Were I to write an all-encompassing ‘what’s in my handbag’ post as so many of my fellow bloggers do, it’d be my longest piece ever. EVERYTHING is in my handbag (bar tissues, I find others can always be relied on for tissues), so if you’re out with me I could cleanse and redo your makeup in a pub loo thanks to my portable stash (think of those 90s make over montages from films and you’ll get an idea of what ten minutes in a bathroom with the contents of my bag can achieve); I can provide gentle refreshment in the form of water and paleo bars, sweeties and Gin Gins (my new discovery), I can also treat a wide variety of ailments thanks to my ‘medicine make-up bag’.
In my opinion best of all is my holistic stash. These are the things I whip out that’ll get rid of shoulder ache (which, granted, is probably caused from carrying my overloaded bag around), calm my nerves on the tube, send me to sleep on a flight, or make me feel more settled. They rotate and are sometimes joined by new products while old faithfuls are on standby, but basically I always have things that slip into these categories…
ROLLERBALLS // If you’ve not yet experienced the joy of an aromatherapy rollerball, you need to buy one immediately. The aromatherapy bit does as expected – smells good, enhances mood/sleepiness/calm – but it is the rollerball action that makes these indispensable; they offer a massage without a masseuse, provided you get the right one. Here are three of my favourites:
– This Works In Transit Muscle Rollerball / This one has by far the most satisfying head of the rollerballs I’ve tried – bulky and able to take some real pressure, it actually feels like a massage. The marjoram and black clove within also smell satisfyingly spa-like.
– H Gillerman Rollerballs / Buy these if you take your aromatherapy seriously – Hope’s blends are among the very best. The rollerball bit on this is a little less pleasing than the above, though as I don’t want to use these for a full-blown ‘massage’ but instead to dispense the oils onto pressure points, that’s never bothered me. Bonus points: these are manufactured so you can pop off the rollerball head and pour a few drops into a bath.
– Puressentiel Muscle & Joint Rollerball / A little like the In Transit rollerball in terms of the ball itself, I use this after a day’s work when I need a bit of a pick-me-up.
ESSENTIAL OILS // Easier to administer on the tube without getting lots of strange looks, a little dot of these on pulse points (provided you aren’t allergic to essential oils – ‘do a patch test’) can really make a difference to mood – the limbic system is intrinsically linked with the olfactory system. I particularly love:
– WHEN STRESSED / Aromatherapy Associates Support Breathe Essence.
– WHEN TRAVELLING / De Mamiel Altitude Oil.
– WHEN UNABLE TO SLEEP / Tata Harper Aromatic Bedtime Treatment.
– WHEN STRUGGLING TO FOCUS / Aveda Blue Oil Balancing Concentrate.
TEABAGS // Coffee gives me the shakes, normal tea indigestion = herbal tea is all I have. As such, I consider myself something of a connoisseur and spend an inordinate amount of time drinking blends both common and rare (most recently in the Seychelles I tried a tea made from a fruit I’d never before seen and certainly wouldn’t care to taste again, but am glad of the ‘experience’).
Unfortunately, unlike in the case of tissues, others cannot be counted upon to stock a good herbal tea and I therefore take a selection with me wherever I go. My kitchen cupboard is home to loose and fancy bags galore, but on the go I always take individually-wrapped sachets, usually by: Clipper, Kusmi, Pukka or Jacksons of Piccadilly.