There is no bigger headache in my life than storage issues. It goes for everything, from clothing to magazines, to food and dogs toys. The list never ends, but by far the biggest issue I have is beauty products. When you mix my love of collecting beauty products with my ability to hoard, you get one out of control collection.

For the past few weeks I have been in the process of moving into my new office (I kicked my dad out of his. Clearly my needs are more important) and it has been a challenge (there will be more posts on this, I guarantee!). The one thing that shook me a little is how I seem to take 5 or more toiletry/make-up bags every time I go away. It seems I never could find one to hold all the stuff I wanted, or separate it for easy access. That realisation led to a light bulb going off in my head …. it is time I start the hunt.

Today I am going to show you 7 toiletry/make-up bags that I have subjected to strict testing. Hopefully you will find this helpful, but if not, at least I have found what will be accompanying me on my next trip.

The Products

I have selected an array of products I would usually take away with me, including skincare and make-up. Of course, most of them are travel size, but one of their testing requirements was to see how much product they could hold.


  • Pantene Nourished Shine Shampoo & Conditioner (90ml)
  • Klorane Extra Gentle Dry Shampoo (50ml)
  • Toni & Guy Firm Hold Hairspray (40g)
  • Ojon Hair Revitalizing Mist (25ml)
  • Scünci No-Slip Grip Hair Elastics
  • Wide Toothed Comb

Hair products


  • Bliss High Intensity Hand Cream (30ml)
  • Sally Hansen Color Quick Fast Dry Nail Color Pen
  • Manicare Nail Polish Remover Pads
  • Tweezerman Nail Kit
  • Aveda Tourmaline Charge Exfoliating Cleanser (40ml)
  • Korres Body Butter in Guava (50ml)

Body products


  • Dr Lewinn’s Synergise Anti-ageing Cream Cleanser
  • Bobbi Brown Hydrating Face Tonic
  • Aveeno Ultra-Calming Daily Moisturiser
  • La Prairie Cellular Serum Platinum Rare (5ml)
  • Comvita Line Smoothing Eye Cream
  • Lancôme Rénergie Lift Volumetry Nuit Night Cream
  • Face Of Australia Gentle Make-Up Remover
  • Lancôme Génifique Youth activator (7ml)
  • Tweezerman Eyebrow Kit

Skin products


  • Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer (8.9ml)
  • Benefit The POREfessional
  • Australis Eyeshadow Primer
  • Benefit Girl Meets Pearl
  • Lancôme Effacernes Longue Tenue Softening Concealer
  • Face Of Australia Stick Foundation
  • Zuii Certafied Organic Flora Blush
  • Bloom Sheer Colour Cream Blush
  • Illamasqua Precision Ink
  • Estée Lauder Double Wear Zero-Smudge Lengthening Mascara (2.8ml)
  • Chanel Inimitable Mascara Multi-Dimensonnel (Sample)
  • Illamasqua Cream Pigment
  • NYX Triple Shadows Eyeshadow
  • Bobbi Brown Lip Balm SPF 15
  • New Cid i-pout Light Up Lipstick with Mirror
  • Inika Lip Whip
  • Kink Lip Lustre Gloss

The most important group - the Cosmetics

IKEA Trollfjorden in Red

At your local IKEA store – AU $14.99 rrp

A rather nifty design zips open on three sides with pull tabs, and there is a fabric carry handle on the top. When opened, the top flap has two separate zip pockets with a fold out metal hook allowing you to hang the bag on a door. The lower half discretely hides away 7 pockets in an assortment of sizes.

Materials: All pockets are made from a Polyester weave mesh, which means any spillage in one compartment will leak to another. However for items that are still a bit wet during travel, this fabric will allow it to dry without getting mouldy. The bag exterior and lining is made from Polyamide plastic so most it will take a little while for leakages to seep through to the outside of the bag. This is an always important factor to consider when you are packing it near clothing. There was no padding but the sturdy material would make it hard for something to smash.

What It Stored: Hair, Body & Skin
The pockets were never ending, allowing me to store a lot of items and close it without any trouble. I probably would have been able to fit in about half of the cosmetics as well.

Trollfjorden held Hair, Body & Skin products

IKEA Måsnan in Grey

At your local IKEA store – AU $4.99 rrp

Simple design that does a simple job. This toiletry bag is a simple box shape secured by a large zipper. There is a single press stud on each side which allows the bag to unfold a little bit more, making room for more storage. On the inside of the larger walls you will find two square pockets per side.

Materials: The bag is made of only Polyester and there is no lining. The inside feels rather smooth and slightly rubberised, which I have found to help keep things from flying everywhere. With a large single space like this you do risk that any spillage will come into contact with every item in the bag.

What It Stored: Hair, Body & Skin
It probably would have fit all the cosmetics as well, but stupidly I only noticed the expansion part after looking back over the photos.

