The average woman’s handbag contains £284 worth of hand cream, pens, and lipstick, a survey has found.

Just over seven percent of women asked by Diamond carried around bags filled with more than £700 worth of possessions.

The insurance company asked 2,000 women to reveal the secrets of their handbag, and found the average woman owns eight handbags and packs them with pens, mobile phones and car keys.

Some more interesting handbag items revealed by the survey included a locket of hair from a dead cat, a voodoo doll, crampons and a set of darts.

Diamond managing director, Dave Halliday, said: “As a man, the world of handbags is a bit of a mystery to me, so it’s interesting to find out the handbag habits of British women.

“It goes to show how useful a handbag is. I don’t think I could manage to carry nearly £300 worth of stuff in my pockets.”

The top ten most common items women keep in their handbag:

• Purse

• Mobile phone

• Pens

• Tissues

• Car keys

• Lip balm

• Hairbrush

• Lipstick

• Hand cream

• Umbrella