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Mya Williams: Ladies, Let’s See What’s In Your Handbag!



Okay, this one’s for the ladies. Most women and I dare say ALL women carry a bag at some point if not every day. Our bags range from different sizes to shapes and colours. The size of your bag on any given day will depend on your personal choice but also where you’re going and/or what you need to carry. I generally carry my bags on a rotational basis for two weeks at a time. This means that at the end of the two weeks, I have to empty the current bag and move all its contents into the next bag I will be carrying for the next two weeks. This bag though, is a medium sized tote mostly for work. At the weekend, depending on where I’m going, I may switch to a smaller sized cross-body bag for the day. May I take this opportunity to salute my fellow women that match their bags to daily outfits and I’m not taking the piss. I love the idea.

Every woman has her own routine when it comes to her handbags but I suspect that when it comes to what’s inside our handbags, we may not be so different. As ladies we carry a multitude of things in our bags to take care of almost any eventuality, we like to be prepared. I find I have the following things in my bag at various points; some are always there, some not all the time, so I have split the list in two – Must Haves and Others:

Must Haves
1. Purse: Money/Cards – This is self explanatory.

2. Tissue – A lady MUST always have tissue in her bag. A runny nose, spilt drink, tears, dirty seat and who knows what else, all require tissue. A packet of tissue in your bag at all times, saves nine.

3. Lip gloss/Lipstick/Lip balm – A lady should always have lip gloss handy. Apart from the importance of keeping your lips well moisturised, lip gloss or lipstick can very easily take you from day to night. So, say you make last minute plans to grab a drink with your friend after work or the man you’re seeing plans an impromptu date, you’re covered.

4. Antibacterial Hand wipes/Gel – It is always useful to have something to sanitise your hands with. Germs can be found on almost every kind of surface you can think of. If you’re like me and feel the need to wash your hands a couple of times a day, then wet wipes will definitely be a must have for your bag.

5. Compact Mirror – A mirror is ALWAYS handy for a woman; to apply that lip gloss or to make sure there are no hair strands out of place just before you walk into the room to give that presentation.

6. Comb/Brush – Depending on your hairstyle at the time, a comb or brush is needed to maintain a well groomed look.

7. Chewing Gum/ Breath mints – To keep your breath fresh at all times. Just pop one in after a meal or randomly during the day.

8. Pen and Notepad – That awkward moment when you sit down at a meeting/bank/ church and you want to make a note or sign a document, yet you have no pen. Even worse when you go “Can I have a sheet of paper please”. For some reason, a woman with a nice pen always just comes across prepared, like she’s got her sh*t together.

9. Tampon/Sanitary Pad – Yes, we all know our cycles and probably know when our period is coming. However, I know I have forgotten on more than one occasion and the monthly visitor caught me unawares but very luckily I always had a tampon. Sometimes, you might just be saving someone even if you don’t need it for yourself.

10. Hand cream – Dry chapped hands feel uncomfortable. It is handy to always have hand cream in your bag for after that bathroom visit. There are so many tiny sized ones to choose from.

Other Items
11. A snack – For that ravaging hunger that sometimes sweeps over you and you cannot immediately have a meal. A cereal bar, a packet of nuts, crisps or any other compact sized snack will save the day.

12. Pain Relief – We all get them – Headaches, Migraines, muscle pain, period cramps, you name it. Just pop a sachet in your bag, even if you don’t use it all the time, there’s always someone asking if someone’s got Panadol.

13. Antihistamine/Medication – If your sinus is perpetually inflamed like mine, Piriton and Loratyn 10 will be your best friends and this will be under “must haves”. For you, it might be another go-to medication, perhaps your inhaler?

14. An Umbrella – Depending on what country you live in, leaving the house without an umbrella is like testing the gods. (England anyone?) There are many tiny ones these days, if nothing else, it will keep your hair and face dry.

That’s my list! So, let’s hear it, what else do you ladies carry in your bags?

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Sdeva

Mya Williams is a fiercely passionate and fun loving rebel/nonconformist. She loves to write in her free time. She emphatically believes that certain societal customs and norms must be challenged if one is to have a truly fulfilled and happy life.


  1. ATL's finest

    September 24, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    Lmao! Everything on this list is always in my purse minus an Umbrella and just include my ear piece. And oh sun glasses can’t go no where without that??

  2. notanutelllalover

    September 24, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    Handcream (even if i dont carry anything out of my house and i know i will be out for a long time, i always throw my hand cream. cant be having ashy hands), lip gloss, safety pins (this girl is a clumsy one, i tell you), gum (i always tell myself that if all the money i have used to buy gum for the past 2 years is brought together, i can start a small business here), a book for days that i feel inspirational, mini perfume bottles (you never know when you need to tantalize someborry’s senses away), credit card/money (we cant be playing here oo!), shades (you never know when you need to put them on to act like you are not seeing some people) plus this bi-polar weather in Ontario is just something else. i recently started carrying “thank you” cards in my bag, i realize that there are times you need to appreciate people and a little hand-written note always goes a long way.
    note to self, buy an anti-bacteria gel asap!

