26 ​​Best Makeup Bags – Tested & Reviewed – WWD

Estimated read time 33 min read

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Updated December 8th, 2023: This article was updated with new makeup bag selections, including fresh travel, designer, and makeup pouch picks, as well as tips on selecting the right cosmetic case for your needs.

Selecting your the best makeup bag for you is akin to choosing the best foundation for your skin type. With so many considerations — the size, materials, and organizational features — landing on a makeup bag that keeps your items easy to find and secure is a tall order. While one of the best large makeup bags can be a godsend for a beauty lover, there’s actually a wide world of options for cosmetics bags to meet every need, product, and style.

Whether you’re looking for a big makeup bag or a smaller makeup pouch, there’s no one-size-fits-all option. Before you begin your hunt, it’s important to ask yourself a few questions first. Start with honestly asking yourself whether you are a minimalist or a maximalist. If your routine is precise and streamlined, like say just one of the best lipsticks, eyeliner, and a concealer for acne, you can get away with a mini makeup bag that will hold these smaller items. However, if you’re the type who likes to have options on your person at all times, then a full-on makeup tote or a makeup bag with compartments is likely your best bet. And finally, will you be carrying your a blush brush along with your favorite powder? If so, you’ll need a makeup bag with a brush holder. Otherwise, the delicate bristles will be vulnerable to friction and could become frizzy and brittle, or even worse, break entirely.

To find the best travel makeup bags, the best designer makeup bags, and the best pouches, we spoke with a slew of experts. Makeup artists Molly R. Stern, Lisa Aharon, and Kim Baker shared their expert advice from years of working with celebrity clients. Founders of New York-based organization company Twice as Organized, Michaela and Zoe Katz, as well as founder of Imagine It Done, Lisa Jacobs, divulged organizational expertise, too. Ahead, find our curated list of the best makeup bags to organize any size stash, including plenty of options that make wonderful gifts for women this holiday season. Plus, you’ll discover specific tips for how to find the right bag for you and the exact features to look for.

Top Makeup Bags for 2023

Best Travel Makeup Bags

Best Designer Makeup Bags

Best Makeup Pouches

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Best Travel Makeup Bags

Kusshi Vacationer Makeup Bag

Best for: Those looking for an organizational makeup bag
Size: 7″ x 13.5″ x 5.75″
Fabric: Nylon
Features: Multiple interior pockets help keep things super organized
Pros: Roomy and bright interior make things easy to find
Cons: For cosmetics and skin care only, not recommended for travel shampoos
Nordstrom Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.8/5 stars 

If you’re looking for a bag to handle holding your entire skin care routine or makeup for a full face, the Kusshi makeup bag is one of the best makeup bags for travel. On average, it holds anywhere from 25 to 30 products, and if any spills occur, can be machine washed without any issue. “It has little pockets to protect and organize delicate items and stands upright even though the bag is soft,” explains Aharon. It’s easy to throw in your tote bag and take with you on the go. “I love how wide it opens,” Stern adds.

Editor testing and review notes: “I’ve had my Kusshi makeup bag for nearly four years — it’s one of my top recommendations when friends ask for a cosmetic case that fits a lot and is easy to pack. The attachable inner organizers are convenient for keeping my makeup brush set clean and easy to find, while the large size is big enough to house multiple eyeshadow palettes, face serums, and liquid foundations. And because it’s a soft case, it’s easier to squeeze into a suitcase.”

Price upon publish date of this article: $89

Béis The Makeup Bag

Size: 9 ½” x 7″ x 4″
Fabric: Polyester and PVC
Features: Interior removable sleeve for makeup brushes; interior mirror
Pros: Hold a lot of product
Cons: Bulky for travel
Nordstrom Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.8/5 stars 

Béis, from actress Shay Mitchell, has built a reputation for creating innovative and stylish products that allow you to stay as organized as possible (like the brand’s TikTok-famous weekender bag) and this cosmetics case is no different. In addition to the body of the bag, this best makeup organizer bag comes with a removable, zippered sleeve designed for you to keep your makeup brushes protected against your other products. Also included is a mirror that stands on its own for quick touchups. The body is a hold-all in a wipeable material, where we recommend storing larger, TSA-approved bottles, deodorant, and other items.   

