Party essentials may be wildly subjective, but the laws of physics apply to us all, which means that a dazzling-but-diminutive evening bag will never fit what your everyday tote can hold. With holiday parties upon us, we’re looking at four different handbag shapes and breaking down exactly what you can fit inside — so you can get through the season in style (and with your lip gloss and keys in tow!).
What Can You Fit in a Bucket Bag?
The most forgiving of mini styles, a bucket bag or soft satin pouch is an excellent choice for those who like to take a full makeup look on the holiday party circuit. This particular pearl bag is 7 x 5.5 x 3 inches, which means it can comfortably (but snugly) fit an iPhone X, a flat card case, a tin of mints, keys and a few beauty products, too. We love COMPLEXION RESCUE Hydrating Foundation Stick since it can serve as your base makeup and an on-the-go concealer — and is extra hydrating for dry winter skin. You can also tuck in LASHTOPIA Volumizing Mascara, which layers nicely should you decide to amp up your look late night, a MOXIE Plumping Lip Gloss (pictured here in Rebel, a longtime favorite shade that’s in our exclusive Best In Clean Beauty holiday kit), and a small palette, like this Bare Glow On-the-Go bronzer, highlighter and blush palette, also from our limited-edition holiday collection. With a soft shape, you could even add in a hair tie or small clip. Not bad for a party-ready purse.
What Can You Fit in a Long Clutch?
Clutches can be deceiving. Often long and sleek, they seem like they would fit a lot — until you’re packing one to run out the door. This velvet one sounds very generous at 10.75 x 5.25 x 1 inches, but it can’t take much more than an iPhone X, card case, keys, a small pack of gum and a lipstick or two. We’ve maxed out the space here by opting for high-shine, full-coverage lip color (thanks to this GEN NUDE Patent Lip Lacquer from our LIVE. LOVE. LIPS. Holiday Lip Vault) and a tiny tube of LASH DOMINATION volumizing mascara from our 24 Days of Clean Beauty Advent Calendar. Anything else you tuck in this purse risks flying out when digging around for a business card, champagne coupe still in hand.
What Can You Fit in a Baguette Bag?
Don’t be fooled by the petite shape of this small shoulder bag — the soft siding means it’s suitable for carrying a semi-extra holiday look. Aside from keys, card case and phone, you can fit not one but two full-size MOXIE Lip Glosses (from our Good to Gloss limited-edition kit) into this 8 x 5 x 1.5 inch shoulder bag, plus fingertip-friendly BOUNCE & BLUR Blushes in shades Blurred Buff and Coral Cloud (mix them together for a dynamic, custom look), and even a mirrored compact (AKA our favorite ENDLESS GLOW Powder Highlighter) for doing touchups on the subway between fêtes.
What Can You Fit in a Box Clutch?
You might think you’re great at packing things into a clutch — until you fall in love with an acrylic box clutch like this one, which measures just 6.5 x 4.5 x 2 inches. With a purse this little, you’ll really need to prioritize. We recommend your phone and a slim card case (you DO need to pay for things somehow), plus a slim pack of mints and makeup that will make an impact. For the ultimate in party essentials, we love ROUND THE CLOCK Intense Cream-Glide Eyeliner since you can instantly add drama by tight lining with this blackest-black waterproof pencil, and an itsy bitsy limited-edition size of our non-drying GEN NUDE Matte Liquid Lipstick in a bold shade. It’s all you can fit (aside from perhaps a mini nail file or single key), but it’s also all you really need for a fabulous night out.