Makeup Train Cases and Makeup Bags for Travel

Posted by on

When we hit the road, we have plenty of options in terms of luggage – garment bags, duffel bags, rollers cases, briefcases and more. Yet, when it comes to how we treat our makeup, ladies, it’s definitely an epic fail. Makeup train cases, cosmetic bags… let’s see what options we have here.

I’ll admit, I’ve traveled with one or two makeup gaffes. The Transportation Security Administration demands that we keep our liquids (essentially much makeup) separate from other goodies while going through the security gates. If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably paired your shampoos along with your eyeliner and brushes. Then somewhere at 10,000 feet, you realize the worst – your bottle exploded.

Your makeup bag desperately needs a makeover.


The most important thing is to plan based on the duration of your trip. For ladies spending a few days away from home, you may be able to get away with a smaller, supple supply of brushes and powders.

Yet, the problem with downsizing your makeup bag is that you’re going to have to sacrifice your supplies – and essentially – your face.

Who wants to do that? Yeah, I don’t think so.

Cosmetic case sizes can vary between cosmetic purses, makeup bags, cases, train cases and rolling cases. Let’s get into it:

Smaller Cosmetic Travel Bags and Pouches

For my workday, I use a small makeup bag that carries about a quart-and-a-half-size of zip-log bags. This carries my eyeliner, mascara, blush, bronzer, eye shadow, lipstick, nail clipper, eyelash curler and maybe a few other essentials. The bag itself is usually packed, but it’s protecting my investment. The only downfall is that my brushes aren’t covered properly and having dark marks all over the lining.

Oprah Magazine reviewed the Best Makeup Travel Bags. One of the best of the smaller units was a green-cream-gold-striped clutch by Kate Spade.

“Covered in easy-to-clean vinyl, this preppy pouch ($70) by Kate Spade will always look as new as the day you bought it…” the article states. The bag looks nice, but come on now $70 for a small purse?

Price: You can expect these type of bags to cost you up to $25 at most stores like Amazon and Wal-Mart, but the designer lines will cost you significantly more.

Cheap Cosmetic BagClinique Spring 2013 Ladybug Cosmetic Bag (Amazon)

Look for cosmetic bags with dark liners: a big saving grace when it comes to products that will inevitably spill.

Cloth Makeup Bags for Traveling

After some trouble with smaller pouches, I upgraded to a traveling bag. These are designed specifically to organize brushes, lipsticks and other pieces of your makeup arsenal. I like this because it encourages you to be organized without having to carry around a huge makeup case all the time and it’s definitely better than having lots of small makeup pouches around me.

Vera Bradley Tutti Frutti Home & Away Large Cosmetic Case Vera Bradley Tutti Frutti Home & Away Large Cosmetic Case (Amazon)

These cosmetic bags are ideal for long-term travel, but they can be great every day.

The one thing that I absolutely love about the makeup traveling bags is their variety and color. You’ll find fun and flirty designs here unlike the professional-grade cases elsewhere. These are probably the best cases for the creative types.

Travel expert Susan Breslow Sardone reviews makeup travel bags on and mentions my favourite designer:

“Vera Bradley designs soft bags and luggage for women in a variety of pretty prints,” she states. “Thanks to the quilted fabric, their light weight is ideal for travel.”

Vera Bradley cosmetic bags

It’s made of quilted cotton fabric.
Holds your cosmetics, brushes and toiletries.
Lined interior with multifunctional slip pockets.

Price: Medium-sized carrying cases usually start around $20. This Vera Bradley case costs about $50 on Amazon.

Of course there are more elegant cases with less crazy colors. I would recommend these for professionals, especially this cosmetic bag set:Cosmetic Bag SetRockland Luggage Rockland 2 Piece Cosmetic Set, Giraffe, One Size (Amazon)

Makeup Train Cases

My sister purchased me an aluminium pro makeup case a few years ago. These cases lack versatility in fun, flashy colors. However, they are sleek, professional and durable. Mine has an aluminum finish and reinforced black steel edges and corners.