Editor testing and review notes: “Hard-shelled cosmetic cases are my favorite for transporting fragile beauty goods, like perfume or liquid blush cased in glass bottles, that risk chaos if they spill. Béis is one I can count on when my bag is being thrown on a baggage claim conveyor belt — it’s tough and sturdy, keeping the contents in pristine condition no matter the conditions. But beyond its burly build, this makeup bag is genius in its special features: I love that I can remove the makeup brush sleeve for more room, and the included mirror means I don’t have to jockey for the hotel bathroom to do my makeup.”

Price upon publish date of this article: $68

Bagsmart Toiletry Bag

Size: 12.6″ x 9.1″ x 4.3″
Fabric: Water resistant polyester
Features: 360-degree swivel non-slip metal hook and secure interior pockets
Pros: Has dual handles which makes it easy to carry
Cons: Compartments can get heavy
Amazon Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.5/5 stars

Have you ever wished you could see all of the makeup and toiletries you packed? Well, thanks to this best travel cosmetic bag, your wish has been granted. Bagsmart’s take on a travel makeup bag is delivered in this iteration that includes a “hanger” that holds the bag up. Inside, you’ll find multiple compartments that have a see-through design, which allows you to view all of your products without having to unpack them all. There are also elastic straps to hold bottles of your favorite skin tints and drugstore foundations upright to prevent spills. Better yet, the bag is made from water-resistant material which keeps your items safe if they get wet.

What testers say: “This is perfect for travel storage of personal hygiene and cosmetics. I was able to take enough for a 17-day trip. It is well-designed, and the ability to hang it up is extremely useful. We particularly like how each storage area has a clear/view side to see where your items are without opening to hunt and sort through each compartment. It doesn’t take up much room when folded up. It will also contain most leasable items so your clothes don’t get damaged.”

Price upon publish date of this article: $22.99

Stephanie Johnson Rosewood Cognac Jenny Train Cosmetics Case

Best for: A makeup bag that’s also a skin care bag
Size: 3″ x 10″ x 6.5″
Fabric: 50% recycled polyurethane
Features: Two compartments with multiple inside pockets
Pros: Separate brush case and small pouch included
Cons: May feel bulky to those who prefer to pack light
Nordstrom Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.8/5 stars 
Neiman Marcus Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.5/5 stars 

With pockets and pouches galore, the Stephanie Johnson Rosewood Cognac Jenny Travel Cosmetics Case will keep you organized at home and on the road. The two larger compartments are roomy enough to hold larger skin care products like your favorite firming face cream and body lotion, and the removable pouches allow you to keep essentials neat and easy to reach. The lower compartment is just the right size to secure your makeup palettes without allowing them to shake around.

What testers say: “I prefer to use a train case for it cosmetics when I travel. This one looks so elegant. It’s roomy and will hold so many items. The separate brush case adds even more functionality.”

Price upon publish date of this article: $103

L.L. Bean Personal Organizer Makeup Bag

Size: 12½” x 11½” x 4″
Fabric: Water-resistant nylon or polyester
Features: Multi-zip opportunities for storing different toiletries, detachable mirror, and shower caddy
Pros: Lots of space and can hang up to 25 pounds of product
Cons: Bulky, intended for travel
L.L. Bean Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.9/5 stars 

The best travel makeup bag for families, this mighty L.L. Bean bag holds literally everything. With its multi-zip compartments, this bag will hold everything from everyone – including stuff you’ve picked up on your travels. Additionally, L.L. Bean has tested this bag to make sure it’s the strongest one on the market. With lining made to stop spills in their tracks and a detached shower caddy and mirror, there’s no excuse to not look your best whilst traveling.

Editor testing and review notes: “I’m a maximalist when it comes to skin, hair, and body care, and L.L. Bean’s fold-up toiletry bag has been my go-to travel companion since college. Its design is pure genius, but maybe the best part is that the inside lining stops liquids from leaking out. I speak from experience: My shampoo exploded and not one drop got out of the bag.”

