Whether you're a bride, bridesmaid, or a wedding guest, packing for travel can be stressful. One of the biggest challenges is making sure you have everything you need for your beauty and makueup routine. You'll also want to stay organized and prevent any spills (especially if you're traveling with your wedding dress!)
This is where a makeup bag comes in. With the right bag, you don’t have to compromise on space or deal with stains from loose products. There are a lot of great options on the market—one way to narrow it down is to think about what will make you feel the most organized. “I like to see my products and have a separate storage space for my makeup brushes,” says hair and makeup artist Keshia Smith. She opts for clear visibility, built-in organization, and easy-to-clean fabric in case of any mishaps.
With Smith’s advice, we researched the best makeup bags, looking for easy to clean, water-resistant materials, superior organizational features, and designs that stays sleek and lightweight. We’ve broken down our selection process into specific categories so you can easily find the makeup bag you need. No matter which you choose, with one of these options you'll keep your beauty products secure, organized, and ready for your next adventure.
Dagne Dover Mila Toiletry Organizer
This large toiletry pouch fits all your essentials with plenty of room for bulkier items. With the removable interior dividers, it's easy to make space for bulkier items and cleaning is a breeze. We also love that this makeup bag is made from repurposed water bottles to make it more sustainable and eco-friendly.
Price at time of publish: $70
Size: 5.5”L x 5.5 W x 7.5 H inches | Material: Repreve Recycled Polyester | Colors: Onyx, Moonbeam, Dusk Violet, Check Mix
Cuyana Vanity Case
Cuyana has some of the highest quality, LWG Silver certified leather on the market. Co-designed with makeup artist Daniel Martin, this vanity and makeup case is elegant, sleek, and minimal, with a gorgeous microsuede interior that wipes clean. It also has an interior pocket for additional organization.
Price at time of publish: $98
Size: H 5.5 x W 9.5 x D 3.38 inches | Material: Leather | Colors: 5
AWAY The Cosmetics Bag
The box style of this makeup bag makes it super easy to pack in your suitcase. Made with a water-resistant nylon body and coated wipeable interior, it features a detachable makeup brush organizer that can be used within the bag or separately. It also has transparent pockets for easy visibility (one of Smith’s biggest tips!). The bag comes with a one year warranty and you can return it within the first 100 days if you aren’t fully satisfied.
Price at time of publish: $75
Size: 8.3 x 6.3 x 3.9 inches | Material: Nylon, Neoprene | Colors: Black, Sand, Petal
Lululemon Command the Day Dopp Kit
This water-repellant bag features a wide, zippered opening, interior elastic loops, and interior mesh zippered compartments to keep everything super secure. It’s simple, minimal, and easy for on-the-go use.
Price at time of publish: $48
Size: 10 x 4.3 x 7.1 inches | Material: Polyester | Colors: Black, Grey Sage
Best for Organization
Beis The Cosmetics Case
This spill-proof cosmetic case is perfect for anyone with a multi-step beauty routine. It comes with a removable makeup brush holder for simplified application and storage, and we love how the removable mirror stands on its own. The larger size and structured shape makes it a cinch to set up and do your makeup almost anywhere. There’s also an elastic closure, long zip pocket, two smaller slip pockets, and is made from washable PVC material.
Price at time of publish: $68
Size: 9.5 x 4.5 x 7 inches | Material: Body: polyurethane leather, Lining: polyester, Interior pocket: Clear PVC, Mirror: Metal/Acrylic | Colors: 9
Homtable 5 Pack Clear Plastic Zippered Toiletry Pouch
Looking for a super straightforward, no-fuss makeup system? This five-pack has you covered. Made from durable and clear plastic material, these zippered pouches are perfect for organizing your toiletries in separate transparent bags so everything stays easy to find and secure.
Price at time of publish: $15
Size: 7.6 x 6.5 x 2 inches | Material: Plastic | Colors: Transparent
Paravel See-All Vanity Case
Go for a personalized look with this beautiful transparent case from Paravel. It’s deceptively roomy, and fits tons of essentials. The bag is also made from durable and stain-repellent EcoCraft Canvas® with recycled vegan leather lining, and can be personalized with a hand-painted monogram for an additional charge. The clear sides let you easily see what’s inside, so it's a win-win.
Price at time of publish: $95
Size: 8.5 x 5.5 x 3.75 inches | Material: EcoCraft Canvas®, Recycled vegan leather details | Colors: Scout Tan, Domino Black
Best with Handle
ZAUKNYA Large Capacity Travel Cosmetic Bag
Great for everyday use or on the go, this large capacity bag comes with a top handle to make carrying around easy and more convenient. It's made from waterproof and durable PU vegan leather with a gorgeous woven detail. While it looks compact when it’s all zipped up, it opens up to four different sections that help you separate all your products. One can be for powders, another for makeup brushes, another for bottles, and more. Now you can actually take all the products you need on your next getaway.
Price at time of publish: $19
Size: 9.8 x 4.7 x 5.1 inches | Material: PU leather | Colors: Brown, Black, Pink, Yellow
Bellroy Toiletry Kit Plus
For a large capacity mag that won’t weigh you down, this sporty toiletry kit is smartly designed to fit all that you need, while remaining lightweight. The angled zipper opens the kit wide so you can easily access all your makeup and toiletries. It also features a sturdy pocket, stretchy mesh pockets for smaller items, a magnetic-closure shelf to separate your toothbrush, and an easy to clean interior.
