Packing is one of the more stressful parts of travel, but finding the right bag for your toiletries and makeup can make the process much smoother.
To get you started, we talked to travel experts about the best bags, pouches and containers that will help you transport your products securely and keep you organized once you’ve reached your destination. Whether you’re heading on an epic vacation or just a quick weekend getaway, read on to make sure both you and your favorite products get there in one piece.
Clear travel cases
When it comes to travel, clear containers are a must. “I have a preference for transparent or see-through bags so I can quickly locate my products (makes security checks at the airport speedier too)!” says Travel Channel host Oneika Raymond. Ciara Johnson, founder of the popular solo female travel blog Hey Ciara, agrees: “I look for clear containers and pouches that make it easy to sort through when I’m on the go,” Johnson says. “It’s much easier for me to stay organized and identify what is in each bag.”
Calpak Clear Cosmetics Case ($85; calpaktravel.com)
Johnson loves this chic, spacious cosmetics case from Calpak, which features two zippered compartments and a convenient top handle.
Anrui Clear Travel Toiletry Bags ($9.98; amazon.com)
Raymond recommends this three-piece set of clear, TSA-approved cases for keeping carry-on toiletries organized and accessible.
Packism Clear Toiletry Bag, 3-Pack ($9.99; amazon.com)
This bestselling three-pack, featuring reinforced seams and 3,000 5-star ratings, is another simple, no-fuss option for carry-on toiletries.
While clear bags are perfect for getting through security, more traditional makeup cases and bags are ideal once you reach your destination. So long as you’ve got a flat surface to work with, they make it easy to access all your products at once and then quickly scoop everything up when you’re on the move.
Beis The Cosmetics Case ($58; beistravel.com)
Johnson says that she’s “loving the Beis cosmetic case because it comes with a mirror and it’s spillproof!”
Dagne Dover Mila Toiletry Organizer ($45; dagnedover.com)
This upright case features four elastic loops and six adjustable compartments to keep your products organized. It’s also made from recycled bottles and cute enough to earn a spot on your vanity back home.
Lay-n-Go Drawstring Makeup Bag ($19.99; amazon.com)
True to its name, Lay-n-Go’s bag opens flat so you can see all your makeup at once — and then quickly scrunch things closed when you’re ready to go. Reinforced sides prevent items from rolling away, and there’s also a zipper pocket for added organization.
Monstina Makeup Bag ($6.99; amazon.com)
This affordable case from Monstina is great if you travel with a lot of makeup brushes. It features three elastic brush slots (which you can also use to organize things like eyeliner or brow pencils), plus multiple smaller compartments for items like lip gloss and earrings.
Euow Barrel Makeup Bag ($7.99; amazon.com)
This unique barrel-shaped bag stands upright and is another option that works well for travel-size toiletries and makeup brushes. Just tighten the drawstring on the top when you’re done and you’ve got a lightweight pouch that’s ready to toss in your suitcase.
Toiletry bags and Dopp kits
Dopp kit-style toiletry bags offer more discretion than clear containers and are ideal for situations when you have to cart your toiletries from room to room (if you’re staying somewhere without a private bathroom, for instance). Look for sturdy fabrics that are easy to spot clean and thoughtful organizational compartments. Raymond also recommends picking up a waterproof case, “which is great in case of any spills.”
Away Large Toiletry Bag ($75; away.com)
“The Away Large Toiletry Bag is full of compartments, which make it easy to organize and sort different products,” says Johnson. The bag’s nylon body is also water-resistant, and the interior easily wipes clean.
Bagsmart Toiletry Bag ($19.99; amazon.com)
The double zipper on top of Bagsmart’s Dopp kit allows the bag to remain fully open when upright. It offers plenty of space and organizational pockets, plus a separate waterproof front compartment. And though marketed to men, it works for anyone!
Herschel Chapter Toiletry Kit ($34.99; amazon.com)
Herschel’s classic Dopp kit keeps things simple with one large, waterproof main compartment, plus a small front pocket with a leather pull.
Hanging toiletry bags
If you’re camping or simply aren’t sure whether you’ll have a counter handy where you’re staying, it’s worth investing in a hanging toiletry bag for easier access to your products.
Sea To Summit Traveling Light Hanging Toiletry Bag & Mirror ($39.95; backcountry.com)
Sea To Summit’s classic bag was designed for ultralight backpacking and camping, but it features enough space and thoughtful organizational touches (including a hanging mirror) to make it an excellent companion on any kind of trip.
Mossio Hanging Toiletry Bag ($16.99; amazon.com)
Mossio’s highly rated, affordable bag is another great option. It features a sturdy hook for hanging, water-resistant fabric and plenty of clear storage compartments so you can easily access your toiletries.
Use travel pouches to organize toiletries or cosmetics within a bigger purse or backpack. Johnson says that she prefers “flexible pouches that are soft, cloth, plastic, etc. as opposed to hard or solid containers because they are easier to stuff or mold into larger bags.”
Sea Team Multicolored Portable Travel Pouch ($9.99; amazon.com)
If you’re not worried about leaks, pop one of these mesh travel pouches in your purse or carry-on for easy access to small toiletries and cosmetics.
Pack All Water-Resistant Zipper Pouch ($10.99; amazon.com)
Another soft, flexible pouch that’s also water-resistant. Pack All’s pouches come in three different sizes as well, so you choose the perfect pouch for your needs.
Refillable travel containers
Instead of constantly having to buy new travel-size toiletries, transfer toiletries you already own into some economical (and ultimately more eco-friendly) reusable containers. “I love refillable containers that I can fill with my favorite products,” Johnson says.
Dot&¨ Leakproof Travel Bottles ($9.99; amazon.com)
“I’m obsessed with these refillable travel-size containers,” says Raymond. “Not only are they inexpensive and TSA-approved for carry-on luggage, they are also color-coded so I can easily identify them, and [made of] silicone so that I don’t have to worry about them cracking, splitting or breaking on my travels.”
Cadence Capsule ($14; cadence.com)
In addition to being sturdy, leakproof and customizable, Cadence Capsules magnetically snap together to create honeycomb-shaped bundles for all your favorite travel products. Fill them with medications, jewelry or even your favorite moisturizer. Their smooth interiors make it so you can scoop out every last bit of product, and they’re dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning.
Lil Ray Portable Mini Refillable Perfume Atomizer ($13.99; amazon.com)
Transfer your favorite perfume or cologne to these reusable atomizers to smell your best on the go.