What’s Inside a Fashion Model’s Handbag?

  • Melissa Keen

Thanks to Vogue’s ‘Inside My Handbag’ feature, knowing the contents of a model’s handbag has become a popular pastime for many of us. It’s interesting to know exactly what products and gadgets our favourite celebs are using on a daily basis.

So what exactly does a model deem to be important enough to have on their person at all times?

A model needs a decent array of tools at their disposal to stay organised and prepared for anything.

We’ve put together a list of popular items most commonly found in a model’s handbag.

Model Handbag Essentials

Naturally, gadgets and tools are pretty important to a model on the go.

These might include:

  • Phone. As a model, freelance or signed, you need to make yourself 100% contactable. Your agent or a client may call at any time wanting to organise work. Your phone is also a calendar, web access, map, tool for entertainment, and more – it’s an essential bit of kit that all models need in their bag.
  • Phone charger. Phones can be charged when on trains or planes or whilst waiting in reception rooms. Some models also like to carry a portable charger as well as a socket plug.
  • Laptop/tablet. Many models like to bring a small laptop or tablet around with them so they can complete tasks, such as answering emails, when on the go.

Work-Related Essentials

  • Diary/notebook & pen. It’s always good to have paper and a pen handy for writing down ideas, appointments and other memos. Many models also claim to enjoy journalling as a way of staying centered. Having a hard copy of your diary will also ensure important appointments aren;t missed, even if your phone battery dies.
  • Portfolio. A model’s portfolio is their most important piece of equipment – it’s the number one thing that should be found in a model’s handbag when they’re working. A professional portfolio is a big part of what helps a model to land a job. Their portfolio showcases all their previous work and experience – a bit like a visual CV. Although not 100% necessary, nearly all models have one and it’s silly not to have one on you when not having one can put you at a severe disadvantage. Contact us via our UK Models website if you would like help producing a quality portfolio.
  • Z-cards. Z-cards are the modelling equivalent to a business card. They’re small sheets that have your name, contact details, model statistics and photos printed onto them. The advantage of carrying them in your bag is that you can give out your details quickly (and professionally) to anyone you meet in the industry. They are especially effective because models rely heavily on networking.
  • Downloaded map. Models can be sent all over the place to find work. For example, a model may be sent to 6 different castings all taking place in the same city. Having a map with you will mean you can plan your route and avoid being late. To save on space and clutter, download Google Maps and any relevant bus/train app. If you’re visiting a new city you’ve never been to before, it’s also not a bad idea to carry a paper map – just as a backup. The last thing you want is to get lost in an unknown city!

Other Good-to-Have Items

  • Sunglasses. Sunglasses will not only protect your eyes and the delicate surrounding skin from sun damage, but they can also help to hide the majority of your face if discovered by paparazzi!
  • Headphones. Models must endure a lot of waiting around and travelling, which can be boring. Many models like to listen to music.
  • Book/magazine. Another way of keeping entertained. It’s not just fiction that models like to read; many like to take the opportunity to learn new skills or read about real-life experiences in non-fiction books.
  • Earplugs and eye mask. Models do a lot of travelling for work. They can often try to catch up on some sleep when on planes, so earplugs and an eye mask are essential for drowning out light and noise.

Beauty Tools

Models need to be able to freshen up on the go. It’s not uncommon to find the following in a model’s handbag:

  • Foundation/concealer. Foundation and concealer is brilliant for covering dark circles under the eyes, as well as spots and blemishes. For best results, ensure the foundation is matched perfectly to your natural skin tone – this way, it will look seamless.
  • Bronzer/blusher. Add a little colour to your skin using bronzer and/or blusher.
  • Mascara. A little bit of mascara on your eyelashes will open them up, instantly making your face look brighter.
  • Setting powder. Get rid of excess shine with a little powder.
  • Brow brush/mascara/pencil. Well-maintained brows are a big thing right now. Keep yours neat with a brow brush; brow mascara will help keep them in place. Fill in any bare areas with a pencil.
  • Lip liner and balm. Liner helps to neaten the lip line, while a balm keeps lips hydrated and healthy.

Hygiene Essentials

  • Make-up wipes. Make-up wipes aren’t ideal for your skin or the environment, but they’re a good portable option in a pinch (if you can squeeze in a small bottle of micellar water and a couple of cotton pads, this is much better!) If you turn up to a casting with a full face of make-up on, you may find that you’re asked to take it off so that the make-up artist can see what they’re going to be working with. If you have secured the job and you’re at the shoot, you will definitely need to start the day without anything on your face, so grab these and get wiping! It’s also a good idea to keep a packet on hand for the end of the day; some of the make-up you’ll be wearing will be heavy and uncomfortable, and you’ll likely want to get it removed before you head home.
  • Anti-bac wipes/spray. Public transport can be rather dirty. Keep hygienic with some wipes or a spray to keep your hands clean and prevent you from catching common colds while on the go.
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste. A mini portable toothbrush and toothpaste set can come in really handy for freshening breath and teeth before important interviews.
  • Floss. Nobody wants to have spinach stuck between their teeth before an important shoot!
  • Tissues. You never know when you might need a tissue!
  • Tweezers. Get rid of any stray hairs or apply false lashes with the use of some mini tweezers.
  • Mini deodorant and perfume. Rushing around a city all day can be sweaty. A portable nini deodorant keeps models feeling fresh while a mini perfume spray can be a great top-up to keep them smelling sweet all day.

Other Handy Items

  • Mini hairbrush. Get rid of knots and tangles with a quick brush before interviews.
  • Hair grips/hair bobble. If you attend a casting with your hair down (and your hair is long enough to be tied up), keep some hair bobbles in your bag; you will probably be asked to tie it up so that they can see your face. The same will be said for a fringe, so keep some clips handy.
  • Water. Stay hydrated by carrying your own reusable water bottle. 
  • Snacks. Sometimes it can be difficult to grab a bite to eat when rushing around from casting to casting. It’s also sometimes difficult to find high-quality healthy options when out and about. Bring some healthy snacks to ensure you don’t get hangry!

Are you interested in becoming a model? Register with us today – it’s free!

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Posted by Melissa Keen

Melissa's experience in the beauty and fashion world as a writer and blogger spans over five years. Her other interests include reading, yoga and music.