On Flight Beauty: How To Pack Beauty Essentials For A Flight

Knowing what beauty essentials to pack is an unnerving task that you like to leave until the last minute, just to avoid the stress for as long as possible. This task always dampens your spirit and overshadows the excitement for the journey and all that you are going to do on the trip.

Travel-sized products, small containers, and a few alternatives for your usual beauty products can make the task uncomplicated and effortless.

Remember the restriction guidelines and travel unscathed, without having to throw away that expensive jar of face cream at the airport.

miniatures within a clear plastic makeup bag next to a passport.

How to Pack Smartly

Flying can be stressful and if you are somebody who likes to follow a million-step beauty and makeup routine, then your stress levels are definitely hitting the ceiling. Figuring out how to pack all the products that you will need without causing any issues during the security check seems like a daunting task. You also want to save some space and not have to pay a fine, thanks to your overweight beauty bag.

The solution to this problem is fairly simple. Firstly, you need to know the restrictions that have been laid down by aeroplane security for both the checked-in luggage and the cabin carry-on bag. The restrictions for the cabin baggage are very specific when it comes to liquid items in the bag or suitcase. Keep this mind and use smart packing tactics to reduce the overall weight of beauty products you are carrying.

To help to understand this better and put your things in order while packing your baggage items, we have explained the flight restrictions and packing ideas in detail in the following sections.

Keep reading and let go of your ‘I have to pack my baggage’ nightmare!

a pink clear plastic makeup bag with an array of miniature products.

Pack Right: What Are The Restrictions For Beauty Products On A Flight?

Rules and regulations that govern items you can carry on a flight as part of your cabin luggage and checked-in luggage have altered drastically over the last couple of years. While checked-in luggage still seems to give travellers some freedom regarding the beauty products they can carry, cabin luggage is where the problem arises.

All national and international airports follow the regulations and the strictness with which it is followed can depend on the local airport authorities. International travel is where you will encounter the most problems as the rules are stricter here.

The security administration that screens cabin luggage does so very diligently. They mandate all liquid products to be under the 100ml (or 3.4 ounces) limit.

The restrictions for beauty products on aeroplanes can be summarised as below:

  1. Liquids, gels or aerosols can be carried in the cabin luggage. Make sure they are within a resealable container that is 3.4 ounces or 100ml (or less).
  2. These containers should fit into one clear, plastic bag of the resealable variety (eg: ziplock bag). Be sure that it is not bigger than one-quart size (20cm * 20cm).
  3. Some airports hand out these bags before you proceed to the security screening and some airports do not.

makeup spilled outside of makeup bag with a white background.It is best to carry a spare clear plastic bag of your own. Other beauty products that classify as sharp instruments such as nail cutter or clippers, tweezers, and scissors can be carried along in the cabin luggage. Scissors need to have a blade smaller than four inches to be allowed in your carry-on bag. Powder or solid beauty products like solid lip balms, blush, and lipsticks can be kept in the cabin luggage without any restrictions. Do keep in mind that only one plastic bag is allowed per person.

How To Replace Liquid Products With Non-Liquid Formulas?

Replacing toiletries with their non-liquid or solid versions is a far easier task to accomplish when trying to pack them for your cabin baggage. 

Lush is a great brand that has solid shampoos and conditioners that can be carried along without any worry. They even have a variety of products in the haircare range that works for different hair types and scalp problems. J.R. Liggett is another brand that sells solid shampoos.

For beauty products, replacing the liquid versions with non-liquid formulas can be tricky because of personal preferences. Irrespective of that, there are actually many non-liquid options available for beauty products at the makeup store and drugstore.

Suggested Article: Shop for Foundation Online and Get the Perfect Match Every Time.

a range of beauty products on a shiny silver silver beauty trolley, ready to pack.
Most beauty products are available as miniatures, however, if not you can always purchase smaller bottles and make your own miniatures of your favourites.

Pack your Foundation

Stick foundations were reintroduced to the beauty world just a few years ago and have become a favourite for many. Both high end and drugstore brands have stick versions of foundations available now that are easy to apply and even easier to blend. The finish might not be as matte as your favourite full coverage foundation, but it is beautiful nonetheless. You could also replace the liquid foundation with a mineralised version (powder form).

Suggested Article: Flight Skincare Tips for Dry, Acne Prone Skin.