  3. Tya

    September 24, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    Makeup purse, umbrella and jelly sandals to go with that. Earpieces and every other thing on this list. Sometimes I feel like my handbag is a mad house!!!

  4. Anon

    September 24, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    An iPhone/iPad phone charger. Those devices run out of juice easily. Unlike android phones, you don’t really need to carry a charger with you.

    Shine absorbing sheets for my oily face.

    Instead of a compact mirror, my compact powder has a mirror so I use that. Plus, phone cameras can act as mirrors too.

    Dental floss.

    • Anon

      September 24, 2015 at 4:39 pm

      I forgot to add. Robb. I have loved that ointment since I was like 8. Decades on, I still love it.

    • Cocolette

      September 24, 2015 at 6:23 pm

      Dental floss!!! I’m almost guaranteed to have a headache if i leave the house without floss and happen to eat meat while I’m out

  5. Carphy

    September 24, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    Checking my bag now and am seeing hot boiled corn and coconut, office pin, perfume, and my wallet

  6. Rolly

    September 24, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    Lol it’s almost as if you went through my bag before you wrote this piece. Literally everything listed is permanently in my bag. Add a pair of sunglasses and that’s it!

  7. Rhonyi

    September 24, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    This is off topic, I need advice please. I graduated with a 3.31 from the department of Biological Science. I am to run a masters degree in one of the federal universities within the south. I have difficulty choosing a course. This is because I am scared of doing a course that won’t sell and I end up having no edge in the job market after attaining an msc.
    I will appreciate any helpful advice. Thank you!

    • CB

      September 24, 2015 at 11:35 pm

      Biological science? Not Microbiology? If latter, you can go to ABU Zaria (or any of the big federal unis) for their 2year clinical microbiology certification program. If no, then Nursing school? (Guaranteed job after graduation) or an MBA combined with ACCA and ICAN certifications ( that will get you into banks/financial institutions). Last but not least, you can afford it, look into med school in the Caribbean.

      Just note! Please don’t get a worthless masters degree….better to go be an ‘MUA’ (in chigurl’s voice) at this point than to ‘waist’ another round of time and money.

      All the best dear.

  8. Tosin

    September 24, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    Flat slippers or sandals in case your sophisticated shoes decide to embarrass you(talking from experience lol)or oh well,your feet is wobbly @ the expense of doing shakara and bottled water.

  9. Tosin

    September 24, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    my mummy taught me a lot of these “a lady must” stuff growing up. luckily i’ve junked almost all of it. 🙂 love you mum.

    for many years now it’s been keys and wallet.
    nowadays add a phone.
    then depending on the day/journey possibly a pen, a little tissue, a notebook and markers, a compact umbrella, a laptop, a tiny translucent bag with feminine stuff…

    the typical large bags folks carry about, i’d pack that much luggage for a weekend trip. yeah, i’d be that dork with the laptop bag. oh and i can pack really quickly and compactly.

  10. hauwa

    September 24, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    My everyday bag content: A purse( full of atm cards, cash, identity cards, passport photographs, flash drive), hand sanitizer, pen n note pad, lip gloss or mini makeup bag( which rarely gets used), any book of d moment, my little islamic fortress prayer book, tissue, gum, a pair of earrings n wristwatch( I often dress up enroute), bits of old used papers/bank dep slips(trash sha) n ofcouse, mobile phones. Shikena.

  11. fabulicious

    September 24, 2015 at 7:48 pm

    I am laughing so hard now. Everything in that list is in my bag. Just add sunglasses to that and my rosary. That being said,Nne I can’t carry a bag for 2weeks ooooo. I remember a day I used 3 different black bags in 5 days,That’s how obsessed I am. I transfer all the stuff into a new bag before I go to bed.

  12. NaijaPikin

    September 24, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    Have everything on the list except the umbrella and note pad(i use my phone for notes). Also have

    – Makeup purse with at least eyeliner, lip stick, brown brush, brow pencil and powder
    – Safety pins
    – body spray or sample size bottle of perfume
    -Water ( I always carry a bottle of water on me.)

  13. Fashionista

    September 24, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    Haha! love this. I have all of the above in my bag, plus a power bank for my phone and sunglasses.

  14. Thatgidigirl

    September 24, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    Floss, antibacterial wipes, mint, wallet and receipts!!!! Looooots of receipts, some dating back to 2013 grocery shopping ??? why am I like this? And oh….pens, tens of stolen pens from hotels, meetings, conferences ?

