The 10 Best Makeup Bags

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This wiki has been updated 39 times since it was first published in May of 2015. Any beauty guru or novice cosmetologist knows that you can't store your supplies in a regular purse, as they can move around, break, and spill. These makeup bags were designed to keep your cosmetics safe, and are easy to clean should a mess occur. We've included tiny totes, medium-sized bags, and big cases, so whether you're packing for an overnight or long trip, we've got you covered. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Relavel Travel Case

2. NiceEbag Carry On

3. Vera Bradley Women's Signature

Editor's Notes

April 08, 2020:

Whether you need a way to store and transport cosmetics for personal use, or must lug massive amounts of blush, eyeshadow, and brushes from place to place because you're a professional makeup artist, we wanted to make sure there would be something on this list to fit nearly every beauty lover's needs.

Understanding that the main purpose of a makeup bag is to make it easy to bring supplies from one location to another, the Sakroots Artist lost its spot because it's heavy even when empty, and we want our selections to be conveniently portable. For the same reason, we eliminated the Sunrise C3011, as we feel it's better for home use than for transport. In their places are the Jadyn B Cinch Top and the Lay-n-Go Cosmo, which are both extremely lightweight.

We wanted to include something small and basic, but still high-quality, and so the Pudinbag Organizer, with its silicone shell caught our attention. We removed the Red Blossom Silk Jacquard, because, for being just a basic pouch with no organizational compartments and limited storage space, it's too expensive. Meanwhile, the Augbunny Multi-Purpose is a much better choice for minimalists, offering four small bags made of sturdy material for a reasonable price.

Professionals need something substantial to pack and carry all that they work with. So the Shany Pro MUA Rectangular, with its many well-thought-out pockets, snagged a spot, as did the spacious Vera Bradley Women's Signature. The Bago Organizer is a decent product for what it is, but is more of a general toiletry bag than a makeup-specific accessory, and we prefer items that cater to cosmetics, so it too lost its spot on our list.

Quality materials are always a priority, so, unfortunately, the Japonesque Pro Set, though full of great compartments, lost its place because its stitching comes apart quickly. Meanwhile, the Relavel Travel Case is very highly ranked because it can stand up to plenty of use and has dedicated spots for brushes and more.

Special Honors

Cuyana Leather Travel Case Set This genuine leather set is available in over a dozen finishes and contains two durable handcrafted pouches. Each piece has elegant gold-tone hardware and is monogrammable, to truly make it your own. The synthetic liner is easy to clean, and the bags open fully to minimize the need to rummage around for your supplies.

Revolve BEIS Cosmetic Case With a faux leather shell and water-resistant poly fabric lining, the Revolve BEIS Cosmetic Case looks sophisticated and can weather a lot of use. Its dual-zipper closure runs nearly the full length of the item, and has large pull-tabs, making it easy to open and see all your supplies. Inside is a removable magnetic brush holder that lets you pull out your whole arsenal of these important tools for easy access.

4. Lay-n-Go Cosmo

5. Pudinbag Organizer

6. Habe Mini

7. Monstina Organizer

8. Jadyn B Cinch Top

9. Shany Pro MUA Rectangular

10. Augbunny Multi-Purpose

Essentials For Your Makeup Bag

Some prefer a light, subtle look while others prefer shimmery, vibrant colors.

The right makeup bag will hold all makeup essentials and serve your purposes for home makeup storage or travel. Each person has different makeup preferences necessitating a different type of makeup bag. No matter how much makeup you wear, there are a few essentials that every person needs.

Your first makeup item should be your favorite skincare product. A gentle cleanser and a moisturizer will go a long way in improving your skin’s health and appearance. Keeping your skin properly moisturized will also prevent your makeup from appearing flaky.

Your second makeup item should be something for your eyes. Many people choose a favorite eye shadow, eyeliner, and mascara. If you prefer minimal makeup, stick with basic colors such as black mascara and eyeliner and a nude or pastel-colored eye shadow. If you want, you can add an eyebrow pencil to your arsenal.

