Can You Bring Eyeliner On A Plane?

Eyeliner, an essential cosmetic item tracing its origins back to ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, is now a staple in many travelers’ makeup kits. Historically used to protect the eyes from the harsh sun and ward off evil spirits, it has evolved into a tool for enhancing one’s appearance. As airline security measures have changed significantly since the early 2000s, passengers often question whether they can include items like eyeliner in their carry-on luggage.

Air travel regulations, particularly those established by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in the United States after the 9/11 attacks, have had a profound impact on what travelers can bring onboard. These regulations include strict guidelines for liquids, gels, aerosols, creams, and pastes, which have led to the 3-1-1 rule: containers must hold no more than 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) and all containers must fit inside one clear, quart-sized plastic bag, with one bag allowed per passenger. These rules apply to a wide range of cosmetics, and determining whether eyeliner falls under these restrictions is crucial for a hassle-free airport security experience.

Understanding the classification of eyeliner, whether it’s in pencil, gel, liquid, or powder form, is vital for passengers looking to pack their makeup. The way these products are handled by airport security can differ based on their consistency and packaging. This distinction influences whether the eyeliner will need to be included in the clear bag for liquids or can be packed elsewhere among personal belongings. As millions of people board planes daily, familiarizing oneself with the most up-to-date travel guidelines can ensure that favorite beauty products make the journey too.

can you bring eyeliner on a plane

Can You Take Eyeliner On A Plane?

When traveling by air, passengers often wonder about the restrictions on carrying cosmetics such as eyeliner. The good news is that you can indeed take eyeliner on a plane. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) allows passengers to carry eyeliner in both their checked luggage and carry-on bags. For carry-on luggage, liquid eyeliners must adhere to the 3-1-1 liquids rule, which means they should be in containers no larger than 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) and placed in a clear, quart-sized bag. Solid or pencil eyeliners are not subject to these restrictions and can be packed without limitation. Understanding these guidelines ensures that your travel experience is smooth and your makeup routine remains uninterrupted. Continue reading for a comprehensive breakdown of how to pack your cosmetics, including eyeliner, to comply with airport security regulations.

Carrying Eyeliner on USA Domestic Flights: TSA Regulations

For travelers flying within the United States who wish to bring eyeliner on their journey, understanding the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requirements is crucial to ensure a hassle-free security screening process. Below are the current TSA guidelines for carrying eyeliner on domestic flights.

Liquid Eyeliner

  • Liquid eyeliners fall under the TSA’s 3-1-1 liquids rule.
  • Each passenger is allowed to carry liquids, aerosols, gels, creams, and pastes in containers no larger than 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) each.
  • All such containers must fit within a single, quart-sized, resealable plastic bag.
  • Travelers must remove this bag from their carry-on and place it in a screening bin during the security checkpoint.

Solid or Pencil Eyeliner

  • Pencil, gel pencil eyeliners, and other solid forms of eyeliner are not subject to the 3-1-1 rule.
  • Passengers can pack these items in their carry-on or checked luggage with no quantity restrictions.

Carrying Eyeliner in Checked Baggage

  • There are no restrictions on carrying eyeliner in checked baggage; however, passengers should consider the risk of luggage delays or loss.
  • Risk of damage or leak should be considered when packing liquid or gel eyeliners.

TSA PreCheck and Eyeliner

  • TSA PreCheck members may not need to remove their bag of liquids from their carry-on, expediting their screening process.
  • However, TSA officers may require additional screening of any item, including eyeliner, if deemed necessary.

Tips for Packing Eyeliner

  • When possible, opt for solid or pencil eyeliners to avoid quantity limitations and the need for a resealable plastic bag.
  • For liquid eyeliners, securely tighten the lids to prevent leaks and pack within the quart-sized bag alongside other liquids.
  • Pack larger quantities of eyeliner in checked luggage if needed.

For the most current information and details on regulations, travelers are encouraged to consult with TSA website or contact TSA customer service directly.

International Air Transport Association (IATA) Guidelines

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) sets forth guidelines for passengers traveling with liquids, aerosols, and gels in their carry-on luggage. These regulations are known as the Liquids Rule, which is enforced by airport security around the world. Eyeliner, whether in liquid, gel, or pencil form, falls under these regulations when you are flying internationally.

