One of my favorite features in my fashion magazines has always been the one that highlights what celebrities are carrying in their bags on a daily basis. Call me curious, but I love to know what other people “can’t live without,” especially when it comes to beauty products. With that in mind, I decided to ask some cool and fashionable Bergen County girls my favorite question: What’s in your bag?

Margaret Josephs 

Margaret Josephs is a The Real Housewives of New Jersey (RHONJ) cast member, an American fashion designer, entrepreneur and television lifestyle expert. She is the owner, founder and designer of a lifestyle brand called Macbeth Collection.

Louis Vuitton Neverfull Tote: “I am obsessed with monograms, so naturally I have the Monogram Louis Vuitton Neverfull Tote and pouch. When personalization is an option, I always go for it.”

Glasses and Sunglasses: “I am sure on RHONJ you see I am blind as a bat, so I am constantly reaching for my readers – so much so that I launched my own eyewear line. The readers in my bag are from Macbeth Collection by Margaret Josephs. They’re available at a TJ Maxx store near you! My sunglasses are Chloe. I am a self-confessed sunglasses junkie and I have quite the collection.”

Passport: “I literally never leave the house without my passport. You never know when you might get an invite to split town on a yacht and, of course, a Louis Vuitton holder doesn’t hurt.”

Lipstick and Lashes: “One thing I learned from Marge Sr. was never to step out without a coat of lipstick and full set of lashes. My go-to shades are Peachstock and Hue from Mac and luckily I have lash guru PrimpDaddy in NYC on speed dial so I’m always good to go.”

Snacks: “I’m always running the streets for business. After juggling meetings and interviews, I definitely need a snack in my bag, some tea for relaxing, reviving and sometimes spilling and, of course, Excedrin for any headaches. If you watch the show, you’ll absolutely know why.”

Pigtail Holders: “They call me the ‘Powerhouse in Pigtails’ so you’ll always find spare pigtail holders lurking in the bottom of my bag for emergencies.”

The Macbeth Collection Glam-Urgency Black Kit:“And to all you glam girls on the go, the Glam-Urgency Black Kit is literally a lifesaver. It’s from my collection and contains everything you need for a ‘Glam-Urgency’ – from bobby pins to earring backs. We got you, girl! It’s available at Target stores and online now.”

Teresa Gigante 

Teresa Gigante is the owner and jewelry designer behind OG Gems. She’s also a fashion and lifestyle blogger.

Mac Angel Lipstick: “Being a makeup lover, I never leave my house without my lipstick and this one is a soft pink, which makes it a perfect color for all year round. It’s lustrous finish keeps my lips hydrated and pretty.”

Sunglasses: “It is so important for me to protect my eyes from the sun. Even on overcast days, I like to wear them because my eyes are sensitive. They also look very stylish and can complete an outfit.”

Business Cards: “I own a handmade beaded jewelry line called OG Gems and I run a fashion blog ( Being a business owner, I always have my card on me. It’s a great way to network.”

Urban Decay De-Slick Mattifying Powder: “I absolutely love this product since my skin tends to get oily throughout the day. It’s a translucent mattifying compact powder that stops shine instantly. It works over makeup and on bare skin. It is lightweight and gives me a smooth fresh look.”

iPhone Charger: “This is a total must-have for me since I work a lot from my phone. I can connect with my clients through social media and my website, so I need to have a full charge at all times.”

Jillian Veran Rezo & Michelle Bonacorte

Jillian Veran and Michelle Bonacorte are the powerhouses behind Beautiful Self. Jillian Veran Rezo is a beauty expert with 25 years in the beauty industry. Labeled a breast cancer survivor in 2015, Jillian discovered that after initial treatment ended, a new host of challenges started. The overwhelming differences made to her body and mind often made it difficult to be comfortable in her own skin.

Michele Bonacorte, a mother of two sons, has worked in the fashion industry most of her life. She has represented major fashion houses on and off the runway and as a spokesperson on QVC.

Together, the duo with over 20-years of friendship between them, they found a way to make a difference, with their passion project Beautiful Self combines, talent, joy, sisterhood, laughter and lots of glamour during their unique photo healing sessions. Their goal is to assist any woman ridden with doubt after breast cancer, to peel back layers of depilating insecurity and accept her new self, as whole and beautiful.