Third, choose a quality foundation. This part can be tricky because you have to match it with your skin tone. You can choose between liquid or powder foundations and even add concealer for better coverage.

Next, choose your blush. You can have some fun with this choice depending on your preference. Some prefer a light, subtle look while others prefer shimmery, vibrant colors. Just remember that less is more, and don’t over apply.

Lips are another area where you can have fun. Some go as far as to purchase green, blue, yellow, or even black lipstick for a unique, standout look. Others stick with with lighter pink shades, and some a favorite clear lip gloss.

Finally, you should always carry a high quality makeup brush. In fact, it is a good idea to have two or three different types of brushes depending on your intended use. Separate brushes for concealer and foundation will work far better than the average makeup sponge for evenly applying and creating a natural, blended look.

Take Advantage Of Variety

With all of the options available, how should you decide on the bag that is right for you? There are several factors to consider, but it doesn’t have to be a complicated process.

You might prefer neither of these options and simply need a weekender pouch in which to hold a few select items.

First, decide how you plan to use your makeup bag. Do you travel? Does it need to hold all of your makeup items or a few essentials? Do you work in cosmetics and need to carry a wide variety of makeup products on a regular basis? Once you have settled on the purpose of your bag, you will know what size you need and be able to decide on more details. If you go with a large bag, check for one with several compartments for easy organization.

Second, decide if you need your bag to stand up so you can keep your makeup well organized or if you want it to open up to display all of your makeup at one time for easy access. You might prefer neither of these options and simply need a weekender pouch in which to hold a few select items.

Third, decide if you need your makeup bag to be water resistant. If there is a foundation, mascara, or lotion spill, it could be important that the inside lining be water resistant to avoid unpleasant leaks and damaging other items. Water resistant bags are also excellent for using at a pool or the beach to avoid water damage.

Next, choose a bag that can protect your makeup brushes. Choosing a bag that allows you to store your brushes with the handle down will help the shape stay intact. If you do choose a bag that doesn’t have an appropriate compartment for your brushes, purchase a separate pouch for them.

Finally, decide the importance of shape and design. You are going to have your makeup bag for a long time, and you will want to ensure that you have something you enjoy. Choose the color, style, number of pockets and zippers, and all other elements that make your bag unique to you.

A Brief History of Makeup Bags

The makeup bag wouldn’t be necessary without cosmetics. The first official recorded use of makeup was in Egypt around 3100 BCE Unguent jars have been found in the tombs and were used for hydrating skin in the dry, desert heat. Egyptian women, especially members of the upper class, used green and black makeup on their lids and lashes. This makeup was made from kohl or soot.

Over the years, lead and mercury were used in popular makeup.

The Romans used makeup regularly during the first century. They also used kohl to blacken their eyelids and eyelashes and covered their faces in chalk for a lighter complexion. They wore rouge on their cheeks as blush. The European middle ages popularized pale skin among the wealthy.

Over the years, lead and mercury were used in popular makeup. These elements damaged the skin and even caused health issues such as stomach problems, hair loss, and in some extreme cases, death. Despite this, a lot of women continued to sacrifice their health in favor of beauty.

Makeup wasn’t publicly marketed as a purchased product until the 1920s. Many women used bright red lipstick to symbolize their independence. Makeup popularity soared between the 1930s and 1950s when celebrities endorsed their favorite products. The next several decades brought about the evolution of creative makeup trends and a booming cosmetic industry.

Today, there is a huge variety of makeup to choose from necessitating the use of high quality, durable makeup bags to hold the products that many women use on a daily basis.

Brett Dvoretz
Last updated by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as in front of a laptop screen, Brett can either be found hacking away furiously at the keyboard or, perhaps, enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He has been a professional chef, a dog trainer, and a travel correspondent for a well-known Southeast Asian guidebook. He also holds a business degree and has spent more time than he cares to admit in boring office jobs. He has an odd obsession for playing with the latest gadgets and working on motorcycles and old Jeeps. His expertise, honed over years of experience, is in the areas of computers, electronics, travel gear, pet products, and kitchen, office and automotive equipment.

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