The beginning of the academic year is always a hectic time for me. I’m trying to catch up on meetings, create a new editorial calendar, figure out my schedule for the upcoming New York Fashion Week, and sign up for some educational events for the season. While my fast-paced schedule requires lots of planning and on-the-go adjustments, there are a few things that help me feel sane during the busiest days of my life. Today I’m collaborating with Gilt and Dole Dippers to share with you my chic on-the-go essentials that help me stay sharp and organized while pursuing my busy girl life. Before we dive in, don’t forget to check out Gilt x Dole Dippers giveaway for your chance to win a $500 Gilt gift card and a shopping consultation!
#1: Little Black Dress
It might sound trivial, but it’s so true: a little black dress is so versatile and chic that it’s appropriate for any occasion, from a business meeting to an event and a night out. While there are many variations of how your favorite LBD could look, recently I’ve been all about little black lace dresses. Ever since I found this Marissa Webb dress, it’s become my go-to look for days when I have too much going on. I love the versatility this dress provides as it can literally take me from a breakfast meeting to a dinner with my friends. If you happen to be looking for a similar dress, check out Gilt’s selection of LBDs. There are so many cute options to choose from!
Chic Favorites: Bailey 44 Cold Shoulder Sheath Dress, Alice + Olivia Taya Lace Top Fit And Flare Dress, Lucca Couture Lace Up Shift Dress, The Letter Asymmetrical Tier Flounce Hem Dress, Elorie Strapless Striped Fit And Flare Dress, 1st sight V-Neck Wrap Dress.
I always have a pair of cute sunglasses on me because this accessory momentarily adds a hint of chic to your look, while protecting the sensitive under-eye area from the sun. Having lived in New York City for a while, I’ve learned that local weather is so unpredictable that you’ll never know when you’ll need your sunnies. With this in mind, I always make sure to have one of my favorite pairs of sunglasses on me. Lately, my favorite designs have all been about cat eye shapes—like these new affordable sunnies by Le Specs. I purchased them in black and am considering updating my collection with a pink version too.
#3: Comfy Shoes
While stilettos rule my evening look, I prefer a more comfortable wedge for busy days in the City. To be honest, it’s my latest style habit. I’ve always tried to wear heels all day long and just lately realized how comfortable and stylish wedge shoes can be. Ever since I purchased these lace up sandals by Vince Camuto, I’ve noticed that my feet don’t feel that tired at night if I’ve worn them as opposed to my typical pumps. Having said this, I’m planning on expanding my wedge collection. There’s nothing that compares with them in terms of comfort!
#4: Spacious Bag
I’m not joking when I say that my entire life fits into my spacious fringe tote by DVF. This ultimate big city bag holds anything from my laptop and camera to notebooks, makeup, and any miscellaneous shopping finds. While I try my best not to put too much stuff in my purse, oftentimes my bag doubles in weight by night from being filled with all my on-the-go shopping finds. I guess it’s a habit that it’s difficult to change so I have to adapt my bag design to it. Those days, I only look for spacious bags for my busy everyday adventures.
#5: Healthy Snack
Have you ever heard the word ‘hangry’? That’s what happens to me when I don’t have time to eat during the day. My energy level is low, I become cranky and unproductive, and I don’t feel like an overachiever at all. To prevent this, I always make sure to have a yummy, healthy snack on me. While a handful of nuts or a protein bar will do, I think the most satisfying snacks are those that contain chocolate—specifically, delicious vegan dark chocolate, which is such a rare bird on the healthy snack market. You probably remember multiple rants on my social media and blog where I talk about trying to find a yummy vegan chocolate. My prayers have finally been heard: Dole Dippers are my newly explored favorite snacks. I mean, how could you beat a vegan chocolate-covered fruit that is conveniently packaged in under 100 calorie packs? In my book, Dole Dippers are essential to satisfy my chocolate cravings in a healthy way—and keep me from getting ‘hangry.’
#6: Business Cards
While many New Yorkers consider a piece of paper with your information on it obsolete, I’m a strong believer in business cards. A beautifully designed card is not only an essential chic accessory for a businesswoman, it’s still a networking necessity even in our technology-driven world. I can’t recall how many times I’ve followed someone on Instagram or Snapchat and then completely forgotten to follow up with that person. When you have a piece of paper in your hands with a person’s email address and phone number, it serves as a reminder and preserves your newly launched relationships.