When I open my case, it clearly keeps things organized with a series of dividers. Some cases will come will come with plastic tiers and removable, adjustable dividers. Mine comes with a dark, maroon liner, making those likely smudges or makeup mishaps unnoticeable. You can also store larger non-makeup items, like face cleansers, full bottles of shampoo and perfume in a compartment below.

Cosmetic Train Case Professional for travelTravel Cosmetic Organizer Makeup Artist Train Case (in multiple colors on Amazon)

I’d say this is my makeup case of choice in the house and for extended travel, but it’s not something I would tote around for everyday use.

Train cases are very large and spacious and the dividers at the bottom can be moved to make spaces bigger or smaller. I have fit close to 100 pieces of make up /accessories varying from eye shadows (big and small), lipsticks, lip glosses, lip pencils, eye pencils, mascaras, make up removers and applicators. It seems to be very sturdy and the locks are great too. Overall it’s worth the money, and you are actually getting it cheaper here than you would anywhere else.

World Traveler Cosmetic Makeup CaseWorld Traveler Fleur De Lis Makeup Train Case 2-piece Cosmetic Set (Amazon)

Price: At a department store, you can expect to pay anywhere from $35 to 70 for one of these. However, look for a cosmetic case around the holidays – you may be surprised to find them on sale, especially on Black Friday or after the holidays.

Rolling Makeup Train Cases

This is the nail polish rack of makeup organizer cases. Also called cosmetic trolleys, these are usually 2-in-1 units, giving people the professional and casual side of makeup art organization. The top case is more like a smaller carrying case with a handful of compartments to work with. This can be great if you’re working on a movie set and can’t lug around a big suitcase, but need to work on actors in a pinch.

These nylon-based cases can be perfection for the professional makeup artist. You’ll find that these cases are spacious and usually come on wheels – making your makeup travel super easy. The great part is that these attention-grabbing units have a number of compartments to keep you organized. Keep your eye out for TSA-approved luggage. Most of these have easy-glide trolley systems for optimal mobility

Makeup trolley professionalProfessional Artist Rolling Trolley Makeup Train Case Cosmetic Organizer w/Shoulder Straps

The durable, nylon case has wheels for mobility. It has makeup brush organizers, pullout drawers and compartments for versatility to holding things like your makeup, nail polish and essential toiletries.

There is so much space available, I am not sure I will be able to fill this to capacity. I like the option of only carrying the top section and only rolling the bottom portion, if necessary. The black fabric is strong and easy to clean. The trolley is solid and feels like it will last a lifetime.

Seya Makeup Cosmetic Organizer Case Seya 2 in 1 Purple Rolling Makeup Train Case Organizer w/ Storage Drawers

Price: For popular Rolling Makeup Cases you can expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $200 for a unit, based on size. Keep in mind about the sizing of your unit. Be sure to go for one that’s TSA-friendly (most are) and you’ll be quite satisfied with its travel versatility.

No matter how long you’re planning to spend on the road, you must treat your makeup like royalty. You can’t just shuffle them in between your pens and gummy bears. You need to give them space, and that organization will give you a little peace of mind, knowing that your toothpaste isn’t smeared all over your eye shadow.

About the Author

I’m a Nail Polish Collector. Cat lover and amateur interior designer.

You can find Jacqueline on .

3 Comments to Makeup Train Cases and Makeup Bags for Travel

  1. Malory Goodwin

    I like the versatility of the cosmetic storage/travel racks on wheels. We don’t travel much, but when we do, it’s a nightmare. We switched to something like the Saya, its bright and washable so it stays looking hip & fresh. We use it in the shop as an organizer and when it’s prom/homecoming/graduation season, we’re ready for travel duty!

  2. Sandy Almon

    I like the vera bradly bags the best – the quilted pad of the bag is a little extra protection and easy to wash & dry if necessary. And durable! I’ve had mine for a couple of years now and the zipper and seams are all in good condition.

  3. Juanita Rojas

    I love the Vera Bradly’s too. I bought a set three years ago for my daughter & I to share. Still using it and have washed both several times. My daughter opened her own shop about a year ago. We only carry VB and similar quality items. If you’re shop shows quality merchandise and high end cosmetics are used, you can enjoy a much wider profit margin.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *