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Every makeup wearer should have a designated bag to keep beauty products organized and hygienic. You might be looking for something for everyday storage or for on-the-go use. Although there’s no one-size-fits-all option, there are certain features of a makeup bag that make it worthy of an investment.
"Ideally, the bag will be resilient, waterproof, and easy to wipe down," says New York makeup artist Jamie Dorman. "This makes it easy to keep sanitary and clean up any products that have made it out of their containers."
We conducted hours of research on the best makeup bags, evaluating them on quality, design, capacity, and extra features. Our team then combined these results with our own research of fan-favorites plus makeup artist-recommended picks to create this list. From hard-shell cases and catch-alls to hanging satchels and TSA-approved transparent pouches, you've got lots to choose from.
Ahead, find the best makeup bags to keep your glam stash organized.
Best Overall: Beis The Cosmetics Case
Compact yet spacious
Magnetized brush holder
Our top pick is this simple yet chic number from Béis. Measuring 9.5 x 7 x 4 inches, The Cosmetics Case is conveniently compact but actually a bit more spacious than it looks. Inside, there's a magnetized removable brush holder with a pouch-style enclosure and a sizable zipper pocket on the back.
Then there are three suitcase-style pockets in the main compartment and a slip pocket on the lid with a removable mirror for on-the-go application. This spillproof makeup carrier has a faux-leather exterior that resists crushing, and the lining is easy-to-clean, water-resistant polyester.
Dimensions: 9.5 x 7 x 4 inches | Material: Faux leather | Closure: Zipper
Best Budget: Narwey Makeup Bag
Great color selection
Not the most durable
On a budget? This water-resistant cosmetics bag has room for all the essentials and won't break the bank. Available in two sizes and several colors, it's got a main compartment, two side pockets, and three narrower sleeves for makeup brushes, eyeliner, mascara, lipstick—you name it.
Dimensions: 10 x 7 x 4 inches, 9 x 6 x 2 inches | Material: Polyester | Closure: Zipper
Best Splurge: Royce New York Double Zip Leather Toiletry Bag
Too small for some
If you're willing to shell out a little more for the perfect carrier, you won't regret investing in Royce's Double Zip Toiletry Bag. It's made of buttery-soft yet durable genuine leather with a waterproof, stain-resistant lining. Measuring 8 x 5 x 4.5 inches, it'll fit effortlessly in any suitcase or overnight bag, but it still offers plenty of room for your must-haves.
Dimensions: 8 x 5 x 4.5 inches | Material: Leather | Closure: Zipper
Best Compartments: Sephora Collection Pack It All Organizer
Transparent mesh pouches
Strong odor out of the box
Sells out often
This portable makeup organizer from Sephora is great because it's got a spacious interior, plus removable zippered compartments. Similar to packing cubes, this allows you to separate your liquids, powders, brushes, lip products, and whatever else you’re storing. The soft mesh makes it easy to fit everything in and gives you a clear view of what's inside each pouch, while the hard-shell exterior prevents crushing.
Dimensions: 7.5 x 9.5 x 5 inches | Material: Faux leather, polyester | Closure: Zipper
Best Clear: Stephanie Johnson Miami Claire Jumbo Cosmetics Case
Easy to clean
Only one compartment
"As a makeup artist, I like having a see-through bag so I can see what I have or if anything is leaking," Dorman tells Byrdie. We love this iridescent case by Stephanie Johnson. While it doesn't have any pockets or compartments, it boasts a roomy interior, zip-around closure, and an easy-to-clean design.
Dimensions: 11 x 8 x 3 inches | Material: Thermoplastic | Closure: Zipper
Best Waterproof: Meiyuuo Waterproof Makeup Bag
Holds its shape
Great color selection
Need something that'll stand up to spills, splashes, and maybe even a little rainfall? This waterproof makeup bag might be your best bet. Made of smooth vegan leather with a wipeable nylon lining, it's lightweight yet durable and holds its shape well. It comes in several chic colors, too, ranging from millennial pink to mint green to marigold.
Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 4.5 inches | Material: Faux leather | Closure: Zipper
Best Pouch: Dagne Dover Large Hunter Toiletry Bag
Great color selection
Doesn't resist crushing
Who else recommends it? Insider, Cosmopolitan, and Allure all picked the Dagne Dover Neoprene Toiletry Bag.
