Can You Bring Eyeliner on a Plane


Traveling can be quite the adventure, but when it comes to packing your beauty essentials, questions can arise. One of the most common inquiries we get is, “Can you bring eyeliner on a plane?” Fear not, fellow beauty enthusiasts, for we’re here to shed light on this mascara-curious topic. In this article, we’ll take you on a journey through the skies, answering this burning question while keeping you informed, entertained, and ready to jet-set in style.

Eyeliner Essentials: What You Need to Know

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty details, let’s establish some basic ground rules. Eyeliner, whether in pencil, liquid, or gel form, is considered a liquid or gel-like substance by airport security standards. Why does this matter, you ask? Well, liquids and gels are subject to the infamous 3-1-1 rule.

The 3-1-1 Rule Demystified

The 3-1-1 rule is the TSA’s (Transportation Security Administration) way of ensuring the safety of all passengers while maintaining some order in the chaotic world of carry-on luggage. The rule dictates that you can bring:

  • 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less of each liquid or gel.
  • All your liquids and gels must fit in a quart-sized, clear, resealable bag.
  • You’re allowed one bag per passenger.

But what about your beloved eyeliner? Well, here’s where things get interesting.

Can You Bring Eyeliner in Your Carry-On?

Yes, you can absolutely bring eyeliner on a plane in your carry-on bag! But, and there’s always a “but,” it must adhere to the 3-1-1 rule. This means that each eyeliner you pack must be 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less and fit into that quart-sized, clear, resealable bag.

So, the next time you’re rushing to catch your flight and contemplating whether to stash your eyeliner in your checked luggage or carry-on, rest assured that your eye makeup can accompany you on your journey through the clouds. However, do keep in mind that the 3-1-1 rule applies not only to eyeliner but to all your liquid and gel-based beauty products.

Traveling with Different Types of Eyeliners

Now that we’ve established that you can indeed bring eyeliner on a plane, let’s delve into the specifics of various eyeliner types.

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1. Pencil Eyeliner

Pencil eyeliner is a traveler’s best friend. It’s compact, easy to store, and, most importantly, it typically falls within the 3.4-ounce limit. You can sharpen it before your trip, ensuring a precise application wherever you go.

2. Liquid Eyeliner

Liquid eyeliner, known for its sharp lines and bold looks, can also be taken on board. Many popular liquid eyeliners come in travel-friendly sizes, making them perfect for your carry-on. Just make sure the container is 3.4 ounces or less.

3. Gel Eyeliner

Gel eyeliner enthusiasts, fret not! You can bring your trusty pot of gel eyeliner with you, too. Some brands offer travel-sized versions, but if not, consider transferring a small amount into a travel-friendly container.

Avoiding Eyeliner Mishaps: Tips for Traveling

Now that you know you can bring eyeliner on a plane, let’s discuss some tips to ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience:

1. Double-Check the Size

Before packing your eyeliner, confirm that it meets the 3.4-ounce (100 milliliters) or less requirement. You wouldn’t want to say goodbye to your favorite eyeliner at airport security!

2. Use Sealable Bags

Invest in high-quality, resealable plastic bags for your liquids and gels. These not only prevent leaks but also make the security screening process a breeze.

3. Pack Smart

Consider bringing a travel-sized eyeliner or transferring your favorite product into a travel-friendly container. This way, you can save space in your quart-sized bag for other beauty essentials.

Certainly, let’s continue our exploration of traveling with eyeliner and delve into some more useful insights and advice.

Eyeliner Etiquette: Dos and Don’ts


  1. Do Check Airline Policies: While the TSA sets the general rules, airlines may have their own regulations. Before you fly, it’s a good idea to check your airline’s website for any specific guidelines regarding cosmetics and carry-on items.
  2. Do Opt for Waterproof: If you’re concerned about smudging during your journey, consider using waterproof eyeliner. It’s a traveler’s secret weapon, especially if you plan to take a nap or watch an emotional in-flight movie.
  3. Do Keep It Accessible: When packing your carry-on, place your quart-sized bag with liquids and gels, including your eyeliner, in an easily accessible part of your luggage. This way, you can swiftly present it during the security screening process.


  1. Don’t Exceed the Limit: Always ensure that your eyeliner containers are 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less. Exceeding this limit could result in confiscation, and we wouldn’t want that!
  2. Don’t Forget to Recheck Regulations: Airport security and regulations can change over time. What was allowed on your last trip might not be permissible on your next one, so it’s always a good idea to stay updated.
  3. Don’t Rush Through Security: While it’s tempting to rush through airport security, take a moment to prepare your quart-sized bag with liquids and gels, including your eyeliner, for inspection. A little patience can save you from unnecessary stress.

Traveling internationally? Keep in mind that airport security measures can vary from country to country. While the 3-1-1 rule is a common standard, it’s essential to acquaint yourself with any specific regulations at your departure and arrival destinations.

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Some countries may have stricter rules or different interpretations of what constitutes a liquid or gel. Doing a quick online search or checking with your airline can help you avoid surprises when you reach your international destination.

Bonus Tips for Jet-Setting Beauty Enthusiasts

1. Multipurpose Makeup Products

Savvy travelers often opt for multipurpose makeup products. Consider eyeliner pencils that can also be used as eyeshadow or even lip liners. This way, you can reduce the number of items in your quart-sized bag.

