a day out shopping, to the cinema or if I'm going out to eat.
New Look Black Zip Coin Purse | similar here | Annoyingly I can't seem to find this online, though I only bought it a few weeks ago, so I've linked something that does a similar job! Most of the time I don't need all the things I carry around in my big purse, so I swap it for a smaller one to make more room in my bag. This purse has a little change pouch with a zip on the front, an open pocket I often stuff receipts in and then a large zipped compartment I usually use for cards and notes. It was around the £6 mark so a total bargain too if you can find it in-store.
Classic Tortoise Folding Wayfarer Ray-Ban Sunglasses | £125 | When I have a smaller bag, it's always more practical to pack my folding sunglasses because they fit into a much smaller space. The Wayfarer is such a classic style and the tortoise shell design goes with just about everything in my wardrobe. I also had my prescription lenses put into these glasses so they're great for reading in the sun.
Of course my house keys are a must in my handbag and I like the New Look Rose Gold Initial Keyring | similar here | because it makes them easier to grab out of my bag without adding extra bulk or taking up too much space. I actually bought this at the same time as the purse but again I can't find it online! This keyring was around £3-5 and they actually didn't have my first name initial so I got my surname with the vague idea of getting the 'J' when I could and having both on there!
Another essential is of course my Gold iPhone 6. I get a lot of questions about my phone case and it's actually from an Etsy store called HelloFloralx and is called the Essential Makeup Kit Phone Case | £15. It's really affordable and I love the cute makeup illustrations on it - they're just so 'me'! I also never leave the house without my earphones because you never know when you could be stuck on a delayed train or be waiting around somewhere for longer than expected.
I keep a few basic toiletry and medical supplies in there like tissues, ibuprofen and antihistamines. I have a Batiste Dry Shampoo Original On the Go just in case my hair starts to look limp or lacklustre during the day, and for if I go out in the evening without popping home and need to spruce up a bit. I have a mini Powder Fresh Mitchum for similar reasons.
Clinique Chubby in the Nude Stick Foundation | £23 | This is such a fantastic product to throw in your bag when you know it's going to be a long day! I do really like to use it on its own; though it isn't the most long-wearing base in the world, it gives a gorgeous healthy (but not shiny), natural finish. However the packaging obviously makes it perfect for on-the-go touch-ups. Personally my makeup always fades around my nose and under my eyes first so I find it really easy to draw some of this on and blend it out with my fingers where I need it.
Too Faced Melted Matte Liquefied Lipstick in Sell Out | $21 | I don't leave the house without a lipstick! I have a real love of matte liquid lipsticks and I'm currently loving Too Faced's Sell Out (swatch here). It's just a really nice, wearable pinky-brown nude with a matte finish. It's not overly drying but has really great longevity.
There are a few more products I keep in there for touching up. Firstly there's my trusty Bourjois Healthy Balance Compact Powder | £8.99 | which I pair with my Nanshy Large Powder Brush | £10.95. I do often get a shiny t-zone during the day and this helps blot that away without being heavy or caky on my skin at all. I also keep a Soap & Glory Supercat Liner | £6 | in my bag because having hay fever means that my winged liner can be compromised!
Finally I have a few more beauty bits, starting with my EOS Lip Balm in Summer Fruits* | £5.99. The shape is so handy to throw in my bag and makes the product really easy to apply. It isn't too heavy on my lips but leaves them feeling so moisturised. I also really like the fragrance. I keep both a Soap & Glory Hand Maid Antibacterial Gel | £2.50 | and a Soap & Glory Original Pink Hand Food* | £2.50 | in my bag. A sanitiser is obviously essential and anyone else who uses public transport will understand why! I also get really dry hands so I like using this lightweight but hydrating hand cream after washing them to stop the moisture being sucked out. Both have the classic fruity-floral Original Pink fragrance.
What are your handbag essentials?