The 11 Best Travel Makeup Bags & Cosmetic Cases of 2022

Calpak’s clear cosmetics case is perfectly roomy and resilient.

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Travel Cosmetic Cases

Ulta / Mark and Graham

Whether you love or hate packing, a new travel case of any sort is an exciting sign of upcoming explorations. Locally, globally, or somewhere in between–you’ve got plans!–and need a handy, fashionable, and highly functional makeup bag to keep your toiletries, jewelry, and cosmetics organized. Plus, you want to protect your clothes from any accidental explosions of liquids or powders while traveling.

Luckily, there are many different categories and kinds of cosmetics cases for a variety of occasions. If you’re headed out on an overnight excursion or weekend trip, perhaps a pouch will do. If you’re going to a week-long vacation destination, you may prefer a multi-unit hanging case. Or if you’re on a month-long jaunt through Europe, perhaps a clear, compact makeup case is the most efficient and TSA-friendly storage scenario for all those flights. 

Not all travel makeup bags are created equal, and your personal preference might range from a simple wallet-friendly find to an eco-conscious material or a favorite luxury brand that matches your suitcase set. Calpak’s Clear Cosmetics Case tops our list as the best overall, but the rest of these selections are also some of the most reliable and versatile picks you can find.

Here are the best travel makeup bags and cosmetic cases for storing all your beauty essentials on the go:

Best Overall

Calpak Clear Cosmetics Case

Calpak Clear Cosmetics Case

Calpak

Why We Love It: This is the go-to, créme de la créme of clear plastic makeup cases, and it  comes with a one-year limited warranty.

What to Consider: It’s not the most expensive brand on this list, but the bag is an investment worth taking care of and keeping clean.

Roomy and inclusive of two transparent pouches, this high-quality clear makeup case allows for viewing all your beauty items at once. Featuring see-through vinyl, durable bindings, two zippers, and trim in multiple colorways (mauve, stone, caramel, hot pink, and black), the case has collapsible handles that make it a compact fit in your duffle bag or suitcase. The two zippered compartments are spacious, and it boasts a mesh interior pocket for smaller items. We like that you don’t necessarily have to skimp on important but “travel impractical” items–like your full line of acne-fighting products or ball-worthy glam lineup, which will probably all fit in here. This case is not only water-resistant, lightweight, and flat-laying, but it’s covered by the brand’s one-year limited warranty. Technically this case is TSA-approved, but international security could request you to unpack it or put items in a provided plastic bag instead. Finally, the handles mean this case can also be hung up. Kudos to Calpak for checking all the boxes. 

Price at time of publish: $95

Dimensions: 11.5 x 5.25 x 9 inches | Material: PU, PVC, polyester | Closure type: Zipper

Best Organization

Relavel Travel Cosmetic Case Organizer

4.6
Relavel Travel Makeup Cosmetic Case

Amazon

Why We Love It: Available in 13 different styles and four sizes, this case also boasts numerous compartments making it a “variety is the spice of life”-type of traveler’s ideal choice.

What to Consider: The brand cautions that the makeup case is fixed by glue, so there may be a smell upon first using it, but it claims the odor is non-toxic and dissipates 2-3 days after opening the packaging.

Made of high-quality Oxford fabric with a waterproof nylon lining, the key feature of this Relavel case is that it offers plenty of storage space. In addition to several adjustable compartments and brush slots that keep all your products and beauty tools neat and tidy, the case has a two-way zipper and is lightweight, waterproof, and shockproof with an anti-wear and spill-proof interior. The case offers additional organizers, plus the brush section has a flap that separates them from other products to help keep them clean. Beyond cosmetics, the case is convenient and durable enough for storing jewelry, electronic accessories, a shaving kit, and many other valuables. The wide handle means it’s sturdy and portable, perfect for a makeup artist or typical traveler. 

