year in review

Strat Haul: This Clear-Plastic Makeup Case Is the Best Thing I Bought in 2017

The best clear-plastic thing with all of my other clear-plastic things.

If you’ve read any of our Strategist editor hauls this year, you’ll know that we buy a lot of stuff, and even though we think carefully about each thing that goes into our cart, there are still standouts. To close out the year, we’re asking each editor to write about the best thing they bought. Today, writer Maxine Builder on the clear-plastic makeup case she absolutely loves.

I bought a fair number of clear-plastic things in 2017 — especially clear-plastic organizers. In the same way Strategist associate editor Katy Schneider organizes her tote bag with Baggu pouches, I obsessively use clear ones. I’m particularly fond of the travel-size clear cases from Muji for everyday tote organization; I’ve got one for my cords and chargers, and one for everyday necessities like Band-Aids and lip balm. I organize my carry-on suitcase with this set of three clear packing cubes. They compact a long weekend’s worth of clothes into a much smaller space just like conventional packing cubes, but I prefer clear ones to see what’s inside without unzipping them.

That, of course, is the novelty of clear-plastic cases, to feel like you’re a superhuman with X-ray vision, and I take an immense, unreasonable pleasure in this. So when I say that the best clear-plastic thing I bought this year is my clear-plastic makeup case, I mean it.

I had been looking for a case bigger than my favorite Muji ones to hold more of my makeup and brushes, and though I’d had my eye on similar clear-plastic makeup bags at Ricky’s and Target, they cost close to $50, which seemed too expensive for plastic. So when I found this one on Amazon for $7, I had to at least try it out. And it has solved almost every problem I’ve had with makeup cases. The main pouch is big enough to fit every product — primer, foundation, concealer, loose powder, contour, highlighter, lipstick, even a full eye-shadow palette and a beauty blender — with room to spare. A smaller front pocket holds a pencil sharpener and a beauty-blender cleanser; the flap on top comfortably holds about a dozen makeup brushes.

The rectangular, flat bottom means the makeup bag can sit up on the counter without any support, and if my loose powder or liquid foundation explodes, which happens to me with embarrassing frequency, it feels less catastrophic. That’s because unlike makeup cases lined with fabric, plastic is easy to wipe down and clean, and I never have to worry about stains.

This clear-plastic makeup case is the space-age makeup-storage solution of my dreams. Now if only I could learn how to do my makeup better, but that might be a goal for 2018.

Vinyl Clear Travel Bag Cosmetic Carry Case Toiletry
$10 at Amazon

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best hair care essentials, whitening toothpaste, very black mascara, tinted lip balm, acne mask, magnifying mirror, and all-natural deodorant. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

Every editorial product is independently selected. If you buy something through our links, New York may earn an affiliate commission.

This Clear-Plastic Makeup Case Is My Favorite 2017 Purchase