Saturday, 3 May 2014

The InStyle BumpBag in Cobalt Blue - Review

Okay, I have something a little bit different for everyone today. I recently bought the bumpbag from TSC (The Shopping Channel) for about $10 Canadian. I got a few discounts to get that price. I have seen this bag for sale in Shoppers Drug Mart for between $12-$16 Canadian. It comes in a few other colours like black, pink and purple I believe.

I am a big makeup bag junkie. I always seem to end up travelling a number of times a year - both for work and pleasure. As a result, any thing that I can find which is a new way to carry my makeup and brushes together and protect them is of interest to me. Especially, if it can simplify the number of bags I need to bring.

I got the bag in Cobalt Blue. The colour is very vibrant, almost metallic looking but my camera just isn't picking that up for some reason. The bag is a lot bigger than it looks. Once you start putting things in it, you realize how much room is in there. Yet, it takes up little room, even in a small suitcase.

I bought this bag for two reasons. One, the bubble wrap exterior looked good and I thought it would do a better job of protecting my makeup than a regular makeup bag. Second, it has a middle section which holds brushes. This would save me taking a second makeup bag or brush holder with me on trips. Had my prayers been answered? Well...we will get to that in a second.

First, I should mention that I am a bit weird when it comes to packing and what I like to call "cross-contamination". I am not neat freak. Not by far. Just ask my mother. I have stuff everywhere - all over the house. However, I am that girl with the Ziploc bags in her suitcase. Yes, I don't like my hairbrush getting snagged on my clothes and intermingling with them. I don't want any containers exploding or leaking in my suitcase and ruining my stuff. I sure as heck don't want any liquids getting into my makeup either. I usually carry a separate makeup bag for liquids and it is full of stuff in Ziploc bags my friends! My husband thinks I am crazy, and you might too, and that is ok with me. I am not the girl with the perfume leaking out of my suitcase with ruined clothes. I have seen that one before and I want no part of that problem!
I digress as usual. The point I was getting to is that I don't like to just throw my face brushes into my makeup bag. To me, that's a bit gross. I don't want residual powder from the brushes getting all over my makeup containers. Also, I put those brushes on my face and around my eyes. I don't wash my makeup compacts, tubes and containers and let's face it, how many people touch those things before you buy it? I don't want my brushes touching all of that stuff. I am not a germaphobe, I swear. Okay, maybe a little. So if I can find a makeup bag that separates my brushes from the rest of my makeup in a all in one deal, then cool.
This is what it looks like inside. By the way, the bag itself is very sturdy and feels solid yet light. The zip is nice and heavy duty. Not a flimsy product at all. The main compartment is very spacious. With what I have in the bag above (I just threw some random stuff in there) the bag is not even 1/3 full. It has a little open pocket for odds and ends. The open pocket, however, has a very thin material and things fall out of it very easily. I wish it was a zippered compartment. The makeup brush flap on the other side does have a zippered compartment. I find it is in an awkward place though and it is not easy to get what you want out of there quickly since it is quite narrow.
The other thing I don't like is that the bag's outside zipper is a single. It would be nice to open the bag up without having to zip open the whole thing. Since the bag opens up really wide, I find as soon as you open it, everything falls out that isn't "secured", That drives me a bit mad. Especially since I am usually opening it up in a hotel room where the last thing I want is to be chasing my cosmetics around on a possibly less than clean counter top or filthy floor! Just thinking about it give me the chills!!!
Here is what the makeup brush compartment looks like opened. Judging from the various sized elastic holders, it appears this section would also hold lipsticks, eyeliners, mascaras etc. I think you can already see the problem. Regular sized  brushes are too big for this section. This section also narrows as you can see which is not great for keeping your brushes covered properly. Yes, I have short handled brushes that I can use, but should I have too???
In the picture above, I have from left to right (to illustrate my point) a short handled Sigma Beauty eyeliner/lip brush E05 (which barely fits length wise), a Sigma E35 Tapered Blending Brush (way too big for this), a MAC lipstick and a Real Techniques Multi Task Brush (also too big for this section). There are two other elastic holders on the left side but they only hold big brushes. The flap also doesn't really cover them completely when velcroed back into place.
So to summarize, I like the theory of this bag. I like the look and feel of it for the most part. It's very sturdy externally and I think it could withstand some serious bumps in your suitcase and baggage handler abuse. I have and will travel with this sometimes but I don't think I will put my makeup brushes in here. It just isn't functional. Also, I have made a mental note to only open this bag when it is in a contained spot like my suitcase so when things fly out, I've got it covered.
I think if you have tons of short handled brushes and you don't mind them intermingling with your makeup (unlike my anal self) than you might very well love this bag. The whole thing inside and out is wipe-able. The company that makes these does make a variety of makeup travel bags and I have to say that they all look really good. Maybe one of those is better suited for me than this one. I would consider buying another style from this line.
Sturdiness: 9/10 (minus that pocket flap on the one side)
Functionality: 6/10 (it has lots of room and some people may be able to use just this)
Creativity: 9/10
Size: 10/10
Design Execution: 2/10
Overall Rating: 7/10
P.S. Did you guys see that crazy video with the Air Canada baggage handlers just tossing those carry on pieces of luggage like sacks of potatoes? Can't say I am surprised though. My suitcase always looks like it has been through WWIII after I go on a trip.  

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