Spending the Night? How to Pack an Adult Sleepover Kit

Noël Duan
·Assistant Editor

Pack for your night away from home without being a packrat. (Photo: Sandbox Studio)

In middle school, sleepovers consisted of exhausting rounds of Truth or Dare, binging on pizza and ice cream without the calories ever landing on your hips, and rented PG-13 movies starring Shane West. In adulthood, sleepovers are different, also exhausting and possibly filled with movie star fantasies—but unlike the candy-fueled nights of your childhood, Mom and Dad aren’t picking you up in the morning.

The phrase “walk of shame” is a little misleading. It’s not quite that bad. At your worst, you’re wearing last night’s uncomfortable outfit, your makeup is smeared, and you really want a shower (and some breakfast). At your best, you have perfectly tousled hair and a glimmer in your eye. Just borrow a maneuver from Liz Lemon, the star of Tina Fey’s sitcom, 30 Rock: “Call it a stride of pride and walk with your hands up. Like this!”


“Call it a stride of pride and walk with your hands up. Like this!” (Photo: NBC)

We did our research, and to go with the stride of pride, here are some necessary items to pack and bring when you’re spending the night far from home:


The necessities for your adult sleepover kit, from Advil to undies. (Photo: Sandbox Studio)

1. Oversized Clutch

A stylish going out bag is essential for your night out, but if you’re packing a few essentials in there, you’re going to have want something functional too. We recommend the Clare V Foldover Clutch ($194), which is big enough to disguise all the necessities without looking like you planned too hard for the night.

2. Extra Pair of Underwear

Nothing makes you feel fresher than a pair of clean undies. The best pair of panties to pack in your clutch is the classic seamless thong from aptly named brand Commando ($20). They fold compactly in a purse and you won’t be risking panty lines in the morning.

3. Makeup Remover Wipes

You can borrow the face wash in bathroom, but smoky eye makeup is tougher to get rid of with just a simple soap wash. Unfortunately, last night’s smoldering eye makeup doesn’t always look good the next day. Eyeko Mascara Off Eye Makeup Remover Wipes ($9) are both super strength and calming, made with olive oil and aloe extract.

4. All-Purpose Case for Small Objects

From contact lenses to birth control to hair ties, you don’t want your mini lifesavers to get lost in your purse, especially if you’re tired and disoriented. A compact leather case, like the Henri Bendel Contact Lens Case ($38), will store the tiniest items in one secure place while looking chic and inconspicuous. “What’s in that cute case?” your friends may ask you. “A good night,” you can reply mysteriously.

5. Deodorant Wipes

Not even a fresh face of makeup will hide the scent from your underarms, so pack some lightweight deodorant wipes before you make your trek home. You could also just use his gel stick, but we guarantee that Hollywood Fashion Tape On-The-Go Deodorant Wipes ($5) are fresher.

6. Dry Shampoo

In theory, morning-after hair is hot and Victoria’s Secret Angel-inspired. Think volume, messy ends, and no defined part. The reality is probably pretty different. A travel-size bottle of dry shampoo will give you the volume that you want while taming the grease and flyaways. Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo ($9) is made with obliphica oil and rice starch, which is better for your hair than other aluminum- or talc-based dry shampoos.

7. Tinted Moisturizer

Whatever you were wearing the night before, you can master the no makeup-makeup look in the morning with a tinted moisturizer like the Chanel Les Beiges All-in-One Healthy Glow Fluid Broad Spectrum SPF 15 Sunscreen ($45). The lightweight formula is hydrating and evens out your complexion. #YouWokeUpLikeThis—at least, that’s what he thinks.

8. Chubby Stick

Nothing beats a good lipstick and blush, but a versatile chubby stick will add a punch of color to your lips and cheeks in just three swipes. The Flower by Drew Barrymore Kiss Me Twice Lip & Cheek Chubby ($10) is bright enough to give you lipstick-quality color on your lips and blendable enough for a light flush on your cheeks.

9. Disposable Toothbrush and Toothpaste

Some gentlemen and gentlewomen have a stock of extra toothbrushes for guests at their place, but you never know when you’ll need a quick and refreshing brush. Pack three single-use Colgate Wisps ($8)—which don’t require rinsing or water—for after dinner, before bed, and the morning after. You’re too old to skip decent dental hygiene, even for one night.

10. Painkillers

You should pack a case of Advil tablets no matter where you’re going, work or play—you never know when you or a friend will need it. The pocket pack ($3) is designed to fit in a little clutch so that you’re prepared.

11. Hair ties

Lucky you: the ponytail is back, and the low-maintenance updo is perfect for hiding greasy hair and for perking up a look. Even the messiest ponytail with flyaways has a nonchalant charm to it. The Sephora Collection Ribbon Hair Ties ($9) look like elegant grosgrain ribbons, but they also have a strong hold for your topknots, ponytails, and braids.

12. Roll-On Perfume

Rollerball perfumes, like the Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black ($22), are easy to apply (completely mess proof, unless you break the bottle) and much easier to tote around than a full bottle of your favorite fragrance. Just like touching up your makeup and hair in the morning, you may want to touch up your scent, too.

13. Under Eye Concealer

You could pack a pair of sunglasses, or you could pack a quick-swipe concealer to hide the dark circles under your eyes. Once you get home, you can take your time massaging the eye masks, serums, and creams on—you deserve it—but in the meantime, you can use a portable concealer like the Bobbi Brown Tinted Eye Brightener ($31).

14. Mascara

False lashes are flirty and sexy, but you risk them falling off at the most inopportune occasion. You’re better off with long lasting non-clumpy mascara that, combined with a decent curler, will give you faux-faux lashes. We recommend Benefit Cosmetics BADgal Lash Mini Mascara ($10), which fits in your clutch for around-the-clock touchups.

15. Breath Spray

You’re sexy and you know it—so don’t ruin it with bad breath, which doesn’t discriminate against anyone. You never know what and who you’ll be eating and drinking, and when you might be leaning in for a whisper or a kiss. The Hello Pink Grapefruit Mint Breath Spray ($4) is alcohol-, sugar-, triclosan-, and dye-free. Add this to the list of good decisions you’re making.

16. Matches

Ladies need to do their business, too, but if you’re worried about ruining a good night with bathroom odor, bring a box of matches (we’re hoarding the iconic freebies from Café Lalo in Manhattan). Light two matches at once, let them burn for about 10 seconds, and then blow them out, waving the smoke around like you’re at Burning Man. Remember to run the matches under the faucet when you’re done. You don’t want to literally burn the place down.

17. Blotting papers

You’re bound to get some shine as your night carries on, but sometimes you don’t have access to a mirror for even a quick makeup touchup. We recommend stashing some Tatcha Original Aburatorigami Japanese Blotting Papers ($12) in your purse. Kabuki performers and geishas traditionally used these papers to keep fresh throughout their arduous performances, and you, too, can enthrall and entertain without grease.

Disclaimer: Bobbi Brown is the editor in chief of Yahoo Beauty.


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