Price upon publish date of this article: $44.95

Leatherology Small Train Case Makeup Bag

Size: 5” x 7.5” x 5.2”
Fabric: Full grain leather
Features: Water-resistant lining including elastic and mesh pockets
Pros: Can fit travel-size bottles upright with ease
Cons: Not for light travelers
Leatherology Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.6/5 stars 

Made in a full grain leather that protects against travel damage and scratches, this Leatherology small travel case is made specifically to hold travel-sized bottles, but has options available in bigger sizes for those who want more space. With a water-resistant interior and mesh pockets to separate your makeup, it’s both built for performance and looks. Available to be customized with embossing this train case is one of the best monogrammed makeup bags you can find. Even if you plan on solely keeping it on your vanity table, this train case is truly a work of art.

What testers say: “I travel a lot for work and have never found a cosmetics case I liked. I bought this one for the 12th anniversary of my company as a gift to myself and I love it. Best gift ever!”

Price upon publish date of this article: $125

Jillian Dempsey Large Makeup Bag

Size: 8.5” x 2.5” x 5”
Fabric: Nylon
Features: 2 compartments, with one main compartment and one side
Pros: Durable nylon makes clean-up a breeze
Cons: Overfilling the exterior pocket will make it topple
Amazon Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.5/5 stars

“Jillian Dempsey makes a fabulous makeup bag with two pockets, so you can separate your smaller items from your bigger products,” says Stern. Celebrity makeup artist (and wife to McDreamy), Jillian Dempsey’s makeup pouch has two large compartments, plus a smaller exterior space for you to stash tweezers, lash glue, and a lash curler. As it’s made of nylon and super durable, this large makeup bag can be machine washed if spills occur, or wiped down if some excess powder escapes a compact.

Price upon publish date of this article: $45

Relavel Travel Makeup Train Case Makeup Bag

Best for: A professional makeup bag on a budget
Size: 10.3” x 9” x 3.5”
Fabric: Oxford fabric with nylon lining
Features: Two-way zipper and makeup brushes and cover
Pros: Multiple compartments
Cons: No shoulder strap
Amazon Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.5/5 stars

If you’re someone looking for a makeup bag that encourages custom storage, this TikTok-famous beauty product is for you. You can move the dividers around to create a storage system that meets your need, and this waterproof bag is a great option for those who are accident-prone. Even better, the upper compartment is specifically for brushes, with a fold-down flap that protects them from any friction while in transit.

What testers say: “I saw a review for this on TikTok and I knew I needed to buy it for my upcoming trip! I’ve been looking into durable makeup bags/cases for traveling and I loved everything about this! It’s super lightweight (with and without my makeup in it) and I was easily able to fit it into my carry-on and duffel bag! It also fits a surprisingly large amount of makeup (I had a few empty slots) and I’m super impressed!”

Price upon publish date of this article: $19.98

WellInsulated Performance Makeup Bag

Size: 9” x 6.25” x 6.25”
Fabric: Metallic vegan leather
Features: High performance insulation, reflective interior for easy spot cleaning
Pros: Water-resistant
Cons: No interior pockets
Bluemercury Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.6/5 stars
Neiman Marcus Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.5/5 stars 

Designed to keep your makeup and skin care products at an optimal temperature to preserve their quality, the WellInsulated makeup case is the right choice for protecting your valuable beauty buys from intense temperatures. “It’s easy to clean, weather-resistant, and even doubles as a lunch bag,” says Aharon. Available in sweet pink vegan leather, the interior is also reflective, so you’re able to find what you want in a snap.

What testers say: “I’m already a huge fan of WellInsulated. I’ve been eyeing the gold for a while and am so glad I bought it! The color is beyond beautiful in person and I’ve put all my supplements and medications in it and now leave it on my kitchen counter. Makes me so happy just to look at it!”

Price upon publish date of this article: $98

Away Hanging Travel Makeup Bag

Size: 9.6″ x 3.74″ x 6.6″
Fabric: Nylon
Features: Water-resistant nylon body with coated spill-proof interior
Pros: Hanging function and removable pouch
Cons: Not enough separate compartments
Away Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.6/5 stars 

This hanging makeup bag is easy to travel with and is highly rated by Aharon. “It’s easy to organize, pop onto the back of a door, and is lightweight and water-resistant,” she says. It’s ideal when you’re traveling with little ones or in staying in shared quarters, as its interior allows you to keep things organized, even when counter space is lacking. The interior removable pouch allows you to keep your medicine, makeup, or other essentials in their own space, ideal if you need to throw them in a bag for the day. A water-resistant interior further adds protection while traveling, especially if you’ve ever ended up at your destination with shampoo all over your toiletry bag.

