Figuring out what you can and can’t bring on a plane can be a minefield, especially when it comes to those small items that you don’t know if they will count as a liquid or not.
So, it can be confusing trying to work out if you should place mascara in your carry on, checked bag, purse, or if it doesn’t matter.
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Can You Bring Mascara on a Plane?
Carry On Bags
Mascara can be packed in your carry on as long as it is no larger than 3.4oz/100ml.
Of course, mascara is much smaller than 3.4oz/100ml, so it is allowed in your carry on.
But the only thing to be aware of is that your liquids bag that you place all your liquids in as you go through airport security must be no larger than 32 fluid ounces (1 quart), so consider all the other items you want to bring with you too.
This is because of the 3-1-1 Rule, which stands for 3 ounces, 1 passenger, 1 quart-sized bag – i.e. each individual item that a passenger wants to pack in their carry on must be no larger than 3.4oz and fit in a 1 quart sized bag. This includes liquids, gels, and aerosols.
If you would prefer, you can pack mascara in your checked bag with no quantity restrictions, as the 3-1-1 Rule does not apply to items paced in your checked bag.
Just make sure that you pack the mascara inside your makeup bag, or inside a Ziploc bag, to keep the bottle safe from breaking and staining your clothing.
Don’t Leave Mascara in Your Purse
According to the TSA, any liquid, regardless of its quantity, must be placed in a resealable, single quart bag when you go through airport security.
This means that you can’t leave mascara in your purse when you go through airport security, but can leave products like eye shadow and face powder in your purse because they aren’t liquids.
Mascara is considered to be a liquid by the TSA, which is why the 3-1-1 Rule applies, and it should not be packed in your purse.
Domestic vs. International Flight Regulations
It makes no difference if you are flying domestically or internationally.
The 3-1-1 Rule applies worldwide, so any single item that contains liquid, including mascara, must not exceed 3.4oz/100ml and must be placed in a single, quart-sized bag.
Makeup the TSA Doesn’t Count as a Liquid
Makeup that doesn’t count as a liquid and is therefore not subject to TSA restrictions include power foundation, stick concealer, stick lipstick, eye shadow, blush, and pressed and loose products like highlighter and bronzer.
Ella Dunham, a Freelance Travel Journalist and Marketing Manager, boasts an impressive career spanning eight years in the travel and tourism sectors.
Honored as one of "30 Under 30" by TTG Media (the world’s very first weekly travel trade newspaper), a "Tour Operator Travel Guru" and "Legend Award" winner, Ella is also a Fellow of the Institute of Travel, a Member of the Association of Women Travel Executives, has completed over 250 travel modules, and hosts travel-focused segments on national radio shows where she provides insights on travel regulations and destinations.
Ella has visited over 40 countries (with 10 more planned this year).