(Closed) TSA Airline Security and Cosmetics/Make-Up

posted 6 years ago in Travel
Post # 3
955 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

@flyinkatie:  Just put all your makeup in a Ziploc bag.  Freezer bags hold quite a bit.


I had a bottle of perfume confiscated a couple years ago.  My Mother-In-Law (we laugh now) amost got put on a terrorist watch list because she had a nail clipper in her purse.



Post # 4
9115 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

I opt for the “safe than sorry” route and I would have all liquids regardless of size put in my checked baggage. Things that may spill/melt/make a mess go in a bag of their own every time.

Post # 5
2457 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I had a pair of scissors and some body spray thrown out once. :/ Forgot about the scissors (they were part of my pencil/pen case for sketching) so I wasn’t too mad about that, but the body spray upset me. (Again, another thing I forgot about). I have a fold out make-up kit, so technically everything’s already in ‘plastic’ bags. I just had to have it open in its own bin for the security check. We flew to Chicago, then to Ireland.

Post # 6
951 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@flyinkatie:  I travel a lot and never check a bag, so I always have to carry on my cosmetics.

The only thing I put in the plastic bag is lotions, conditioners, perfume, lip gloss and liquid makeup, hairspray, etc. I usually don’t put more solid makeup (mascara, lipstick) into the bags and have never had an issue. I also carry tweezers every trip and have never had an issue with that. 

Post # 7
2565 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

I put anything they may consider “liquid” (even though I would argue it is not) makeup in the plastic bag.  Foundation, concealer, lipstick, eyeliner, etc in the plastic bag.  They are all under the size limit.  My powders (blushes, eye shadow etc) I pack in a makeup bag and put in my purse or other carry on.  Never had any issues doing it this way.

Post # 8
3769 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Brookfield Zoo

Just put everything, including your lipstick and concealer, into the plastic bag.  My friend got stopped for having hair wax which is pretty darn solid, so I would just put everything you remotely think might be considered liquid in there.

Post # 9
1427 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

@flyinkatie:  I fly very frequently and I would recommend carrying your essentials with you on a carryon. Make sure you have your cosmetics and toiletries along with a change of clothing. I’d also recommend maybe having your bathing suit in there also since a lot of times when I arrive at my destination, the hotel room isn’t available but the beach/pool is.

The ziplock quart sized bags is what TSA requires to have all the liquids/gels in that are under 3.4 ounces. Contact solution is excluded since it is a medical item but be careful with the ClearCare brand since it is hydrogen peroxide based and I had a large bottle confiscated before.

Put all your toothpastes/liquid concealer/liquid foundation into the ziplock and pull it out so they can xray it separately. Anything makeup that’s solid doesn’t need to go in there.

I’d also recommend going to Sephora and buying an atomizer to carry your perfume in or if it’s a fairly short trip, go to your regular makeup gal and ask them to give you samples of the perfume you wear and carry that with you instead of the entire bottle.

Post # 10
2191 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

you can have your bag in your purse or carry on — it all depends on the security person…. I have had to throw out chapstick (which I think it just about the same as lipstick) in the past but i have also gotten on a plane with like 20 tubes in 3 different bags and no one said anything. Personally I find the bigger airports to be much more lenient than smaller ones but all it takes is one bad day and TSA can be a real jerk about it


I have status on the airlines I fly so I generally check my bag bc its free and easier (bc of the new stupid rules w paying for baggage its very hard to get space in the overhead for your bag which means they have to gate check them at the end and then you have to wait for you bag anyways) just pack everything in double plastic bags just incase something explodes/leaks and you will be fine

Post # 11
873 posts
Busy bee

I travel all the time and have had many, many things confiscated or thrown out until I understood the TSA rules. You can look up the rules on the TSA website. I work with all men and they would seriously laugh at me as I argued with security about not having to throw away $20 lipsticks.  Bottom line, you are permitted one quart size ziplock bag of liquids. Yes, I have had to throw away gobs of expensive product because I had a gallon size bag or two quart bags. Sometimes it came down to discarding my items or missing my flight.  The items got thrown away.  In that one quart ziploc bag should only be any products that are liquids or gels only.  Pressed powder such as eye shadows, powder blush, pencil eyeliners, and lipsticks do not have to be in the bag. I have a Trish McEvoy makeup binder system full of makeup “pages” with powder makeup refills and have never had an issue with any of it not being in the ziplock bag.  Oddly enough, solid deoderant has to be in the bag – I think because it’s such a common item for most travelers they want it in the bag.  Liquid foundation, shampoo, conditioner, any thing  creamy that could spill should be in the ziploc bag. By The Way, most men have room in their ziplock bag so if your SO is traveling with you have him pack a few of your items. I hope that helps you – best wishes!

Post # 12
441 posts
Helper bee

I only put liquid things in the clear bag, so liquid or cream foundation/concealer, lip gloss, etc. If it’s a powder, then it goes in my purse or carry on. When in doubt, put it in the clear bag. Something like mascara, for example. Is it a liquid? Sort of, but I don’t want TSA to take it from me.

Make sure your containers are clearly marked. A foundation bottle that says it’s 3oz isn’t going to get confiscated, but a mostly empty shampoo bottle that’s in a 7.5oz bottle will. You can buy travel containers at drugstores to put things like shampoo, conditioner, lotion, face wash, moisturizer, etc in that are clearly marked. Make sure you take all questionable things out of your purse, like nail clippers, nail files, scissors, mace. I know a PP said she gets away with tweezers, but I’d probably leave those behind just in case.

You can put the clear bag wherever you want after you go through security. You can even go buy a giant bottle of water from one of the merchants. Security doesn’t much care about your liquids once you go through the checkpoint.

Post # 13
1181 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I use a zip lock bag, but I know some airports will provide you with one.  I would still get my own just in case.

Post # 15
11747 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

i never put any makeup in the zip lock bag. Only gels/liquids like toothpaste, body spray, etc.  I don’t put concelear or lip gloss or anything like that in the bag and have never been stopped.

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