What testers say: “A hanging toiletry bag is one of my favorite items to pack…I’ve used another name-brand hanging toiletry bag previously, and it didn’t fit everything I needed until I saw yours. I’ll be purchasing these for my children’s go-bag luggage.”

Price upon publish date of this article: $75

Best Designer Makeup Bags

Gucci Ophidia Makeup Bag

Size: 5.3″ x 9.5″ x 1.6″
Fabric: Canvas with leather trim
Features: Classic Gucci prints lend itself to a cute single pouch
Pros: Sustainable
Cons: Single main pouch
Gucci Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.8/5 stars 

If you’re looking for a makeup case to add a bit of luxury to your everyday life, this Gucci one is calling your name. Given the smaller size, it’s made to keep just the essentials on hand. It’s also perfect for when you’d like to do touch-ups, but don’t want to dig a larger bag out every time you want to reapply or blot. As it’s made from canvas, it’s going to be strong and sturdy for years to come, even as your makeup needs change.

Price upon publish date of this article: $490

Coach Essential Vanity Case

Size: 8″ x 5.5″ x 5.5″
Fabric: Polished pebble leather
Features: A deep interior with six compartment slots
Pros: Affordable designer makeup bag
Cons: Available in two colors

The Coach Essential Vanity Case helps to romanticize your makeup routine. Whether you’re applying your daily makeup and like your products to be kept in one bag, or you’re packing for a trip, this case elevates your dated cosmetic bag. It’s crafted from Coach’s signature pebbled leather and has an interior with six flexible slots, which keep your products upright and secure. The vanity case also boasts a top zipper with a compact mirror inside the lid.

Price upon publish date of this article: $195

Saint Laurent Vanity Case Quilted Leather Top Handle Bag

Size: 21″ x 13″ x 8.3″
Fabric: Lambskin leather 
Features: Classic quilted design with an expandable exterior
Pros: Stunning detailing similar to the brand’s bestselling bags
Nordstrom Top-Quality Store Badge on Google:
4.8/5 stars 

If you’re looking to splurge on a gift for your mom or simply purchase something special for yourself, the Saint Laurent Cosmetic Bag is it. The quilted makeup bag features the same luxurious materials you’ll find in Saint Laurent’s best designer handbags — high-quality leather, durable hardware, and beautiful detailing. And even though the case resembles the best mini bags, it expands on the side seams to fit everything you need for the day, and the internal slip pocket is perfect for smaller essentials like hair ties or bobby pins. 

Price upon publish date of this article: $1,350

Longchamp Boxford Canvas & Leather Cosmetics Case

Size: 9.8″ x 5.5″ x 4.3″
Fabric: Polyester
Features: Stitch detailing and logo patch
Pros: Soft and structured body
Cons: Only one interior compartment
Nordstrom Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.8/5 stars 

Longchamp is known for its timeless canvas bags, and this makeup case includes the same tried and true design. The Boxford Canvas & Leather Cosmetics Case offers a boxy silhouette that gives some structure but not too much, making it easy to pack and transport. The case has a spacious body that easily stores your makeup — from the best mascaras to your trusted acne spot treatments — you can organize all your beauty products in one place.

What testers say: “I bought this bag to hold some items that I kept getting lost in my purse. It turns out I greatly overestimated how much space I would need, and I have also begun to use it to carry my chargers as well (iPad, iPhone, and laptop chargers).”

Price upon publish date of this article: $85

Stella McCartney Alter Faux-Leather Cosmetic Case

Size: 4.8″ x 6.3″ x 1.4″
Fabric: Polyurethane and polyester
Features: One inner slip pocket; made in Italy
Pros: Also available in white, sandy pink, and tan
Cons: Inner material may stain if leaks occur
Farfetch Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.1/5 stars 

Stella McCartney pioneered leather alternatives in the luxury fashion space, and this Alter Faux-Leather Cosmetic Case features innovative materials that feel just like leather to touch. The petite pouch is an ideal size for short trips or for stowing essentials in your slouchy bag or your designer tote bag. It features a full zip for easy access to what’s inside, and the perforated logo detail on the outer is subtle and chic — it’s one of the best vegan makeup bags out there.

