Can You Bring Open Makeup on a Plane

Picture this: You’re all set to embark on an exciting adventure, jetting off to an exotic destination. You’ve packed your bags, chosen your outfits, and naturally, you want to look your best while exploring the world. But here’s the conundrum – can you bring open makeup on a plane? Fear not, fellow globetrotters and makeup enthusiasts! In this guide, we’re going to unravel the mysteries of flying high in style and explore the dos and don’ts of traveling with your beloved beauty products.

Is Makeup Allowed on Planes?

Before we dive into the specifics of open makeup, let’s address the big question: Is makeup allowed on planes? The short answer is yes. Makeup is generally allowed in both your carry-on and checked luggage. However, there are some crucial factors and regulations you need to consider.

So, what’s the deal with makeup in your carry-on bag?

Makeup in Your Carry-On Bag

Your carry-on bag is your trusted sidekick during your flight, housing essential items you might need during your journey. Makeup is no exception. But, here’s the kicker: you need to adhere to the TSA’s 3-1-1 rule. This rule stipulates that any liquid or gel-like substances, including makeup, must be in containers of 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less and fit into a single quart-sized, clear, resealable bag. Each passenger is allowed one such bag.

Pro tip: Invest in some travel-sized makeup containers to save space and ensure compliance.

Makeup in Your Checked Luggage

When it comes to makeup in your checked luggage, you have significantly more flexibility. You can pack full-sized products, including liquid foundations, perfumes, and skincare items, without worrying about size restrictions. However, it’s crucial to secure your makeup items to prevent leaks and spills during the flight.

Remember, while the rules may allow you to carry larger quantities of makeup in checked luggage, it’s always a good idea to pack valuable or fragile items in your carry-on.

Open Makeup vs. Sealed Makeup: What’s the Difference?

Now, let’s delve into the heart of the matter – open makeup. The term ‘open makeup’ typically refers to products that are not sealed or products that have been used. Essentially, if your makeup has already been swiped or touched by your brushes or fingers, it’s considered open makeup.

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So, can you bring open makeup on a plane? The answer is yes, but with some caveats.

Flying with Open Makeup: The Lowdown

Flying with open makeup is not as tricky as it may seem, but there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure a hassle-free journey.

1. Check for Leaks and Spills

Imagine reaching your destination, only to find your favorite eyeshadow palette has left a colorful mess in your makeup bag. To prevent this nightmare, inspect your open makeup products for any signs of leakage or damage before packing them. You can use plastic wrap or a piece of plastic over the product’s opening and then seal it tightly with the lid.

2. Be Mindful of Product Types

Certain types of open makeup can be more challenging to travel with. Creamy or liquid products, like foundation and lip gloss, can potentially leak or spill during air travel due to changes in air pressure. To avoid any mishaps, place these products in a resealable plastic bag or invest in travel-sized versions.

3. Travel-Sized Products are Your Best Friend

Travel-sized makeup products are a savvy traveler’s secret weapon. These compact versions not only save space in your carry-on but also reduce the risk of spillage. Many popular brands offer travel-sized versions of their best-selling products, making it easier than ever to pack your essentials.

4. Consider Your Makeup Tools

Your makeup brushes and tools are just as crucial as your actual products. Make sure to clean them thoroughly before your trip to avoid any unwanted messes. You can also invest in brush guards or a travel-sized brush kit to keep your brushes neat and tidy.

5. Keep an Eye on Expiration Dates

Makeup products have a shelf life, and using expired makeup can lead to skin issues or irritation. Before jetting off, check the expiration dates on your open makeup items. If they’re past their prime, it might be time to bid them farewell and invest in some fresh replacements.

Interesting Fact: Did you know that makeup products have different lifespans? Mascara, for instance, typically lasts for about three months, while powders can remain viable for up to two years.

Now that you know you can indeed bring open makeup on a plane, it’s time to prepare for the airport security screening process. As you approach the security checkpoint, you’ll need to remove your quart-sized, clear, resealable bag containing your liquid and gel makeup products. Here are some tips to make this process as smooth as a flawless foundation application:

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1. Easy Access

Keep your quart-sized bag of makeup products easily accessible in your carry-on. This will save you the hassle of digging through your bag at the security checkpoint and holding up the line.

2. Declare Larger Items

If you have any makeup items that exceed the 3.4-ounce (100-milliliter) limit, you must declare them to the TSA officer during the screening process. They may need to be inspected separately, so it’s a good idea to be upfront about them to avoid delays.

