Amy Steele & Janine Cooper - Amy Steele

Finalist of the The MARY KAY® Most Irresistible Makeup Bag


2015 Finalist Amy Steele & Janine Cooper Amy Steele

Amy Steele & Janine Cooper FINALIST'S PROFILE

What is your inspiration for this bag?
This bag is a collaboration between Janine Cooper, a professional makeup artist and me. We wanted to use my knowledge of handbag design and her experience using and transporting makeup to create the perfect bag that was specifically designed for makeup but was nice enough to carry as a clutch. We decided to focus on functionality, versatility and affordability while remaining aligned with Mary Kay's Discover What You Love campaign. Some of the key features that we felt the bag needed included; a mirror, separate slots for lipsticks, lipglosses, mascaras and compacts and a separate zippered pocket specifically for makeup brushes or liners. Makeup brushes so often become damaged when stored with other items, so we added a separate, zippered pocket within the top flap of this fold over bag in order to keep them separate and protected. The bag also needed a separate zippered compartment to keep valuables (like money or a phone), so that this bag could be easily used as a standalone clutch.

What is your design background?
I left a career in finance to start Amy Steele Bags in 2007. I design and manufacture handbags and leather goods in North Bay, Canada. Janine Cooper is a professional makeup artist in Barbados.

Why did you select the particular materials to work with?
In order to keep the retail price of this bag at $50, we felt that it was essential for the bag to be made of fabric as opposed to leather. Using fabric also allows the bag to remain lightweight. We chose to make the bag out of sturdy black canvas with pink quilting. We chose black because it is both complimentary to Mary Kay's packaging and prevents the bag from becoming discoloured over time. We chose pink because it is a key element of the Discover What You Love campaign. The quilting offers the dual purpose of incorporating a subtle heart into the design while also providing padding and stability. We have lined the bag with white hospital vinyl; white to allow the user to easily see the items inside and vinyl to make cleaning simple. A magnetic snap secures the top flap.

Tell us why you think every woman will love your makeup bag design?
As frequent travelers, Janine and I feel that this bag will be great on-the-go. Its versatility makes it an attractive travel accessory as the user has both a makeup bag and a clutch for a night out - all in one bag. The many compartments make the bag extremely usable. For example, we envision the top flap zip pocket to be used for makeup brushes but it could alternatively be used for other items such as a phone or keys when used as a clutch.

See other finalists from the 2015 handbag awards