Every beauty guru knows what it's like to have way too many makeup bags. Whether you keep buying makeup that comes with free gift bags or you simply can't stop buying adorable ones, there comes a point when your excess starts to go to become almost silly, and you have to find other uses for your makeup bags. After all, there are only so many you need to actually hold your products, and you always end up picking a favorite bag and then neglecting the others. They end up in a pile of used, dirty, and kind of gross little bags that you have no idea what to do with, but can't seem to get rid of.
I know this struggle all too well. As someone who subscribed to Ipsy's monthly beauty subscription for over a year (Ipsy sends their samples in cute, useful bags instead of boxes), and is a fashion/beauty/lifestyle editor who gets lots of free samples, I've accumulated so many makeup bags that it's actually just wasteful at this point. I try to rotate between them, but many of them still end up sitting in a box in the corner of my room, sad and covered in eyeliner stains.
Recently, I realized that I could be doing more with my bags instead of ignoring them or passing them off to random friends (who don't even want anymore at this point). If you have a ton of old makeup bags that you have no idea what to do with, read on. These 12 ideas will not only give your bags a purpose, they'll also make your life a little bit easier, and a lot more organized. How does it get better than that?
1. Use them as a pouch in your handbag to hold small items.
I use my prettiest makeup bags as little pouches in my purse to make it easier to find tiny items like lipstick or hair ties. They keep your bag so much more organized and cleaner.
2. Keep them in your room as mini storage units for little things you could easily lose.
Ted Baker London "Amelia" Cosmetics Case, $50, Nordstrom
You know you never know where to put bobby pins or business cards or other random knick knacks? Start putting them in your old makeup bags you no longer use. Put specific items in each one so you always know where to find them.
3. Sew chains onto them to make them into tiny cross body bags.
Itsa Girl Thing "I need Lipstick" Stripe Cosmetics Case, $12, Nordstrom
Your cutest, prettiest makeup bags can easily be made into DIY cross body bags that are perfect for when you're going out. Go to a craft store, buy a chain, punch some holes, and create something awesome.
4. Stock your old bags with period supplies and keep them in your office as an emergency kit.
Tory Burch "Small York" Cosmetics Case, $95, Nordstrom
Make one of your old makeup bags into a PMS emergency kit that you can keep at your desk or just carry with you in case you need it. Stock it with as many tampons and pads that can fit, as well as travel sized Tylenol.
5. Use your bags as jewelry holders when you're traveling.
Sonia Kashuk Floral Print 2-Zip Purse, $12, Target
If you don't have jewelry cases for travel, make do with old makeup bags. They'll help protect your jewelry and keep it neat.
6. Make them into mini first aid kits.
Stock an old bag with emergency supplies like band aids, gauze, Neosporin, and tweezers. Keep it in your handbag if you're a klutz or keep it at your office.
7. Keep them in your car to hold small items.
Floral Crochet Cosmetic Case, $8, Forever 21
Old bags can be used as little storage spaces for your car too. Put important items in them, then stick them in the center console.
8. Punch a hole in the corner and wrap a ribbon through to make it into a wristlet.
Trina Chateau Le Want Teal Purse Kit, $10, Ulta
It's super easy to make an old makeup bag into a wristlet, and everyone will be impressed by your DIY skills.
9. Use an old makeup bag as a makeshift sunglass case.
A small bag isn't the best protection for your sunglasses — you're better off with a harder case — but if you're stuck with nothing else, it's a better option than letting them roam free in your bag, waiting to be scratched up.
10. Make a small one into a coin purse.
Large Cosmetic Bag, $24, Victoria Secret
Take your smallest makeup bag and use it as a coin purse so you always know where your change is.
11. Use your old bags to hold precious items in your beach bag.
Beach Pouch Set, $40, Vera Bradley
I use one of my old makeup bags in my beach bag to hold my phone, money, and lip balm so that they don't get super sandy and gross.
12. Clean them up and give them as gifts.
Kate Spade New York "Splash Out" Clutch, $128, Nordstrom
When all else fails, you can always give them a good cleaning and use them to make cute gifts for friends and family — especially if you fill them with bonus goodies.
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