June 8, 2013

Vera Bradley Grand Cosmetic


Vera Bradley Grand Cosmetic Review travel

Let me start this off by saying that I'm about Vera Bradley. I used to sell Vera Bradley. I was on the style page of my senior yearbook for the Vera Bradley trend. Vera Bradley and I go way back. But I understand that people have Issues with the brand. It's too expensive, the patterns are ugly, it looks like old lady stuff, it's too college/high school girl, whatever. I get some of that - I hate the purses and some of the patterns are not for me. Still, my bias and whatever your bias is aside, their Grand Cosmetic case is unbeatable. 

I had a one compartment, vinyl toiletry bag that I used for traveling from about 7th grade up until November so. Some things just aren't meant to last over a decade, I guess - obviously shotty craftsmanship there. I was in the market for a new one because I travel a decent amount and I realized the market sucks pretty quickly. My qualifications seemed pretty easy. I just wanted a case big enough for my shit and with compartments so I could be organized instead of just tossing everything in together. Target, Zappos, Amazon, Macys, Wal-Mart, on and on, nowhere had anything that was good enough. Then, my boyfriend's mom ordered a Vera Bradley Grand Cosmetic for a trip she was taking to Puerto Rico. I knew it was The One as soon as I looked at it. THE toiletry bag every girl waits all her life to find.

I think Vera Bradley makes next level cosmetic cases as is. This might sound kind of salesgirl but the lining they have in each of the styles is genius. Your foundation leaks? Your hairspray explodes? Whatever, the inside is lined with plastic. Just wipe it off. Nothing is stained. You can even throw the whole thing in the washing machine if it gets dirty. And these things last surprisingly long. My friend came to visit in March and had a Vera Bradley cosmetic case and I was like, "When did you get this? This is an old pattern!" and she was like, "YOU got me that for a high school graduation gift, dumbass..." which for us was in 2008. You might be paying a little more but you're paying for something you can wash, something where you know the zipper won't break, etc etc and you can potentially get at least 5 years worth of use out of it.

Onto this specific cosmetic case: I think the name "cosmetic case" is kind of a misnomer because this thing is huge. Just for the sake of science, I tested how it would work strictly for cosmetics. It fit all of my lip products, eyeliners, single/quad eyeshadows, Naked palettes, Nyx palettes and blushes. All of that takes up more than two full drawers in my Ikea Alex storage unit. Guesstimation, that's about 30 eyeshadows, 20 eyeliners, 20 lipsticks, 5 palettes, 10 blushes and 30 lip glosses. I wouldn't use this as a cosmetic case for my entire collection because I like to clearly see everything in front of me rather than have it in a bag but you could if you wanted to, even if your collection is extensive.

Obviously this bag is big - the website lists the dimensions as 11.5 x 8 x 4.5 and there's 5 slip pockets inside (3 small, 2 large) and a really spacious interior.

Vera Bradley Grand Cosmetic Review pockets interior travel
That weird discoloration is Q-tips and cotton rounds that I forgot to clear out. I'm a horrible blogger. I know.
Vera Bradley Grand Cosmetic Review pockets interior travel

It's a bit easier to understand how much this really holds when it's filled.

Vera Bradley Grand Cosmetic Review pockets interior travel

Vera Bradley Grand Cosmetic Review pockets interior travel

Vera Bradley Grand Cosmetic Review pockets interior travel
As you can see, this bag holds full size products, not just wimpy travel sized stuff. That L'Oreal Elnett hairspray is probably my tallest beauty product and it fits in the main compartment easily. The bigger side pockets easily hold a full pack of Neutrogena make up removing wipes. Even the smaller side pockets can fit 2 or 3 travel side products. This thing also becomes pretty sturdy once it's filled and ends up with a solid rectangular shape which makes it really easy to pack. And like I said before, your hairspray explodes during a flight? Whatever, the inside is lined. Easy clean up. It's not just going to leak onto the outer fabric and ruin the rest of your stuff in the suitcase.

I'm sure most people travel with travel sized containers rather than full sized ones. The space this will give you if you stick to travel size is out of this world. You'll be able to fit all your toiletries, makeup, nail stuff, brushes, whatever, even if it was a longer trip. If your vacation plans allow it, I'm sure you could even stick travel sized laundry detergent and dish soap into this bag. There's so much room.

Vera Bradley Grand Cosmetic Review pockets interior travel how much does the grand cosmetic hold
I'd say this picture is a pretty extensive example of the things you could take on a trip and shows both full sized and travel sized items (but no toothbrush or toothpaste, again, worst blogger). Shampoo, conditioner, styling cream, sunblock, makeup removing wipes, a loofah, nail polish remover, deodorant, face mask, body wash, hair spray, face wash, a razor and dry shampoo - all fits into this toiletry case. And only 3 of these things are travel sized. Holding capacity for days.

I get that people aren't into Vera Bradley. I really, really do. And I get it. Can you buy better sunglasses cases, better duffel bags, better backpacks, better umbrellas, whatever else than Vera Bradley? I'm sure you can. There are things where you're just buying it for the name or the pattern. There are two things that I think are Worth It though: their keychain ID cases (a college staple for a reason) and their cosmetic bags. If you're not buying a train case or some elaborate furniture level storage for your cosmetics, I think you should be buying Vera Bradley and this case in particular is the business. I think you should just get over it if you think Vera Bradley is ugly or whatever, just for the sake of this toiletry bag. It alleviates so much stress when you pack, it's functional and it's like a clown car for bath products.

The Vera Bradley Grand Cosmetic is $42 but sale patterns are generally $10 or so cheaper. A good money saving tip is to sign up for an account. They mail you a voucher that you can use during your birthday month for $20 off anything which is insanely generous. $20 off anything. You can get something that costs literally $20 and use the voucher for it and get it for free. Or, you could use it for this case and get it for $22 which I think is a pretty great save for something of this quality.

You can find the Grand Cosmetic here on their site. Find the pattern you find the least repulsive and get it. You can hide it under your bed or something when you're not making your life easier by traveling with it. No one has to know.

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