  • Liquids, aerosols, and gels must be in containers with a maximum capacity of 100 milliliters (3.4 ounces).
  • All containers must fit comfortably in a single, transparent, resealable plastic bag of a maximum capacity not exceeding 1 liter (approximately one quart).
  • Each passenger is allowed one such plastic bag, which must be presented separately from other carry-on baggage at airport security checkpoints.
  • Solid eyeliner pencils do not fall under the Liquids Rule and can be packed in your carry-on without restriction.

For more detailed information, please refer to the IATA guidelines on the IATA website.

Country Specific Regulations

While the IATA provides general guidelines, it is important to note that individual countries may have additional regulations or restrictions when it comes to flying with cosmetics such as eyeliner. Passengers should always check the specific rules for their destination country and any countries they may transit through.

United Kingdom

The UK follows the standard EU liquid restrictions, which are in line with IATA guidelines. For more information, visit the UK government website.


EU countries adhere to the common liquid rules established by the European Union. Check the European Commission website for details.


Transport Canada outlines similar restrictions to the IATA guidelines for liquids, aerosols, and gels. Refer to the Transport Canada website for specifics.


The Australian Government’s Department of Home Affairs also enforces liquid restrictions. Visit the Home Affairs website for more information.

New Zealand

The Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand follows similar rules for liquids in carry-on baggage. Details can be found on the Civil Aviation Authority website.


Asian countries may have their own set of rules. It’s best to consult the respective country’s civil aviation or airport authority for accurate guidelines.


The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore adheres to the standard liquid rules. More information can be found on the CAAS website.

10 Airline-Specific Regulations for Flying with Eyeliner

Each airline may have its own specific policies regarding the transportation of cosmetics like eyeliner, in addition to the standard international regulations. It is advisable to review the airline’s policy before traveling to ensure compliance with their specific rules.

American Airlines

Delta Air Lines

United Airlines

British Airways

  • Complies with UK government regulations on hand luggage.
  • Visit the British Airways website for detailed information.


Air Canada

  • Adheres to Transport Canada’s guidelines for liquids in carry-ons.
  • More details can be found on the Air Canada website.


Air New Zealand

Singapore Airlines


Packing Eyeliner in Carry-On Luggage

Traveling with makeup can be tricky, especially when it comes to items like eyeliner that come in various formats. Whether you’re working with a liquid eyeliner or a pencil one, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure it arrives in perfect condition.

  • Check Liquid Restrictions: If your eyeliner is liquid or gel-based, make sure it is under 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) and fits in your clear quart-sized bag for liquid cosmetics.
  • Choose Pencil or Solid Forms: To avoid liquid restrictions, opt for pencil eyeliners or solid gel liners, which don’t need to be in your liquids bag.
  • Protect the Tips: Cap pencil eyeliners securely and consider using a pencil guard to prevent breakage.
  • Cushioning: Wrap your eyeliner in a soft cloth or keep it in a protective makeup case to prevent damage from impact.
  • Accessible Packing: Place your eyeliner in an easily accessible spot within your carry-on, in case you need to remove it during security checks.

taking eyeliner through airport security

Packing Eyeliner in Hold Luggage

When packing eyeliner in your checked luggage, you have fewer restrictions to worry about, but proper packing is still essential to avoid any mishaps.

  • Bubble Wrap for Liquids: For liquid eyeliners, wrap the container in bubble wrap to protect against pressure changes and rough handling.
  • Secure the Caps: Ensure that all eyeliner caps are tightly secured to prevent drying out or leaking. Tape the caps shut for extra security.
  • Minimize Movement: Place your eyeliners in a zip-top bag or makeup pouch and nestle it between soft clothing items to minimize movement during transport.
  • Temperature Considerations: Be aware that the cargo hold can sometimes be subject to temperature extremes, which could affect some eyeliner formulas.
  • Backup Plan: Consider packing a backup eyeliner in your carry-on, just in case your checked luggage is delayed or lost.

By following these steps, you can ensure your favourite eyeliners make it to your destination safely, whether they’re stowed away in your carry-on bag or tucked into your hold luggage.

