The best on-the-go products, according to busy fashion people – Fashion Journal

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The essentials.

I like to see myself as an organised person. I religiously plan events, appointments and meetings weeks in advance, and my inherent control-freak side takes over more often than not. But with returning to the office this year – which for me means a three-hour return commute – I’ve found myself a little more strapped for time than is ideal.

It’s taken some getting used to, but I’m finally in the habit of keeping my bags (work tote, medium errands handbag and a small purse for going out) stocked with all of the essentials so I’m never underprepared.


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I now always have on hand: Too Faced Lip Injection gloss, a rotation of Carmex, Ultra Violette or Burt’s Bees lip balms, emergency pads (thanks PCOS for the surprise period every two to five months), concealer, that viral Revlon volcanic stone roller, a claw clip, sunglasses, a face mask, hand sanitiser, Ultra Violette’s Mini Lean Screen, and ibuprofen (because hot girls get headaches, especially when forgetting to drink water all day – I don’t condone this). 

Another thing that has taken me (and my bank account) by surprise, is the amount of coffee I buy every time I’m in the office. Waking up at 6am has proven hard when I’m accustomed to sleeping until 8.30am when working from home, or 10am on weekends. So on a commuting day, I’ve usually purchased at least three coffees before the day is out. 

Luckily for busy, caffeine-fuelled people like myself, Australian brand Sttoke has a range of sleek, ceramic cups ready to take on the go. And the best part? They’re shatter and leakproof. This is a big highlight for me, as I’ve lost many reusable glass coffee cups to a bumpy commute. Sttoke cups come in an array of luxe, metallic colours with the recent addition of a glossy, bright yellow in a granite finish, and are double insulated to keep your beverage hot for up to three hours, or cold for up to six. 

Eager to find the creme de la crop of products to assist an on-the-go lifestyle, I reached out to some other busy fashion people to see what they keep on hand when they’re in a pinch. 

Genevieve Phelan, freelance writer and publicist

I have this quasi-gypsy habit of throwing way too many things into one bag and hoping for the best on any given day of societal outings. This is my first year consulting four days a week and therefore only being in an office on Wednesdays. But I’m also living between two homes (my mum’s and my boyfriend’s), sometimes three if we’re factoring in a midweek crash at my girlfriends’ sharehouses. It means space is limited and I need all my essentials refined to a tee. When I pack, I’m like, okay, let’s run through the mental default checklist.

A biggie is fragrance, because who doesn’t want to smell delicious all the time? Odesse makes a killer compact solid perfume for no leaking and something you’ll never really run out of. I also adore Roemy‘s mini perfumes (especially Forest for a Santal dupe) for that throw-and-go lifestyle. Beauty-wise, I’m all about Kosas’ Lip Oil to serve colour, moisture and gloss all in one swipe. Oh, and a mini Nars Climax Mascara is forever in tow.

Then an underrated must is a breath spray. Gem do a goodie that fixes me up after a coffee, or late in the arvo before meeting friends (i.e. when you don’t have access to a full sink and water and toothbrush scenario). At the risk of rambling on, just one more must! I’d highly recommend Moxie’s tampons because they come with a portable tin that saves my ass every time I forget that it is THE Tuesday of my period’s return.

@genevieve.phelan

Kalaurie Karl-Crooks, founder of womenswear label Kalaurie

I am an Aesop girl. I always have their Protective Lip Balm and the Resurrection Hand Cream in my bag. I work with my hands all day long and they really dry out from sewing & touching fabrics. Hand cream is a must for looking after my precious hands. My bag also contains:

  • A small handmade cotton grocery bag. You never know when you need an extra bag when you’re out and about. Especially if I happen to go into a fabric store or visit a trims supplier! 
  • My reusable coffee cup. ESSENTIAL for grabbing a coffee on the run and not feeling like an asshole for getting a takeaway cup! 
  • A small A5 notebook and black pen. Inspiration comes in unlikely places.

@_kalaurie_

Giulia Brugliera, FJ’s managing editor

My colleagues know how busy my mornings are. I’m up at 5am each day to squeeze in training (for my mental health) and time walking the dog, before I start rampaging around the home to get ready for work in the short 20 minutes I have left. Fuelling this mania is about three coffees before I’ve even stepped foot in the office.

I rely very heavily on my reusable cup each morning, stretching it across both barista-made coffees and whatever my at-home machine spits out. It sounds small, but it’s honestly made the biggest impact on my time in the mornings – I’m more inclined to refill at home than pace impatiently at the coffee shop, wondering why on earth this many other people would also want a coffee before 9am. I’ve been through many, and my favourite right now is from Sttoke. It’s one of few in my collection that hasn’t leaked on my laptop, spilled on my clothes or cracked in my bag, plus it’s always nice to support an Australian company. I currently have the sleek gunmetal grey on rotation, but am eyeing off the new granite yellow to add to my collection.  

@giuliabrugliera

Sabrina Leina, fashion stylist

Nothing hides tired eyes like a dramatic wing. I carry my liquid eyeliner everywhere because I can never anticipate whether I’ll need to disguise my no-sleep, stressed out, or overworked face. Luckily over the years, I’ve had ample practise applying it with rapid speed in unlikely situations; on packed trains, in the line for a club, on street corners before a job interview… is this a giveaway that I’m always in a rush or late?

Being a stylist, there is an expectation that you are dressed to work and work physically hard. I’m not one to dress for comfort, and my one pair of sneakers are reserved strictly for outdoor activities. However, I do enjoy indulging in the juxtaposition of a sloppy, drab outfit, elevated with a dramatic eye to give an impression that the outfit is considered and intentional rather than the only clean clothes left in my wardrobe. 

@_sabrinaleina

Christina Karras, freelance writer and editor

People who know me, know I’m somehow always running from one thing to the next, so I’ve learnt to carry a million things in my bag for any occasion. My work bag is a huge black nylon tote I bought from Radical Yes when I first started working in journalism, it’s a bit of a modern-day Mary Poppins situation! I’m a big fan of a cute and practical bag with room for everything.

In it, I always keep my Fluff Bronzing Powder and matching kabuki brush to bring some colour back to my face before an after-work dinner, and a Valet Studio claw hair clip for when I inevitably get sick of my hair being in my face. And I never leave the house without a huge water bottle.

To shop the Sttoke range, head here.

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