We spent 40 hours researching and testing more than 20 different kinds of travel makeup bags and found that space, cost, and quality of construction were the most important factors for consumers who were shopping for travel makeup bags. Habe Travel Makeup Bag with Mirror scored high marks in all categories and is our overall top pick. This great bag offers lots of features that are popular including the adjustable dividers that separate the bag, the amount of space it has that can hold as much as 3 makeup cases full of makeup and plenty of travel sized toiletries and extra-long makeup brushes.
Travel Makeup Bag Buying Guide
When you are ready to start shopping for a travel makeup bag there are several things that you will want to look for. Every person is different and their needs will not all be the same but there are some commonalities that will be very beneficial to you regardless of your preferences. We have listed these things below so you are prepared once you start looking at the large array of choices.
Functionality – Functionality is one of the big considerations to make when browsing travel makeup bags. You want to find one that has plenty of space for all of your makeup and skin care products. Ideally it will have room for your deodorant, toothbrush and toothpaste as well. The main purpose of your travel makeup bag is to keep everything in one place. It doesn’t matter how cool the design is if there is not enough room for all of your makeup. Think about your needs and the amount of makeup you own and choose accordingly.
Size – When it comes to choosing the right travel makeup bag, size definitely matters. If you travel a lot and need your makeup with you, you will want to look for a larger case that offers you all the room you need. If you take a lot of short trips and don’t take everything you can afford to choose a smaller bag and still get the convenience they offer. A large makeup bag will take up more space but since you will have ALL of your makeup and products with you, it is highly unlikely that you will mind the extra size. The length of your trip is another indicator of the size travel makeup bag you will want to get. What are you favorite makeup choices? How much makeup do you like to wear? If you don’t wear anything but lip gloss most of the time, a larger bad is unnecessary. If you love makeup and do a lot of techniques for eyes, you want to have everything you need on hand.
Features – What kind of features does the travel makeup bag offer? Do you want it to be waterproof? Do you want it to have a mirror? Do you like hanging bags or would you rather it sits on the counter? Personal preference plays a big part in the features that are important to you. Some women love to have their makeup bags completely organized so having a lot of compartments and sections is just what they need. This is especially true if you like to carry all your full-sized products with you.
Materials – You may not really care what kind of material your makeup bag is made of may not matter much but what should matter is that some materials will hold up better than others. Construction factors that are really important include strong stitching, heavy duty zippers, strong snaps and so on. A quality travel makeup bag that is taken care of will last years. Buy a cheaply made one and you could start seeing problems on the first trip. One great way to see how the travel makeup bag you are interested in is holding up is to read customer comments. Customers that have purchased the bag you are considering often leave comments as to what they think of the bag. If there are problems in construction and durability you are going to hear about it in the comments. This will help you avoid a low quality bag if you are not familiar with the manufacturer and prevent you from wasting your money.
Organization – Since the whole purpose of a travel makeup bag is to make your travels and your life easier, you want to find a bag that offers you the kind of organization you are looking for. Some makeup bags fold up and when they are unfolded there are separate compartments for your makeup. Some look like mini suitcases that have compartments, drawers, and other spots to put everything exactly as you want it. One of the great things about a travel makeup case is that they keep all the makeup in place so it does not get spilled, broken, or lost if you accidentally tip your purse over.
Style – Functionality and durability are probably the two most important factors you will look for when shopping for a travel makeup bag but style is important too. No one wants an ugly travel makeup bag. Since you will be using this bag for a long time, you want to take the time to find one that you really like the look and layout of. If you love sleek looks, classic solid black is a great choice but you are not limited to that. There are so many different styles and colors of makeup bags for traveling that you may have a hard time deciding which style to choose. Do you like solid colors or patterns? Do you like dark colors or bright ones? When you are looking through the different selections, see what jumps out at you and then check for the other important features we have listed here. Don’t make your choice based on style alone.
Protection – Another purpose of the travel makeup bag is protection. Makeup can be really expensive and by the time you get a whole collection accrued you could have a makeup kit worth a few hundred dollars. You want to keep this makeup safe and the travel bag you choose will help this. Look for waterproof material and interiors that are easy to clean if one of your foundations comes open or a shampoo bottle opens. Don’t choose a makeup bag with a velour or velvet feel interior. Despite how pretty it may look it will be a nightmare to clean.
Sturdiness – Durability and sturdiness are also important when it comes to a travel makeup bag. You want to look for sturdy zippers and handles. If the handle breaks on your bag it will become really inconvenient to try and carry around. Hard shell cases are much better at protecting your makeup than soft-sided cases. Another name for a hard side makeup case is a train case.
Dividers – Dividers are not necessary but they certainly help with organization and neatness. Some bags, like the ones we have reviewed above, have adjustable dividers that can be moved around to accommodate the sizes of your bottles and jars. It is also great for keeping different makeup types separate.
Waterproof – It may sound odd to look for a waterproof makeup kit because you don’t normally have those around water, but they ARE typically kept in the bathroom area and bathrooms get damp from showers. Another benefit to having a waterproof travel makeup bag is that if a drink is spilled around it you can clean them up easily with just a damp rag. Waterproof materials include polyester, nylon, vinyl, and other waterproof materials.
Organizing tips for your Travel Makeup Bag
There are some great tips out there for keeping your new makeup bag organized even beyond the dividers. These tips will save you a lot of space and make it much easier to find the products you are looking for.
- Using plastic bags inside your travel bag – Keep certain items in Ziploc bags within your makeup bag. This is a great way to prevent the inside of the bag from getting messy from spills and leaks. If you carry foundation, face cream, and other products like this, these bags will save you a lot of potential headaches. You can also use Ziploc bags to separate the types of makeup; one for lipsticks and glosses and liners, another one for eye shadows, liners, and mascaras, etc. You can label the outside of the bag as well for even easier identification.
- Makeup Brushes – Keep your makeup brushes in a separate part of the makeup bag. This will help you keep the brushes in excellent condition and free from bacteria and problems that will potentially mess up your skin.
There is not a true “Best” travel makeup bag on the market for ALL people. A lot of the travel makeup bags on the market have a lot of the same features so when it comes down to choosing one it will be personal preference.
Think about what you specific needs and preferences are and make a list before you start browsing what is out there. This list will help you remember all the important things you want in a makeup case so you can get exactly what you want. Include what you will be using for makeup bag for as well as how often you will be traveling, how much makeup you want to put in the case and whether you prefer hanging cases or cases that sit on the counter. All of these questions will help you when you are faced with tons of choices. You will be able to easily eliminate the ones that don’t meet your needs and preferences.
Travel makeup bags are a great way to keep all your makeup protected and in one place during your travels whether for a weekend or for two weeks. All three of the top rated travel makeup bags we have featured above are the kind of high quality bags you want with tons of features that will make organizing your makeup even more enjoyable. Remember to look for a hard side case if protecting your makeup is very important to you.
The information you have learned in this buying guide has shown you what to look for when you are shopping, how to determine your own needs easily, and what to think about once you start looking around. Don’t forget about size, functionality, materials, construction quality, style, and all the other features and consideration you have learned about.