Price upon publish date of this article: $275

Bao Bao Issey Miyake Panelled Make Up Bag

Size: 2.8″ x 4.3″ x 7.5″
Fabric: PVC, polyester, and nylon
Features: Top zip closure
Pros: Easy-to-clean material
Cons: No internal pockets
Farfetch Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.1/5 stars 
Bloomingdale’s Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.8/5 stars 

The Bao Bao Issey Miyake Panelled Make Up Bag is a great choice for those on the market for a designer makeup bag that doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg. You’ll get the brand’s signature geometric paneled design plus an easy-to-clean nylon lining, so you don’t need to stress about spills. This cool makeup bag is perfect for your best lipsticks, best face serums, or travel-sized skin care products.

Price upon publish date of this article: $259

Best Makeup Pouches

Eachy Travel Makeup Bag

Size: 9.25″ x 4.13″ x 4.33″
Fabric: Waterproof materials
Features: Resistance-free, high-quality metal zippers
Pros: Easy-to-clean material
Cons: Loose interior pockets
Amazon Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.5/5 stars

If you’re fishing for a high-quality makeup bag without a high price tag, consider this Amazon beauty pick. The bag has a stylish design that opens into a flat surface, which helps you access our makeup easily. And when you’re done, just scrunch it back up and store it. The design is so convenient that it has had over eight thousand purchases in the past month, and is a current bestseller on Amazon.

What testers say: “Perfect size to fit all of my makeup goods, the bag itself is very high quality, and the zip is sturdy. I love the way the bag opens wide to reveal all of my makeup and that it keeps everything organized and easy to find. It would be a great travel bag, but I use it as everyday storage as I like to do my makeup in different locations around the house.”

Price upon publish date of this article: $23.99

Lululemon Go Getter Pouch

Size: 8.7″ x 3.3″ x 6.3″
Fabric: Nylon
Features: Designed for those on the move, water repellent fabric, adn zipper exterior
Pros: Exterior pocket, plus large interior
Cons: Smaller bag
Lululemon Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.8/5 stars

Lululemon’s Go Getter Pouch is the best for tossing in your gym or work bag. It has a large inside that holds plenty of makeup, skin care, and two miscellaneous items you need while on the go. The pouch also includes an exterior pocket, perfect for holding pony ties for your next gym session.

What testers say: “I was VERY impressed when I got this in the mail. I had probably 2 or 3 different bags/pouches with random makeup, skin care, and other things, and combined all of them into this one with lots of room left. It’s not stiff material, so it’s easy to manipulate it to fit things, and the small zip pocket is perfect for the small things you don’t want to go searching for. I cannot recommend this enough!”

Price upon publish date of this article: $38

Dagne Dover Large Hunter Toiletry Bag

Size: 9” x 4.75” x 5.5”
Fabric: Neoprene
Features: Includes an interior compartment and two removable zip pouches
Pros: External D-rings to hook to luggage. Available in two sizes: Small and large
Cons: Interior mesh pockets
Saks Fifth Avenue Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4/5 stars 

Dagne Dover’s portfolio showcases a vast collection of functional, everyday bags that look good, and perform even better. This makeup organizer is no exception. It’s created in the brand’s proprietary neoprene fabric which is soft and roomy. The bag offers an impressive interior with two removable zip pouches that allow for more organization, and it comes in small and large sizes.

Price upon publish date of this article: $65

Didida Waterproof Cosmetic Travel Makeup Bags

Large size: 9” x 6.2” x 3.1”
Small size: 6.5″ x 4.3″ x 2.7″
Fabric: Nylon
Features: Smooth double zippers with waterproof fabric and a detachable cosmetics bag
Pros: Multiple sizes for various needs
Cons: Two large and one small, no medium option available
Amazon Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.5/5 stars

“Customers should look to see if there is an easy-to-clean lining,” advises Jacobs, which this Didida does. It’s made from a waterproof fabric and comes with a detachable cosmetic pouch so you can separate your makeup from your skin care and toiletries, making it simple to grab what you need. “If the makeup bag doesn’t have an easy-to-clean lining, you will just end up having to rebuy bags every time they get dirty or stained,” warns Jacobs.

