Travel is more enjoyable when you have the right gear. This is especially true for the bag that you need to hold your squishable and sometimes expensive toiletries and cosmetics. The ideal toiletry bag should be roomy enough for deodorant and tweezers or safety razors and magnetic eyelashes, while also protecting them from anything that might spill during transport.
Lermende - Clear Toiletry Bag
Leonardo da Vinci said that “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,” and when it comes to toiletry bags, we agree. In a sea of zippers and hidden pouches, the Lermende bags stand out for their clear, one-pouch design. Touted as “TSA-approved” (which means they hold TSA-size-approved bottles and are see-through), these work well for a weekend away. They’re high quality with a strong zipper and coordinating stretchy handles.
The Lermende were the only bags that earned a perfect score on our cleanability test, meaning the blobs of mascara and foundation we rubbed into them wiped away completely. They come in 16 different colorways, so there’s an option for every palette. However, we should mention that these bags are not large enough to hold a full bottle of shampoo, and they tend to emit a strong plastic smell when you first open them.
Expert Travel - Hanging Toiletry Bag
The Expert Travel looks like a lunchbox, but we love that it unfurls vertically and completely (similarly-shaped bags on our list only unfold halfway). We were surprised at how well makeup wiped off of it despite its white lining, and it also lived up to its waterproof claims when we doused it in water.
The Expert Travel has storage for every product you can imagine (although there are no specific straps for makeup brushes). It was resistant to any tears during our testing, and the zippers held firm when we yanked on them.Read more…
Our only quality issue was with the handle: It’s a plastic material that’s meant to look like leather, but it doesn’t. We were able to leave temporary dents in it with a slight press of our fingernails, and we can imagine it would get dirty easily. The Expert Travel is available in over ten colors.
Yeiotsy - Travel Makeup Bag
The first word that comes to mind when we look at the Yeiotsy bag is “whimsical.” With its curved edges, bright colors and polka-dot design, it would make a fun “purse” for a little one. Like the Lermende, it has a strong plastic smell when you open the package, but this will dissipate over time. Also like the Lermende, it’s one large pouch, but this one does have straps for makeup brushes. We love this bag because it’s one of the most cleanable ones we tested. (Plus, its dark lining hides mascara stains well.) It’s also got a smooth zip and is resistant to tearing.
Some people may not like that much of the Yeiotsy’s storage is in the lid, which could make it top-heavy if you don’t pack it correctly. There are also no plain colors available (only various shades of polka dots).
IQ Travels - Dopp Kit
The IQ Travels bag is a no-nonsense choice meant for serious travelers. It comes only in black. We thought its oblong, utilitarian shape made it easy to fit in the bottom of our suitcases. Plus we liked that it was easily wipeable, and the black hid most of what stains remained. The IQ travels feels high quality for the money, with smooth zipper pulls. Our favorite part about this bag is that it has two side compartments that flip open with storage for brushes, shavers, etc. Though we didn’t notice it, some Amazon reviewers complained of a strong chemical smell coming from this bag.
Freegrace - Hanging Toiletry Bag
The Freegrace is our middle of the road pick. This is another one that looks like a lunch box, but makes up for it with great storage. This is the kind of cosmetic bag that is your carry on, rather than one you put inside your carry on. That said, it might get hooked on your clothes as you carry it, because its hanger is not contained inside its flap.
The Freegrace is great for people who have a lot of cosmetics to keep organized. It has tons of storage, including mesh pockets, regular pockets and straps to hold brushes. It’s also good if you’re worried about your stuff getting damaged: It has more thick, protective padding than the other cases we tested.Read more…
The Freegrace passed only one of our cleaning tests: foundation came off of it easily, mascara did not. This bag also lost a couple of points because it arrived with some loose stitching, and we thought it was strange that all the brush holders weren’t in the same compartment. However, it passed our durability test well: The zipper didn’t break and the fabric didn’t tear no matter how hard we pulled. The Freegrace is available in seven colors.
Pantheon - Toiletry Organizer
We liked the cylindrical Pantheon for its packability and big carrying handle, and were happy to find that its dark lining was wipeable and hid mascara stains completely. We also appreciated that the hook attached to it zips inside the bag so that it doesn’t get stuck on things. The one big downside of this bag is that it’s shallow. There is a mesh pocket in the lid to add some extra storage, but overall, space is limited.
The Lay-n-Go is the most unique bag that we tested. Like the name implies, it lies flat in a circle with all of your toiletries inside. Then when you’re ready to go, you cinch it up. While it’s nice to have access to all of your products at once without digging around, we weren’t sold on this bag. The material has a sturdy, quilted feel to it, but it still felt less than secure. Because there are only a few straps sewn to the inside of the Lay-n-Go, most of your products are loose and tumbling around. One plus to this bag, however, is that it can go in the washer, (but foundation and mascara come off of it pretty well with a good wipedown).
For those living the vegan lifestyle, the Daisy Rose is a good choice. This no-frills bag is made from vegan leather, with a small carrying loop and no pockets. Its brown and black checkered design is reminiscent of some famous designer bags, which we think accounts partly for this one’s popularity. It has a dark lining, which means that any unlidded mascara or eyeliner won’t cause noticeable smudges. However if you get light-colored makeup or toothpaste on it, you’re out of luck because this bag is not easily cleaned. The Daisy Rose is structurally sound and resistant to tears, but we found the zipper a little sticky.
KIPOZI - Hanging Toiletry Bag
KIPOZI ranked last in our flat iron review, so we didn’t place much faith in this brand’s toiletry bags. Surprisingly, there were some things we liked about it, like its abundance of pockets that opened wider than most. However, it’s flaws far outweighed its good qualities. Because of the way this bag’s hook is attached, it gets stuck on everything, including its own zipper. The bag’s cream colored lining (while sophisticated looking) shows any cosmetic or toiletry spill stains. And finally, its narrow and deep design means you have to fish around to find what you’re looking for. It only comes in black, and like a couple of the other bags on our list, looks a lot like a lunchbox.
We didn’t start out on the best foot with the CHICECO; we found it wasteful that the bag came wrapped in multiple layers of plastic. Its tag and maintenance tips came wrapped in more plastic. Once we put it through our cleaning test, we were even more disappointed. It stained the most easily of all the bags we tested. That said, if you only want this bag for aesthetics, the CHICECO might be fine for you. The bag is a trendy elongated-pyramid shape made with luxe-feeling material, pretty gold hardware and a smooth zip. It comes in eight saturated colors.
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Nicole Ahlering, Editor
Nicole is a Senior Content Specialist whose writing passion ranges from national recycling initiatives to how to find the perfect Christmas tree. She loves her dog more than most people, and she subsists almost entirely on iced coffee. When she’s not copy editing and researching for Your Best Digs, she’s usually curled up in bed with a good book or outside exploring nature.