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What is a Makeup Bag?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated Feb 18, 2024
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A makeup bag is a bag made for carrying cosmetics. Many women keep a makeup bag in their purse to allow them to reapply or touch up their makeup periodically. Makeup bags may include zipper or velcro fasteners and the bags are usually made of cloth or vinyl, but other fabrics such as metallic material and suede are sometimes used.

Vinyl makeup bags are often very easy to wipe clean. The disadvantage of this type of makeup bag is that it may crack. Still, good quality transparent makeup bags are popular and conveniently let you see what you have in them at a glance. Fabric makeup bags won't crack, but they aren't as easy to keep clean and cosmetic spills may stain the fabric.

Makeup bags are available in small, medium or large sizes. A cosmetic bag used every day may be quite small while one for a two week vacation may be larger. Some women put some cosmetics in a smaller bag and then keep that one inside a larger makeup bag to avoid ruining products from leaks and spills. Sealable plastic bags may also be used for this purpose.

Some makeup bags made for travel are cylindrical in shape and have holders inside the bag so that the cosmetics have less chance of spilling. Makeup bags may be sold in sets of three or four bags that vary in size. These sets can be very handy as women can have different sets of makeup in different bags. For example, they may leave one bag of makeup at the office rather than carrying the same cosmetic items to work each day. Some popular cosmetic companies have lines of makeup bags out and some types of makeup bags are even made to be personalized with initials or first names.

The contents of a woman's makeup bag can vary widely. Some women keep hair accessories in the bag along with cosmetics, while others use a makeup bag strictly for makeup. Some makeup bags have a strap and handle attached and these types may be good for camping and travel.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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