Making It Up: A good bag these days is hard to find...

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The right make-up is hard to find, pricey and easy to lose. So how can you prevent mutterings of "where's that lipstick?" as well as protect costly cosmetic from the demolition derby inside your handbag? By using the right make-up bag, that's how.

For cheap chic, check out the bags at Muji (five locations in London: for stockists 0171-323 2208). Their new full-colour brochure features 14 different cosmetic bags ranging from pounds 1.25 for a small vinyl zip bag to pounds 5.95 for a large tarpaulin vanity case. Muji bags take a lot of abuse and are thankfully easy to clean.

For mind-boggling choice, Screenface is the make-up of professionals' Aladdin's Cave with over 30 make-up bag styles in stock. Don't leave the shop without one of their famous UV-resistant, clear plastic Screenface bags. Other favourites are black mesh bags designed to hold and dry damp shampoo bottles, soaps, sponges, etc. Prices range from pounds 1.85 for a single transparent zip bag to pounds 355 for a wheelie case you could run away from home with. (Screenface locations: 20 & 24 Powis Terrace, London W11 0171- 221-8289 and 48 Monmouth Street, Covent Garden, London WC2. 0171-836 3955).

For affordable elegance, Dollargrand's velvet zip make-up bag is both gorgeous and functional. Popular in black crushed velvet, it can be found in House of Fraser nationally and in plain velvet from Liberty.

For the ultimate indulgence, Tanner Krolle, Britain's best kept secret in luxury leather goods has, after 140 years, finally opened a shop. Their exquisite vanity case is built to last: the grandkids fight for it in your will. In bridle leather, brown, stone, camel and green at pounds 800. Fabric vanity bag in black at pounds 460. (Tanner Krone opened yesterday at 38 Old Bond Street, London W1 but is officially launched on the 27 and 28 of October. 0171-491 2243).

For uniqueness, Samantha Heskia designs real stunners. Her large envelope bag in a tongue-in-cheek Union Jack pattern is extremely fun and practical. (Limited edition to order pounds 250. This and other Samantha Heskia bags available at Browns, Mimi and a la mode in London.) Finally, the most talked-about make-up bag from America is finally in the UK. Trish McEvoy Beauty Planner, a bag with custom-fitted goodies, comes in two sizes and promises to end make-up nightmares as well as save you money. Her experts will sort out all the slap you need and tuck it safely into a smart black patent make-up "Filofax". Planners from pounds 24 to pounds 31 without make-up. The Trish McEvoy Counter at Harvey Nichols (0171- 235 2691) The planners sell like hot cakes, so give Father Christmas plenty of notice.