Musing with Manouska: What’s in your bag?

There are just a few key items I can’t leave the house without. It doesn’t matter if I’m sporting a medium-size clutch, purse or an oversized duffle bag — these are my essentials.

Liz Claiborne purse: Much roomier than it looks, this purse is a delicious shade of blue that adds an extra pop to my bag collection. It goes great with a relaxed sporty look, and Liz’s signature geometric print also pairs well with any nautical inspired look.

Shades: My eyes aren’t the biggest fans of bright lights, so I shade them with stylish, cheetah-print sunglasses. They’re essential for people-watching and enjoying the great outdoors.

Moleskines: I’m in love my deliciously bright, soft-covered Moleskine journals. Whether I’d like to be or not, I’m always deep in thought and musing over something. Perfect for jotting down notes, inspirational quotes and theories — whatever you’re musing about at the moment.

Dance First. Think Later.: When I’m feeling down or when I need a bit of witty advice, Dance First. Think Later. reminds me to do just that. Filled with 618 rules to live by from great philosophers, writers, poets, politicians, musicians and TV hosts, there’s a bit of something in here for almost anything life throws your way.

Lip moisturizers: Just one lip moisturizer isn’t enough, obviously, so I must have a steady supply. Carmex is for everyday application and my Lancôme Juicy tube is nice for a tint of color. And I always carry my Estee Lauder Pure Color Long Lasting lip color pallet just in case an event or change of attire calls for a festive lip color.

Shea butter: I carry a small slab of shea butter that I melted down and put in an old body butter container. It works perfectly as a lip, hair and body moisturizer — a convenient 3-in-1!

iPod Touch: My portable tunes supplier takes me on whatever musical journey I’d like. Currently on repeat: “Hey” by KING, “Calypso Blues Remix” by Theophilus London and “Climax” by Usher

Sally Hansen and a nail filer: Sally Hansen’s Hard As Nails base coat literally leaves my nails, well, hard as nails. With key strengthening ingredients like nylon and retinol, it gives my nails added protection against whatever my hands and nails may endure each day. I also use it as a top coat to give my favorite nail colors added shine. My nail filer keeps me prepared for any breakage that Sally can’t protect me from, wherever I am!

Student ID: You can’t enter any residence hall, swipe for any meal points or Lion Cash or enjoy the many perks and student activities Penn State has to offer without this little piece of plastic. I make sure to carry it everywhere to be sure I take advantage of everything and anything this gigantic university has to offer.

Loose change: My final essential item is a small and nifty change purse I found while thrift shopping. I love the colorful print, and it’s compact yet still roomy enough for all my change, bills and cards.

Photo illustration by Yuting Zhang

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