Essential Travel Makeup Items

When packing for a flight, alongside your eyeliner, consider including other compact makeup essentials that adhere to TSA liquid regulations if they apply. A travel-sized mascara can help define your lashes, while a lip balm or lipstick can add a touch of color and keep your lips hydrated. A small eyeshadow palette with neutral shades is versatile for any look, and a mini foundation or BB cream tube ensures you have a flawless base. Don’t forget a concealer for touch-ups and a travel-sized makeup remover to keep your skin fresh during your journey. Remember to pack these items in a clear, quart-sized bag for easy inspection at security checkpoints.

FAQ’s About Can You Bring Eyeliner On A Plane?

Traveling can often bring up questions about what you can and cannot bring on a plane, especially when it comes to makeup items like eyeliner. It is important to know the regulations to ensure a smooth security check-in and to keep your travel essentials with you. Below are frequently asked questions that address concerns about traveling with eyeliner on airplanes.

Can I bring liquid eyeliner in my carry-on luggage?

Yes, you can bring liquid eyeliner in your carry-on luggage, but it must adhere to the liquids rule set by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), typically not exceeding 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) and must be contained within a clear, quart-sized bag.

Is there a limit to the number of eyeliners I can take on a plane?

There is no specific limit to the number of eyeliners; however, all liquid forms must fit in the TSA-approved liquids bag. Pencils and solid eyeliners do not have a quantity restriction.

Can I pack my eyeliner in my checked baggage?

Yes, eyeliner can be packed in your checked baggage without any restrictions on quantity or size.

Do eyeliner pencils also need to adhere to the 3-1-1 liquid rule?

No, eyeliner pencils are not considered liquids and do not need to adhere to the 3-1-1 rule. You can pack them in your carry-on without restrictions.

Does cream or gel eyeliner count as a liquid on a plane?

Yes, cream or gel eyeliner is considered a liquid, so it must comply with the TSA liquids rule and be placed within your quart-sized liquids bag.

Is there a difference between domestic and international rules for carrying eyeliner on a plane?

The basic rule for liquids, gels, and creams, including eyeliner, is generally consistent; however, it’s always best to check with the specific airline and the departing and arriving countries’ regulations, as international rules can vary.

What should I do with my eyeliner at the airport security checkpoint?

Liquid or gel eyeliners must be taken out of your carry-on and placed in your quart-sized, clear, plastic bag to go through the X-ray machine. Solid eyeliner pencils can remain inside your makeup bag or your carry-on.

Can I use my eyeliner during the flight?

Yes, you can use your eyeliner during the flight, whether it’s solid, cream, or liquid, as long as it’s within the liquids restrictions if applicable.

Will an expensive brand of eyeliner be safer to bring in carry-on luggage?

The brand of eyeliner does not affect whether you can bring it in carry-on luggage. The regulations apply equally to all brands, regardless of price.

Are there any exceptions to the liquid rule for eyeliner if I have a medical condition?

Medications are often exempt from the liquid rules, but makeup items, including eyeliner, are not typically eligible for exemption due to medical conditions. If the eyeliner is medically necessary, you may explain your situation to the TSA agent, but approval is not guaranteed.

Packing It All Up

In conclusion, travelers can indeed bring eyeliner on a plane, though they must adhere to certain regulations that dictate how makeup and liquids can be packed. When packing eyeliner in carry-on luggage, passengers must remember the TSA’s 3-1-1 liquid rule, which allows liquids in containers up to 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters, all fitting into one quart-sized, resealable plastic bag. This applies to liquid, gel, or cream eyeliners. However, solid or pencil eyeliners do not fall under this rule and can be packed without restriction in carry-on bags.

For checked luggage, there are no restrictions on the quantity of eyeliner (or other makeup items) passengers can pack, offering more flexibility for those who wish to carry numerous or larger makeup products. It’s important to secure all makeup items, including eyeliners, to prevent spills or damage during transit. Utilizing cushioning material or a hard-case makeup bag can be beneficial for this purpose. Keeping informed about airport security regulations ensures a smooth travel experience and prevents the potential loss of personal makeup items during security screenings.