We report the fabrication of aqueous multimodal imaging nanocomposites based on superparamagnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) and two different sizes of photoluminescent upconverting nanoparticles (UCNPs). The controlled and simultaneous incorporation of both types of nanoparticles (NPs) was obtained by controlling the solvent composition and the addition rate of the destabilizing solvent. The magnetic properties of the MNPs remained unaltered after their encapsulation into the polymeric beads as shown by the T2 relaxivity measurements. The UCNPs maintain photoluminescent properties even when embedded with the MNPs into the polymer bead. Moreover, the light emitted by the magnetic and upconverting nanobeads (MUCNBs) under NIR excitation (λexc = 980 nm) was clearly observed through different thicknesses of agarose gel or through a mouse skin layer. The comparison with magnetic and luminescent nanobeads based on red-emitting quantum dots (QDs) demonstrated that while the QD-based beads show significant autofluorescence background from the skin, the signal obtained by the MUCNBs allows a decrease in this background. In summary, these results indicate that MUCNBs are good magnetic and optical probes for in vivo multimodal imaging sensors.