Should I Put My Makeup In My Carry-On?

For fashionable travelers, traveling with their makeup is just as important as fashion-forward clothes. If you're looking into traveling with your makeup, you've probably wondered if you can put them in your carry-on. Fortunately, we did thorough research to get all the answers to your makeup travel questions.

If you are bringing a carry-on bag to your flight, you can bring your makeup, provided that they follow TSA regulations. Makeup in the form of liquid, cream, or gel must adhere to the 3-1-1 TSA rule. Powder-based ones like eyeshadows and such must be less than 12 ounces.

Traveling with your makeup stash can be quite overwhelming, especially if you are looking to bring a good amount with you. Keep reading because, in this post, we will be sharing tips on how you should pack makeup for a flight and things to consider if you will be bringing a lot of cosmetics on your trip.

Young woman places luggage in airline overhead bin, Should I Put My Make-up In My Carry-On?

Carry-On Makeup List

One of the things people worry about when they are packing for their travels is where to put their makeup. If you're one who can't part with all your essential cosmetics, you're probably worrying about packing them.

Woman packing her clothes in a suitcase

The good news is you can bring your favorite makeup onboard with you inside your carry-on. There are, of course, certain limitations that travelers must follow, namely the TSA's liquid 3-1-1 rule and the powder policy. These restrictions also apply to makeup due to the composition of most products.

Most basic cosmetic kits contain just a good number of essentials that can give you a flawless look from day to night. These cosmetics can generally fit in a small bag, which takes up a small space in the typical carry-on.

Powder Makeup

Woman with a brush using loose powder

Powder makeup typically lists loose powder, compressed powder, mineral powder, and other similar substances used for the product. These cosmetics fall under the TSA's powder policy, which states that you can pack powder-like substances as long as they are less than 12 ounces (350 mL).

It's good most powder makeups weigh less than 12 ounces, even if you get their biggest sizes. If you're looking to bring some for your trip, you can put them in smaller loose powder containers that will fit your makeup bag perfectly. It will take up less space and you can bring more products with you.

Get this loose powder container on Amazon.


Makeup products to even out skin tone and complexion

Makeup foundation comes in many different kinds. You can get them as pressed foundation, mineral foundation, or as cream/liquid foundation. Depending on what kind of foundation you will be taking with you, they both fall under some TSA rules.

Pressed foundation and mineral foundation are both powder-like substances, so make sure that you are not carrying more than 12 ounces of this product in your carry-on. Liquid and cream foundations, however, fall under the 3-1-1 liquids rule.

Also, most liquid foundations come in bottles of less than 2 ounces. It's easy to bring this in your quart-sized bag, but you do risk the chance of losing valuable space. Transfer some liquid foundation into a cosmetic pump bottle so you can bring a small amount just enough for your trip.

Check out these cosmetic pump bottles on Amazon.

Eyeshadow Palette

Eye shadow palette

Quite possibly one of the most fragile makeup products out there, eyeshadow palettes are prone to breakage. To keep them from breaking up, keep your palettes in your carry-on bags with as much shock protection as possible. You can do this by wrapping them in soft towels or bubble wrap.

When traveling, it is always best to bring a small-sized version of your makeup as much as possible. Let's face it, it's highly unlikely that you'll be using that 30-color eyeshadow palette on your vacation because you will most likely gravitate toward your favorite shades.

To keep your makeup bag light and clutter-free, you can try out de-potting your eyeshadow palettes and transferring your favorites into a magnetic compact palette. This way, you can bring your favorites with you without having to bring the entire collection in your bag.

Grab this magnetic palette on Amazon.


Black mascara tube and brush

For a while, people have been debating whether mascaras should be part of the list of items under the TSA's 3-1-1 rule. To prevent the hassles of further inspection during your trip, it's best to just consider this to be a liquid or a cream product.

Make sure to put your mascara inside the quart-size plastic bag required for liquids in a carry-on. This should also include all similar items such as liquid eyeliners, cream eyeliners, brow gels, etc. You can bring as many of these products as you want, as long as they fit the quart-size bag.

Lipsticks and Lip Gloss

Lip gloss, blusher palette and lipstick

Lipsticks are definitely okay to pack inside your carry-on because they are solid. But lip gloss is different because the TSA might flag it as a liquid or gel. You might as well keep it inside your quart-size plastic to prevent it from getting thrown out.

Another item on the list is lip cream palettes or lip colors in palette form. While we can argue that they are solid, you can take note of them as cream and pack them together with similar cosmetics.

How To Pack Makeup For A Flight

Pink make up bag with cosmetics

For the perfect look during your vacation, you don't have to bring your entire collection to bring out that natural beauty. All you need are your essentials and your favorites in a makeup bag. Try to keep things light by bringing only the essentials to enhance your look.

Inside a travel makeup bag, there are only a few items that are essential and should make it on the list. These are:

  • primers and sunscreen,
  • foundation,
  • mascara,
  • eyeliner,
  • eyebrow pencil,
  • blush and contour,
  • lip colors,
  • and setting powder.

Sounds like a lot, but if packed correctly, you should have just enough.

If you are traveling with limited space in your makeup bag, you should get multi-use products to lessen the space. Examples of these include:

  • BB creams,
  • lip and cheek tints,
  • makeup bars for eyes, cheeks, and lips,
  • wet/dry powders and eyeshadows,
  • and other similar products.

Keep it simple by packing just enough products which you think you'll be able to use during your trip. You can make it easier by pre-planning your looks beforehand so you know what items will be necessary. Try to fit everything that you need in a simple cosmetic bag, including all your tools like makeup brushes.

See this travel makeup bag on Amazon.

Can I Bring A Makeup Train Case On A Plane?

If you are a makeup artist, you've probably wondered if you can simply bring your makeup supplies as a carry-on. To answer your question, yes, you can bring your train case with you as a carry-on as long as it fits the required dimensions. Nonetheless, your makeup will still undergo the TSA's regulations.

Powder makeup and palettes must all adhere to the TSA's powder policy, and they should not exceed 12 ounces for a product. Most TSA officers do allow powder makeup, though, in carry-on bags after extensive screening, especially if there is a valid reason for carrying them.

Liquid products and other similar items should strictly follow TSA regulations. If you are planning to carry more than the allowable amount for carry-on bags, ensure that you place them in your checked luggage.

As for makeup tools, you can carry most of them in your carry-on bag, including tweezers, eyelash curlers, and lash scissors. But it will be better if you can just place them in your checked luggage for safety purposes.

If you are carrying an airbrush makeup machine with you, it will help to declare it to the TSA officer immediately. Devices with lithium batteries should be hand-carried, but some devices are allowed in checked luggage. Check with the TSA for more information.

Final Thoughts

Bringing makeup with you on a flight is easy, as long as you keep them within the limits of TSA regulations. Try to keep your makeup to the bare essentials so you don't have to worry about going over the limits. With the perfect collection on hand, you'll definitely look fresh and made up on your vacation.