Price at time of publish: $20

Dimensions: 10.3 x 9 x 3.5 inches | Material: Oxford fabric and nylon lining | Closure type: Two-way zipper

Best Clear

Space NK Travel Cosmetics Bag

Travel Case

Space NK

Why We Love It: The two compartments easily separate your skin products and hair products.

What to Consider: This is a fairly expensive case considering the size and materials.

The perfect size for weekends and overnights, this makeup bag is lightweight and chic. Crafted with a sleek mix of clear PVC and faux suede accents, the Space NK Double Travel Bag’s transparent panels make it easy to quickly find any product you’re looking for–plus, the stacked duet of compartments allows for convenient separation of makeup and skincare products while on the go. The zip-around closure comes in handy, securing all your various items and preventing any potential spills on packed clothes or inside your gym bag. Practical, elegant, and easy to wipe clean, it’s easy to see why this case is a beauty insider favorite.

Dimensions: 9 x 7 x 6.3 inches | Material: Faux leather, clear PVC panel, faux suede and polyester bindings | Closure type: Zipper

Price at time of publish: $60

Best Sustainable

Tartan + Twine Sustainable Frame-top Toiletry Kit

Sustainable Kit

Ulta

Why We Love It: This eco-friendly design is made with RPET (recycled water bottles) and is stylish enough to be your daily makeup bag.

What to Consider: The kit is more spacious than you might expect upon first glance.

This fashion-forward, eco-conscious cosmetics case is so attractive and smartly designed, you’ll want to use it every day. Whether you store your stuff in it regularly or save it for weekend trips and travel, the structured Tartan & Twine bag has a mod jet-set look. The two-piece, single gold-toned zip train case offers double the beauty organizers in a single compact unit. Its open compartment is perfect for a variety of multi-sized items. Plus, the additional small detachable bag can be used on its own or placed inside the larger case. Practical, pretty, easy to clean, and Earth-friendly to boot? Color us impressed.

 Price at time of publish: $54

Dimensions: 4 x 9 x 4 inches | Material: RPET (recycled water bottles)  | Closure type: Zipper

Best Budget

Sonia Kashuk Large Travel Makeup Pouch

Makeup Pouch Large

Target

Why We Love It: The pouch bottom lays flat, so it easily sits upright, unlike most purse-size makeup bags.

What to Consider: The pouch only comes in one “large” size, but it’s available in six fun patterns and colors.

Need a new cosmetics bag for a long weekend trip or even just as a daily addition to your pocketbook? Look no further. Sonia Kashuk guarantees its petite, yet durable makeup pouch will stand up to the wear and tear of time. The bag’s rounded top allows for plenty of extra space for all your can’t-live-without beauty items, including brushes and other essentials, while an interior zipper slot lets you stow away tools like tweezers, clippers, and more small products. Importantly, the full-width exterior zipper keeps everything inside the pouch safe and securely stored. Bonus points for an easy-to-clean, wipeable bag.

Price at time of publish: $20

Dimensions: 15 x 12 x 8.5 | Material: Polyester  | Closure type: Zipper

Best Splurge

Ted Baker London Beau Hard-side Vanity Case

Ted Baker Cosmetic Case

Amazon

Why We Love It: The adorable designer vanity case features both a short handlebar and a long, wide, removable shoulder strap for carrying across your body like a purse.

 What to Consider: The case holds a lot and is made to withstand vigorous travel, but consider whether you need such a pricey model or if a less expensive one gets the job done.

This pretty vanity case courtesy of always fashionable U.K. designer Ted Baker London is a beauty. Made of a lightweight, yet extremely strong polycarbonate material, the sleek black case is delightfully embellished with cute pink bows and gleaming rose-gold finishes. Sweet! Some may feel the design skews young, but we think it’s lovely for all ages, especially for those who cherish their whimsical side. In addition to being attractive, it’s also quite practical and comes with an optional, adjustable back strap in addition to the handlebar. Interior-wise, it’s flexible too, with multiple divided compartments (including removable dividers) and pockets, plus the case is even large enough to fit a travel hairdryer.

