The Best Makeup Bags for Packing Light, and the One Game-Changing Alternative You Need
Whether you’re running out of the house for a long day, leaving for an out-of-town weekender, or packing for an extended stay, choosing the right vessel to travel with your makeup and cosmetics can be one of the hardest parts about packing. Travel-sized options simply aren’t available for most of our beloved products, forcing us to severely edit our beauty routine, decant what products we can, or just travel with the full-sized thing. Overpacking cosmetics goes beyond inconvenience — this can lead to wasted precious space in our suitcases, not to mention expensive overweight baggage fees.
For the smart traveler, we’ve curated a comprehensive guide to travel makeup bags, including pros and cons for each style. Our advice? Read ‘til the very end to see the ultimate solution to your travel needs, whether you’re a low-maintenance adventurer or a beauty lover who needs to bring, well, everything.
Makeup Pouch | Wouf
What this says about you: You’re a practical minimalist with a no-frills approach to beauty. You like to be prepared in case you need a quick touch-up, and you’ve got only the essentials.
Pros: Sleek, tiny, can fit into pretty much any bag or clutch. Perfect for everyday on-the-go usage.
Cons: Fits a teeny amount of products, limiting what you can bring. Not ideal for high-maintenance hunnies.
Small Makeup Bag | Madewell
What this says about you: You’re a low-maintenance baddie who only needs a couple things to feel ready to face the day. You probably use packing cubes to hyper-organize your suitcase, and are quite possibly a member of the carry-on-only club, no matter the duration of your trip.
Pros: Compact and perfectly practical. Can fit a very stripped-back makeup collection, toothbrush, and possibly some travel-sized toiletries. Won’t ever get too heavy, because there’s not enough space to fit bulky products.
Cons: You’ve gotta really edit down what’s coming with you in this bag. You might fool yourself into thinking “I can do this, this is enough space,” only to wind up jam-packing the bag and breaking the zipper sooner than you’d hoped (speaking from experience on this one).
Clear Makeup Bag | Calpak
What this says about you: You’re aesthetically-driven, and being able to see what you’re packing brings you a sense of peace. You’re somewhat of a clean freak, and love things neat and orderly.
Pros: See (almost) all the contents without having to open your cosmetics bag. Zip-around opening allows for a handy flat-lay feature while still keeping things organized. Plus, lots of zippered pockets and mesh compartments allow for neat and tidy traveling with toiletries.
Cons: Those aesthetic plastic windows can quickly become crusty once used, showing the slightest traces of makeup, skincare, or the dreaded shampoo leakage. Hygiene is of the utmost importance with this bag, but be sure to clean with the right product — the clear panels can turn foggy and worn with one swipe of cleaner that’s too harsh.
Dopp Kit | Lululemon
What this says about you: You’re full grown, and equally value form and function. You’ve got a decent lineup of daily skincare, hair products, and quite possibly makeup to keep you feeling fresh—and you’re committed to bringing the lineup on the go.
Pros: Traditionally a travel pouch for men’s grooming needs, the Dopp Kit is stylish, roomy and versatile, working perfectly for all genders. Go ahead and pack your hairbrush, as well as a handful of toiletries, cosmetics, makeup brushes, and hair products. The interior loops in this bag will keep all your products standing upright — plus, it’s made of water-repellent fabricfor easy cleaning in the case of any leaks.
Cons: Might be too big if you’re someone who requires just a few cosmetics. Or might be too small if you’re a beauty junkie. Size-wise, this one’s pretty middle-of-the-road.
Hanging Travel Cosmetics Bag | Bagsmart
What this says about you: You’re old-school and don’t love to embrace change, sticking to the travel makeup modalities of our ancestors. Something about squeezing full-sized skincare products in the too-small plastic pouches and unfurling all of your cosmetics in the hotel bathroom like a giant, very heavy banner makes you feel alive.
Pros: Hanging design allows you to see and store all of your products in one place. Roll-up nature keeps things somewhat compact.
Cons: Swiss Roll design will take up serious real estate in your travel bag, adding bulk and weight. Plastic pouches never seem to be big enough, and will inevitably wear at the seams.
Makeup Train Case | Kemier
What this says about you: You’re a maximalist who doesn’t compromise on their standards, and certainly not their beauty routine. You’re dedicated to the glam and don’t really care that a quarter of your suitcase will be occupied by all products necessary to look (and feel) nothing short of fabulous while traveling.
Pros: Skincare, makeup, hair care…this bad boy fits everything. Leave absolutely nothing at home, and don’t even bother scrounging for travel-sized replacements, because you’ve got space for it all.
Cons: This is possibly the bulkiest travel makeup bag you could choose, but we’re guessing that detail is secondary to your commitment to your beauty routine, so do you.
Padded Travel Makeup Bag | Relavel
What this says about you: You’re either obsessed with makeup and skincare, or you’re a Pro Makeup Artist desperately trying to downsize your extensive beauty collection to be travel-friendly.
Pros: Padded, customizable compartments that can organize and store lots of beauty products, from skincare and foundations to powders, creams, lipsticks and glosses. There’s also separate compartments to store brushes inside. Perfect for bringing a variety of makeup for all the vacation lewks you’ll be serving.
Cons: This travel makeup case will take up a significant quadrant of your suitcase, and will probably be the singular object that puts your luggage over the airline weight limit. Also, the padded interior is porous and notoriously difficult to clean.
The Best Alternative to Bulky Travel Makeup Bags: MYO Pro Travel Makeup Case
What this says about you: You’re a savvy traveler and organization savant who knows not to sacrifice your favorite products or waste any space. You are willing to swap out old habits for new and improved ways to streamline and simplify your life. You are an eco-conscious beauy consumer who cares for self and planet.
How it works: Minimize your travel makeup and skincare from bulky bags to sleek and protective MYO Cosmetic Cases. These water-resistant, durable cases will not only protect your products — they’ll downsize your beauty routine like never before. Simply pump the exact amount of skincare, foundation, or any liquid cosmetics into the MYO Makeup Pods. They will adhere to the magnetic base of the makeup cases securely. Add your favorite pan makeup easily to the magnetic backing (if you don’t know where to begin, shop our Guide to Refillable Makeup here).
Or if you’re feeling bold, try depotting your makeup by following the very best, Depot Chopra.
With all your products in the palm of your hand, easily do makeup on-the-go with the full-size, high quality mirror inside. Say goodbye to all the bulky packaging and unnecessary excess products of travels prior—and say hello to your new, sleek, and highly functional makeup and cosmetics cases!
To wrap things up, choosing the right makeup bag is essential for traveling with your beauty products like a boss. While every type of makeup bag discussed above has its pros and cons, it’s important to consider your needs before making a decision. However, we know the MYO Pro Travel Makeup Case is undisputably the best alternative to bulky traditional makeup bags. With its super-sleek design and funcional features, you can take more products in less space without compromising on your makeup favorites. Switch to MYO Makeup Cases, and revolutionize your travel beauty routine!