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Can You Bring Makeup and Other Beauty Products on a Plane?

Pack smarter, not harder.
November 20, 2023


Wherever you’re headed on vacation — whether it be to a tropical oasis, a historic city, or even just a relative’s house — you certainly don’t want to be without your favorite skin care, hair care and makeup products. But, when packing your bags before heading to the airport, things can get confusing very quickly. What skin care and hair products can and cannot go in a carry-on? Can you bring makeup on a plane? Does face makeup, like foundation and concealer, count as a liquid? Keep reading to learn the answers to these commonly asked questions, plus TSA beauty rules you need to know before packing for your next trip. 


What Makeup Can You Bring on a Plane?

Take a sigh of relief — you can bring makeup in your carry-on or personal item, but there are some important regulations you should know beforehand. You might think that your makeup products, such as concealer or foundation, don’t fall into the liquid category by TSA standards — but you’d be wrong. According to the TSA (Travel Security Adminstration), concealer, foundation, and even liquid eyeliner falls into the same category as other liquids, like shampoo and conditioner. 


This means that all of your liquid makeup products have to be less than 3.4 ounces in order to be allowed as a carry-on, and these products all have to fit into a clear, quart-sized plastic bag with all of your other toiletries. Of course, the other option is to check your bag — in which case, you can bring the full-sized versions of your beauty products and as many as you’d like. 


Full-sized powder makeup and makeup wipes, on the other hand, are completely fine to be packed in your carry-on or checked bag. This means traveling may be the perfect time to try out a powder foundation and other powder products, such as blush and bronzer.


Editor’s tip: According to the TSA, the final decision on whether a product is allowed onto the plane lies with the TSA officer. It's also worth noting that policies may differ by country , so it's worth doing research on your destination’s policies if you're traveling internationally.


What Makeup Counts as Liquid on a Plane?

As we mentioned, concealer and foundation count as liquid products — so do liquid highlighters and settings sprays. Because of this, they have to be 3.4 ounces or less to pack in your carry-on. For some context, anything that is a powder product, like a pressed or loose powder, wouldn’t be considered a liquid. 


Can You Bring Powder Makeup on a Plane?

Powder makeup can be brought on the plane. Note that the 3.4 ounce regulation does not apply to powder makeup. Powder makeup also won’t leak or explode in your bag like a liquid product could so it's a great for travel.


Can You Bring Makeup Brushes on a Plane?

Makeup brushes can come on a plane in your carry-on bag, and you are free to bring as many as you’d like. They don’t count as makeup or liquids. However, tweezers and eyebrow scissors are best left for your checked bag because they may be taken by TSA if you pack them in your carry-on.


Can You Bring Mascara on a Plane?

Mascara can be packed in your carry-on bag — just stow it in your quart-sized plastic bag with the rest of your makeup. 


Can You Bring Foundation on a Plane?

Liquid foundation can be brought on the plane in your carry-on bag if it is less than 3.4 ounces. Powder foundation, like L’Oréal Paris Up to 24H Fresh Wear Foundation in a Powder, (and other powder products) has no limitations, unless it’s greater than 12 ounces, then it needs to be removed from your bag and placed in the bin for scanning, but it can still be packed in your carry-on.


How Much Makeup Can You Bring on a Plane?

All the makeup that you bring on the plane must fit in a quart-sized plastic bag.  At the end of the day, everything that you pack in your carry-on is up to the discretion of the TSA officer and if you bring more makeup or beauty products than what fits in the bag, there is a chance they could make you toss it. 


Can You Bring Makeup Wipes on a Plane?

Makeup wipes are allowed in your carry-on bag, and they don’t count as a liquid product so you don’t have to worry about the 3.4 ounce size limit. 


Can You Bring Dry Shampoo and Hairspray on a Plane?

Ley’s address some of the more controversial and confusing beauty products — those that come compressed in aerosol containers, such as dry shampoo, hairspray, shaving cream, or even hair mousse. We use these products on a regular basis at home, but it may not be clear whether they’re allowed on planes.Fortunately, they are. TSA has determined that aerosols are safe to bring aboard planes; however, they can only be brought in a carry-on in limited quantities. 


Your first option is to buy a travel-sized bottle of dry shampoo or hair spray that is 3.4 ounces or smaller, seal it into that clear, quart-sized bag we mentioned earlier, and toss it into your carry-on. Keep in mind, all passengers are only allowed to bring one quart-sized plastic bag with them, so remember to save room for the rest of your travel-sized toiletries.


Another option is to pack full-sized aerosol products into a larger suitcase and check the bag. Of course, if you’re only traveling for a couple of days, you probably don’t need a full-size aerosol product, but for longer trips, this option might be ideal.


Can You Bring Shampoo and Conditioner on a Plane?

Similarly, if you’re planning to fly with only a carry-on, the shampoo and conditioner that you bring must be 3.4 ounces or smaller (aka travel-sized), according to the TSA. If your favorite shampoo and conditioner don’t come in travel-sized packaging, consider purchasing empty travel-sized bottles and filling them with your preferred products.


Can You Bring Perfume on a Plane?

Again, your fragrances will have to be less than 3.4 ounces to be allowed on the plane in a carry-on. So, you can bring a smaller bottle of perfume or buy a travel-sized perfume vaporizer, which can be filled with your favorite scent. Another option is to use those travel- or sample-size perfumes you’ve been hoarding. We’re fans of the latter option — it’s a great way to use up samples.


Can You Bring Deodorant on a Plane?

Speaking of smelling good, deodorant is likely a must on your packing list. Per the TSA, stick deodorant is a quick and easy yes. However, if you prefer a gel or spray deodorant, it’ll need to follow the same liquid regulations we’ve mentioned: less than 3.4 ounces in size, placed in that clear, quart-sized bag.


Next: 6 Ways to Stop Pilling Makeup


Photographer: Stephanie Price, Photo Assistant: Evan Mann, Digi Tech: Sergio Colon, Art Director: Hannah Packer, Creative Producers: Becca Solovay and Hannah Lee, Content Director: Shalwah Evans, Visual Designer: Sarah Duvivier, Makeup Artist: Jonet Williamson, Hair Stylist: Daniel Lutz, Wardrobe Stylist: Rika Watanabe, Wardrobe Assistant: Serena Orlando, Model: Dara Woo


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