Måsnan held Hair, Body & Skin products

Annabel Trends Pixel Cosmetic Bag in Large

Contact for your nearest stockist – AU $19.95 rrp

I call this one the ‘Mother Bag’. This bag is a large rectangle shape featuring a bright and joyful pixel print. The outside has a fabric carry handle on the top, large rear pocket with zip closure and a three sided opening with double zip. Each zipper tag has a pink cord with a plastic loop, so it makes opening really easy. Once open, the inside splits into two large sections with a clear panel and zip closure. Another small fabric pocket is attached to the top and has a metal hook for hanging on a door.

Materials: The bag is 100% Nylon and completely lined. It feels like there is a small amount of padding between the outer and the lining, which is a positive if you are carrying slightly fragile items. The separate compartments with clear panels are genius because any spills will be contained to their own area. The lining and outer aren’t totally leak proof but it would take hours for any spill to seep through, and it would have to be a lot of liquid.

What It Stored: EVERYTHING – Hair, Body, Skin and Cosmetics
There is soooo much room I could have fit my Poodle in as well. I only put things in the two main pockets and it wasn’t even close to filling up. WOWEEEE!

Pixel Cosmetic Bag in Large held EVERYTHING

Annabel Trends Pixel Cosmetic Bag in Small

Contact for your nearest stockist  – AU $12.95 rrp

The baby sister to ‘Mother Bag’ still packs a solid punch. This bag is semi-rectangle but with curved edges. The single large pocket opens with one long zip (also featuring the pink cord & plastic loop pull tag) which allows you to really open up the bag and store quite a bit in. On the inside there are 3 clear pockets next to each other on one side. This one is heavily padded and one I would highly recommend for precious cosmetics or perfume. It is a great size for those small hotel vanities.

Materials: Like its big sister, this bag is 100% Nylon and is completely lined. Due to the thick padding most spillages would get absorbed before it could seep through to the outside.

What It Stored: Body & Skin
While it did store the Body & Skin products perfectly, I would probably use this more as a cosmetic bag even though it is larger than it needs to be for the amount of product I travel with. The reason being, when I scurry around for that one mascara or lip gloss, a bigger bag is slightly easier to find it in rather than having to remove everything out of a tightly packaged bag.

Pixel Cosmetic Bag in Small held Body & Skin products

Annabel Trends PVC Cosmetic Bag in Large

Contact for your nearest stockist  – AU $19.95 rrp

This simple large pouch with zipper on the top, is versatile for many functions. Typically it is just a cosmetic bag but if you are like me and like everything in your suitcase to be packed clean and neat, I would highly recommend using these as a sock, underwear or pyjama bag!

Materials: The name says it all … 100% PVC. It is fully lined so it makes spills easy to wipe up. The only real potential for leakage would be through the seams but the sewing seems quite strong.

What It Stored: Hair, Body & Skin
This one again came close to storing everything but I was about 1 inch off closing it. The size allows lots of storage but with minimal bench space being taken up.

PVC Cosmetic Bag in Large stored Hair, Body & Skin

Annabel Trends PVC Cosmetic Bag in Small

Contact for your nearest stockist  – AU $12.95 rrp

This Small PVC bag has a dramatic difference in size compared to its Large sibling. It is the perfect size for your handbag or if you only have a small collection of goods you take away with you when travelling.

Materials: Again, it is 100% PVC and fully lined.

What It Stored: Body
This bag was way too small for any of my other groups. This is a good example of the bag size I used to take away with me, but I would bring approx 5, each holding its own category. Now days this size is too small for the amount of cosmetics I need when I travel, but it is perfect for storing my handbag selection of cosmetics.

PVC Cosmetic Bag in Small held Body products

Apple & Bee Pencil Case in Turtle Dove Red

Available from Apple & Bee – AU $29.95 rrp

This super sturdy, rough-pretty-looking cosmetic case could easily be used for exactly what it is called, a pencil case. The long half-rectangle half-oval case feels really strong and durable. The single pocket is accessed through the single zipper, featuring an adorable silver pull tag with the Apple & Bee logo engraved. There is a genuine leather Apple & Bee label on the front and two simple fabric loops (one at each end). For those with ‘organic’ or ‘earthy’ tastes, this is the bag for you!

Materials: The outside is made from 100% cotton and feels quite rough. The inside lining is 100% hemp and feels like a softer version of a potato sack.

What It Stored: Cosmetics
This one did manage to JUST fit in all the cosmetics. It was a bit of a squeeze but the zipper did manage to close securely without any risk of busting a seam.

Pencil Case held Cosmetic products

My Picks

So, the final question. What will I be taking away with me for my next holiday? While it was a really tough choice to make, and there were many great contenders, the winners are ….

Annabel Trends Pixel Cosmetic Bag in Small for the cosmetics and the Annabel Trends PVC Cosmetic Bag in Large for the rest.

My new travel companion for my Cosmetics

What did you think of this post? Was it useful to you? Did any of these bags take your fancy? Let me know by commenting below!

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Some of these items were provided for consideration, in accordance with our Disclosure Policy

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