What testers say: “As a package of 3 with varied sizes, they are great! I use them for medications, one for daytime meds, one for evening meds, and one for cosmetics. I love the color and softness!”

Price upon publish date of this article: $18

Calpak Clear Makeup Bag

Size: 11.5” x 5.25” x 9”
Fabric: PVC
Features: A transparent exterior and wrap-around zipper offer ease of use, and interior mesh pockets hold everything in
Pros: Transparent exterior allows you to easily locate what you need
Cons: Transparent exterior doesn’t offer privacy

One of the best travel cosmetic cases around, this Calpak bag “comes in nice colors and makes an awesome travel makeup bag as well,” explains Baker. If you’re someone who likes to be reminded of what they’ve brought (and maybe forgot), this bag offers organization with an interior mesh pocket for smaller items. Two separate slots allow you to section out your products so if something splashes in one, your entire collection won’t be compromised. Additionally, as it’s made in a PVC material, Aharon notes that it’s “super easy to spot what you need and keep clean and rinse out.”

What testers say: “You can literally fit everything you could possibly need for travel into this case – shower stuff, hair stuff, a 10-step skin care regimen, etc. The case is made really well and I can tell it will look just as good in years to come as it does now.”

Price upon publish date of this article: $95

Bloomingdale’s Little Brown Makeup Bag

Best for: A small makeup bag that makes a statement
Size: 8.25″ x 1″ x 5.25″
Fabric: Vinyl
Features: Iconic Bloomingdale’s design
Pros: Simple and can be used in multiple ways
Cons: Not clear
Bloomingdale’s Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.8/5 stars 

“An oldie but goodie is the legendary Little Brown Makeup Bag by Bloomingdale’s. It’s not clear, but it’s a good one and it’s only $16,” Baker says. It’s a super option to hold your essential day-to-day products, and it also makes for a chic gift. Additionally, this little pouch is multi-functional, and can hold receipts, loose coins or whatever else you’d like.

What testers say: “This is adorable when you get one of the brown bags to go along with it. I get asked about the cosmetic bag and medium brown bag all the time.”

Price upon publish date of this article: $18

Cuyana Leather Travel Case Makeup Bag

Small size: 5” x 8” x 2.5”
Large size: 7” x 12” x 3.5”
Fabric: Pebbled leather
Features: Unique curved shape
Pros: Microsuede interior for easy clean
Cons: No medium size available
Cuyana Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.5/5 stars 

Nothing is more luxurious than a set of leather travel cases, and this set from Cuyana is available in an array of colors. Crafted in pebbled leather, the Cuyana set is durable and less prone to showing wear and tear, meaning you can toss it around in any bag or suitcase with abandon. The interior is made of microsuede, which is super easy to clean. You can also feel great about shopping for this bag — Cuyana is part of the Leather Working Group, an organization ensuring sustainable practices are used in the tanning and development of their leather.

Price upon publish date of this article: $168

Glossier The Makeup Bag

Size: 9.5” x 7” x 3”
Fabric: Coated cotton
Features: Removable interior pouch
Pros: Four smaller interior pockets and one large interior pocket
Cons: Could be bulky for packing

A cult favorite, Glossier’s Beauty Bag is made in coated cotton with a detachable interior pocket in a smooth felt lining that’s soft to the touch. It’s large enough for full-size bottles to stand completely up on their own and with four interior pockets on the side, you can store small tools and brushes safely. There are also two zippered pockets on the exterior for you to place your immediate go-to’s on the outside.

What testers say: “This bag is so cute and very functional. I have some of the serums from this brand and they fit perfectly in the pockets. I was easily able to fit all of my makeup products in here with a little extra space. This bag is perfect for packing for vacations or just everyday use. If you are thinking about getting this bag… do it!”

