What is a Caboodle Case?

Published Categorized as Makeup Tips

It seems like every time we turn around, another industry is dipping back into their bag of tricks and making something old become new again. Fashion has done it on the runways. Cosmetics have done it by bringing back lipstick colors and glosses from the ’90s. Nostalgia is a thing of the present and will probably continue to be for as long as humans walk the planet.

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This is why it comes as no surprise to those of us who grew up in the 1990s that the Caboodles case has shaken off the cobwebs and re-entered society. This plastic case that came in colors inspired by hair dryers was all the rage in the ’90s.

Inside the case, you would store your lip glosses and the rest of your makeup. You could also pack in a few scrunchies for good measure.

This organizer is now available online and in many trendy stores like Urban Outfitters.

But what makes this organizer so unique? And why are they making a huge comeback?

Table of Contents

Caboodles On-The-Go Girl Purple Marble Vintage Case, 1 Lb

History of the Caboodle: What is a Caboodles Case?

The story of the Caboodles case goes all the way back to the mid-1980s. One of the most popular legends about the creation of this tidy little organizer starts with a leisurely day of reading the rags.

It has been said that the inspiration for this handy tool came from its inventor, Leonie Mateer, perusing the pages of People. She happened to read that the legendary letter turner, Vanna White, used a tackle box to keep all her cosmetics organized.

And, thus, the iconic plastic organizer was born.

Though that makes for a great story, Leonie relates the actual story in her book. While brainstorming ideas for a new business after moving to California in the ’80s, she remembered seeing a model carrying a tackle box to a photoshoot. In that tackle box was all the model’s makeup. That was the inspiration she needed, and she soon started shopping her idea to different companies.

It took her two tries to find a manufacturer that was willing to go through with the deal. The first backed out before production, but the second saw the potential and signed on to help launch what was to become one of the biggest trends for girls in the ’90s.

Eventually, that company would take ownership of her idea and expand on it. She would leave to find another company that would eventually sell to one of the biggest cosmetic companies in the world, Estée Lauder. However, Leonie eventually found herself back in the arms of her caboodle as a consultant for the original manufacturer.

We know what you’re thinking — the story is amazing. But that name …”Caboodle”… where did she come up with it?

In her book, Mateer writes that the name came out of a nice, hot soak with a good book. She knew she needed a catchy and youthful name that would draw her target demographic in, and so she began to peruse the best book in the world for words: the Oxford English Dictionary.

As she soaked, she stumbled upon the word ‘caboodles,’ which actually means a collection or clutter of things. That seemed like a fun and altogether perfect name for her invention, so she went with it.

Why are Caboodles Coming Back?

So, why is the makeup organizer that began its life with the catchphrase ‘the whole kit ‘n’ caboodle’ is just now reappearing?

Besides our love for anything nostalgic and vintage, in 2017, this iconic ’90s tool turned 30.

With this milestone, Simone Biles, an Olympic gold medal gymnast, signed on to be its brand ambassador. With the name recognition behind it, the organizer began to gain popularity again.

Though it never truly stopped production, it certainly fell by the wayside for a while. However, with a new resurgence, a new generation will get to have access to these fun and practical organizational cases.

5 Best Caboodles on Amazon

Caboodles are available in many stores, but Amazon has a great selection of not only the traditional model but also some of the other models that have been crafted with the Caboodles name.

Caboodles Nail Polisher Organizer

Caboodles Ultimate nail care case, nail polish and accessories storage, White Iridescent Base With Clarified Charcoal Color Lids
Buy on Amazon

This version of the Caboodle is designed not only to organize your makeup but your polish, too.

This case can hold up to 28 bottles and is adjustable to serve as a makeup case, as well as allows for variations in the heights of your nail polish bottles.

It is a stylish looking case as well, with a black exterior and a fun design to add a little color.

Caboodles Rainbow Neat Freak Makeup Organizer

Caboodles Rainbow Rad - Neat Freak Makeup Organizer, Black Trim Rainbow Jacquard
Buy on Amazon

This box will hold everything you need from makeup to hair products.

There are 6 trays that unfold from the inside and allow for optimal organization.

Its see-through material also offers a fun and stylish look to the case that has everything.

Caboodles Take It Touch-Up Tote

Caboodles CAB56064A Take It Touch-Up Retro Tote
Buy on Amazon

If you’re looking for a quick touch-up but still want to stay organized,  this wallet-sized Caboodle could be a good choice for you.

It comes with a large mirror and is available in multiple colors.

Caboodles Galaxy Glam

Caboodles Galaxy Glam - On-The-Go Girl Makeup Organizer, Teal Sparkle
Buy on Amazon
Caboodles On-the-go Girl Doodle Edition, Natural White, 1.5 Pound

If you want the same look and feel as the original, then this Caboodle is the one you are looking for.

A little smaller than the original, this Galaxy Glam Caboodle is crafted with the basic blueprint that you loved when you were growing up.

Caboodles On-the-Go Girl Doodle Edition

Buy on Amazon

This Caboodle can be personalized!

Included in the Caboodles are stencils, stickers, and markers that will allow you to be creative. It also has an auto-open tray and a mirror.

Do We Love Caboodle Cases?

This makeup case is fun and nostalgic, as well as being affordable. These are all the things we love to see in any accessory, but it also seems to elicit mixed sentiments.

The newer version is smaller than the original. This may be troubling to some ladies who remember their Caboodle from their teenage years. The price is nice, and it is constructed with durable materials.

So, if you are looking for a modern twist on a blast from the past, then the Caboodles case is right up your alley. Nostalgia is the main reason that we love this case and all its fabulousness!

Feel like you may have outgrown your Caboodle? Why not try a modern and spacious large cosmetic organizer?

Love it or hate it? What are your thoughts on the Caboodle Case?

By Ellis James

We design luxuriously glamorous bags, organizers and life essentials for you. At Ellis James Designs, it’s all about YOU. Your bag, Your way. Our exclusive designs are timeless, indulgent and most importantly inspired by you. What will be your first Ellis James Design?


  1. Weren’t they just the most adorable cases? I remember envying any of my peers who had them when I was a child. Glad they’re still around!

  2. Aww I love these cases! They are the cutest and so great for organising!! Aw I am from Australia and can’t enter the giveaway 🙁 Good luck to everyone though!

  3. Oooh! I remember loving Caboodle cases when I was younger. It was a nice way to organize everything. I love the modern approaches to them. Thanks for sharing!

    Nancy ♥

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