Choosing The Right Bags For Your Makeup Kit

Finding the right bag to carry all of your makeup around in could be one of the most frustrating parts of the job. They can’t be too big or too heavy, you need to make sure none of your product gets damaged in transit, it has to fit all of your product, look somewhat professional, and of course make your set up and tear down a breeze. I’m inching closer and closer to my perfect combination of bags (I think), and wanted to make your journey in finding the right bags for your kit a little less painful.

I discuss all the ups and downs of kit bags in this video on YouTube, so you may want to watch that first so you can have a better understanding of what to look for.

Here are some bags to look at if you are shopping around:


This has been a long time favourite of mine, and i’ve almost always carried a knapsack with me throughout my career to hold my things. Good for the back, and extra handy when you need to get around town.

I am currently using what is considered a military tactical backpack. Apparently you can fit enough stuff in this thing to survive 3 days out in the wild (which I think is equivalent to one day on set). The one I purchased is not necessarily military grade but you can get ones that are. Pros of this bag: it’s HUGE and has so many great little compartments to store everything you could ever need. Cons: The zipper pulls fall off and the straps can come loose easily. You can definitely purchase higher quality bags on Amazon similar to this one and they are easy to search out.

Other brands of knapsacks you might want to take a look at if you want something well made, are bags from Herschel, Burton, and Timbuk2. Look for large volume backpacks (if you need the space) that are water resistant or that come with a rain cover (trust me you will get rained on at some point). My recommendation is to always shop for any bag in person so you can try it on and test it out. You need to make sure there is enough support in the straps to distribute the weight of the knapsack evenly, this will eliminate a potential situation with your back/shoulders. The key for me is a good waist strap, or a waist and chest strap. This takes the load off your back and makes your life that much easier. You may also want to have a bag that has a laptop/iPad sleeve or compartment. You’ll be using these on set and you want a safe way to transport those things.


For the most part I actually hate train cases. I can never get my hands all the way in to some of the compartments and they can be really heavy without anything in them. They can also be extremely clumsy and oversized. When I saw a couple artists in one week both using the Make Up For Ever Small Size Vanity Bag (with tray) it caught my attention. I made my way down to the pro store and never looked back. I discuss what I like about this specific case in the video but the short of it is that it is well made and the perfect size for working in an organized way in confined spaces. I can’t say i’ve ever liked any other train case I have used, so this is the one for me! The bag itself is made of a thick, lightweight, durable fabric which makes this train case quite easy to carry around .


The original Zuca Roller was one of those purchases that made me feel like a legit pro. I’ve had a Zuca Roller for what feels like 100 years and have never regretted it. I love it and will always have one. It’s the perfect size for getting around anywhere, those clear bags that come with it are amazing and can hold just about anything. It can also be used as a chair which you don’t think you’ll ever care about until you (or your client) needs something to sit on. I don’t know how well the other variations of this case work because I haven’t had to replace mine in years!


I didn’t have a lot of success when I tried using regular luggage as a way to transport my kit however I used the Co-Pilot Luggage Roller from Timbuk2 on my trip to Italy (I love this brand) and it worked like a charm. My advice to you if you are thinking about luggage is to choose something that is close to carry on size: 1. If you travel you can just use it as carry on luggage without having to buy something else and 2. anything bigger can become extremely heavy once it is filled with makeup and hair product. Pay attention to the construction of the wheels and make sure the luggage is easy to roll around. Also note what their policy is on repairs because you will likely be replacing the handle and wheels on your luggage as a lot of luggage is not going to withstand the wear and tear of daily use.

Those are some of the bags that are working pretty well for me in my kit at the moment but there are a few more bags I want to draw your attention to:


MAC Travel Case : I own this bag and still use it from time to time when I have jobs where I don’t need to bring my whole life on set. The only downside to this bag are the smaller clear bags that are included with purchase. They are an odd shape and it is hard to get your hand and products in and out of them. I use my own smaller vinyl bags with this one.

Make Up For Ever Professional Bag: Very similar to the MAC bag (but better because the smaller bags that come with it are actually amazing) you can’t really go wrong with this one if you are looking for something lightweight and easy to carry your kit around with. This bag can hold a surprising amount of product and is easy to open up on a table top and work out of.

ESUM Makeup Kit Bag: I have had my eye on this one for a little while now and after seeing it in person I may have to find a way to get this in my kit. Well made and compact - this bag would be great for travel, male grooming, or anyone that needs something to carry a condensed kit. I wanted to purchase it for my trip to Italy but couldn’t get it shipped fast enough!

There are so many options to choose from when purchasing bags for your kit. What I’ve mentioned in this post are just a few options and are meant to get you thinking about what type of bag may work for you.