What’s in My Work Tote

Perhaps it’s voyeuristic, but I love seeing the contents of others’ bags. There’s so much information contained within pertaining to preferences, routines and tried and true beauty favorites. I have a few tote bags that I rotate carrying to the office with me every day, but I tend to gravitate towards this perfect one from Cuyana, an elegantly edited and minimal, yet luxe brand, which is probably my favorite online destination for clothing, accessories, etc. Several of my favorite wardrobe pieces are from here, but this tote has the best cost-per-wear. I bought it in the caramel brown color with blush interior for maximum wardrobe versatility. I recently purchased the matching blush organizational insert which I love because I can actually see what’s in my bag as well as keep things from shifting around. On an average week, here’s what you’ll find in my work tote.


Tote Bag: I absolutely love my Cuyana Classic Structured Leather Bag and after living with it for about a year, decided to also order the Tote Organization Insert. This insert is also perfect for popping the contents of my bag into my other similarly sized tote bags and keeping it all tidy. While I don’t regularly carry around my iPad or 13” Macbook Air, there’s a pocket perfectly sized for both. This tote is also my go-to as my carry-on travel bag that coordinates perfectly with my favorite roller bag.

Wet Ones: Now that the world is acutely aware of the threat of viruses and bacteria, I keep these on hand with me at all times when I’m out and about. They’re great for grabbing door handles or wiping down areas you can’t avoid touching like shopping carts or key pads.

Sunglasses: The pair I have in here now is a favorite Céline pair but I switch these out all the time. I don’t need to have a case because my bag insert includes a little pocket for sunnies.

Hair Clip: In case I am having a bad hair day, this J.Crew tortoiseshell clip lives on my bag handle and is versatile enough for a half-up or full-up ‘do.

Clear Zip Bag: I love these clear Truffle Clarity Pouches and have them in three sizes. I use them for travel; the medium size is TSA-approved as an alternative to a quart-sized bag. I keep the small one in my work tote as a “pencil case.” I keep in here a tape measure (similar here), my favorite Muji pens, my Montblanc fountain pen (a cherished wedding gift from Nathan’s mom) with Oyster Gray ink, earbuds, mechanical pencil, and white-out correction tape (I am addicted to this tape, and this is the best one).

bkr Water Bottle: I always carry water with me, and I keep a metal water bottle in the car. Most of the time I think I want a snack, I’m actually just dehydrated. I love this one because it’s glass with a grippy silicone cover and I can do my part to say ‘no’ to plastic water bottles.

Wallet: I got this Louis Vuitton mini purse in Las Vegas to celebrate our surprise engagement in 2012 and I use it as my wallet. It is the ‘mini pochette accessoires’ in the classic monogram, and I use it to keep a slim card organizer, loose change and cash. It’s the perfect size to grab when I just need to run into the store quickly, or to pop into my regular purse.

Lipstick Palette: I bought this empty lipstick palette to decant and blend my favorite lipstick shades to always have on hand. It comes with a little mini brush that’s perfect for on the go. I have no idea what the colors are anymore, but it’s a great way to use up tubes and make new colors. I use a makeup spatula to scoop out of the tube and decant into this container. Also, if you don’t own a makeup spatula already, it’s an amazing tool and huge money saver to get every last drop of makeup out of any container. I have cut open foundation and concealer tubes and have been able to continue to use them for a month or more after no more product could be dispensed normally. In addition to my palette, I carry this classic, universally flattering lip pencil.

Dayplanner: I love my Neely & Chloe leather day planner with calendar inserts by one of my favorite artists, Inslee Farris. The planner gives you monthly calendar views with tabs and a weekly 2-page spread with plenty of space for writing in appointments, plus lots of gorgeous watercolor illustrations that elevate everyday calendaring. I would be lost without this thing. Also, Neely & Chloe offers monogramming on their leather goods.

Phone and Phone Case: I have an iPhone X and am still going strong. I will resist the urge to upgrade for as long as possible. Sugar Paper no longer makes my favorite cheetah print phone case (I am on my second one and trying to baby it), but whenever I do upgrade my phone, I would probably look for my next case from this chic maker.

Monogrammed Zip Bag: Another Cuyana find, this monogrammed makeup bag came in a set of two and I keep the smaller stocked with a variety of beauty essentials within my work tote. I love this set so much and believe that anything that can be monogrammed should be.

What's in My Work Tote | @beesandbubbles

Within my monogrammed beauty case, I keep these essentials.

Glossier Balm Dotcom:This lipbalm makes me really happy. It was a party favor I included in the gift bags for Nathan’s and my joint 30th birthday weekend in Las Vegas. It is birthday cake-scented and flavored with just the hintiest-hint of glitter. I also keep a more subtle lip balm in here.

Caudalie Beauty Elixir Face Mist:For a quick pick-me-up and makeup refresh, this is great.

Hand Cream: Right now, I am loving this Byredo scented hand cream.

Perfume Samples: I keep a random assortment of vials which always includes my classic scent and others from Sephora or Nordstrom orders that I want to try.

Comb: This little travel comb is so pretty and just the right size for carrying around.

Mascara Sample: Whenever I get the chance to score a sample-sized mascara, I jump on it because they’re great for travel and on the go.

Hand Sanitizer: I rotate between this one and this one.

Complexion Stick: I have sung its praises in the past here.

Tweezers: Always best to have these on hand in case of a brow emergency. But I’ve also found them to be a handy tool for a delicate, non-beauty task more than once.

Feminine Care: Self-explanatory.

Mini Shadow Stick and Creme Blush Sample: I have these from old Birchbox samples (I no longer subscribe because my beauty supply was multiplying like Gremlins, but it was fun while it lasted). I swap the colors out from time to time for touch-ups.

Tiger Balm: I think this is meant for muscle and joint pain, but I use it under my nose if I have a cold or allergies, or rub on my temples when I have a headache. It’s a highly concentrated camphor and menthol balm that makes me feel better instantly.

Eye Drops: In case of allergies, or other eye mishap, this clears up eye irritation quickly.

Compact Mirror: This pretty Chanel one has a regular and magnified mirror essential for brow maintenance and touch-ups.

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