Carnival and Performances, what’s in your bag?

By all accounts, I am a worrywart with a nutso gene that takes way too seriously the whole idea of pre-emptive strike. This means that every time that I go out for dinner I always take not just my medication, but 2 doses of ibuprofen in case I get a headache. Or that despite all requests and warnings, when my friend got married, I was the only one of the bridesmaids with a teensy purse… which I proceeded to open during the ceremony to start handling out tissues to everybody around that was crying.

Now that the Carnival season comes to an end and I can start posting again, I’d like to write a bit about the general experience. Last year, I had my first series of carnivals and performances, and soon enough I started realising that some things were useful, some I’d want to have… This year, I tried to put together a fixed box that I can grab, add make-up if necessary and throw into the performance bag quickly to be “prepared”.

For that purpose, I purchased a 1.6L Really Useful Box from Staples, on the idea that their pretty near hermetic seal would come handy for some of the contents. What I’ve added as staples there are:

  • deodorant
  • pack of  wet wipes
  • pack of eye make-up removing pads
  • small sewing kit
  • Simple  Hydrating Mist
  • sunblock
  • nail file
  • small perfume vial

Of late, I’ve taken to do my make-up at home, and I just retouch it when changing, but you always need some last minute corrections and there’s always someone wanting to know what you’re using. The reasons for each part of it are fairly obvious, I’d think, but just in case:

  • deodorant: I picked roll-on, clear, and with as little scent as possible; I want an antiperspirant by preference, but ideally just something that prevents me from going stinky by dealing with the odour instead of just masking it
  • wet wipes: always useful for last minute clean-ups, or coming back clean-ups. We’ve had to get ready in changing rooms without quick access to toilets so having an alternative for washing hands or removing accidental dirt is good
  • makeup remover: for tiny corrections and removing it all after the performance; I like to dress down after I’m done, but I do wear quite heavy eye make-up for performing so leaving that on afterwards feels a bit uncomfortable
  • sewing kit: always good in case I (or one of my troupemates) needs last minute costume repairs, I include a pair of embroidery scissors (small and pointy, great for precission work), some safety pins, a couple of sets of hook and bars and hook and eyes (in my experience, these are the ones that most often get broken or need repair/exchange/addition), embroidery and standard needles, and black button thread, which is very strong and is ideal for sewing on all the extras
  • the Hydrating mist is great to use over makeup to give it all a quick boost, and if you use mineral make-up, it is also a nice way of “setting” it.
  • sunblock: does this need any explanation? Wear it regardless of whether you want a suntan or not; belly dancing costumes can have very strange necklines and arms, and the last thing you want is to have them on you
  • nail file: even if you don’t keep your nails too long, all the beading and the hooks and eyes and bars and pulling and zippers can produce very small tears on your nails, that can then catch up and break further, or can slash very delicate fabrics; you definitely do NOT want this to happen, so filing those down the moment you notice even the slightest imperfection on the nail tips is a good idea.
  • small perfume vial: carnival goers should not get close enough to smell you, but I do like to smell nice anyway; it gets me in the mood, so to speak, particularly if you’ve got a perfume or two that you use consistently to dance. But while you should not put on the perfume while wearing your costume (you risk staining the costume), putting it on before leaving your house, then adding a bit more before you change into your costume will “layer” the scent and make it last longer without being too intense.

That’s about it for sundries. Next time, I’ll try to do a few cosmetics reviews, as I’ve tried some new stuff this year and been rather surprised.
So, what is in your bag?

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