Being able to bring makeup on a plane, and particularly in hand luggage, is a something which most women (and some men these days) are likely to need to do at some time or another. This is particularly true as so many only take carry on these days for short trips.
You can bring makeup on a plane in both carry on or checked bags. But if taking it in your hand luggage you must ensure that whatever makeup you take through the TSA security checkpoint, that is considered a liquid, is no larger than 3.4oz (100ml). It must also be placed inside a one quart clear ziplock bag with any other liquids.
If you are taking checked bags with you then there are basically no restrictions as to the amount and type of makeup that you can take in those. So any makeup you know you will not need to use on the flight is best placed in your suitcase.
What makeup is considered a liquid?
TSA and other government’s regulations state that any one liquid cannot be larger than 3.4oz (100ml). That refers to the size of the container, not the amount of liquid in it. So you cannot take a 6oz container that is half full in hand luggage.
Most things are obvious. Perfume, eau de toilette, cologne, makeup remover and anything else that is clearly a liquid.
What is less obvious are things such as:
- aerosols (deodorant, body spray, hairspray etc)
- Liquid, cream or gel eye shadow
- Gel lip balms
- Liquid foundation
Powder and solid makeup are allowed and do not fall within the liquids rules. However, the TSA states any “powder-like” substances which are larger than 12oz (350ml) must be placed separately in a bin to be screened by the X-ray machine when you go though. You may also be asked to open them to show what they are.
I would say, if you are unsure whether an item counts as a liquid or not, then place whatever it is in your resealable liquids bag. It is better to be safe than sorry.
You can buy an approved liquids bag on Amazon quite cheaply – TSA 3-1-1 Approved Clear Airline Carry On Bag
Can I take makeup on a plane in my purse?
You can take makeup in your purse.
But if you are carrying your purse as well as a separate carry on bag then anything that is considered a liquid, in either of your bags, must be placed in just one clear plastic resealable liquids bag per passenger when passing through airport security.
Can you bring powder makeup on a plane?
You can take powder makeup on a plane in either your carry on or your checked bags.
In theory there are no restrictions on the amount you can carry with you in your hand luggage through airport security. However, any powders over 12oz should be placed separately in one of the security trays for additional screening.
I cannot imagine that anyone would want to take this much powdered makeup with them in their carry on bag though.
Can you bring makeup wipes on a plane?
Yes you can take makeup wipes in both carry on and checked bags. The TSA do not consider these a liquid, although they do obviously have liquid in them as they are wet.
Can you take nail polish on a plane?
Again, you can, but the liquids rule applies so it cannot be larger than 3.4ozs (100mls) but more are small so that shouldn’t be an issue.
It must be carried in your clear resealable liquids bag though.
You can also take nail glue on a plane.
Can you take nail polish remover on a plane?
Nail polish remover is allowed but must be less than 3.4oz (100ml) and must be placed in the resealable liquids bag to pass through airport security.
Can you bring perfume on a plane?
Since perfume is obviously a liquid, then yes you can take it on a plane but it must be smaller than 3.4oz/100ml to be compliant with the liquids rules. It must also be placed in your liquids bag for separate screening by airport security.
If you are traveling internationally and buy any perfume in the duty free store at the airport (after airport security) then this can be carried on the aircraft with you, even if larger than 3.4oz/100ml.
But remember, if it is larger than that, and you are on your outward journey, when you return home it will have to go in your checked baggage otherwise it will be confiscated when you pass through airport security before your return flight.
It is also worth mentioning that if you have used some while away such that the contents are now less than 3.4 fluid ounces then this is still not allowed in carry on as it is the size of the container, not the amount of the contents themselves that counts.
So if you buy a bottle containing 6 fluid ounces in duty free or on the plane on the way out and you use half or more then the bottle is still larger than the permitted size.
Can you bring a mirror on a plane?
TSA regulations allow makeup mirrors on a plane in both carry on and checked bags.
I asked my wife which she thought was the best travel makeup mirror. Whether we have a checked bag, or only carry on bags, she says this one she takes with her is the best (well she would as she wouldn’t buy something that wasn’t the best would she!)
It is 5.3 inches by 7 inches so it will fit in carry on without a problem. It has LED lights and adjustable brightness.
The AskTSA service on Twitter confirms that these (and other makeup mirrors) are allowed in carry on: