MA Beauty Expert: How to Pack an Evening Bag

Sunday, December 06, 2015
Donna Macdonald, GoLocalWorcester Beauty Expert

Our Victorian sisters carried daily comforts in a tiny reticule but we 21st century types need mini-suitcases now that we're schlepping cell phones, tablets and a sundry of cords and chargers. But romantic winter date nights and holiday office parties are perfect occasions for paring down to chic evening bags. Here's how to stock one without missing a needed essential:

Easy Lip and Cheek Magic

Instead carrying a full-sized lipstick, swipe a retractable lip brush over your favorite tube of lip color. Hoarding a dab for cheeks will replace a blusher compact as well as for touching-up lips. This alone saves precious real estate in your pretty little purse.


After dancing and socializing, a slim packet of blotting or rice papers will restore your face and eliminate slick grease without interfering with your makeup. Barely bigger than a credit card, these sheaves of paper look like a matchbook and nestle nicely.

Mirror Mirror

Since you won't be carrying a hefty powder compact, try a mini-eyeshadow with a mirror. Choose a pale frost color which can double up as an eyelid crease eliminator and skin highlighter. Put a touch on the brow bone and upper cheeks to reignite your glow. Tender is the night.


You'll be enjoying yourself too much to fuss with hair. Tuck an inexpensive small comb into your bag for tidying up. It's all you will need. Make it colorful so your fingertips can find it easily.

Mom's Hanky

Instead of a swaddled bunch of tissues, see if Mom has a sweet vintage handkerchief instead. They can also be found in many local antique shops. Easy chic with a romantic heart.


Decant your favorite perfume into a small atomizer. Nordstrom has these on hand at the perfume counter for less than ten dollars. Or save the samples department stores hand out when a new fragrance is launched. These tiny specimens are perfect for a narrow evening clutch and are more than enough for a dreamy fragrant night.

Clutches, Minaudieres, Pouches...Oh My!

Lovely evening bags come in all shapes and are some of the most inventive and beautiful handbags you will ever see. They almost never go out of style so if you want to invest in a hard-shelled jeweled minaudiere, go ahead. Someday, your granddaughter will thank you for it.

This season, the charming boutique, Lola, has lots of unusual evening bags designed in mixed media. For modern appeal, their famed Whiting Davis New/Contempo line is sleek with metal fabrication. Perfectly  elegant with black velvety tops.  Another choice is the Le Regale Royale Crest hand-beaded evening clutch in gorgeous sapphire, with or without a twisted strap. 120 N. Main St., Providence

Donna Macdonald is a freelance writer who enjoys covering topics of interest to women, especially fragrance, style, beauty. She has also written marketing material for a women's book that hit the New York Times Bestseller list and netted her an up close and personal discussion on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Donna currently writes her own personal blog,, where she also writes about issues close to a woman's heart. Donna believes that when a woman finds beauty in the world, she will find beauty in herself.

  • Ntrigue Salon

    Ntrigue Salon

    277 Shrewsbury St., Worcester, MA

    Ntrigue specializes in curly hair cuts and uses Ouidad products to keep your locks tame when you head out for the night. 

    Photo: Ntrigue Salon

  • Orange Salon

    Orange Salon

    70 Worcester-Providence Tpke., Millbury, MA

    A trip to Orange Salon in Millbury means you will receive a complimentary signature scalp massage, specific hair and scalp treatment, hand and arm massage, and makeup touch up with every beauty service. 

    Photo: Orange Salon

  • 126 Post Salon Spa

    126 Post Salon Spa

    126 June St., Worcester, MA

    126 Post Salon Spa offers services unique to a salon including: spray tanning and Zoom 2 teeth whitening to get you weekend ready.

  • Shi-Shi's Lounge

    Shi - Shi's Lounge

    376 Chandler St., Worcester, MA

    Shi-Shi's is Worcester's "first multi-textural salon" specializing in a "Make Me Over" chemical texturizing service. They also offer an acai deep conditioning masque and a Brazillian blowout smoothing treatment to tame any type of hair.

  • Salon Exquisite

    Salon Exquisite

    395 Chandler St Worcester, MA

    Salon Exquisite provides an hour-long "Exquisitely Educated Make-up" lesson that comes with a professional application for you to wear out to dinner or dancing. 

  • Tu Moda

    Tu Moda

    574 Pleasant St., Worcester, MA

    Don't have enough time to be pampered all afternoon? Tu Moda's express spa facials only take about 20 minutes! Choose from Dermalogica's "Eye Rescue" treatment or "Flash Exfoliation" for a quick, effective way to revitalize your skin. 

  • Capelli Avanti Salon

    Capelli Avanti Salon

    104 Grove Street, Worcester, MA

    Capelli Avanti Salon has Goldwell certified colorists and hot oil manicures that will allows you to add some color to your hair and digits before you head out this weekend. 

  • Bellissimo European Day Spa

    Bellissimo European Day Spa

    372 Chandler St., Worcester, MA

    Get ready for a night on the town with a friend...or two with Belissimo's "Girls Night Out" group service which offers a signature manicure and pedicure for each member of your party.

  • Top Shop Salon & Day Spa

    Top Shop Salon & Day Spa

    1099 Pleasant St., Worcester, MA

    Top Shop offers a special "Fassage" which is a light back, foot, and hand massage accompanied by a custom facial - how relaxing!

Delivered Free Every
Day to Your Inbox