Bag of Tricks Bag of Tricks

Bag of Tricks: How My Purse Saves the Day

Satchel. Crossbody. Baguette. Tote. Hobo. Messenger. Bucket. Bowler. Clutch. Whichever style it is - whichever color, fabric, or hardware selected - a woman's purse is a tool that prepares her to take life by the horns. You see, as a Coco chick, each day you step out the house should be treated as an adventure; you simply never know what you're gonna get! Sure, there are some constants that we can count on. You know - work, school, volunteering, gym - the usuals. But every moment that leads to those destinations and every interval in between is a chance to happen upon something new and exciting, so you've always gotta be prepared. A superhero never flies off without his or her cape do they? Nope. So I, being the self-proclaimed super woman that I aim to be, am never without my bag of tricks.

At first glance, some may see the purse as a simple accessory; one of those girly things that we just have, just 'cause. Others view it as a bag of bricks, so to speak, weighty and overflowing with too much of everything; far more than what any one person should require on any one day. Or so they say. Surely men would consider it the "black hole", for many an item that once fell down into its cracks never saw the light of day again - and that I can't deny. But it's so much more than all of these things combined, you see. It's my home away from home, and within each of its rooms can be found the building blocks of my daily living.

It's My Office:

I'm never without the tools needed to get my work done, even when on the go. My smartphone keeps me connected via web, email, and apps, and my back-up charger ensures that I'm always juiced up! A superhero should never utter the words: "I've only got one bar left!" Things happen, sure, but when gadgets fade to black, there's no telling what monumental occurrences can be missed. When plans of action need to be mapped out more extensively, my bag holds my notepad, favorite pen, and highlighter for emphasis. And when meeting new people on the fly, and making connections that could lead to possible ventures, it stores my cards. Don't ever forget your cards - they leave a lasting impression.

It's My Vanity:

Sometimes you have to run out the house in a flash, but please believe my bag holds the items necessary to put my best face forward! No need to pack my entire makeup kit - simply the essentials. Pressed powder, mascara, lipstick and a gloss, perhaps a neutral shadow palette. To match the look, a scent is key. My atomizer has just enough fruity-floral spritzes to awaken the senses. And don't forget about the hand cream! One cannot save the day with an ashy patch between the thumb and pointer finger. No. Dice.

It's My Vending Machine:

Going, going, going - sometimes you just can't stop. But you have to give your body the fuel it needs to get the job done. With that in mind, I keep a light snack and drink at arm's reach. Bottle of water (or VitaminWater "XXX" - yum!), granola bar, piece of fresh fruit… When I've had the opportunity to actually sit down and enjoy a meal, it's never without gum or mints; nobody needs to know that you like extra onions on your turkey burger. Fail.

It's My First-Aid Kit:

No, I'm not a doctor, but my bag of tricks has my health in mind. Wet wipes and hand sanitizer are a must with all the touching that goes down in the city: dirty money (no Diddy), poles on the subway train, door knobs - can you imagine!? Then, when I feel a slight sniffle coming on, it has my Kleenex, and even better - packets of Emergen-C to ward off whatever's in the air. You can't save the day with a cold, and of all the super powers I have, calling-out is not one that I like to use. *A-choo!*

It's My ATM:

Cash. Credit. Debit. A little bit of each - just in case. I also keep my good 'ol rewards card on standby. Those Starbucks, Walgreens, and DSW points add up - you know! Be sure to always have an emergency card stashed deep down within the bag of tricks, as well. NO, a caramel frappuccino does not count as an emergency (not most days, at least. There are always exceptions to the rule). But say your Wolford tights catch a snag on the way to a major networking event? You should always have the means to make a quick stop on the go. H&M, anyone?!

It's My Walk-In Closet:

I'm almost always able to transform my look throughout the day, because my bag is a mini-wardrobe. When my door-knocker hoops aren't appropriate for the dinner I just got invited to, my Kate Spade studs are tucked away in the wallet. When I leave out knowing that these 5 inch heels are only gonna be good for about 5 (ok, maybe 3) hours, flats are on standby. And when the sun decides to shine it's gorgeous rays directly into my pupils? Or even better, when I wanna hide from creepy men on the streets? Sunglasses on deck, shawty. Won't catch me slippin'.

It's My Entertainment:

A wait is never an issue when I'm with my bag of tricks, because it always has the tools necessary to keep me entertained. Most days, I can barely stand to take my headphones out of my ears, because my iPod knows my heart! That shady little gadget, I tell ya. Even when on shuffle, it knows all the right songs to play at all the right times. When I'm in need of inspiration, or simply want to have a quick read, a book or magazine is there at my fingertips. Once I get to flapping pages over, there's no stopping.

And so you see, my purse is so much more than a weighty piece of luggage that I tote around for mere looks. If I were an artist, I would call it my palette, for it holds all the "colors" that allow me to paint the perfect picture on life's daily canvas. Let's see what today brings!

What's in Your Bag of Tricks???

