“What’s in My Bag?” is a story you’ve seen from every blogger and magazine in the universe. But usually it’s a highly planned and curated event. You can tell that any unflattering items (toothpaste, cuticle cutters, anything that requires too much explaining) have all been removed from the frame. But what fun is taking a look inside someone’s personal life without getting to see the dirt?
I wanted a rawer take on this “what’s in my bag?” concept. An #honestbagspill, if you will. So, I conspired with some colleagues on the social media side of things here at Byrdie to ambush our L.A. editors, swipe their purses, and take an unfiltered look at their contents. Zero planning, zero perfection. I know, this sounds a little cray (and slightly criminal), but what we found did not disappoint.
If you follow Byrdie on Snapchat (and you totally should!), you might have seen this ambush take place in real time. If not, I went ahead and saved the story for you. Get caught up by watching the video below!
I’m not fibbing when I say our editors were legitimately surprised—scared even—when I confiscated their purses without letting them remove anything embarrassing. (Luckily they trusted that I wouldn’t swipe their pricey lip products.) To be honest, it even slipped my mind that the ambush was happening that day, so I didn’t have a chance to double-check my bag either.
We sneak-attackers dumped out each editor’s bag and shot what we saw. Aside from money, driver’s licenses, and straight-up trash, these are their uncensored contents. Get to know the L.A. Byrdie editors a little better by peaking inside their bags below!
“Ah, yes. I must say I wasn’t exactly thrilled when my bag was suddenly ripped from my hands—some warning would have been nice so I could have at least taken out my toothbrush. But I guess that defeats the purpose of this story.
“I look at the contents of my bag so artfully splayed out, and I can only laugh, because whoever said you can learn a lot about a woman from the contents of her bag was completely right, at least for me. I’m constantly carrying at least five lipsticks with me at a time, no matter how small the bag, and the bunch displayed here are a mix of some holy grail classics (Charlotte Tilbury’s Matte Revolution, $32), new favorites (Rituel de Fille’s Enchanted Lip Sheer, $21, and 100% Pure’s Pomegranate Oil Lipstick, $29), and two outliers (Dr. Hauschka’s since-discontinued lipstick, which is the creamiest nude, and Flower Beauty’s Hydrasilk Lip Butter, $8, which I had just put in my purse to try).
“Liquid eyeliners are another thing you'll find aplenty in my bag—I honestly feel a bit of a panic attack when I know I don’t have black eyeliner on my person (totally healthy, I know).
“The juxtaposition of the Shake Shack and Whole Foods gift cards is a perfect representation of my own diet goals: I want to be healthy, but why do burgers and fries have to taste so damn good?
“And finally, I’ve been really digging these effervescent tablets called 8G ($13), created by former model and current British royalty and all-around wonderful human Dawn Russell. They give you a full serving of greens (along with an amazing ingredient called blue algae), boost your energy, and actually taste good—like Emergen-C, but better.
“And I guess we’ll have to talk about the toothbrush sooner or later. I had just come back from the dentist when Amanda took my bag, and I’ve been doing Invisalign, which means I have to brush my teeth after every meal. It’s annoying as hell, but at least my teeth are always clean.
“Lastly, Crap makes the best sunglasses, and I love the little padded sleeve they come in (so much more practical than the bulky cases—like, who has room for that in their purse?). I actually lost this pair, and then our social media director, Michelle Plantan, gave me another because she's an angel.”
“I’d say this ambush caught me on a day that’s pretty representative of my usual handbag contents. I always have at least one lip balm, mints and/or gum, floss (I literally have floss in every bag I own, in my desk drawers, in my bathroom, in my bedroom, and backups in my linen closet), at least one pair of sunglasses (these Crap Eyewear ones are super slim and lightweight so they almost always come along with me), cuticle clippers, and Tatcha Blotting Papers ($12).
“The only thing I’d say that’s not representative of my typical handbag situation is the lip color selection. I usually have around four different lipsticks rolling around at the bottom of my bag. But I recently switched purses—otherwise you would have also seen a half-dozen crumpled-up receipts and valet tickets. Not pictured: a mini hand cream, my nail file, and a tiny claw clip hiding in the inside pocket.”
“I am such a bag lady—schlepping my stuff everywhere is a New York City habit that followed me west (along with my metro cards, which I can’t bring myself to throw away). It’s a comfort to know that I have everything I need within arm’s reach, no matter what the day’s agenda brings!
“I definitely always have some makeup essentials, including my new favorite lip colors from Glossier ($18) and Ilia ($26)—the latter is SO creamy and has built-in SPF. I also keep a set of Vitruvi’s aromatherapy oils ($38) around for good vibes and to help keep my mood in check.
“The diet book ($10) is for a story I’m working on. And I promise that I don’t actually keep a list of people who have wronged me! That was an impulse purchase at the Whitney Museum that made me laugh, but you won’t find anything juicier than my grocery list scrawled in that little notebook. (Or so I’d have you believe…)”
“This sobering experience taught me that my bag is like Noah’s ark—everything comes in twos: Two Nars liquid lipsticks ($29), two Becca Shimmering Skin Perfectors ($38), two perfumes. I guess you always need a backup?
“I actually stand by the two perfumes—one is Atelier Cologne’s woodsy Bois Blonds ($85), which I got in a little monogrammed case (so cute!), and the other is a flacon of Goest Perfumes’s delightfully girly Dauphine ($34). My taste in fragrance is pretty androgynous, or at least it’s always on one extreme end of the masculine-feminine spectrum, and constantly ricocheting back and forth between the two. That’s another story.
“Anyway, I've also got a Jouer lip balm ($16); Charlotte Tilbury’s Matte Revolution Lipstick in Sexy Sienna ($32); a Girlactik mechanical eyeliner ($19), and an E.l.f. lip brush ($3). Who knew so much makeup could fit in a bag that’s only eight inches wide?
“Other random things I managed to cram in there include membership cards to REI, Sephora, and the Santa Monica Public Library (three items that I think represent my personality pretty accurately). I’ve also got an old hotel key, a (likely expired) restaurant gift card, a (definitely expired) NYC metro card, and a movie stub from when I saw The Martian with my best friend six months ago (clearly it was time to clean this thing out). I’m just relieved this ambush didn’t happen on a day when I had something incriminating in my bag, like an unpaid parking ticket or a half-eaten bagel.”
Show us your uncensored "what's in my bag" photos on social media with the hashtag #honestbagspill!