    • Rt

      September 25, 2015 at 12:32 am

      Throw away those receipts na..abi u wan use am build house?

    • Jhennique

      September 25, 2015 at 2:51 pm

      How do you people floss abeg? iv tried it severally, the wire doesnt ever pass through my teeth.

    • Person

      September 26, 2015 at 4:33 am

      lmao! I go through my bag regularly and trash all receipts with expired return dates!!!

      Currently in my purse: my wallet, phone (there’s a card ninja on the back with my ID, credit cards, debit and metro cards), umbrella, foldable flats, a small sewing kit, makeup purse, a pack of tissue (my nose runs all the bloody time), Abreva (don’t leave home without it), Allegra-D, hand sanitizer, hand cream, Kindle, headphones, sunglasses, my keys (with all my reward cards), pepper spray, Tylenol. That’s it. I think I’ll add breath spray to it but my oral hygiene is so extra in the morning and at night that it’s probably overkill, but I’ll think about it. 🙂

  15. aawesome

    September 24, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    Ure hilarious. We should be friends

  16. chido

    September 24, 2015 at 9:16 pm

    @BN u forgot to include pepper spray. I dislike tins like roasted corn and coconut or pear,in a lady bag. Datz crazy thou

  17. jasmine

    September 24, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    Everything up there is always in my bag. Plz add CHARGER and EARPIECE. Does any1 know the effect of ORBIT mint gum? I can chew one pack in two days. I’m scared o

    • hmmmmmm

      September 25, 2015 at 2:13 am

      Your tooth, that would be the effect, No matter how a gum has been presented to protect the tooth, to much of it could cause a hole in the tooth. Excessive chewing so much stress on your buccal cavity,
      At least you should chew after some certain meals to remove particles of food in between your tooth, and not chew for fun.

    • notanutelllalover

      September 25, 2015 at 9:22 pm

      ewooo! i chew for fun. After i had food a while ago, i said to myself, “something is missing”
      I then remembered, “baby gal, it is 12pm and you havent chewed gum today.”
      i cant help myself, i have panic attacks when i dont have gum in my bag. 🙁

    • Jhennique

      September 25, 2015 at 2:55 pm


  18. nuellavista

    September 24, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    Ah my hand bag has everything, I can comfortably travel to New York from Lagos with just my handbag.
    Book my ticket
    Board my flight
    Lodge or check into a hotel
    Freshen up even without using the hotels toiletries
    Make up
    With my perfume, I don’t need a change of cloth at least for a day na….lol!
    The list is endless sha…Oh my days!!!

  19. carina

    September 24, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    What about Bible? It is not on your list! for fiction stories

    • Anon

      September 25, 2015 at 7:09 am

      Bibles are now downloaded on a device. Get with the programme! Lol!!

  20. Stephanie-feld

    September 24, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    Let’s see – What do I have in my handbag

    –My Laptop and it’s charger
    — Cellphone and it’s charger
    –External hard drive
    –A couple of pens and business cards
    — Debit Card, Cash, check book
    — Mini Clinique make-up set -includes lipstick, eye shadow, mascara, blush, powder, makeup brush
    — Mini Perfume
    — Hand and Feet Moisturizer: Ashy cracked skin isn’t my thing
    — Facial wipes
    –Unscented baby butt wet wipes
    –Hand Sanitizer
    — Disposable latex gloves : I cannot hold the door/s of any public restroom with my fingers
    –Dental Floss, Travel size toothbrush, toothpaste, Listerine minty mouth spray
    — A couple of Sanitary pads, Extra panties in case of period disaster
    –Midol and Advil –period cramps are not a joke
    — 1 Bhut Jolokia pepper spray and 1 Ghost Chili pepper spray (I have had to use this twice).
    –Pen taser (Used it once)

    That’s it.

    My Fiancé to me – Stephanie you can hide a baby in most of your handbags.

    • Temitayo

      September 25, 2015 at 3:59 am

      I’ve seen your kind before, your bags are as big as INEC’s ballot boxes.

    • AtL's finest

      September 25, 2015 at 7:11 am

      Lmao!!! Omg my thoughts exactly and best comments ever!!! More than a pocket book

    • Ada Nnanyelugo

      September 28, 2015 at 12:05 pm


    • Cheeway

      September 25, 2015 at 8:25 am

      Hmmm… Laptop, IPad,Cellphone+ make-up bag and extra panties etc inside 1bag. No vex madam but na ghana-must-go you dey carry??

    • Rt

      September 25, 2015 at 9:02 pm

      No mind am…na only her waka come!
      Having Laptop and Ipad in one bag.I wonder what for?