Price at time of publish: $245

Dimensions: 13.5 x 12.5 x 7.5 inches  | Material: Polycarbonate | Closure type: Zipper

Best Hanging

State Bags Bensen Toiletry Kit

State Bags Bensen Dopp Kit

State Bags

Why We Love It: A tri-compartment dopp kit with a collapsible hanger top offers epic organization and storage ease for travelers.

What to Consider: The kit comes in 16 colorful design options, some more kid-friendly but appropriate for all genders and personalizable with initials.

Whether you’re on a solo adventure or having fun as a family, this zip-around, triple-compartment, hanging toiletry kit covers all the bases. In addition to the collapsible hanger top, the classic and sustainable State makeup and travel case (it boasts the iconic woven label) features a snap-off pouch, zipped mesh compartments for bigger products, and an excellent organizational section that fits all kinds of items. We appreciate the variety of designs this kit comes in, making it a great choice for all ages and genders. Plus, the company supports initiatives like donating fully-packed backpacks to children and schools in need. Doesn’t get much better than this travel dopp kit, folks.

Price at time of publish: $68

Dimensions: 6.9 x 8.9 x 3 inches  | Material: 100 percent coated cotton; 100 percent recycled polyester | Closure type: Zipper

Best Pouch

Lay-n-Go Cosmo Drawstring Makeup Organizer

Cosmetic & Toiletry Bag

Amazon

Why We Love It: The adorable, innovative cosmetics “ball” holds all your essentials while also fitting everywhere and hanging anywhere.

What to Consider: The pouch may be too small for larger skincare or haircare toiletries.

Multifunctional, practical, stylish, and durable–what more could you ask for in a travel makeup bag? Oh yeah, it’s machine-washable too. Try the Lay-n-go Cosmo organizer once, and watch how you won’t leave home for an overnight or vacation without it again. Whether you use it for travel, work, school, or the gym, this neat ‘n tidy bundle’s unique design allows you to bring your must-have makeup items everywhere and sprawl out without losing a thing. The bag’s raised outer lip keeps your belongings from rolling away when laid flat, plus the zippered storage pocket safely holds smaller products and tools. This drawstring puff-pouch fits everywhere, so go ahead and toss it over your shoulder like a pouffy purse or tuck it into your suitcase for mess-free packing. Did we mention the pouch is made of a water-resistant polyester fabric that’s machine-washable and a cinch to clean? Plus, at an affordable price point, this darling makeup bag makes a great gift for family, friends, bridesmaids, and any other frequent traveler or beauty lover in your life.

Price at time of publish: $30

Dimensions: 20 x 20 x 2 inches  | Material: Polyester | Closure type: Drawstring

Best Train Set

Mark & Graham Terminal 1 Cosmetic Case

Mark & Graham Terminal 1 Cosmetic Case

Mark & Graham 

Why We Love It: The classy, vintage-inspired design will have you dreaming of mid-century train travel and old-timey passenger ship journeys.

What to Consider: The case’s nostalgic quality is perfectly matched with the modern convenience of a durable, lightweight polycarbonate exterior.

Is this where the phrase “the whole kit and caboodle” originates? The elegant, updated antique-looking Mark and Graham travel train case is a quality luggage addition to any makeup lover’s life. Designed with a lightweight, polycarbonate exterior shell that’s as durable as it is attractive, this structured cosmetics carrier is small enough to fit in a medium or large suitcase but big enough to hold all your toiletries, accessories, brushes, and makeup must-haves. The vintage case is on the higher end of this list cost-wise, but it’s worth the extra expense considering all the internal organizational pockets, the leather handle, and the zip-around enclosure. You can even get it monogrammed with a vinyl decal as a gift for a loved one (or yourself). The case is easy to spot clean with a damp, white cloth and then air dry.

