The Average Woman Has $407 Worth of Makeup in Her Handbag

Does that sound high to you?
Michelle Villett
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Does that sound high to you?

Let's put aside for a moment the fact that someone in the UK actually thought it would be a worthwhile use of time and money to commission a study on how many different beauty prodz the average British woman carries in her handbag. (Reported in the Daily Mail, of course. Told you they were the Newspaper of Record for Generally Useless Studies.)

That's not the only ZOMG-worthy revelation in this juicy little news story, though. Unlike Angelina Jolie, who obviously has a minion or two to lug her stuff around (including the Chantecaille Golden Globes lip gloss), the average woman walks around with a whopping £256 (C$407) worth of cosmetics and fragrance in her purse. And that consists of 13 products valued at about £20 (C$32) each.


Now, I'm—obviously—all for enjoying beauty and having fun and making yourself look purty and stuff. And I know things are more expensive (I think) in the UK. But that's a whole lotta money, no? And carrying 13 products, well, that can't be good for your posture either.

So now I'll put on my best Carrie Bradshaw voice: I couldn't help but wonder... Are we similarly beauty-obsessed here across the pond in Canada? Let's take a closer look at this "study" and find out—and then I'll show you what's in MY handbag.

So here's how things break down for our British counterparts:


Aside from how frickin' expensive everything is, does anything seem strange to you?

SO MANY QUESTIONS over here. Such as why women would carry around full-sized bottles of all these things if they've already put their faces on before leaving the house. Or at least I assume they have, because another Daily Mail "study" that we discussed in great detail last month told us that a full third of women wear makeup every single time they go out. Remember?

Personally, I don't leave the house without a bare minimum of concealer, blush, mascara and lip balm, so my handbag essentials are really all about the quick, on-the-go touch-up.

But now, based on the fact that they're carrying things like moisturizer and foundation, I'm wondering if British women are all going to work completely bare-faced, and then pulling a full Stephanie Kaye from Degrassi Junior High transformation in the office bathroom. Do you think?

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Or am I missing something? (And if they ARE applying a full face of makeup at work, then I ask them this: Can you REALLY do a good job on your foundation or eyeshadow or bronzer or even nailpolish application under dim or fluorescent office lighting? I'm just sayin'.)

Anyway, not that I am an expert or anything—I just play one on the Internet—but I thought I'd open up MY handbag to show you what random things beauty editors carry around. Here we go:

LIP PRODUCTS: Ask any beauty editor. It is of vital importance to have AT LEAST three or four different lip products (balm + tinted balm + lipstick + stain + gloss) on your person at any given time. (And possibly one could further break down the balms category into tubes, sticks and pots.) So usually I have more than this, but since I'm taking a temporary hiatus from the bright lip, I've pared down. Today, it was...

Givenchy Gelée d'Interdit, $29

This isn't out until April, so I don't have a photo, but it looks kind of like this. It's one of the new hybrid "gloss-balms" I was talking about here. LOVE.


Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm, $7.99

Brand new (out this month) and gives your lips a great hint of colour. I have Rose.


LaROCCA Lip Shield SPF 8 Multi-Active Lip Balm, $18

You can buy this line at BeautyMark. A great clear balm for winter—not greasy or goopy.


EYES: Unless it's a big night out, I rarely pull eye stuff out of my handbag. When I do it's always some kind of eye pencil, which works as both liner and shadow if you smudge it. (Also space-saving!)  (I don't bother with mascara, as it tends to clump when you re-apply it— unless it's the new Revlon one that Gucci Westman talks about here. Can't wait to try it.) Right now, I'm loving...

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Shadow Pencil, $24

I heart this so much in Delinquent (not shown), a dark purple with little bits of sparkle.


FACE: Bless my Scottish ancestors for giving me blotchy red skin. This—along with my current post-OCM pigmentation battle—is why I cannot be without an array of skin-correcting products. My go-tos are...

Nvey Eco Organic Erase Corrective Makeup, $35.95

Great consistency for both dark circles and blemishes, and I love that it's also organic.

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Japonesque Retractable Lip Brush, $12

Makeup brushes stored loose in a cosmetic bag couldn't be more unhygenic. Ick! I know you're technically supposed to apply concealer with a proper concealer brush (and I do, at home), but until they start making retractable ones, this is what I use on-the-go.

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Pure + Simple Rainforest Pressed Powder Foundation, $49.95

I'm not a big fan of pressed powders for sopping up oil throughout the day (it can look cakey), but if I've just applied concealer before leaving the house then I figure I can do one pass of this to tone down redness and be good-to-go for the remainder of the day. It's also great when I've been to my eyebrow-threading lady and need to hide the inflammatory aftermath.

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Vapour Organic Beauty Aura Multi-Use Blush, $32.50

I'm all about the cream blushes lately. (You may recall me praising this line a while back.)

FRAGRANCE: I can't imagine lugging around a big bottle of perfume every day. I collect either tiny roll-on oils or solid perfumes and they are SO handy. Such as:


Tsi-La Organics Perfume Oil, $49

I have a whole set of these—it's a lovely little line of soft, organic scents, and I like every single one.


HANDS: Do British women not wear hand cream? Not sure why this wasn't on the list. The best one for winter is:

Kiehl's Ultimate Strength Hand Salve, $27.50

An excellent formula that is slightly medicinal and absorbs quickly.



Of course, this doesn't include a whole bunch of other random things such as a nail file (in a protective plastic case so it doesn't scratch everything in sight), a mirror that turns into a hairbrush, another mirror sometimes, hand sanitizer, Kleenex, etc.

But not bad, right?

(And this is all just in theory, mind you. Don't hate, but I actually only purchased two of these prodz. But you probably make more money than I do, so let the beauty editors have their perks, okay?)

So now, over to you:

Do you think you carry more, or fewer beauty prodz than the Brits?
What about the dollar value?
Might you get that shiz insured? (I'm serious. That was part of the article, and now I'm considering it. If my purse has $300 worth of stuff then JUST IMAGINE what my home contents insurance really should be. I shudder.)