First impressions/review: Trish McEvoy Ultimate Beauty Organizer
My latest travel experience really made me rethink my travel grooming setup. It was a pretty low-key trip – a couple days at a hotel while visiting my half of the family, and a few days at the in-laws’ place. No need for dressing up or doing anything fancy with the makeup, but my travel storage still managed to be a pain. I’ve been using very basic pouches to carry my makeup and brushes, and a fold-out carrier for my toiletries. I found that my toiletry bag was a bit bulky, and the makeup bag was difficult to use since I had to take everything out to find what I was looking for. The biggest issue though was that some of my brushes got temporarily bent out of shape(!) because the bag got squashed in my suitcase. Mother of first world problems, right? I’m hoping to streamline things a little bit more in the future, so once I got back home I started looking into other methods, and eventually settled on the Trish McEvoy Ultimate Beauty Organizer, which is a Nordstrom exclusive. I haven’t actually had a chance to travel with it yet, which is why this is a first impressions review, but I want to be sure to get this out there while the organizer is still available.
The organizer is a rectangular soft-side case in nude faux leather with a quilted pattern with two carrying handles. On the interior one side is fully lined with a clear zip pocket, and the other side holds two removable clear zip pouches and a brush roll in the same material/pattern as the main case (lots more pictures below). The inside is fully covered in clear vinyl, so any spills can be easily wiped off; the exterior material also feels like it will wipe clean very easily. The overall dimensions of the outside case are approximately 13″x9″x3″, or 33x22x7cm – so it’s definitely on the large side. According to the product description the organizer is made to also hold a Trish McEvoy mini or petite planner; I don’t have one, but I’m not sure where it would fit unless you don’t put anything very bulky in the large zip pocket, or took the brush roll out.
The zip pocket easily holds all my toiletries, even counting the fact that the bottles I’m using are really bigger than I need them to be. Note to self: replace bottles. The pocket is about twice as large as the 1-quart bag allowed by the TSA, so this isn’t going to be an ideal setup for carry-on luggage if you’re flying in the US. A 1-quart bag o’ stuff would fit in there easily though.
Like the large pocket, the removable zip pouches are well above the TSA-allowed 1qt size, so don’t even think about it. That does mean there’s more than plenty of room to store basically whatever you feel like. The measurements are about 8″x3″x3″ or 20x7x7cm. For funsies I picked out all the stuff I normally would use in an average week and put it in the bags, and here’s what I ended up with.
I separated things out mainly into pressed powders and liquid/cream/pencil products. The cream product bag is holding:
- YSL Teint Touche Eclat foundation – the full bottle
- Amazing Cosmetics concealer – full size
- Hourglass Hidden Corrective Concealer
- Laura Mercier Tightline Activator
- Benefit Erase Paste
- Laura Mercier Tightline Cake Eye Liner
- Anastasia Brow Powder Duo
- UD 24/7 Eyeliner – travel size
- Smashbox eyeliner – travel size
- Givenchy Noir Couture mascara – travel size
- Armani Rouge Ecstasy lipstick
- Chantecaille Lip Chic
- Burberry Lip Cover
- Rimmel ScandalEyes Waterproof Kohl
- Anastasia Brow Wiz
That’s a lot of stuff, and there’s a ton of room left over. Enough that I’d actually want to add some stuff to keep things from jiggling around – I bet travel packs of tissues and q-tips would fill the space perfectly. The bag is long enough to fit even my tallest foundation bottles and longest pencils.
The second bag, full of powder products, also holds plenty of stuff with room to spare. For testing I loaded it up with:
- Laura Mercier Artist Palette
- Charlotte Tilbury quad
- Tom Ford quad
- Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette
- Bourjois Java Rice Powder
- NARS blush
- Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder
In case you’re wondering, the Lorac Pro palette is just a hair too long to fit in the pouch.
A nice thing about the pouches is the velcro attachment. The velcro on the pouch is long and thin, and the half in the organizer is shorter but wider – so you don’t need perfect aim when you’re putting the pouches back. They attach securely without a lot of pressure.
The tri-fold brush roll matches the fabric of the main case, and has a strap and loop closure. Folded up it measures 5.5″x8.5″ or 14x21cm. It fits neatly into the organizer but the closure is secure enough that you could pack it separately in your luggage if you want to use the space for something else.
Once you open it up it’s pretty basic – lots of brush slots and a flap to cover up the brush heads. The brush slots don’t have elastic tops, but the brushes are nice and secure once everything is closed up. I don’t recommend holding it upside down while it’s open though.
There’s also a large pocket behind the brushes. You can slide flat brushes in there, or… other flat things? I’m a little tempted to put a piece of heavy plastic in the center part of it just to give it a little more structure & protection.
There are five large brush slots and nine small ones. I’ve left the center one empty because that helps it fold a little bit flatter. The smaller slots can fit two brushes if they have slim handles, and the larger ones are big enough for almost all my brushes. The only one that’s too wide to fit is the Tarte Airbrush Foundation Brush, and that one’s just huge. The Real Techniques Stippling Brush is a tight fit, but you can make it work.
It’s good with the length of most of my brushes too; all the ones above have full-sized handles. The one exception is the Hakuhodo J104, which is just a tiny bit too long so the flap smooshes the brush head. No travel for you, sorry.
Only time will tell how this holds up, but it seems very well-made. I saw one loose spot in the quilting on the brush roll, but aside from that all the stitching looks very solid. All of the seams between fabric pieces are reinforced, and the zippers run smoothly. The vinyl is very thick and flexible, so it doesn’t feel like it’ll rip or crack.
I really like the aesthetics of this organizer – it’s very understated. It’s functional, but doesn’t look like a “bathroom bag”. I wouldn’t mind a bit to carry it outside of my main suitcase. I generally put my toiletries & makeup in my checked luggage when I fly, but this year I really want to make an effort to pack lighter and only use a carry-on. Which brings us to one of the possible drawback of this organizer – it’s big. Not too big to fit into a backpack or weekender, but it would take up quite a bit of room in a small suitcase (though the flat-ish profile is much more efficient that what I was using before). You’ll also need to pay special attention to how you arrange your liquids if you don’t check it. The bag is surprisingly light when it’s empty, but with all that room to stow things it can get quite heavy. After I loaded it up I popped it onto my kitchen scale and it weighed in at just over 5lbs/2.25kg.
In Short: I’m definitely pleased with this purchase and can’t wait to take it on an actual trip.
The Trish McEvoy Ultimate Beauty Organizer ($100) is available exclusively at nordstrom.com.
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