Can You Bring Makeup on a Plane? Essential Tips for the Beauty-Conscious Traveler

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Don't leave your favorite makeup products behind!

Whether you’re a globetrotter or occasional traveler, we all know the struggle of packing. And if you’re a beauty enthusiast, the question, “Can you bring makeup on a plane?” might be causing you some serious stress. You want to look your best for your trip, but will the TSA let you carry your favorite products onboard? Let’s untangle this beauty conundrum together.


  • Yes, you can bring makeup on a plane, but with certain restrictions.
  • All makeup products must be in a clear, quart-sized bag for carry-on luggage.
  • Each item must be 3.4 ounces or less, following the TSA’s 3-1-1 rule.
  • Packing makeup in your carry-on bag is recommended to prevent loss or damage.
  • Powder makeup products are not subjected to the 3-1-1 rule.

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TSA Regulations: Makeup and Air Travel

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has specific regulations regarding carrying makeup on a plane. As Sarah Schlichter, Senior Editor at SmarterTravel, explains: “Makeup is considered a liquid or gel, so it falls under the TSA’s 3-1-1 rule. That means if you’re carrying on liquids, they have to be in a 3.4-ounce bottle or smaller and placed in a clear, quart-sized bag.”

That’s right, beauty mavens: each item in your carry-on must be 3.4 ounces or less. This applies to foundations, liquid lipsticks, creams, and gels. So, that jumbo-sized moisturizer or full-size perfume? They’ll have to go in your checked bag or stay home.

Checked vs. Carry-On: Where Should Makeup Go?

Emily L. Foley, a beauty expert and lifestyle blogger, suggests that “It’s always best to pack your makeup in your carry-on bag, especially if it’s expensive or difficult to replace. Checked bags can get lost or delayed, and you don’t want to be without your favorite products while on vacation.”

It’s a solid tip, especially if your cosmetics collection includes high-end products. Plus, having your makeup close at hand means you can freshen up on the go, whether you’re on a long-haul flight or waiting out a layover.

Powder Makeup and Air Travel

What about powder makeup? The good news is that powder products – think eyeshadows, blushes, and setting powders – are not subject to the same strict regulations as liquids and gels. They don’t need to fit into your quart-sized bag, making them a more travel-friendly option.

However, the TSA does recommend packing powders in checked bags where possible, as large quantities of powders may require additional screening at security checkpoints. This could lead to delays and, in rare cases, some powders may not be permitted.

Air Travel with Makeup: Best Practices

With these TSA guidelines in mind, here are some extra tips to make your journey smoother:

  • Consider investing in travel-sized versions of your favorite products.
  • Decant larger products into smaller, travel-friendly containers.
  • Go for multitasking products, like a lipstick that can double as a blush, to save space.
  • Opt for solid versions of products where possible, like solid perfume or bar face cleanser.
  • Always place your quart-sized bag at the top of your carry-on for easy access during security checks.

Remember, preparation is key to a stress-free journey. So, plan your travel makeup kit in advance, keeping TSA regulations and these tips in mind.


Traveling with makeup doesn’t have to be a hassle if you know the rules. With a little planning, you can ensure your favorite beauty essentials make it onto the plane with you, keeping you looking and feeling your best throughout your journey. So, go ahead and pack your makeup kit with confidence for your next travel adventure!


1. Can I bring a full-size makeup product in my carry-on?

Only if it’s 3.4 ounces or less. Any makeup product larger than this should go in your checked luggage.

2. Can I bring powder makeup products in my carry-on?

Yes, powder makeup products are not subject to the 3.4 ounces limit and do not need to fit in your quart-sized bag.

3. Can I pack makeup in my checked bag?

Yes, you can pack any size of makeup in your checked bag. But remember that checked bags can get lost or delayed, so it’s best to keep essential items in your carry-on.

4. Do I need to declare my makeup at the airport?

No, but you should have your quart-sized bag of liquids and gels ready to present at the security checkpoint.

5. Can I bring my makeup brushes on a plane?

Yes, makeup brushes are not subject to any specific restrictions and can be packed in either your carry-on or checked bag.

You might also like: Can you take perfume on a plane?


Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

Sarah Schlichter, SmarterTravel

Emily L. Foley, Beauty Expert and Lifestyle Blogger

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