Price upon publish date of this article: $40

Sonia Kashuk Square Clutch Makeup Bag

Size: 6.25” x 9” x 3.5”
Fabric: PVC
Features: Metallic zip closure, see-through bag
Pros: Easy to wipe down if any messes occur
Cons: Singular pouch, no pockets
Target Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.6/5

“I still love my Sonia Kashuk clear makeup bags that are affordable and come in a variety of sizes available at Target,” Baker tells us. Its metallic zipper closure spans the entire top of the bag, so you’ll have no issue fitting in items of various sizes. Made with triangular sides that gradually get larger as you reach the base, this bag lets bottles stand upright or brushes to lay along the bottom. If you’re someone who craves interior pockets and organizing, this bag may not be for you, but as an everyday, easy makeup bag, this works to hold your must-haves.

What testers say: “I bought this for a vacation to put all my toiletry items in. I’ve used it twice in my carry-on and TSA has never said it’s too big. Fits a lot of items & seems sturdy!”

Price upon publish date of this article: $9.99

Anrui Clear Makeup Bag

Best for: TSA-friendly travel
Size: 7.7” x 5.5” x 2.5”
Fabric: Plastic/PVC
Features: Waterproof and see through
Pros: Easy to clean, comes in sets of three
Cons: See through limits privacy
Amazon Top-Quality Store Badge on Google: 4.5/5 stars

“For ladies who love to budget shop, the Anrui travel bag is great as a makeup and travel bag,” Baker says. If you’re looking for more organization in your suitcase or prefer to break up products by necessity, this set may be right for you. As they’re waterproof and see-through, they’re easy to eyeball. Its size allows it to stand up independently, another plus for anyone with delicate items or little ones underfoot. With over 1,000 five-star reviews, it’s a top selling Amazon makeup bag.

What testers say: “Just returned from a long multi-city trip and am glad I had this bag. Its sturdy shape allows it to stand up firmly in your carry-on, making it easy to locate and remove for security checkpoints. This feature also allows you to use it on bathroom sinks; it stands up and you can easily see all your products at a glance.”

Price upon publish date of this article: $9.99

The Different Types of Makeup Bags

You can find various kinds of makeup bags, so choosing one boils down to what you’ll use it for. “People often use makeup bags for many different purposes: to bring to work, for traveling, to keep in a locker at a gym, etc. It is important to pick a makeup bag based on these needs,” says Jacobs. “If you’re like me, and not a bag lady, I only need one for my purse and one for travel,” notes Baker. “It’s important to know the size of the makeup products and the amount of makeup you want to put in the bag,” the Katz sisters explain. “This will help you decide what kind of makeup bag you need, whether it’s large vs small, many pockets vs no pockets, or vertical vs horizontal.” Below are three popular makeup bag categories to shop.

  • Makeup bags with compartments: Great for those who like to keep things neat and tidy, these big makeup bags and makeup train cases include special features like built-in zipper pockets, mesh sleeves, and pouches to keep your best makeup brushes in mint condition. These organizational makeup bags and makeup cases are larger than other options, which can be bulky to travel with, but they make it easier to carry a load of products without needing to dig around to find what you’re looking for. Some larger options work well for the gym too, as their open interior allows more room to store deodorant or dry shampoo.
  • Designer makeup bags: These luxury makeup bags are investment pieces because of the their high-quality materials. Expect buttery leather makeup bags, quilted makeup bags, or luxury canvas makeup bags crafted with durable hardware and long-lasting materials. Designer makeup bags are created to stand the test of time, so they also make great gifts for women, gifts for girlfriends, and gifts for moms.
  • Makeup pouches: Pouches are handy for everyday use —  the mini makeup bags keep your items easy to reach when you’re at the office or heading to the gym. They’re also great weekender makeup bags when you’re traveling with just the essentials. Makeup pouches are also ideal for holding items you use to touch up throughout the day; keep your best setting powder and best lip gloss inside to refresh when necessary. These small makeup bags are typically budget-friendly, so they’re a great option for brides looking for makeup bags for bridesmaids.
  • Travel makeup bags: While most makeup bags are friendly for travel, some are specially designed to withstand wear and tear from being crammed in a suitcase, tossed on a conveyor belt, or squeezed into a shoulder bag. Soft cases are generally easier to fit in a suitcase, however hard-shell makeup bags offer more protection for those who travel with liquids or palettes.

