Is there any more undervalued piece of the cosmetic wardrobe than the makeup bag? My guess is no, only because if I’m a beauty editor my go-to is still Ziplock, the rest of the world probably isn’t much better off. I blame the beauty industry for this; they spend beaucoup bucks making sure everything *inside* our bags feels absolutely necessary and important without giving us any decent options to store the products in.

I never really felt bad about my Ziplock bag until I read somewhere that Chrissy Teigen’s cosmetic case of choice is Anya Hindmarch’s Lotions and Potions Pouch: simple, but still luxe, which is probably how I would describe Chrissy’s style in general and exactly how I would want someone to describe me. As Sandra Bullock once advised in The Blind Side, “Before you choose something, think of yourself wearing it. Say to yourself, “Is this me?”. The Ziplock bag was very much not me, so it had to go, immediately.

How does this relate to “luxury”, our theme of the week, you ask? To that I say, is there anything more luxurious than having pretty (also practical) things that are just for you? It’s like having flowers in your home if you’re antisocial and never invite people over. You know they’re there, just like you know how high on your horse you’ll feel packing up your travel-sized bottles into something far cuter than the same bag you store frozen spaghetti in.

We’ve got a whopping 12 (!!!) options for you to choose from here, broken down by our Highbrow Personas. If you haven’t figured out your Persona yet, what are you still doing here? Go revisit this post immediately, then come back and peruse these options at your leisure. Happy shopping!

Best New Makeup Bags 2017


You, Fearless Femme, most likely own a lot of makeup. You are extremely stylish, yes, but you’re also practical, so if you’re anything like the girls who inspired this Persona, (ahem, Kim Kardashian) your makeup bag should be transparent. Digging through a dark, opaque case to find something buried at the bottom is a waste of your time, so I present two options: Anya Hindmarch’s Inflight Leather-Trimmed Perspex Cosmetics Case ($$$) and Morphe’s Loader Set Bag ($). The former is a brand endorsed by many a stylish woman- the aforementioned Chrissy Teigen, as well as Gigi Hadid, etc.- and the latter is the cosmetic case of choice for YouTube Beauty Vlogger Guru Jaclyn Hill. It’s not quite as fancy, but it is highly durable and much more affordable, so take your pick.


If you consider yourself a Class Act and are not always channeling Victoria Beckham, you’re doing it wrong. Lucky for you, Victoria collaborated with Estee Lauder on a structured leather and gold makeup bag, but since I would imagine almost no one is in the market to spend $940, we’ll use that as a starting point for inspiration. Bobbi Brown kicks us off with a solid option- the Faux-Textured Leather Cosmetics Case. The traditional vanity case gets updated with a sleek, clean silhouette and fancy crest imprinted on the front. It’s also massive, which means you can justify bringing more products, because, you know, why not be prepared for anything? On the other end of the spectrum, a more affordable bag brought to you c/o Barney’s Warehouse Cosmetic Clutch. Still sleek and black, but this time with a pop of red, coming in at just under $40.

Best New Makeup Bags 2017

For the Creature of Comfort…

Of the entire bunch, the Creature of Comfort is the most minimal in every sense, from the amount of product she uses to the aesthetic she prefers for all of her belongings. The Glossier Pouch is an easy choice since it ticks off so many of the right boxes. Conveniently sized! Neutral color! Yes, pink is officially a neutral. Alternative choices include Urban Outfitters Rose Zip Cosmetics Pouch, the plastic, rose-covered counterpart to Glossier’s signature bubble-wrap style, or for something a little more traditional, Madewell’s PVC Travel Bag.


All French Boheme’s I know share two qualities: fun personalities who are always traveling, and if there was a makeup bag that personified this human, it’d be Anya Hindmarch’s Translucent Kawaii Makeup Bag. If this is starting to sound like an Anya-ad, it’s not, but that should be an indicator of how great her pieces are. They are an investment, though, so if you’re looking for the same endearing style minus the hefty price tag, Furla’s Zip Around Makeup Bag has all the cuteness, less $200.

Best New Makeup Bags 2017


After Party, there is only one bag for you, and that bag is by Bao Bao Issey Miyake. This one was a surprise hit as I was skeptical something that looked this pretty online would live up in person, but boy oh boy, did it ever. When you’re spending $240 on something like this, you expect a lot of mileage. I’m talking high-quality materials, multiple uses, durability, and this piece goes all the way and then some. It’s on the smaller side as far as makeup bags go, but it was perfect for all of my going out essentials- powder, mascara, lipstick, plus my wallet and keys- and I’d imagine without the latter two it’d be roomy enough for another handful of products.


For how often makeup bags get wet and/or need to be cleaned, a surprisingly few number are waterproof. There’s no good reason why, other than maybe that those fabrics are less visually appealing. Herschel Supply Co. would like to see this claim and raise you a Chapter Tarpaulin Cosmetic Case, their water-resistent, very attractive answer to a problem you didn’t know you had. The color is perfect, the shape and structure are convenient, and it can withstand everything from a drop in the ocean to a mid-flight foundation explosion. Great work, Herschel!


Greyson Tarantino