10 Essentials To Get You Through Any Holiday Party

Loading up a clutch for a night out also means packing for possibilities. We have to prepare for everything: running into an old flame, candid snaps, and ensuring our makeup stays on point through it all. However, there’s a fine line between the nice-to-have items (say, our favorite perfume) and the must-haves (like a phone charger) that could end up adding 10 pounds of stuff to our already-taxed shoulders. The decision-making shouldn't be that hard, but our consistently late appearances at holiday parties might seem to indicate otherwise.

So, to help you figure out what should make the cut, we culled the 10 most essential items to have on hand for a night of what-ifs. Think convenient makeup remover swabs for migrating mascara and powerful mints for mistletoe kisses. Not only will these picks solve any holiday party-mergency, they're also small enough to fit in your bag and still leave enough room for your phone. So that perfume will have to stay relegated to the top of your dresser, but with an XL size of Viva La Juicy — Grande Edition, a few spritzes before every event will last you through the night — and well into next year.

Now the only thing left to figure out is which shoes to pair with that clutch.
1 of 11
IDs, credit cards, and cash either get buried at the bottom or fall out of our bags entirely while we look for something else. Save yourself the search-and-rescue mission with a sleek and slim wallet. This one from Clare V. is minimal in construction but maximal in aesthetic — the best of both worlds.
2 of 11
A multipurpose compact is great for a small bag when you need a quick touch-up. This one from Too Cool For School stocks BB cream, concealer, highlighter, and blush, so all your bases are covered — literally. Topped with a puff applicator and mirror, it's got everything you need to refresh your look without ever leaving the dance floor.
3 of 11
Pack a few pretty clips to sweep up sweaty strands, or do a quick hair change if you're hitting up a second party. Unlike your basic bobby pins, these are meant to be seen. Lilac adds a sweet, colorful touch, while the glitter amps up your holiday sparkle.
4 of 11
So your lipstick has switched camps from your lips to the rim of your Champagne flute — and you don't want to switch locations from the bar to the bathroom. This mirrored lip palette from Topshop gives you not one but two options for reapplication, without needing to fight your way to the restroom. Just use your fingertip to dab on a creamy color of your choice, and pick up another glass. Cheers!
5 of 11
These tiny cotton swabs come pre-loaded with makeup remover, so you can wipe away migrating mascara or eyeliner without surrendering your spot in the photo booth line. All you have to do is snap the side of the swab marked with a blue line to release liquid into the other end. Then, just sweep over any areas that need a touch-up and get back to perfecting your pose.
6 of 11
For a literal power boost after all your squad pics and double-taps, juice up your phone with this portable charger. It's small enough to slip in your bag, yet its trendy marble design will give you major accessories cred. Now you'll have enough battery life to snap 'til the sun comes up.
7 of 11
Real talk: Sometimes things just move on the dance floor (we’re talking beyond the Nae Nae). In these surprise cases, double-sided stickers can suddenly become a lifesaver. Keep a few of these stocked in your bag for any dance-related mishaps, and get back to doing the Whip.
8 of 11
These oil-blotting sheets make all the difference between a dewy glow and a sweaty sheen. They soak up excess oil without smudging your makeup, and the green tea extract gives your skin a quick hit of antioxidants. Considering that just one package holds 100 sheets (!), it's shockingly slim enough to take up minimal real estate in your bag.
9 of 11
Prep for unexpected moments underneath the mistletoe with powerful mints, like these from C.O. Bigelow. The cute, vintage-inspired tin can lasts way beyond the mints themselves, doubling as storage for easily lost items, like hair clips.
10 of 11
Between tearing up the dance floor and the surrounding heat of a large crowd, sweat and B.O. are inevitable. We'll admit that a single-use deodorant wipe isn't the sexiest thing to stash in your bag, but it's probably among the most important. Hey, you only look as good as you feel.
11 of 11