If you are taking a flight and not planning to check a bag, packing makeup in carry-on luggage (as well as toiletries) can seem like a complicated task. But if you follow the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) 3-1-1 rule (or the 2021 TSA makeup rules) it is fairly simple to pack makeup in your carry-on bag.
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The TSA’s travel size rule says you can bring a 1–quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams, and pastes in your carry-on bag and through the checkpoint. The containers need to be 3.4 ounces or smaller and placed in the resealable clear bag. Each passenger is only allowed one bag.
The TSA 3-11 rule allows you to bring your makeup and toiletries in: 1 bag, which is 1-quart, which contain bottles that are 3.4 ounces or smaller.
The items that need to fit within the 1-ounce bag include things like:
- Liquid foundation
- Liquid soap
- Lip gloss
- Tooth paste
- Dry shampoo
- Anything else fitting into the categories
Powders and pencils are not included within the TSA travel size rule. The bag only needs to hold your makeup or toiletries of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams, and pastes — everything else can be packed as normal luggage.
Here are some other tips for packing makeup in your carry-on:
According to the TSA: “Makeup in a solid or powder form is allowed in carry-on and checked bags with no quantity or size limitations. However, when packed in carry-on bags, makeup in a liquid, lotion, gel, paste or creamy form, must be in containers that are 3.4 ounces or less. You can take as many travel-sized liquids as you can comfortably fit into one quart-sized, zip-top bag. One liquids bag is allowed per passenger in carry-on bags. We don’t limit the size or quantity of liquids in checked bags.”
It’s easy to think that most of your makeup, including things like lipstick, might be included in the TSA’s rule. But the rule only applies to liquids. So pack your liquid foundation along with your travel-sized soap, shampoo, and lotion, and pack the rest of your makeup separately (including powders, brushes, and pencils) — you will not need to take these out of your carry-on bag.
You can then decide if you want to place your non-liquid makeup in your carry-on or in your checked bag. But if you want to keep your liquid makeup with you during the flight, make sure you pull the plastic bag out when going through security, according to the TSA’s rules.
The rules for packing shampoo and conditioner for a flight are the same as they are for makeup, toothpaste, and any other liquids or gels. You can pack as many in your carry on as you’d like, but they must individually be in containers that are 3.4 ounces or less, and must then all fit within a one-quart bag.
You can pack as much shampoo and conditioner as you’d like, in whatever bottle sizes you’d like, in your checked luggage.
Solid and powder deodorant are allowed in unlimited quantities in both your checked and carry-on luggage. They are not considered gels when asking if you can bring deodorant on a plane.
Yes you can pack your razor in your carry-on luggage, to an extent.
The TSA now allows sharp items in cosmetics bags, with some exceptions.
In terms of bringing razors on an airplane in your carry-on bag, they allow the following:
- Scissor blades must be no longer than four inches
- Safety razors: Safety razors are not allowed as a carry on. Blades must be placed in checked luggage.
- Disposable razors: These razors are acceptable to bring in a carry on.
- Electric razors: Electric razors are acceptable to bring in a carry on.
- Tweezers and nail clippers are acceptable.
Sometimes it’s just easier to purchase the items when you get to your destination. Things like shampoo, soap, and razors can be found at any neighborhood Walgreens or CVS — and many are even available at your hotel. Or even better, check a bag.
If you know the rules before you arrive at the airport, it will make it easier on you — as well as everyone in line behind you.