For more modest makeup collections, we recommend the small size of Dagne Dover's Hunter Bag. This thoughtfully designed pouch measures just 7.5 x 4.5 x 4 inches. It's made of water-resistant neoprene and has a removable zipper pocket, a dust bag, and three elastic loops for securing your brushes or lip products. The color options are something to admire too.
Dimensions: 7.5 x 4.5 x 4 inches | Material: Neoprene | Closure: Zipper, snap
Best Train Case: Tartan + Twine Professionista Gray Train Case With Adjustable Dividers
Only one color
This midcentury-inspired train case is a perfect medium size, fitting in your carry-on while providing plenty of space for all your makeup items. It's got multiple compartments, four adjustable dividers, seven elastic loops for brushes and liners, and an additional zippered pocket on the lid.
Dimensions: 10.5 x 7.5 x 5.5 inches | Material: Not listed | Closure: Zipper
Best Hanging: Bosidu Hanging Travel Toiletry Bag, Large Capacity Cosmetic Travel Toiletry Organizer
Zipper can be finicky
The handy cosmetics back can be hung from the back of a door, on a towel hook, or really anywhere with a sturdy knob. Made of sturdy canvas with a thermoplastic interior and vegan leather accents, it's crush-resistant and waterproof. Inside, there are multiple compartments and zippered pockets, all transparent so you can easily see all your products.
Dimensions: 11.5 x 10 x 4.5 inches | Material: Canvas, faux leather, thermoplastic | Closure: Zipper
Best Catch-All: Glossier The Beauty Bag
Removable inner pouch
Only one color
Glossier's take on the makeup bag is this cleverly designed catch-all. At 9.5 x 7 x 3 inches, it's tall enough to fit your brushes, pencils, and full-size skincare products and wide enough to stand upright without support but also conveniently compact. There are various pockets and compartments to help you stay organized on the go, and thanks to the coated-cotton exterior, you won't have to worry about spills, splashes, or stains.
Dimensions: 9.5 x 7 x 3 inches | Material: Coated cotton | Closure: Zipper
Best Basic: Kiramoon The Magic Pouch
"I like Kiramoon's Magic Pouch for its fun holographic take on a clear bag, while still having all the benefits of a clear bag," says Dorman. Measuring 8 x 7 x 2 inches, this single-compartment carrier is perfectly simple and gets the job done. We also appreciate that it's waterproof.
Dimensions: 8 x 7 x 2 inches | Material: Plastic | Closure: Zipper
Best Mini: Paravel Mini Stripe See All Vanity Case
Pricey for the size
The mini size of Paravel's Cabana Vanity Case measures just 5.5 x 5 x 2.5 inches. It's ideal for short trips, modest makeup collections, and beauty essentials you like to have on hand while at work or school. The see-all design gives you a clear view of the contents, while the water-resistant exterior prevents stains, leaks, and moisture damage.
Dimensions: 5.5 x 5 x 2.5 inches | Material: Canvas, plastic, leather | Closure: Zipper
Best Large: MAC Cosmetics Travel Case
Only one color
Have something larger in mind? The MAC Travel Case is a spacious 15 x 11.5 x 7 inches, with three zip-up mesh compartments, three removable clear pouches, and a removable interior pocket. There are also two additional zipper pockets on the exterior, plus sturdy handles and a heavy-duty cross-body strap for easy transport. While we wish it came in more colors, the brand's signature black is always in vogue.
Dimensions: 15 x 11.5 x 7 inches | Material: Polyester, plastic | Closure: Zipper
Best for Tools: Real Techniques Dare To Be You X Female Collective The Catch All Cosmetic Bag
Easy to clean
Only one color
If you like to have a designated satchel for brushes, sponges, curlers, rollers, tweezers, and other beauty tools, Real Techniques has you covered. This all-in-one bag has multiple interior pockets and elastic bands for keeping everything organized and secure. It's nice and compact, too, with a wipeable vegan leather exterior and reliable zipper closure.
Dimensions: Not listed | Material: Faux leather | Closure: Zipper
Best for Makeup Artists: Make Up For Ever Professional Bag
Transparent mesh pouches
Only one color
This generously sized carrier was designed with makeup artists in mind. Measuring roughly 16 x 11 x 6 inches, it's got multiple compartments, pockets, and zip-up mesh pouches for keeping your collection organized and in full view. You can tote it around by the handles or use the cross-body strap when you need your hands free. Though it only comes in one color, black is an undeniably professional choice.