Price at time of publish: $99

Dimensions: 11.5 x 8x 8.5 inches | Material: Polycarbonate exterior, genuine leather detailing, striped polyester lining | Closure type: Zipper

Best Set

Vera Bradley Cosmetic Makeup Organizer Set

Vera Bradley Makeup Organizer

Amazon

Why We Love It: Colorful, iconic, and travel-friendly Vera Bradley now makes bags from recycled, sustainable “Lighten Up” fabric.

 What to Consider: The company is known for its uniform cotton fabric across nearly all products, but this eco-conscious material is made from recycled PET water bottles, so expect a different texture.

Vera Bradley's distinctive, popular bag designs just got an Earth-friendly boost of conscious consumerism. This particular product got two upgrades–one for each sustainable bag in the set! Well-known for vibrant color schemes plus pretty floral and paisley prints that are an all-ages favorite, the brand has a new line, ReActive, that is lightweight yet durable, water-resistant, and crafted from recycled PET bottles. We like how the larger bag in the set boasts a clear window panel while the interior is lined in PVC, making it simple to just wipe clean. Whether you travel with both bags in your suitcase or prefer these beauties to live separately, i.e. the larger one stowed away in your luggage and the shorter one for your purse in the main cabin, they’re a stylish and responsible duo currently available in seven different colors and patterns. We suggest using one bag for makeup and skin toiletries and the other for haircare items.

Price at time of publish: $42

Dimensions: 5 x 9 x 4 inches | Material: Lighten Up ReActive recycled PET water bottles | Closure type: Zipper

Best Waterproof

Dagne Dover Hunter Toiletry Bag

4.7
Dagne Dover Large Hunter Toiletry Bag

Nordstrom

 

Why We Love It: This lightweight toiletry case is water-resistant, hand-washable, vegan, and made from premium high-tech neoprene that's available in six cool colors.

 What to Consider: Depending on your needs, a small bag may hold a few purse-appropriate makeup items or the large could be just the right size for a weekend away.

This makeup case from a customer favorite, female-founded Dagne Dover, is a triple win: stylish, sustainable, and spacious–and bonus points for being fully waterproof! The large model boasts three compartments for cosmetics and skincare, a removable one for smaller accessories like contact lens cases, razor or travel-size perfume, and a bigger main area for haircare items like shampoo and conditioner bottles. The smaller size should suffice for stashing in a purse and also features three separate zippered spaces for peak organization. These Hunter bags are water-resistant and made from stain-resistant neoprene, which is a synthetic that protects from spills and cleans up easily. Plus, the lining and soft dust bags are made from Repreve, a material derived from recycled water bottles. All that, and the line is vegan, so no animal byproducts or leather are involved in production. Sophisticated, aesthetically pleasing, durable, versatile, and from an eco-conscious brand to boot, this model keeps all your bathroom essentials dry, cushioned, and secure.

Price at time of publish: $45

Dimensions:  7.5 x 4 x 4.5 inches | Material: Premium neoprene, mesh | Closure type: Zipper and zinc-alloy snaps

Tips for Buying a Travel Makeup Bag or Cosmetic Case

Travel makeup bags and cosmetics cases are essential for protecting all types of toiletries from breaking or damaging your packed clothes. Factors to look for include being easy to clean, durable enough to safeguard your essentials, and suitably sizable, possibly with compartments to meet your specific needs. The first question to consider when choosing a makeup bag or cosmetic case: How often am I going to use this? There’s a big difference between a daily makeup pouch intended for your purse versus one that’s meant for vacation travel aboard an airplane. Next question: What type of bag or case will keep me best organized? Maybe you prefer multiple, different-sized compartments where items are stowed away according to your own logic. Or perhaps you care less about neatly separating your stuff and just want a clear casing so you can easily spot everything. Also, think about the amount and the size of items you usually bring while traveling, then determine if you need a storage set or an all-in-one. Finally, consider how often you travel and for how long. If you mostly go on weekend jaunts, a smaller bag may suffice; week-long vacations or longer likely require more products and more space. Either way, we suggest you choose a makeup case or bag with waterproof lining, which tends to be easier to clean as well.