Concealers in pots or sticks have always been around, but their liquid versions are definitely more popular. Try out a pot concealer during your next trip to the makeup store and you might actually like the finish. You can invest in one to get rid of one liquid container from your transparent plastic bag at the airport.

Contour Products

Liquid contouring can easily be replaced with sticks, creams, and powders when you are looking for travel-friendly alternatives.

Suggested Article: Commute Friendly Makeup Hacks for Ladies Who Do Their Makeup On the Move.

Pack your Sunscreen

Stick versions of sunscreens or sunblock with a decent SPF are sold by brands like Neutrogena, Vichy, La Roche Posay, Shiseido, and many more. The formula might seem sticky initially but the warmth from your fingertips can help you to blend it easily and let the sunscreen sink into the skin.

Suggested Article: Sun Protection: How To Protect Your Skin During A Heatwave.

Never forget to pack your sunscreen: A tube of sunscreen by a swimming pool.

Dry Shampoo

 For shorter trips, you can replace your regular shampoo with dry shampoo as well. Do keep in mind that dry shampoos can classify as aerosols and it might be best to pick up a travel size of the spray can instead of the massive ones you usually purchase.

How to Pack or Purchase Products That Will Meet Restriction Requirements?

For makeup products in liquid form such as foundations, concealers, liquid eyeliners, nail polishes, etc., the volume of the bottles is usually under 100ml. If you decide to carry them in your cabin baggage, they would still fall under the restriction guidelines for the volume limit. But, the problem arises when you try to fit the chunky bottles and tubes into a 20cm by 20cm plastic bag for security check.

For skincare and hair care essentials like moisturiser, sunscreen, shampoo, conditioner, etc., we tend to purchase larger sized bottles or tubes to avoid repurchasing them again and again. To avoid the chaos while you wait your turn in the airport security screening queue, a little bit of pre-planning and packing (keeping the restriction requirements in mind) will reduce your stress during travelling.

Suggested Article: Make your Perfume Last Longer in Hot Weather.

Lady carrying pack clear bag with cosmetics inside

Our Simple ‘How to Pack like Pro’ for your Next Flight.

Pack the Right Formula

In all possible cases, opt for solid or powder versions of makeup products and toiletries. Doing so will immediately remove them from being included in that tiny plastic bag during check-in.

Travel-Friendly Containers

Purchase travel-friendly containers that are available in your local pound store. You can even find them online if you don’t find any in a store near you. Transfer the required quantities of the beauty products you want to carry to be in line with the cabin baggage restrictions.

This will also save you some space and weight in your luggage.

  • Many products have travel size versions available. Keeping in mind the feasibility of carrying them around when you are out and about.

You could carry these instead of your oversized bottles and containers.

  • Take advantage of free samples that makeup brands/stores provide using tiny containers instead of full-sized products.

The bottom line is to make sure that all containers/tubes etc. that you pack are all 100ml or less.

What Are Some Multi-Purpose Products That Will Save Space?

Apart from packing travel-sized products and non-liquid formulas, another trick that can help you save effort, space, and time is to carry multi-purpose products along. As the term is defined, multi-purpose products can be used to accomplish more than one task. Here are some cool examples for you!

All-Purpose Oil

An all-purpose oil such as argan oil or virgin coconut oil has many uses. They can work as night creams (oil), makeup remover, as well as hair oil too. Simply transfer 30ml to 50ml into an air-tight container so that the oil does not leak during the travel.

miniature lip tint being held in front of a girls face, as she pouts displaying the product on her lips.

Lip and Cheek Stain

Lip and cheek stain have become staples in many everyday makeup routines, especially for the ‘au naturel’ look. Carry these instead of individual lipsticks and blushes to save some space while packing.

Face Mist

Face mists that will work well through all the stages of your beauty routine. It can save you carrying the likes of a different primer, setting spray, and refreshing face mist.


Primers with the added radiance factor can be used by themselves for a natural glow. Mix it your foundation to flaunt that ‘glow from within’ look; or use it on the high points of your face as a dewy highlighter.


Many women already use this trick – using the concealer as an eye primer! Give a try and see the effects for yourself. You can leave your eye primer behind for your next trip out of town.

Suggested Article: How to Build an Affordable Makeup Collection on a Budget.

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