Dimensions: 16 x 11 x 6 inches | Material: Polyester | Closure: Zipper
Our best overall pick is Béis’ The Cosmetics Case, which is water-resistant and compact yet spacious, and comes with a magnetized removable brush holder. For something more affordable, consider Narwey’s Zipper Makeup Bag, which is also water-resistant and has a main compartment, two side pockets, and three narrower sleeves.
How We Researched
To compile this list, our team of editors and contributors spent hours researching the best products on the market in this category, evaluating their key features—like ingredients, shade range, or design—in addition to reviews from customers and other trusted sources. We then used this research to assign a star rating from one to five (five being the best; one being the worst) to certain products on the list.
Meet the Expert
Jamie Dorman is an NYC-based celebrity makeup artist. She also works as a beauty editor at Lucire.
What to Look for in a Makeup Bag
When it comes to the best makeup bag for your needs, the size definitely comes into play. Are you after something that will fit your entire makeup routine or just weekend essentials? Are you a maximalist who needs to travel with three lipsticks, four foundations, and both cream and powder blush, or are you a mascara, clear balm, and concealer kind of person? Taking these details into account will help you choose the correct size makeup bag suited to your needs. You can always keep more than one makeup bag on hand—one for night-out essentials and another for getaways or work trips.
According to makeup artist Jamie Dorman, your best bet when it comes to makeup bags is to go for something durable and waterproof to protect you from spills and accidental leaks. She likes nylon, PVC, thick canvas materials, and leather. You can also choose something more eco-friendly if that appeals to you more, such as bags made from recycled plastics or sustainably sourced leather or hemp.
Another personal preference worth thinking about is the number of compartments, whether that’s zero or multiple. Compartments are great for high-risk products (think foundation, liquid blush, and the like) or smaller items like lip balm and bobby pins that are otherwise easily lost, whereas one singular compartment might ensure that everything is within reach. Makeup bags with longer slots for brushes and a protective brush cover are also helpful if you take your brushes with you.
How do you travel with a lot of makeup?
If you are traveling and want to take your makeup stash, you should make sure your makeup bag is padded and sturdy. There should be a zipper closure and slots to safely and securely hold your brushes and liquid products. Using magnetic palettes can help you save space, but be sure to store them as securely as you can, so powders don't crack or crumble.
How can I pack my makeup without breaking it?
When packing your makeup bag with pressed powders, try adding a cotton ball or small makeup puff inside the case to prevent movement and secure the product.
What is the best way to pack makeup?
Packing your makeup bag for trips takes some planning to prevent spilling or cracking. Try wrapping products in plastic wrap and cushioning with cotton balls or powder puffs. For liquids, open the cap and place some plastic wrap over the opening. Screw the cap back on, and add more plastic wrap around the top. You can also place things in spillproof reusable bags or smaller travel-size sealed containers.
Why Trust Byrdie
Theresa Holland is a seasoned commerce writer specializing in beauty, travel, and lifestyle. For this story, she interviewed a makeup artist, who offered product recommendations and pointers on what to look for in a cosmetics carrier, and then she considered dozens of models and reviewed third-party sources as well as our own testing insights to find today's best options. Since 2020, Theresa has been writing for Byrdie, where she covers makeup, skincare, and wellness gadgets.
Put it this way: Team Byrdie owns and subsequently transports A LOT of beauty products, especially makeup. Half the issue is culling down to essentials only, but the other half is finding the ideal makeup bag—a pursuit we’ve spent years perfecting.
According to our Diversity Pledge, 15% of products in our newly published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the time of publishing, we were not able to find any makeup bags from a Black-owned and/or Black-founded business. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will evaluate the product ASAP.
The best makeup bags you can buy. Insider. https://www.insider.com/guides/beauty/best-makeup-bag
19 Best Toiletry Bags for Easy, Mess-Free Packing. Cosmopolitan. https://www.cosmopolitan.com/style-beauty/beauty/g33218602/best-toiletry-bags/
17 Best Makeup and Cosmetic Bags for Tidying Your Vanity. Allure. https://www.allure.com/story/most-popular-makeup-bags