Price at time of publish: $65
Size: 9.84 x 3.94 inches | Material: Recycled fabric; eco-tanned leather | Colors: Bronze, Black, Navy, Slate
BAGSMART Toiletry Bag Travel Bag (Large)
To save space and get even better access to your products, go with this hanging toiletry bag from Bagsmart. With a sturdy swivel hook, you can set up your primping station virtually anywhere, whether you're using a table ledge or bathroom light. The pockets themselves are clear, so you can easily see where you put that mascara bottle. When its all zipped up, the bag looks like a little briefcase with a top handle. One of our editors tested this bag, and couldn’t believe how much she could fit into it (and it was still slim enough to fit into her weekend bag).
Price at time of publish: $23+
Size: 12.6 x 9.1 x 4.3 inches (Large) | Material: Polyester | Colors: 10
Best for Bridesmaids
SSweddings Bridesmaid Proposal Monogrammed Cosmetic Bag
If you’re looking for a cute—and useful—gift for your bridesmaids, we recommend these personalized cosmetic bags. They use them when traveling to your bachelorette and primping for your wedding, but also for future trips as well. The bag is spacious and the all-around zipper lets it open wide to easily see what’s inside. Real leather details and a monogram make it feel extra special.
Price at time of publish: $15
Size: 8.85 X 3.54 X 5.9 inches | Material: Cotton, Leather | Colors: 6
Truffle Clarity Jumbo Jetset Case
For a splurge that’s totally worth it, this chic case comes with so many benefits. First, we love that it’s transparent so you can see all your products and stay organized. It also features two zip compartments, an elastic strap to store brushes, and a roomy bottom to store bulky items. The trim comes in both nylon and leather options to suit your style.
Price at time of publish: $145 (Leather) $125 (Nylon)
Size: 9 W X 3 3/4 H X 6 D inches | Material: Nylon or Leather | Colors: 8
OCHEAL Makeup Bag
This budget pick truly has it all: tons of organization built in to make staying tidy a breeze, slots for brushes, roomy compartments for bulky items, elastic slots, mesh pockets, and easy to clean fabric. All for less than $20!
Price at time of publish: $15
Size: 9.84 x 8.27 x 0.63 inches | Material: Nylon | Colors: 6
What to Look for in a Makeup Bag
Makeup bags come in various sizes and shapes. If you're planning for a longer trip or simply have a lot of products (guilty!), you may need a larger size to accommodate all your items, like ZAUKNYA Large Capacity Travel Cosmetic Bag. However, for shorter trips or beauty minimalists, you can definitely get away with small pouches, like Bellroy Toiletry Kit to carry just the essentials.
When it comes to choosing the best material for makeup bags, durability, low-key maintenance, and resistance to stains and spills are important to consider. Nylon and polyester are excellent choices, as they are lightweight, water-resistant, and easy to clean. Material that can be wiped down on both the inside and outside means that your bag won't look beat up over time with unsightly makeup stains and spills. We love how Dagne Dover Mila Toiletry Organizer is made from recycled plastic water bottles and is a water-resistant, easy to clean fabric.
For those with more luxe tastes, try a high-quality coated canvas, vegan leather, or classic leather exterior with a wipeable microsuede interior, like Cuyana Vanity Case. These will not be machine washable, but you should be able to wipe clean with a damp cloth.
Smith suggests opting for bags that have clear visibility and built-in organization, like slots for storing your makeup brushes to prevent bristle damage. Our top pick for organization is Beis The Cosmetics Case—we love the clear pouches, brush holder with magnets, and removable mirror.
Look for bags with multiple compartments, pockets, elastic loops, and zippered sections to keep your items neatly separated and easy to locate. There are also some bags that come with detachable pouches for the quick essentials that you don’t want to rummage around looking for.
How do I keep my makeup bag organized?
To stay organized, choose a bag that has built-in compartments and designated areas for your various items. For example, go for a bag with slots for brushes, mesh pouches for smaller items and sponges, and a wider compartment for bulky items.
If it’s feasible, Smith suggests opting for several different bags to stay organized, like this 5 Pack Clear Plastic Zippered Toiletry Carry Pouch. “Being a makeup artist, I keep a bag for skin care, a bag for brows and lips, and a bag for color,” she explains. You could divvy up your skin care items for one bag, hair for another, and makeup in a third.
How do I prevent products from spilling in the bag?
The last thing anyone wants is that vitamin C oil spilling all over their dress. “I keep oils and such in plastic baggies,” says Smith. You can purchase a few snack-sized ziploc bags for spillable travel products and place them inside your makeup bag to be safe. You can also look for a bag with separate zipped compartments, like Bagsmart Toiletry Bag, to hold anything that could leak.
Smith says to be sure you “hear the clicking sound” when sealing up your bottles. “I know in my life, 85 percent of my mishaps are human error, so I try to be mindful,” she explains.
Do I need to use a clear bag on flights?
TSA does not specify that toiletry and makeup bags should be clear. They only specify liquid size (3.4 oz or less per item). However, clear bags may expedite the security check in process, so it’s never a bad idea to opt for clear bags.
Meet the Expert
Keshia Smith is a holistic hair and makeup designer and artist who has worked in the beauty and entertainment industries for over 20 years.
Why Trust Brides
Chelsea Frank has been a lifestyle writer for nearly 10 years. She’s contributed to dozens of online publications, researching and writing on a number of topics from clean beauty and fashion to travel and wellness. She’s also an anxious soon-to-be bride, so she’s with you!