    • Tosin

      September 25, 2015 at 6:04 pm


  21. josh

    September 24, 2015 at 10:55 pm

    Extra clothing… Dunno why.

  22. Tee

    September 24, 2015 at 11:12 pm

    I have a particular bag when I know I might be sleeping over at boos house. It can take my lil tee to sleep,underwear, tooth brush,hair net, hair brush,a dual purpose foldable dress that doesn’t need ironing,to wear d next day and the all important make up bag. Then I just use all his toiletries. The bag is cute enough as a regular bag, and can hold a baby with d space……lol

  23. Eebony

    September 25, 2015 at 1:36 am

    If any lady here has been robbed before,then you would know better than carrying all your ID cards in your wallet everytime.
    One thing i always carry in my bag including all mentioned above is my shower cap,naija rain no dey give signal

  24. hmmmmmm

    September 25, 2015 at 2:27 am

    Funny enough, for me Tissue, note pad and a pen, baby wipes, body spray, my Rosary, prayer book, and Probably my charger…

  25. Rhonyi

    September 25, 2015 at 5:59 am

    Clinical microbiology sells? I could give it a shot. Is’t better than a masters in public health? Thank you CB

  26. yellow sisi

    September 25, 2015 at 7:40 am

    I do carry the necessary things,over loading can cause pains on the shoulder.

  27. nkem

    September 25, 2015 at 8:01 am

    Most of the listed items are found in my hand bag but I never miss a novel. A Danielle Steel or Sydney Sheldon for now. Mbanu.


    September 25, 2015 at 9:08 am

    Remember that lagbaja video ‘Gra Gra’ classic content waht should be in a lady’s handbag.
    screw driver
    battery charger
    pepper spray

  29. Puzzles

    September 25, 2015 at 9:44 am

    Advice to all ladies:don’t put ALL ur ATM cards in your purse. I know two persons, male and female this year alone who were forced into a car by armed robbers, driven to an ATM machine and made to withdraw all of their money. Imagine if they had all their cards with them. It is advisable not to have an ATM card for your savings account where you keep your emergency funds.

    Also, do not put ALL your ID cards. If your bag was snatched, which is happening these days, imagine the stress you would go through.

  30. Concerned Man

    September 25, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    So in all this madness, no one bothers to carry condoms? Konji no dey catch una for road?

  31. Jhennique

    September 25, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    I always have everything on that list and even more in my bag except for pain killers. I dont take painkillers, thankfully i havnt had any headache that lots of water cant cure.

  32. Zeeebby

    September 25, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    3 note pads
    one novel
    3 lipsticks
    toothbrush for my edges
    ear piece
    sanitary towels

  33. Ada Nnanyelugo

    September 28, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    OCD much??

  34. Koffie

    September 28, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    I always forget something at home when I change bags so for me, it’s my one-nation black bag everyday unless I especially feel like doing shakara. I carry toilet paper, handcream, sanitizer, haircream (extreme dandruff issues), mini perfume or sometimes scented wipes to freshen my underarms during the day (I don’t use deodorants that contain aluminium as an ingredient which is basically all the nice ones), more pens than one person needs, headphones, charger, old bank deposit tellers, Wellwoman pills *side eyes*, extra earrings, hairpins, small rag for my footwear, makeup purse and cotton buds.
    I use a period tracker app that alerts me a day to my period and it’s almost always accurate but I should probably add a sanitary towel to my list.

  35. PwettyBlessed

    September 29, 2015 at 11:30 am

    I could forget any other item but not “TETRACYCLINE”. That pill be saving a lady from embarrassment since 1900BC. Ah! no jokes o cos you don’t know which lunch/dinner that’ll go wrong and your stomach starts singing to “Terry G’s Kolo Mental” and before you know it you’re visiting the rest room every 5 minutes and your fine girl is over.
    Imagine experiencing this after months of crushing on that your newly employed super hot colleague and he finally asks you out to dinner… “Which kind first impression be that”? Mbok me I can’t allow running stomach be a stumbling block to my progress o.

  36. EEEEEE

    October 12, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    ND needle nd thread…..saved ma life wen dat pencil skirt slit nearly fall my hand….

  37. Margaux

    January 24, 2016 at 8:12 am

    In my shoulder bag I have- purse with ID, spectacles, cosmetics, feminine protection, mobile phone & phone charger (never leave home without it!), condoms, paracetamol, lip salve, brush, comb, hair spray, compact brolly, tooth paste, tooth brush, dental floss, butane curling iron, baby wipes (never know when there’s no toilet paper in the women’s loo), hand cream, hand sanitiser, countless receipts, pens, small pad of paper, torch, baby powder and a multipurpose tool .

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