2. Travel-Sized Toiletries

Many beauty brands offer travel-sized versions of their popular products, including eyeliners. These smaller containers not only save space but also ensure you meet the 3.4-ounce limit without hassle.

3. Pre-Check and TSA Pre✓®

If you’re a frequent traveler, investing in programs like TSA Pre✓® or airline-specific pre-check programs can make your airport experience much smoother. These programs often allow you to keep your shoes on and your quart-sized bag packed away, saving precious time and reducing the stress of security checks.

4. Research Local Beauty Products

Part of the joy of traveling is experiencing new cultures and trying local products. Consider purchasing eyeliner or other beauty essentials at your destination. This way, you can explore international beauty trends and bring home unique souvenirs.

Certainly, let’s dive deeper into some advanced tips and scenarios you might encounter when traveling with eyeliner.

Advanced Tips for Traveling with Eyeliner

1. Reusable Silicone Containers

For frequent travelers who don’t want to be limited by the 3.4-ounce rule, consider investing in reusable silicone containers. These flexible containers come in various sizes and are perfect for transferring your favorite eyeliner without any risk of leakage. They’re not only eco-friendly but also cost-effective in the long run.

2. Eyeliner Pens: A Compact Choice

If you’re concerned about space in your quart-sized bag, eyeliner pens are a fantastic option. They often have a slimmer profile compared to traditional pencil or liquid eyeliners, leaving you with more room for other essential beauty products.

3. Makeup Subscription Boxes

Beauty subscription boxes often include travel-sized makeup products, including eyeliners. Subscribing to one of these services can provide you with a steady supply of compact, travel-friendly beauty items delivered right to your doorstep.

Special Considerations: Contact Lens Wearers

Are you a contact lens wearer who also loves eyeliner? Traveling with both can be a breeze with a few additional tips:

  1. Travel-Size Contact Lens Solution: Opt for travel-sized contact lens solution bottles to keep your carry-on light and hassle-free.
  2. Eyeliner Application Order: Apply your eyeliner after inserting your contact lenses to avoid any smudging or discomfort.
  3. Eyeliner Choices: Consider waterproof eyeliners to prevent irritation if your eyes tend to be sensitive while wearing contact lenses.

Going the Extra Mile: Airport Beauty Lounges

If you’re flying first or business class or hold elite status with an airline, you might have access to airport beauty lounges. These luxurious spaces often provide complimentary makeup and skincare products, including eyeliner, allowing you to freshen up before or after your flight. It’s a great perk for those who want to arrive at their destination looking their best.

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Of course, let’s continue our journey into the world of eyeliner and air travel, exploring some additional considerations and expert advice.

Expert Insights: What Makeup Artists Recommend

We’ve covered the basics, but what do professional makeup artists have to say about traveling with eyeliner? Let’s glean some insights from the experts:

1. Invest in Quality Eyeliners

Renowned makeup artists often emphasize the importance of using high-quality eyeliners. Not only do they provide better pigmentation and staying power, but they can also be more reliable during your travels. Look for brands known for their smudge-proof and long-lasting formulas.

2. Gel Eyeliners for Versatility

Many makeup artists swear by gel eyeliners for their versatility. These eyeliners can be used to create various looks, from subtle daytime styles to dramatic evening effects. Opt for a compact, travel-sized pot of gel eyeliner, and you’ll have a makeup essential that can adapt to any occasion.

3. Eyeliner Sealers

For travelers who want extra peace of mind, eyeliner sealers can be a game-changer. These products, often in the form of clear liquid or gel, are designed to set your eyeliner and make it smudge-proof. A small bottle of sealer can ensure your eyeliner stays put throughout your journey.

Destination-Specific Tips

Different destinations may present unique challenges for your eyeliner and overall makeup routine. Here are some destination-specific tips:

1. Tropical Getaways

Heading to a sunny beach destination? The heat and humidity can be tough on makeup, including eyeliner. Consider using waterproof and sweat-resistant eyeliners to keep your look intact while enjoying the surf and sand.

2. Winter Wonderland

If your travels take you to a snowy destination, dry indoor air can be a concern. It’s essential to keep your skin and eyelids moisturized to prevent your eyeliner from flaking or cracking. Opt for hydrating eyeliner formulas and bring along a small bottle of eye drops to keep your eyes comfortable.

3. Adventure Travel

For those embarking on adventurous journeys, durability is key. Look for eyeliners that are smudge-proof, waterproof, and long-lasting. You’ll want a liner that can withstand hiking, swimming, or any other activities you have planned.

Conclusion: The World Awaits

In this comprehensive guide, we’ve answered the question, “Can you bring eyeliner on a plane?” with a resounding yes. With a bit of preparation and adherence to the 3-1-1 rule, you can keep your eyeliner game strong no matter where your travels take you.

From the most compact pencil eyeliners to the sleekest liquid eyeliner pens, the beauty industry has you covered. And for those who want to go the extra mile, there are advanced strategies like reusable silicone containers and subscription boxes to ensure you’re never without your favorite eyeliner.

So, whether you’re jetting off for a business meeting, a tropical vacation, or a backpacking adventure, remember that you can always bring your eyeliner along for the ride. Stay fabulous, explore the world, and make every journey an opportunity to express your unique style. Safe travels, and may your eyeliner always be as sharp as your sense of wanderlust!