The Best Makeup Bags & Cases for 2018

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Huffington Post recently ran an article about the only six products you really need in your makeup bag. I definitely recommend you read the article, but for convenience sake, the items were: primer, concealer, foundation, mascara, a lip product and a finishing product. Some may add a small self-sharpening eyeliner and a small, neutral eyeshadow pallet that could maybe double as a blush or bronzer. You probably have all of these, plus about two dozen more (by a conservative estimate). Plus, with all the makeup subscription boxes available these days, your hoard may be growing exponentially.

Most of us have makeup stashed everywhere--our car consoles, our office desks, our purses, our bathrooms, our gym bags--but having all that product strewn about isn’t helpful to anyone. The last thing a girl on the go needs is her lipstick bouncing around uncapped marking up the sides of her handbag. So, let’s get organized! If you’re going to cart your cosmetics around, you’re going to need a good bag!

Before we get into where to find these “good” bags, let’s discuss what to look for (and how we know what we need) in a makeup bag.

A good makeup bag should (ideally) have a waterproof liner that’s easy to clean--since leaks and spills are bound to happen. And, size does matter. Before purchasing a bag, you’ll need to consider your makeup routine and how much product you consistently wear/need to store. Once you know that, pick a bag that is slightly larger than what you actually need, in case you want to add an additional product or two. Other things to consider are whether you want a zipper closure or velcro and whether your bag needs pockets for storage, or if you’re ok with just one big compartment.

Another good rule of thumb is to try to avoid buying light colored or linen/canvas bags that can fall victim to those aforementioned leaks and spills. You want the bag to be cute--we get that--but it also needs to be functional and durable enough to hold your product and protect your stuff. BUT, also avoid bags lined in dark colors as they can make it difficult to locate or differentiate everything inside (especially since a ton of cosmetic product is packaged in black or dark hues).

Below are seven great makeup bags--all of which can be found on Amazon. And, in addition to storing all your beauty supplies, these can be used in myriad other ways, including: as emergency kits for your period, clothing or first aid (holding tampons, pads, baby wipes; a sewing kit, stain remover pen and double sided tape; or bandaids, aspirin, triple antibiotic and TUMS, respectively), to store your jewelry (while at the gym or during travel), and--since they are the perfect size to hold a cell phone, your ID and some headphones--to hold all your valuables discreetly in your beach, pool or gym bag.


Like the bag above, this bag meets the bright colors, and bold prints need. It is made of durable canvas and utilizes a zipper closure and is lined with a polka-dot patterned nylon, so should be easy to clean!

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Though bag size is standard (10.6x3.1x8), it comes in twelve additional colors including: pink chevron, yellow chevron, navy (with white sea coral print), dinosaur, Eiffel tower, flamingo (pictured above), geometric coral, geometric pink, paisley, black and grey quatrefoil, pink and grey quatrefoil, and black/white tribal Mayan. It is described as “very roomy” and should be big enough to house brushes, but easily fit into your handbag or purse.

Ever Moda Pink Flamingo Makeup Bag

Our Average Review:

4.5 Out of 5 Stars


CerroQreen Makeup Bag

Our Average Review:

4.8 Out of 5 Stars

Mesh is a top trend this season (from shirts to athletic leggings to bags) and this bag is both stylish and functional, breathable and easy to clean. The bag features a large main compartment with an additional mesh compartment (just under the lid) for smaller items. Because it’s see-through, it is a super handy travel pack that allows items to be identified at most security checkpoints. It’s 9x3x4 inches and is durable.

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It fits a number of long makeup brushes and a good amount of product but is probably more suited for someone who likes a fresher more natural face. It comes in black, rose and red for under $12 or you can buy a three case set (two small and one large) for around $30.


Lily England Makeup Bag

Our Average Review:

3.6 Out of 5 Stars

Though this bag is black, it still makes a list with its sleek designer look. It is lightweight, stylish and roomy. It’s made with a durable, stain-resistant fabric that can easily be wiped clean. This bag boasts several zippered compartments with areas to store and organize brushes (in the top section that also features a mesh pouch), tools (in the small pouch) and makeup (in the large bottom compartment).

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This bag has a lifetime guarantee and a 100% no-questions-asked refund if you aren’t completely satisfied with it. The bag itself received great reviews and was lauded for being perfect for both everyday makeup storage and for travel.


If small and discrete isn’t your style and you have a ton of product to haul, this bag is for you. This big capacity and multi-compartment bag will hold a ton of stuff (see picture above). It’s foldable, portable and lightweight, has a waterproof nylon coating and a drawstring closure.

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Though this bag likely won’t fit into your purse, reviews say it is perfect for your gym bag and for travel and holds multiple full-sized bottles of product (like shampoo, conditioner and body wash).  It comes in pink or blue.