What to Consider When Shopping for the Best Makeup Bags

Size, durability, and price are three important factors to keep in mind when you’re selecting a makeup bag. But fabric is by far the most important consideration: If you can’t travel without your favorite liquid highlighter and best cream blush, an easy-to-clean material like nylon is key. If your case is going to sit on your vanity, then a pretty leather bag might be up your alley. Here are the most common fabrics and materials you can choose from.

  • PVC makeup bags: If you’re someone who travels a lot and gets anxious about TSA-friendly options, you may want to consider a clear, PVC option that shows what’s inside. These bags are also a great choice because they are easy to wipe down if a leak occurs in transit. One caveat: Typically, PVC pieces lack interior organization, depending on their size.
  • Vegan leather makeup bags: This material is created using more sustainable practices and can be cleaned with less difficulty than traditional leather, but visually will appear similar. Vegan leather products can be more cost-effective as well, yet still can be personalized or monogrammed, depending on the designer.
  • Leather makeup bags: One of the more luxurious options for makeup bags, leather is also surprisingly durable. However, a downside can be the eventual cleaning, which often is recommended to be done by a professional. The interiors are typically easier to clean than exteriors.
  • Canvas makeup bags: These bags are perfect for gift giving and customization — they’re a popular choice for brides shopping for makeup bags for bridesmaids. Available in a wide variety of sizes and at reasonable price points, they’re a versatile choice.
  • Nylon makeup bags: Much like canvas, nylon is one of the easiest fabrics to wipe down if any spills occur, and can be ideal when traveling with children and babies. Waterproof and man-made, nylon is a sustainable option, as many nylons are produced out of recycled bottles and other objects.

How to Clean Your Makeup Bag

No matter which style of makeup bag you choose, you want something that’s simple to clean, according to Stern. She says that easy-to-wash materials are ideal, while Aharon notes that “fabrics that can be tossed in the wash or safely sprayed with rubbing alcohol are key.” PVC makeup bags are the easiest to clean; you can simply wipe them down with an antibacterial wipe or damp paper towel. Small cloth makeup bags are a great option because you can simply toss them in the washing machine; same goes for terry cloth makeup bags and canvas makeup bags. Most leather makeup bags — particularly designer options — require professional cleaning. Pack liquid and oil-based products carefully, as these can permanently stain your bag if they leak.

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Meet the Experts

Michaela and Zoe Katz are the founders of New York-based Twice as Organized, a lifestyle organization company offering full-service in-home organization.

Lisa Jacobs is the founder and CEO of Imagine It Done, a New York-based exclusive organization company, providing services to clients in the New York tri-state area.

Kim Baker is a New York-based commercial makeup artist and former Wilhelmina Model who specializes in working with celebrities and models. She is the founder of Glamazon Beauty.

Lisa Aharon is a New York-based, Vancouver-born makeup artist. She has worked with Florence Welch and other celebrity clientele such as Rachel Brosnahan, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Camila Mendes. Aharon has worked with major brands and photographers such as Alexander Wang, Ralph Lauren, Annie Leibowitz, and Jurgen Teller.

Molly R. Stern is a celebrity makeup artist based in Los Angeles. She has worked with celebrities such as Reese Witherspoon, Maya Rudolph, Lily Collins, and Nicole Kidman on the red carpet and editorial opportunities.

Meet the Authors

Claire Sullivan is the Senior Beauty and Lifestyle Commerce Editor for WWD and Footwear News. She’s spent over five years researching, reporting on, and writing about the beauty industry for publications like Martha Stewart Living, Martha Stewart Weddings, InStyle, and Byrdie. She’s tested hundreds of products during her time as a beauty editor, including many a makeup bag. Sullivan wrote the updated version of this best makeup bag story with the newly released product picks for 2023 and more helpful advice on selecting the best cosmetic bag for your needs.

Taylor Lane is a WWD and Footwear News contributing freelance beauty and fashion shopping writer based in Charleston, South Carolina. The former New Yorker previously held on-staff shopping writer roles at Yahoo Life and Dotdash Meredith. Lane’s bylines have appeared in publications like InStyle, Forbes Vetted, Women’s Health, and more. Lane has several years of editorial experience covering beauty and fashion, reporting on everything from stylish and functional sneakers to the latest and greatest beauty products. Lane updated this article on the best makeup bags in December 2023 to include new product picks and additional advice on what to look for in top makeup bags.

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