Jillian’s Favorites 
NYX Slim Lip Liner in Nude Beige #857: “This is never out of my bag, for my skin it is the perfect nude. I wear it 24/7. I buy them in multiples.”

 Mally Ever Color Starlight Waterproof Eyeliner in Midnight: “I’m all about rich dense color against the eye. This pencil doesn’t move and is so saturated it’s the perfect inky black.”

Volition Beauty Thanakha Bronzer: “I can’t do my makeup without this. I’m literally obsessed with the soft velvet warm finish. Bronzing is only the beginning. It’s a beauty elixir – wear it alone or add to foundation it or moisturizer. It gives skin the most beautiful warmth, glow and complexion boost and it’s driven by the powerful antioxidant Thanakha.”

Wander Beauty Frame Your Face Micro Brow Dark Brown: “I haven’t had boy brows since the 80s. This definitely helps create a much thicker appearance without looking heavy, and it is has great staying power.”

Michelle’s Favorites ­

ZOYA Hot Lips Lip Gloss in Minx: “Nick from Glamour Too In Waldwick turned me on to this brand years ago and I cannot live without it. Every color is fabulous.”

Everpro Gray Away: “The secret’s out! The best product for touching up in between salon visits is Everpro Gray Away.”

Josie Maran 100 Percent Pure Argan Oil: “This argan oil easily absorbs into skin, delivering a fresh, dewy glow. It keeps you looking beautiful from head to toe. It may also be used to treat split ends and soften cuticles. Treat for your skin!”

Trader Joe’s Ginger Mints: “These mints add the calming effect and health benefits of ginger while freshening your breath. They’re also great for sharing.”

Rimmel Mascara ScandalEyes: “This mascara doesn’t run and it lengthens and opens your eyes.”

Candace Kristin

Currently the fashion ambassador for the Westfield Garden State Plaza, Candace is the in-house stylist and operates from The Suite, the centers style lounge, located in the Luxury Collection at the center. Last year, she was appointed executive fashion editor at BC The Mag. Named a style partner for Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus and other national and local fashion retailers, Candace previously worked as the fashion advertising director at Child Magazine and Allure Magazine. Candace is president and founder of her own company, Candace Kristin, LLC.

Bobbi Brown Tinted Eye Brightener: “I do not leave home without this. On the nights I’m not able to get ample hours of sleep, this is a fastest way to look refreshed and less ‘tired’ – simply awesome. You apply a small amount on the ‘bags’ and – poof – they are gone.”

Bobbi Brown High Shimmer Lip Gloss: “I am a huge gloss girl. Lately I have been doing more of a stronger look on the eyes with a bold lash so I tone it down with a simple yet sparkle gloss. This helps my dry lips and creates that ‘lip and a heel’ I need to head to work feeling fabulous.”

Swell Water Bottle: “I recently was given a Swell water bottle as a gift and I have to say I am obsessed. This is coming from the girl that never used a fancy water bottle ever! I always just sipped my water out of the Poland Spring clear bottle. I carry my new (and I must say oh-so-cute) vesicle everywhere. It’s perfect for my morning shakes and hydration at the gym and office.”

R+Co Tinsel Smoothing Oil Travel Size: “I often put my hair in a ponytail for work as it is convenient and chic. Depending upon my schedule, the weather and how much running around I do, I smooth out the hairs that are not being very cooperative. It’s super easy with this product – pump a small amount on your palm and brush it through.  This is also a perfect product when you want to wear your hair down and you got caught in a rain or windstorm. It’s overall great for smoothing the ends.”

 Jocelyn Multi-Colored Fluffy Fingerless Mittens: “I wear these little numbers with everything – from my gym gear to my work attire to my distressed denim. They keep my hands warm while holding onto my coffee cup or my steering wheel in the chilly weather. I have literally been stopped on the street many times by people asking me who makes these mittens.”

By Kristin Favaloro

Kristin Favaloro is a Jersey girl with a serious makeup and skincare obsession.


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