Choose the right size and material 

The ideal size for your travel makeup case depends on a few factors. These include your trip length, the type of trip (vacation versus work), the location, any planned activities, and the size of your favorite products. Are you a two or three-tone eyeshadow person or do you always need to have at least three different multi-color palettes? These personal details will help dictate the best size for you, so be realistic–but also remember you don’t want a too-heavy cosmetics case weighing down your suitcase. Maybe try out a quality, all-in-one palette for travel. Items like suntan lotion and certain hair products may not come in compact sizes, though, so keep that in mind too.

A soft-sided makeup bag is good for regular, daily use since it needn’t be overly durable for smaller items and can be stowed away in a purse. But, if you’re seeking a true travel case, one with a hard exterior is a safer bet. A sturdier model, often called a “train case,” is made for professional makeup artists and those who aspire to be one. This type of petite luggage may even come in a roll-aboard style. A waterproof bag or case is also a good idea. They may be made of nylon, vinyl, polyester, or a sustainable fiber, such as cork. If a powder breaks, a hair serum leaks, or your foundation spills, you’ll be relieved you chose a water-resistant bag or case that’s easy to clean.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What should I put in a travel makeup bag?

    The best way to determine what to put in your travel makeup bag is to make a list of your daily basics. For example: moisturizer, powder, blush, mascara eyeliner, and lipstick. If you’re planning on attending a fancy event or celebratory night out, more items may be worthwhile to include, but try to avoid bringing superfluous products you don’t typically use. Lightweight, versatile, multipurpose products like an eyebrow pencil with brush-in-one also make sense for travel. Two-ounce travel-size containers for eye makeup remover, toner, shampoo and conditioner, body lotion, and other liquids are a must. Separating your makeup, cotton pads and Q-tips, toiletries, tweezers, nail clippers, and hair accessories into different small plastic bags, containers or compartments will also help keep your case organized and ultimately take up less space.

  • Can I bring a makeup bag in my carry-on?

    The short answer is yes, you can bring many kinds of cosmetics in your carry-on luggage, though there may be certain restrictions. Most lotions, foams, serums, and sprays, as well as mascara, nail polish, and polish remover (non-acetone varieties only) are allowed onboard. However, you’ll need to specially pack them in 100 ml (3.4-ounce) bottles, available on Amazon, beauty supply stores, and at most drugstores. Then you’ll want to store all the bottles inside a one-liter (or one-quart) transparent bag. Creams, powders, glosses, solid lipsticks, pencils, brushes, and other makeup and personal care items can all come along in your purse or carry-on.

  • Does a travel makeup bag have to be clear?

    The latest Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regulations require all liquids brought into an airplane cabin be stored in a clear, plastic one-quart or one-liter bag. You’ll be expected to remove it from your carry-on luggage and place it in a bin as you go through the security line. And since using multiple plastic bags for this purpose is not eco-friendly, we suggest choosing a clear bag made specifically for this purpose. Calpak offers a pricey but high-quality option, but you’ll find multiple affordable versions on Amazon.

  • How do you clean a travel makeup bag?

    First, remove by hand (or tweezers if necessary) any small bits of paper scraps, dried makeup, or broken plastic bits from the bag. Some bags may be machine-washable (on a gentle cycle), but check the label first. You’ll probably want to put the case inside a washer-friendly mesh bag for a little extra protection, too. Cloth makeup bags should be washed on a hot cycle to kill germs. Otherwise, hand-washing with warm water and gentle soap or dishwashing detergent should do the trick. Disinfectant wipes and rubbing alcohol may also be used. Let the bag or case air dry after cleaning.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

Saryn Chorney, a sustainable lifestyle and eco-travel writer, did extensive research and pulled from her own experience with beauty and “green” products to curate this helpful list of makeup bags and cosmetics cases.  

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