Can You Carry Makeup In Hand Luggage Or Should It Be Checked?

Is It Okay To Pack Makeup In My Carry-On?

When packing your carry-on luggage for a long-haul flight, you might want to pack some makeup in the carry-on form to refresh yourself once you reach your destination, but to avoid additional screening, you need to make sure this makeup is allowed. 

Typically, most makeup is okay to take in your carry on luggage as long as they are in liquid containers under 100ml, for solid makeup like a solid perfume stick, these are subject to no restrictions. You should ensure gel items meet the 100ml rule too and powder-like substances are not over 350ml otherwise you might get hassles at security.

To find out more about taking makeup products through security, what you can and cannot take as well as some tips for packing makeup in your carry on baggage, we have composed an informative article below to get you ready for your trip.

What Makeup Can I Not Take On a Plane? 

As we mentioned above, most makeup can be taken on a plane by a passenger in carry-on as long as they meet the 100ml rule. But this begs the question of what type of makeup counts as liquids in containers and what doesn't?

We have listed a few less obvious types of makeup below which have 100ml security restrictions - 

  • Mascara. 
  • Concealer. 
  • Aerosols/hairspray/body spray. 
  • Cream or gel eye shadow. 
  • Lip balms. 
  • Foundation. 

If you are unsure about the type of makeup being a liquid then your better off carrying it in a 100ml container in your plastic bag to be on the safe side, same goes for the obvious liquids such as a perfume bottle or makeup remover.

Can I Take Powder Form Makeup On a Plane? 

Powder makeup can be taken in your carry-on luggage but might be subject to further screening, according to TSA's carry-on rules this powder should be no more than 350ml but doesn't have to go in your plastic one-litre bag. 

What Else Should I Avoid Packing In My Carry-On? 

Apart from the powder rule and 100-millilitre containers, there are a few other items you should make sure to adhere to carry on rules or avoid bring completely to avoid getting stuck at the security checkpoint. 

  • Sharp items - Any sharp items longer than 6-inches including knives should not be taken in your carry on.
  • Guns/ammunition. 
  • Sporting equipment - Leave the hockey stick at home!
  • Self-defence weapons. 

Tips For Packing Makeup In Carry-On Luggage

Now we know all about the makeup you can take through the security checkpoint and what to avoid, you might struggle with another issue, luggage restrictions. 

If you are into your makeup or you are trying to travel with carry-on bags only and avoid checked luggage then you need to make sure that you do not overpack your makeup otherwise this could lead you to go over the weight restrictions one-quart plastic bag sized rule for your containers. 

To help you out and reduce the size of your hand luggage we have listed our best tips below for packing your makeup. 

  • Leave the powder makeup at home - Honestly, non-essential powders should be left at home, not only are powders targets for security screening but they are also likely to get shaken up on board, which will create a mess and ruin the quality of your product. 
  • Try roll-on perfume - One way to minimise how much space a bottle of perfume might take up in your carry on bags liquids is by using a perfume roll-on stick instead, these count as a solid so will not eat into the limited space of your one-litre bag.
  • Go with the essentials - As much as it can be tempting to bring all your eyeshadow palettes on your trip, the airport security staff might not approve, especially if you try and bring too many liquids through the security checkpoint.
  • Focus on solids - Always try to bring everything in a solid form, this allows you to prioritise the liquids you need and stops you from overfilling your plastic bags.
  • Use mini bottles - If the size of your original container passes over the 100ml rule then put it in a smaller sized makeup container, you can buy these 3.4-ounce or smaller containers easily from supermarkets or amazon beforehand.
  • Try multipurpose makeup - Nowadays you can find some great multi-purpose makeup products on the market such as lipstick that doubles up as blush or eyeshadow that you can use for highlighter, buying these products allows you to save on space as your using one container for multiple purposes!
  • Carefully wrap your products - Gel substances and liquids tend to leak in checked and carry-on luggage so you need to make sure you tape your products lids or put each container in its plastic bag within the quart-sized bag to prevent spillages. 

Other Common Cosmetics/Toiletries Rules For Your Plane In Carry-On Luggage

As well as makeup items, you might be wondering if you can take items such as hairspray, nail varnish remover of nail varnish itself onto a plane?

We have bullet-pointed common cosmetic/toiletry items below to see whether or not you can bring them in your hand luggage. 

  • Hair spray - In both checked and carry-on luggage you can bring on your hairspray with no issues, it should however be in a 100ml container to avoid security issues and fit in your one-litre plastic bag. 
  • Nail varnish remover/nail varnish - Both items may be carried in your hand luggage but must be under 100ml, you should consider not using the products onboard however due to their potent smell. 
  • Moisturiser - Even though moisturiser is more gel-like, it still adheres to the 100ml liquid rule and can be taken on board in this amount only. 
  • Contacts solution - Only under 100ml.
  • Toothpaste - In a travel-sized tube. 
  • Sunscreen - Only under 100ml.

Frequently Asked Questions About Carrying Makeup In Hand Luggage 

How much can my hand luggage weigh?

This all comes down to the airline you are travelling with but the weight range for hand luggage tends to be between 7kg and 8kg.

For dimensions, the average carry-on bag size should measure 55 x 40 x 42cm but will differ by a few centimetres according to your airline, always check your weight restrictions and dimensions beforehand.

Can I bring electronic items such as my shaver?

Electric shavers are fine to bring in your hand luggage along with their batteries, but razors themselves as individuals with removable blades are not allowed.

Why are mascaras considered a liquid? 

Mascara is a form of liquid and gels which creates a paste, pastes and gels have to adhere to the airport liquid rule.

Can I bring nail scissors in carry-on? 

As long as your nail scissors do not have blades longer than 4-inches they are fine to bring on the plane with you.

What happens if my makeup is in larger containers? 

If you want to bring makeup that is in larger containers than 100ml the simply switch them out to smaller sized travel bottles.

Last Words

To conclude, most makeup products are fine to bring in your carry-on, solid makeup types have no restriction according to amount and liquid, paste or gel-like makeup types should be carried in containers under 100ml and fit into your quart-sized plastic bag.

For makeup powder products ensure that the containers are no larger than 350ml, some powders might be pulled aside by security for additional screening.

About this Guide

Written By Kirsten
Last Updated On January 5, 2023
Reading Time 
7 minutes
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