3. Stay Informed About Restrictions

Airport security regulations can change, so it’s always a good idea to stay informed about the latest rules. You can check the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website or download their app for up-to-date information on what you can and cannot bring in your carry-on bag.

4. Patience is Key

Airport security lines can sometimes be stressful, especially during peak travel times. Patience is your best friend here. Keep calm, follow the instructions of the TSA officers, and remember that they’re there to ensure everyone’s safety.

In-Flight Makeup Touch-Ups

Once you’ve successfully navigated the security checkpoint, you can start thinking about your in-flight makeup routine. Long flights can leave your skin feeling dry, and a quick touch-up can make you feel refreshed and ready to face the world (or at least the airplane cabin).

Here are a few essentials to consider for your in-flight makeup touch-ups:

1. Hydrating Mist

A hydrating facial mist can work wonders during a long flight. It helps combat the dry cabin air and gives your skin a much-needed boost of moisture. Simply spritz it on your face whenever you feel the need for a refresh.

2. Oil Blotting Sheets

If your skin tends to get oily during a flight, keep some oil blotting sheets in your carry-on bag. These handy sheets can help absorb excess oil without disturbing your makeup.

3. Concealer and Lip Balm

A concealer can be a lifesaver if you want to cover up any redness or blemishes that may have appeared during the flight. Don’t forget to pack a nourishing lip balm to keep your lips soft and hydrated.

4. Travel-Sized Makeup Brushes

Travel-sized makeup brushes take up minimal space in your carry-on and are perfect for quick touch-ups. They’ll help you blend your makeup seamlessly.

5. Compact Mirror

A compact mirror is a must-have for in-flight makeup touch-ups. It allows you to see what you’re doing without having to rely on the often dimly lit airplane restroom.

Maintaining Makeup on Long-Haul Flights

As your plane soars through the skies, it’s essential to keep in mind that long-haul flights can be particularly challenging for your makeup. The dry cabin air, lack of sleep, and limited space can all conspire against your carefully applied cosmetics. However, fear not! With a few additional strategies, you can maintain your makeup’s perfection throughout the journey.

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1. Prep Your Skin Before You Fly

The key to long-lasting makeup starts even before you board the plane. Begin your skincare routine with a hydrating moisturizer to create a smooth canvas for your makeup. Opt for a moisturizer with SPF to protect your skin from the sun’s rays, which can penetrate airplane windows.

2. Light and Long-Lasting Makeup

When applying makeup for your flight, go for a lightweight and long-lasting formula. A BB cream or tinted moisturizer can provide coverage without feeling heavy on your skin. Additionally, consider using a setting spray to lock your makeup in place.

3. Minimal Eye Makeup

Eyeliner and mascara can be tricky during long flights. Opt for a waterproof mascara to prevent smudging, and keep eyeliner minimal. Dark circles can become more pronounced on long flights, so a concealer may be your best friend here.

4. Blotting Papers

Instead of powder, which can cake in the dry airplane air, use blotting papers to combat shine. These are a fantastic tool to maintain a matte finish without disturbing your makeup.

5. Stay Hydrated

Drinking water during your flight is crucial for both your skin and overall well-being. Staying hydrated will help your skin look its best when you disembark. Additionally, avoid alcohol and excessive caffeine, as they can dehydrate your skin.

6. Sleep Mask with Care

If you plan to catch some in-flight shut-eye, be mindful of your sleep mask. Opt for a silk or satin one to minimize friction on your skin and avoid messing up your makeup.

7. Gentle Face Wipes

As you approach your destination, consider using gentle face wipes to freshen up your skin before applying any touch-ups. This will remove any excess oil or dirt that may have accumulated during the flight.

8. Reapply Sparingly

When it’s time to touch up your makeup, do so sparingly. A little goes a long way, and overdoing it can lead to a cakey appearance. Focus on areas that need the most attention, such as your T-zone or under-eye area.


So, can you bring open makeup on a plane? Absolutely! With the right precautions and a dash of beauty savvy, you can jet-set in style without leaving your beloved makeup behind. Just remember to follow the TSA’s guidelines for liquids and gels in your carry-on, inspect your products for leaks, opt for travel-sized versions when possible, and keep an eye on those expiration dates.

As you embark on your next adventure, you can confidently say, “Yes, I can bring open makeup on a plane!” Armed with this knowledge, you’re ready to conquer the skies with your beauty arsenal in tow. Safe travels and may your makeup always be on point, even at 30,000 feet!