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.

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.

Checked Bags

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.

Travel Writer | Website

Lindsay is a former travel agent and current travel enthusiast and writer.

After backpacking across Europe after college, she caught the travel bug and has since visited over 100 countries (with more planned!).

With her extensive travel experience and industry knowledge, Lindsay is well-versed in all things surrounding commercial air travel, from TSA regulations to finding the best flight deals.

Lindsay's love of travel has led to recognition by being mentioned or quoted in major publications, such as Insider and Trip Savvy.

Get in touch with Lindsay by emailing