The summer is over and the reality of being back at work during the last intermittent days of sunshine is hitting home – so it’s time to get into the ‘back to school / work’ mode and clear out your bag or desk to freshen up what you’re carrying around, including your makeup bag. As more and more workplaces eschew the traditional desk setup in favour of hot-desking – aka, you choose your desk each day – what are the beauty treats you should still keep close by when you don’t have your own drawer to stock? Beth Squires runs us through her carry-to-work beauty bag.
“Though it was always a little heartbreaking when those long school summer holidays came to a close each year, I took some joy in going shopping for new stationery supplies before the new term started. And even now, as a fully-grown 30-something, it’s a ritual I still love taking part in today. With the addition that I refresh and change up my beauty bag for a new set of supplies to keep me going when I’m in the office from 9 ‘til 6.
When I left my last job, where I had my own permanent desk, I managed to nearly fill a cab with the products I had tested and things I accumulated at my desk over the years I worked there. In my new job, I sometimes work in an office with a hot-desking policy – with no permanent desks for anyone, which means there’s no longer one specific place to store all the beauty favourites I like to have in the office. Which means I have to carry it around in the tote alongside my laptop… so I’ve had to edit my selection.
My new MAC beauty bag (£25) has everything I need, and looks quite like a slightly larger version of the pencil cases I used to carry to school, with the added bonus that the contents fit my beauty / hair concerns perfectly.
If you get halfway through the day and your hair’s lacking a little ‘oomph’, a boost of dry shampoo can work wonders. Of course, it’s great for its traditional use too – absorbing oil. My roots can sometimes end up looking greasy within the 8-9 hours I’m in the office, so keeping a mini Philip Kingsley’s One More Day (£8) to hand is a must for me.
At the other end of the spectrum, I have very dry ends – my hair’s gone through a lot of dyeing and bleaching in its time, and as much as I can admire a gorgeous frizzy texture on other people, my frizz just reflects that my hair’s in bad condition. No matter how good my hair looks when I leave the house, a bad commute can change the texture easily. So I pop a Ouai Anti-Frizz Sheet (£20 for 15) in my bag for a touch up when I get into the office – wiping it over hair adds shine, removes static, and it also helps fix the effects of air conditioning or central heating. Don’t forget a small brush – a Tangle Teezer (£13.50) or my Wet Brush (£11.99) from home always get tucked in my bag, along with a hair band and grip to help out on a truly bad hair day.
To refresh my skin during the day, I’ll spritz my mini Caudalie Eau de Beauté (£12) over my makeup – I genuinely miss it when I don’t have one with me. It’s such a fresh, beautifully scented spritz that refreshes my mood as much as my skin, where it helps tighten pores and add radiance. I’m prone to an oily t-zone too, so the occasional blot with NYX Blotting Paper (£5.50), which gets rid of any extra shine without building up too much more makeup. Then there’s the basics – Carmex Lip Balm (£3) is especially great for winter weather, and you can brush it through your brows to tidy them, while Hourglass Veil Retouching Fluid (£25) makes sure any dark circles around my eyes, or blemishes, stay covered all day.
If just concealer feels a little lacking on the makeup front for you, I’ll sometimes carry a couple of ‘extra pens’ with me too – just in case plans change and I head out for dinner or drinks. Crayola’s new beauty range totally plays into my ‘Back To School’ stationery shopping memories, with their new range of crayons for lips and eyes and more! Crayola Lip & Cheek Crayon in Strawberry (£9) is a gorgeous red and so easy to apply, while a fresh slick of Stila Stay All Day Eyeliner (£14.50) adds definition to my eyes.
Your Favourite Fragrance
I’ve come to believe in the power of applying a fresh mist of perfume at lunchtime to basically reset my whole day. It can help turn it all around. I once sat next to a glam colleague who never had less than six gorgeous full-sized perfumes on her desk. Since then I’ve always kept my signature fragrance close by. Now – thanks to hot-desking, in a mini size – I pack the small-but-still-glam Tom Ford Orchid Soleil Eau de Parfum (£58), to keep the summer going, even if it’s just in scent form. In my office experience, you can always ask a colleague to share a deodorant sprays if needed, but there’s nothing like a spritz of your own perfume before a big meeting or presentation to make you feel ready for anything.
One More Thing…
Although I don’t carry it with me, when I’m prepping for a day at a desk all day, I do add a step to my morning routine. I now try and protect my skin from the potentially damaging blue light (HEV) that emits from all screens – from laptop to phone. Bareminerals Complexion Rescue Defense Protective Moisturiser SPF30 (£35) is a moisturiser, primer, and radiance booster that I’m currently trying pre-foundation – and helps protect against the effects of UV, blue light, and pollution.
All of these items are available to Click & Collect to your nearest CollectPlus point, which makes online shopping so much easier. Say goodbye to staying in all day waiting for your order and hello to freedom.
August 30th 2018 - by @CollectPlus