Jorja Smith is constantly looking moisturised and her hair and makeup is always on point, so when she recently appeared in British Vogue’s ‘In The Bag’ YouTube series, we were genuinely interested to see if there were any beauty products she considered essential enough to carry in her handbag.
As it turns out, there were more than just a few items in the ‘Little Things’ singer’s cyan Telfar Shopping Bag, there were a lot. In Smith’s words, the contents of her bag say that she is “organised”, “ready to go”, and “ready for anything”. And she means it. Smith’s bag is akin to Mary Poppins carpet bag, and over the next five minutes as she pulled out item after item, it became apparent she’d packed everything bar the kitchen sink.
First up: a nondescript “burnt out” candle and a lighter (she always carries her own in case the hotel doesn’t have one when she’s on the road). “The smell is… I’m really bad at describing things. It smells like… home,” she said. “I like to light this as soon as I get in [a hotel room].” The inclusion of a full-size candle in the first 10 seconds of the clip had the comments section of the Youtube video somewhat perturbed: “Really? A full size candle in her bag?,” said one confused viewer, who was then assured by a person with designer handbag knowledge that “the Telfar is spacious.” However, another commenter was adamant that Smith’s behaviour was untoward: “It isn't about the bag. Who carries a candle? Where do you have the opportunity to light a candle outside? If you're at home or a hotel, leave it there. Why carry it?,” they raged.
If that upsets them, they’re going to reel when they realise a 380g candle is just the tip of the iceberg, because after showing off her singer’s starter pack of throat syrup, vocal spray and in-ears, Smith pulled out a hefty gold perfume bottle.
“I remember I went perfume shopping to get a new scent and I bought two, [and] I thought this was going to be my nighttime smell but it’s turned into everyday,” she explained. “You can’t see the name of it and I’m not telling you what it’s called, but it’s my favourite. The smell is amazing.” Unfortunately for Smith, someone in the comments section made it clear they’re not into gatekeeping and dished that the perfume is the unisex scent Tiziana Terenzi Kirke ($260 at Feeling Sexy); a chypre fruity fragrance with notes of passionfruit, peach, raspberry, cassis, pear, sand, lily-of-the-valley, heliotrope, sandalwood, vanilla, patchouli and musk.
Next? A value-pack of men’s razors, which one commenter admitted they found incredibly entertaining: “It’s the razors for me… Not one, but 12.” Smith said she always has a spare razor or two “because you never know when you need to shave”, motioning to her upper lip.
After this Smith pulled a stream of traditional handbag essentials from the Telfar bag; two passports (“one for me and one for my man… I’m joking”), a second phone (“I don’t tell [people] when it’s on, so I can just TikTok away”), two sets of keyrings (“my mum makes jewellery innit and she makes me key rings”), and a Starbucks cup with a straw.
Smith then reached two hands into her bag and pulled out six different lip products, including a pot of the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask ($31 at Sephora), the Dior Addict Lip Glow Balm ($62 at MYER), and the Fenty Beauty Pro Kiss'R Lip-Loving Scrubstick ($30 at Sephora), which she said is “really good”. “My bag will always have a massive amount of lip balms or lip glosses at the bottom of [it]. I constantly change lip balm even though I should just stick to one,” she explained. “I dunno why I do that.”
Her bag is also stocked with a lavender pillow spray to help her sleep and “make things feel like home” and a book (‘Everything I Know About Love’ by Dolly Alderton) that she’s been carrying around since January and hasn’t read yet. And there’s a hairbrush with angel wings, a microfibre towel (“I’ve constantly got this on my head”), a scalp oil by Cyndia Harvey (“she’s done my hair before”), teeth whitening strips and another lighter (for when someone steals her other one).
Finally done, Smith sat with the contents of her “prepared for anything” handbag formed into a neat huddle on the table in front of her, before she admitted she actually forgot to pack her phone charger. “So am I that organised? Who knows…”
We think this wise person in the comments section put it best when they said: “A Gemini, she is.”
Watch the full video below:
Briar is the Beauty Editor at BEAUTYcrew. Her 'down for anything' attitude has resulted in more than a handful of hair transformations, and she doesn't mind being used as a guinea pig for the industry's most unusual products and treatments. Her work has also appeared on Refinery29, Girlfriend and beautyheaven.