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Travel Bags for Toiletries & Make Up: any recommendations?


Jan 13th, 2007, 12:52 PM
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Travel Bags for Toiletries & Make Up: any recommendations?

I want to buy a good quality toiletry bag, maybe two (one for actual toiletries, and one smaller-sized for make-up)

I would love something that fit a couple of full sized bottles, but at the same time I don't want something that will take up 3/4's of my suitcase.

My first trip to Europe (for 2 weeks) was a few years ago, and I packed way too many clothes, but not enough of my favourite beauty products (I'm a girl who LOVES her beauty products )

I'm finally going on another trip in April for 3 weeks, and this time I want to bring all my favourite things that I use everyday.

Any thoughts on Eagle Creek toiletry bags, or recomendations for other brands? What do you use that works for you?
Apres_Londee is offline  
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Jan 13th, 2007, 01:08 PM
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If you are traveling by air and don't check this stuff, you are going to wind up packing it in plastic one-quart baggies, so don't agonize over what kind of bag to buy.
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Jan 13th, 2007, 01:23 PM
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I *am* planning to check my suitcase, which is why a good quality toiletry & makeup bag is important; to hopefully avoid and at least contain any leaks, breaks, etc.

But thank you for the reminder about carry-on restrictions. I keep meaning to print them out.
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Jan 13th, 2007, 01:52 PM
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I have a couple different sizes of any old type of cosmetic bag.

One small one holds things for emergencies ~ pills if we get sick, shoe things for blisters, tweezers, fingernail scissors etc, things we might need on a long trip.

Another holds things I need every morning or so. In this cosmetic case everything that could leak or break is in a zip lock baggie, according to use ( make-up, Q-tips and facial moisturizers ~ shampoos & soaps & razors ~ after shower lotions & deodorants, etc etc etc)

I wouldn't worry about expensive bags, I think the organization and the baggies are more important.

I think several small bags are easier to use than a large bag, pack easier also.

Have fun!

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Jan 13th, 2007, 02:10 PM
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I love my toiletries bag that might suit your needs, too, for the larger bottles. I got it at the Rick Steves travel store Website. Here is what I like: it is small, the back has a zipper pouch where I keep flat travel alarm and little flashlight. The sides have two tall mesh zippered pockets just the size for a toothbrush. It has a fold-in hanger thing on the top. So you can hang it off a towel rack and keep the toothbrush in it instead of using the sink (IF you have a sink!)The inner part has the usual elastic bands to hold things upright, but with sort of a back and front section. So that makes it tall enough to hold taller bottles-not full-size shampoo bottles, but since you are doing the carry-on rules you are limited anyway to the 3 ounce baggie rule. I put the stuff back in the toiletry pouch after going through security while waiting for the plane. I also stuff 5 or 6 extra little zip-locks in that back compartment for the return trip or whatever. I think the Eagle Creek is much the same- it's that mesh pouch and hanging ability I really like!
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Jan 13th, 2007, 02:11 PM
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I like a totally soft bag. I've used a Le sportsac, that I picked up at marshall's , for years. everything goes into it now except the stuff that has to go in the baggy and after I pass security I just stuff that in. The one I have has several compartments and even came with an additional purse size cosmetic bag. I love their everyday purses too..weightless, adjustable strap, many compartments and since we'll now have to stuff our purses in our carryons, the unstructed bag is great
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Jan 13th, 2007, 02:15 PM
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I still suggest ziplock bags because I have seen them go through luggage and empty those beautiful cosmetic toiletry bags.
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Jan 13th, 2007, 02:21 PM
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I've got a simple soft medium-sized one with a hook. It's from Body Shop. I find the hook useful because in most hotel bathrooms, not to mention hostels, there is no space or shelf big enough to put the bag on.
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Jan 13th, 2007, 02:22 PM
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LL Bean has four sizes of toiletry bags. I use the smallest for even a month of travel but I like to keep my beauty routine simple.

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Jan 13th, 2007, 02:31 PM
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I have one of the Rick Steves bags and I love it. It seems to fit my stuff in a very efficient way and since I have sensitive skin, I always travel with all the stuff I need for my trip because I don't want to take a chance having to buy different products than I am used to and risk a "skin episode" on vacation - LOL.

The hanger inside the bag is esspecially helpful when there isn't a lot of counter space - we stayed in 4 hotels in German and Austria and never had much counter space - just pedistal sinks or sinks attached to the wall. A couple of our bathrooms had a seperate shelf, but it wasn't very large.

