The Essentials ~ 10 Items Every City Girl Should Have in her Bag

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Every day, our brains swirl around as fast as it takes to stir the sugar into your morning cup of coffee. What will I do, what will inspire me, what’s cool this week? These are the burning  thoughts of most Manhattanites and city folk, when not otherwise filled with questions like, How will I finish that work deadline by tomorrow? Or, how will I survive this week?

As Fashion Week ends, the fashion and blogging communities go back to their regularly scheduled lives, after having spent a week in what feels like Survivor: Lincoln Center. There’s been good times and bad. There’s the things that helped everyone get through it, and the items we wished we had when that hem came undone, blister made it’s debut, or nails needed a touch up.

As a native New Yorker, and current Manhattanite, I know just how necessary it is to have those aforementioned things at a moments notice, with or without fashion week as a backdrop. In this city of millions we all run around every day. We rush to subways and buses clicking our heels on the sidewalk, dragging our bodies along all day until we collapse into bed, just to do it again tomorrow. And yet, this is how the city thrives, and us within it.

As constant and necessary as that daily grind is, so is the city that envelops us. Like notes to a symphony, we’re synonymous with each other, all coming together to create wonderful masterpieces each and every day. And surrounding us are the composers; the people, places and institutions that help to keep that flow. For me, that composer is Duane Reade. It assists us with our problems, can provide solutions, and helps get us through our day with the necessary essentials, ensuring that we don’t fall flat.

As Duane Reade celebrates it’s 1 million twitter followers, it’s a testament to just how much they really do support us, the people of this great city. And as long as they keep providing the necessary essentials, we’ll continue to make music together. Even if no one can hear it over all the afternoon gridlock…

Below are the top ten essentials that every female should keep in their bags to survive the week.

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1. Roll up flats from Kushyfoot. They’re light, compact, and under $10. Because I’m not a spring chicken anymore, and heels are no longer possible in transit. Also come in handy after some heavy dancing. Dance partner not included.

duane-reade-essentials-7 #SHOP

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2. Bandaids. The fall season is upon us, which means new shoes and usually where you find new shoes, you will find a blister. They will tell you they’re only there to help you break your new purchase in, but beware, these guys are not to be trusted.

3. All in 1 toothpaste on the go kit. Hey, no judgements here, I don’t care why you only used your finger to brush your teeth this morning. But I love throwing this little 3-in-1 kit into my bag, just in case I need to freshen up after that everything bagel. Much like the lottery, you never know…

4. Oil of Olay CC cream. CC cream is everywhere these days, and so easy to throw in your bag. Why? Because we all know that the way we look in the morning, is not the way we look at the end of a work day. At least, with this in our bag, we can give ourselves a little boost before we move onto the next dinner or event.

5. Vitamins. I am obsessed with the Finest Nutrition brand at Duane Reade, and I will admit  it’s not necessarily because of their health benefits, but more because the little iridescent pearls are just so damn pretty.

6. Stain Remover. Because unlike what I’ve failed to realize in the past, using your stain removing pen on a sweater that you forgot about 2 months ago is not exactly a proactive solution. What is? Carrying the Nice! brand instant stain remover on the go.

7. Hollywood Fashion Tape. This is a MUST HAVE for your handbag every single day. It has saved outdoor catastrophes countless times over, and I have now begun carrying it with me everywhere. Essentially a tape gun dispenser, it fixes hems, helps to hide rogue bra straps, helps keep wrap shirts closed, and much more. I gawked at this, at first. Until I realized its magical powers.

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8. Nail Polish, or Nail Decals. In a city where we’re whisked away at a moments notice, from the office to out on the town, and the option of a mani/pedi is not always viable, one should always carry a spare. If a self mani in a taxi isn’t quite your thing, try nail decals. They apply in about ten minutes, and can last up to 2 weeks. And they don’t talk about you in another language.

#DR1MM #Shop Prevail nail polish in Meet me at the Moma, and Sally Hansen nail decals

9.  Something to Snack on. If, unlike me, you don’t carry around a bag the size of your apartment, then go for a smaller bag, or bar of something.

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10.  Water. Just like the island of Manhattan, we are all surrounded by water. I was never a big water drinking; sometimes struggling to make my 10 cups a day they say we need. But ever since I made a habit of carrying a small one in my bag, (Nice! water is only 99 cents), its made it less of a chore, and more of a reflex.

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#DR1MM #Shop #philliplimfortarget handbag, Phillip Lim for target.

All 10 above items are available at Duane Reade stores throughout New York City.

For more on this story and the products, check out my Google Plus post here

All Photography by John Turck

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