- Chelsea Smith

From the Web

More on Vibe

SZA Calls For Peace While Receiving 'Rule Breaker' Award At Billboard Women In Music

SZA called for peace and understanding at Billboard's Women In Music event Thursday (Dec. 6).

During her speech for the Rule Breaker award, singer-songwriter recalled today's climate, asking her peers and those watching at home for a little bit of peace.

"I'm sorry for the state of the world honestly, for everybody in this room and I pray that all of us just get through it a little bit easier and just try not to lash out at each other," she said.

The recurring theme of unity among women was also heard on the carpet from artists like Tierra Whack. In addition to her message of love, the "Broken Clocks" singer also thanked her TDE family for rocking with her creative process.

"I'm just so thankful for everybody having patience with me, " she said. Shouting out the key members of her family in attendance, the TDE affiliate gave praise to her mother, father, and grandma. In this brief speech centered around the artist's growth Solána Imani Rowe, known more commonly as her stage name, Rowe everyone for their trust in her.

"I'm grateful for everybody taking the time to have the patience to watch someone grow, it is painful and sometimes exciting but mostly boring. And I am thankful for Top (Top Dawg Entertainment's Anthony Tiffith) for not dropping me from that label. For Peter, who I change my ideas every day and he be like okay I like this," she continued.

Thanking the likes of musical powerhouses like Alicia Keys and Whack, "The Weekend" singer offered her appreciation and condolences to Ariana Grande.

Watch SZA accept the Rule Breaker award above.

READ MORE: Anderson .Paak, Tierra Whack And More Praise Female Artists At 2018 Billboard Women In Music

Continue Reading

Beyoncé, Rihanna, And J. Lo Make Forbes’ Highest-Paid Women In Music List

As November comes to a close, many publications will be crafting their year-end lists for all things pop culture. Forbes released a ranking of the world's highest-paid women in music on Monday (Nov. 19), with Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, and Rihanna holding it down for women of color.

Beyoncé comes in at No. 3 on the list with an earning of $60 million as she made most of her money through her historical Coachella performance, the joint album with husband JAY-Z, Everything is Love, and the Carters' On The Run II Tour in support of its release.

Jennifer Lopez made No. 6 for earnings tallying of over $47 million thanks to her lucrative Las Vegas residency, endorsements, and shows including World of Dance where she serves as a judge.

Rihanna follows behind the "Love Don't Cost A Thing" diva at No. 7 with earnings of over $37.5 million. Although she hasn't toured since 2016—thanks to her cosmetics and lingerie lines, Fenty Beauty and Savage Lingerie—the Bajan pop star has been keeping herself busy.

Forbes' annual list (which factors in pretax earnings from June 1, 2017, through June 1, 2018) has placed Katy Perry at the top with over $83 million in profits due to her gig as an American Idol judge and her 80-date Witness: The Tour that brought in an estimated $1 million per night.

Scroll down to see Forbes' full list below.

Katy Perry ($83 million) Taylor Swift ($80 million) Beyoncé ($60 million) P!nk ($52 million) Lady Gaga ($50 million) Jennifer Lopez ($47 million) Rihanna ($37.5 million) Helene Fischer ($32 million) Celine Dion ($31 million) Britney Spears ($30 million)


READ MORE: Nas Makes Forbes’ List Of ‘Hip-Hop Cash Kings’ For The First Time

Continue Reading

Kelly Rowland Hops In Her Bag With New Single "Kelly"

Kelly Rowland has it all and isn't afraid to brag about it on her new single, "Kelly."

Released Thursday (Nov. 22), the singer goes the clubby, confident route while rightfully dropping her attributes like her relationship with God, smoldering looks (a.k.a the drip) among other things. With "Kelly" being the first single since her 2013's Talk a Good Game, the singer comes out swinging, reminding everyone of her power in the game.

The mother of one has promised that her new tunes will be edgier and most honest than her past work that included vulnerable tracks like "Dirty Laundry" and massive hits like "Motivation" and "Commander." Speaking with Vogue over the summer, Ms. Kelly disclosed a few details behind the album.

“It’s about love, loss, and gain and whether it’s professional or with family or whatever, it’s just honest," she said. "I had no choice but to be honest and authentic with this record: it’s about friendship and marriage.”

She also explained a drop in confidence caused her hiatus. “I was thinking about pulling back from recording, but I couldn’t help myself: I still wanted to record. I still felt like I was missing something. The third year just came and left so fast. The fourth year I said: ‘I have to get to work’ and now I’m ready to release some music! I felt like I wasted so much time, and it was my husband who actually called me out on it. He said: ‘Babe, as great as those records were, I think you were nervous, you got gun-shy’, and when he said that it was like boom, a gong went off.”

Glad to have you back, Ms. Kelly. Listen to the eponymous record up top.

READ MORE: Kelly Rowland Debuts Smoke x Mirrors Eyewear Collection At Barneys New York

Continue Reading

Top Stories