In times past I have taken all my toiletries as carryon, but now I will check most of them and carry on a ziplock with my necesities for the flight and a day or two if my checked luggage is delayed. Then when I get where I am going, transfer everything back into my toiletry bag.
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Jan 13th, 2007, 07:22 PM
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On a recent trip to Europe I used the Rick Steves Toiletry bag and HATED it. I had items in several different ziplocks and felt that I could never find anything. My husband had the Eagle Creek Bag and I was very envious. It's organization is great, lots of elastic to hold small bottles, meds, etc. So, I would recommend that one. Get the MEN'S Eagle Creek Toiletry Bag, not the women's. Whichever bag you choose, I agree the hook is essential.
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Jan 13th, 2007, 08:25 PM
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I too love the L.L. Bean cosmetic bags. They have multiple sizes. I, however, never use regular size bottles. I go to the drug store (or prefer Aveda store) and buy small plastic bottles. I then fill them with my own favorite shampoos ect. I then put those bottles in a small plastic zip lock (with the zipper closing and not just the press together). I never carry full size bottles..every oz counts when you pack light.
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Jan 13th, 2007, 08:40 PM
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Well, why take 12 ounces of shampoo when you'll probably need only 3 ounces? I, too, prefer several small bags - one for bath/shower, one for the bedside table, and another for makeup. I love the Trish McEvoy line and her "kits". I also like the En Vogue cosmetic bags - you can view an assortment of these and other travel accessories for toiletries at TheContainerStore.com

Clear bags are better for toiletries - as you can see everything and you're not always rooting around for small items and can leave most in the bag(s) rather than repacking. I've never found any one bag I like for everything.

I totally agree with bringing all your favorites you use everyday, but I've found that packing everything in travel sizes takes a LOT less space. I keep mine filled and packed so everything is always ready and nothing is forgotten.

And, it's really best to a) make sure no liquids are more than 2/3 to 3/4 full to allow for expansion (which causes leaking) and b) pack larger bottles (and messy liquids) in a zip-lock freezer bag, just in case, within your case(s).
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Jan 14th, 2007, 01:24 AM
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For toiletries I try to accurately estimate how much I'll need and then I toss the bottles out on the last day since they're usually almost empty. This really opens up lots of room in your bag.

In three weeks, I know I'd use more than 3 oz of conditioner, etc. so I'd bring the products in their bottles but half full, or whatever you think you'll need. Definitely put anything that leaks in a zip-lock.

Splitting up toiletries from makeup is a good idea -- you don't need to make room for this one huge bag that takes up a whole corner of the suitcase. Much easier to pack two slimmer bags into your suitcase and they can fit any number of ways.

I still lament the loss of a perfectly tailored sheath dress that was ruined because I didn't ziplock.
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Jan 14th, 2007, 07:06 AM
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Thank you everyone, this has been very helpful! I'm going to look into all of your suggestions, and I appreciate the tips on packing these types of things.

elnap29: would you mind sharing which toiletry kit your husband used from Eagle Creek? Thanks!

And a slightly unrelated question, though I'm off to look up the answer myself- exactly what makeup products are restricted in carry-on?

I know liquids, foams, gels, arosoles are restricted to the 100 ml in the ziplock rule. I assume that includes mascara and lipglosses, but what about tubes of lipstick? Are powders and (non-liquid) liners allowed unrestricted?
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Jan 14th, 2007, 08:53 AM
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Okay, from I've read, compacts, eyeliners, and tubes of lipsticks are fine.

I think I'm going to go for 3 smaller toiletry bags; 1 for bathroom things (face, hair, body, and clothes washing); 1 for post-shower products (moisterizers, serums, and hair styling balm); and 1 for makeup. I'm going to take 1/2 full bottles, and use ziplock bags to contain leaks.

My grooming routine is actually fairly simple, but it's important to me. If need be, I can do just fine traveling in less than crisp clothing, but messing with my skincare and makeup rituals throws off the rest of my day. Thanks again for the suggestions, ladies!
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Jan 14th, 2007, 10:15 AM
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Don't take 1/2 full bottles - why use up that extra room in your suitcase?

Buy a good number of 4 oz plastic containers and transfer your products into them, label them. I take tons of different things but only enough of each one to last the duration of a trip. I pack in 1 gal. freezer ziplocks, and lay them in with my packed clothes.

Even in regular cosmetic bags, I like clear ones, so you can see at a glance what all you have and where.
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Jan 14th, 2007, 10:26 AM
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Even in empty travel size containers, sometimes it's hard to find small ones at a travel or drug store. I recently found a great selection at a "natural remedies" store, because they sell lotions and shampoos in bulk so offered a wide assortment of containers sizes and shapes very inexpensive.
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Jan 14th, 2007, 11:18 AM
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For all the small travel containers you would ever want, another good source is an outdoors store such as REI. Anyplace that caters to backpackers basically because backpackers don't want to carry ANYTHING larger than they have to.
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Jan 14th, 2007, 11:28 AM
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A lot of good advice here about the bags themselves. However, I'd still put the bags in a zip-loc or some other well-sealed bag in case anything leaks. Zip-locs come in all sizes, and also function as a place for laundry.
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