HOYOFO Travel Restroom Barrel Cosmetic Bag

Our Average Review:

4.2 Out of 5 Stars


This is another large bag that will hold a ton of product. It’s made of nylon and would be easy to clean. It has a lot of small pockets and elastic bands that can hold your makeup brushes, makeup, tools and even jewelry. It also has an embedded mirror that would come in handy doing makeup on the go.

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The diamond quilting puts off a vintage vibe (but at a fraction of the cost of the real thing at just under $15 before tax and shipping) and the bright colors are totally on trend. The bag is 10x7x7 inches, but weighs less than one ounce and comes in eight colors: yellow (pictured above), blue, black, watermelon red, rose, pink, red and coffee. Reviews call it incredibly durable.

EN'DA Big Travel Cosmetic Case and toiletries bag

Our Average Review:

4.5 Out of 5 Stars


HUNGER Flower Leaves Make-Up Cosmetic Tote Bag

Our Average Review:

4.4 Out of 5 Stars

This bag is made of easy to clean microfiber and designed to fit into any carry-on travel bag...so it should definitely fit into your purse. It has a zipper closure and measures 8.6x5x3 inches--the perfect size and reviews say it is incredibly deep and expands quite a bit.

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It costs less than $10 (before tax and shipping). Quality is described as great, and it’s handmade! It comes in 14 different colors ranging from floral to fruit, animals, and cute ballerinas.


Patu Roll Up Travel Case

Our Average Review:

4.5 Out of 5 Stars

This is a bag unlike any other previously listed. It’s a roll-up bag, so it’s portable and easy to tuck into handbags, backpacks, luggage and carry-ons. It has elastic snaps and drawstring pouch areas as well as mesh pockets. It is lightweight but durable (and water resistant). The multi-size pockets provide a lot of capacity and versatile storage.

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Online reviews say this bag is perfect for all your makeup, product, tools and beauty supplies, but is also great for storing electronics (cords, chargers, and more). Before tax and shipping, this bag is just $12.99 and comes in multiple colors and sizes: three fold black, three-fold red, four-fold gray, four-fold navy and four-fold rose/pink.

One important piece of extra advice for choosing, stocking and carrying your makeup bag: keep it low budget. Yes, you’ll want something cute and functional (like any one of the ones listed above) and you’ll likely want to fill it with all your favorite products, but it’s probably more practical (in case it’s ever lost or stolen) to stock the bag with essential products that are multi-functional and budget-friendly, so you won’t go broke if you have to replace the bag and all its contents. Save yourself the stress and leave the expensive products on your bathroom vanity so you don’t risk losing or breaking something you really love that may have also cost half your paycheck.

Whichever makeup bag you choose, it’s important to get a new one each year--maybe for your birthday or on New Year’s Day--not only because they get dirty, but because you cart it everywhere you go and set it on hundreds of desks, bathroom vanities, and public restroom counters - meaning that it carries and harbors a whole host of yucky germs. Studies have shown that handbags carry more bacteria than some toilets--and most of the time your makeup bag goes everywhere your purse does. (Side note: if your makeup bag--or even purse for that matter--is plastic or leather, you can--and should--clean it with disinfectant wipes). This bacteria can breed infections like pink eye and staph or lead to amplified irritation and breakouts! EEK! No thanks!

Not only should you replace your makeup bag, but experts also say you should toss your old products on a regular basis. Mascara typically expires in 3-6 months, eye and lip liners should last up to three (but who's ever do?!), lipsticks and gloss are good for up to a year, most foundations will last between six months to a year, and eye shadow, blush, and powder, astoundingly, can survive up to three years depending on formula and ingredients. It’s also important to regularly clean (or replace) your brushes and sponges.

make up kit bag

Do yourself a huge favor and toss out old or discolored foundation; crusty, dried up mascara; dirty sponges and blotters; melted, disfigured, clumping lipsticks and glosses; cracked and busted powdered cosmetics; pencils with no lids; and expired moisturizers--these things aren't going anything for you but taking up valuable real estate. And if your bag is a huge mess, empty it out and toss it in the wash (but lay flat to dry) or give it a good wipe down inside and out--this can prolong the life of the bag until it’s time to get a new one.

Some makeup artists and enthusiasts will suggest, in addition to an annual reorganization and purge of bag and product, that you update your makeup between seasons. This doesn’t mean replacing everything; rather it has to do with switching pallets to match the season and your skin tone at different times of the year. For example, if you have fair skin, but tan well in the summer, your foundation for winter would be too light for summer, so you’d want to have a darker one in the drawer to use until you stop sunbathing. Or if you used to be a big proponent of the fake-n-bake, but now don’t partake, you may need to switch to a lighter, more natural color foundation and put the darker one in storage. Or, you may switch to an illuminating powder over bronzer as summer fades to fall.

Do you have a favorite makeup bag? What makes it special? What kind of deadline do you place on your beauty products? How do you decide what to keep or toss? Do you update your makeup with the seasons? What are your favorite seasonal pallets? Share your comments with us below! 

(Last Updated On: April 22, 2018)

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