#7: Notebook + #8: Calendar
Remember the book and movie, The Devil Wears Prada? One of the essentials the “Devil” played by Meryl Streep, editor of the magazine where Anne Hathaway’s character was working, always carried with her was The Book where she outlined every page of the upcoming issue. Being a blogger, I don’t need to go that fancy with my content planning, but I do have my notebook and a paper calendar on me at all times. Usually, I write down any ideas, meeting notes, or to-do lists in my notebook prior to transferring them into an electronic format. I also have an editorial calendar written in a student agenda so I know my exact posting schedule at all times and have easy access to it when I’m on the phone. I don’t know why, but this old-school handwritten system allows me to be consistent with my planning and be a more productive person.
#9: iPhone Charger
This is actually not my essential, but something Ben makes sure I always have on me. I don’t know why, but my phone is constantly running out of “juice” and I always forget to bring a charger. This portable charging station makes all the difference as I can still use my phone while it’s charging. Being an avid social media user, I can’t even begin to explain how essential this device is for me when I don’t have the time to sit down and give my phone battery a break.
#10: Selfie Light
This essential is only relevant to people who work in social media or who love to take selfies only, but I decided to include it anyway, because ever since I ordered this ring light it has become an important everyday accessory. The light looks like a miniature version of a ring light that you clip on your phone to create better-quality photos and videos. The light also works for creating Snapchat stories, shooting flatlays and even finding things in your bag in case you need to!
#11: Red Lipstick
It might seem a bit random to begin my essentials list with a lipstick, but I really can’t imagine my life without it. A perfect shade of red lipstick is my absolute favorite beauty staple, as it allows me to transform my look within seconds and bring color to even the most tired version of myself. You might be surprised to learn that this luxurious creation by Victor dE Souza Beauty I modeled for is actually a multi-purpose tool: if I forget my makeup bag at home, I use this beauty weapon as a blush or even as an edgy eyeshadow. That’s right: I have a red lipstick in all my bags in case of a beauty emergency of any kind!
I don’t like carrying an entire bag of makeup with me as it quickly becomes too heavy to handle. Instead, I limit myself to just a few touch-up products that easily camouflage any skin imperfections and conceal the under-the-eye situation by creating an effect of “sleeping enough.” My current favorite concealer to use on the go is this new multi-purpose concealing product by Too Faced that perfectly matches my skin tone and helps to create an “airbrushed effect” over any skin imperfections.
This perfectly sized bottle of perfume by ScentBird contains one of my favorite scents in the world, Paco Rabanne Ultraviolet. This fragrance was born when I was a teenager living in Russia and obsessing about the American fashion and beauty world. Needless to say, in my mind, this deep, beautiful aroma will always be a synonym for luxury and elegance. Having said this, it’s important for me to have this nostalgic scent in my purse at all times so I can refresh it whenever it’s needed.
#14: Blotting Papers
I’ve mentioned many times on my blog that my favorite blotting papers are regular Starbucks napkins, but lately, my life is so busy that sometimes I don’t even have time to search for and stop by a coffee place during the day. With this in mind, I recently started experimenting with regular blotting papers, and these ones by Pretie are my current favorites. They’re very affordable, not fragranced, and really do a great job removing the excess oil from my T-zone.
#15: Nail File
While the look of chipped nail polish doesn’t aesthetically please me, to be quite honest, I can tolerate it. However, whenever my nail breaks, I can’t stop picking at it and become very irritated by how it looks. While I do like to carry a nail polish removing pad and a nail file in my bag at all times, if we are talking about just the essentials, that would be a nail file.
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I hope you enjoyed reading about my fashion, beauty, and lifestyle essentials that allow me to feel great on the go. I look forward to hearing about your favorite things to always have on you. Also, just a reminder to check out the little black dress section on the Gilt website and enter the Gilt x Dole Dippers giveaway. Love you guys!
OUTFIT DETAILS: Marissa Webb Reagan Dress // Le Specs Sunglasses
Aqua Choker Necklace // DVF Voyage Fringe Tote (sold out; similar)
BaubleBar Hanalei Drop Earrings // BaubleBar Hanalei Ring (sold out; similar)
Photos by Mani Andreone
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Dole Foods. All opinions are my own.