Do Lipsticks Count As Liquids On Planes?

Whether you’re a frequent flier or planning your next getaway, you may be wondering: do lipsticks count as liquids on planes? With ever-changing airport security rules, it’s understandable to have questions about what everyday items are permitted in carry-on luggage.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: lipsticks and other similar cosmetic products do not count as liquids under TSA regulations. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk through all the key details you need to know about bringing lipstick on an airplane.

We’ll cover the TSA liquid rules and why lipstick gets special treatment, any restrictions to be aware of, tips for speeding through security with lipstick, and recommendations for travel-safe lipstick formulas. Read on for the complete rundown on flying with lipstick!

TSA Liquid Rules and Why Lipstick Is Exempt

3-1-1 Liquid Rule

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has implemented the 3-1-1 liquid rule to ensure the safety of air travel. This rule restricts passengers from carrying containers with more than 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) of liquid in their carry-on bags.

These containers must also be placed in a clear, quart-sized bag for easy inspection.

This rule aims to prevent potential threats by limiting the amount of liquid that passengers can bring on board. It helps TSA officers quickly identify and screen liquids to ensure the safety of all passengers.

Why Lipstick Isn’t Considered a Liquid

Despite being a cosmetic product, lipstick is exempt from the TSA liquid restrictions. Lipstick falls under the category of solid or semi-solid items, which are not subject to the 3-1-1 rule. This means that you can bring your favorite lipstick on board without worrying about its size or quantity.

The reason behind this exemption lies in the consistency of lipstick. Unlike liquids, lipsticks are not prone to spillage or leakage during flights. They have a solid or semi-solid texture that makes them less likely to cause any security concerns or create a mess.

TSA Definition of Lipstick and Similar Cosmetics

The TSA defines lipstick as a “cosmetic in a tube that has a twist-up mechanism.” This definition includes lip balms, lip glosses, and other similar products. As long as they meet this description, you can bring them in your carry-on bag without worrying about the liquid restrictions.

It’s important to note that if your lipstick is in a liquid or gel form, such as a liquid lipstick or lip stain, it would be subject to the 3-1-1 rule. In such cases, it should be placed in a quart-sized bag and follow the liquid restrictions.

For more detailed information on the TSA liquid rules and what items are allowed in your carry-on bags, you can visit the official TSA website at www.tsa.gov.

Restrictions and Rules for Travel with Lipstick

When it comes to traveling with lipstick, it’s important to be aware of the restrictions and rules in place. While lipstick is generally allowed on planes, there are still certain limitations and guidelines that need to be followed to ensure a smooth travel experience.

Limitations on Volume/Weight

Most airlines follow the 3-1-1 rule for carry-on liquids, which states that all liquids, including lipstick, must be in containers that are 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less. These containers should be placed in a clear, quart-sized plastic bag for easy inspection at the security checkpoint.

It’s important to note that this rule applies to both liquid and solid lipsticks, as they can melt or smudge if exposed to high temperatures in the cargo hold.

Additionally, some airlines may have their own restrictions on the number of liquids you can bring on board, so it’s always a good idea to check with your specific airline before traveling. If you’re unsure about the volume or weight of your lipstick, it’s best to pack it in your checked luggage to avoid any potential issues at the security checkpoint.

Proper Storage Is Advised

To prevent any mishaps or damage to your lipstick during travel, it’s recommended to store them properly. Make sure that the lipstick is tightly closed and secure to avoid any leakage. You can also consider using lipstick cases or holders to protect your lipstick from getting crushed or broken.

Additionally, storing your lipstick in a cool and dry place can help maintain its quality and prevent it from melting or becoming sticky.

International Travel Variations

It’s important to note that rules and restrictions for traveling with lipstick may vary when flying internationally. Different countries have different regulations regarding liquids and cosmetics, so it’s crucial to research and familiarize yourself with the specific guidelines of your destination country.

This information can usually be found on the official website of the airport or the transportation security agency of the country you are visiting.

For example, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in the United States allows lipstick in carry-on bags, while the European Union’s liquid restrictions apply to all cosmetics, including lipstick.

Being aware of these variations can help you plan and pack accordingly to avoid any inconvenience or confiscation of your beloved lipsticks.

Tips for Getting Through Security with Lipstick

Traveling can be stressful, especially when it comes to navigating through airport security. If you’re wondering whether lipsticks count as liquids on planes, here are some helpful tips to ensure a smooth experience:

Have Lipstick Easily Accessible

When going through security, it’s important to have your lipstick easily accessible to speed up the screening process. Keep it in a clear, resealable plastic bag along with your other liquid items such as travel-sized toiletries.

This way, you can quickly remove the bag from your carry-on and place it in the security bin, minimizing the chances of delays or additional screening.

Be Prepared for Additional Screening

While lipsticks are generally allowed in carry-on luggage, there might be instances where additional screening is required. This can be due to factors such as the size or shape of the lipstick container, or if it triggers the security scanner.

In such cases, remain calm and cooperate with the security personnel. They may ask you to remove the lipstick from its packaging or perform a quick swab test to ensure it is safe. Remember, their priority is to maintain the safety of all passengers.

Know Your Rights If Questioned

It’s important to know your rights when it comes to traveling with lipsticks. According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), lipsticks are considered liquids as they can be spread or poured.

However, they fall under the category of exempt liquids, meaning they are not subject to the 3-1-1 rule (3.4 ounces or less, 1 quart-sized clear bag, 1 bag per passenger). This means you can carry lipsticks in your carry-on bag without worrying about meeting the liquid restrictions.

If you encounter any issues or have concerns about the screening process, politely ask to speak with a supervisor or consult the TSA website for more information. Being aware of your rights can help alleviate any unnecessary stress or confusion during your travels.

Remember, the rules and regulations regarding the transportation of liquids can vary between countries and airlines. It’s always a good idea to check with the specific airline or airport you’ll be traveling through to ensure you have the most up-to-date information.

Best Lipstick Formulas for Travel

When it comes to traveling, it’s important to pack efficiently and abide by the rules and regulations set by airlines. This includes knowing what items are considered liquids and how to properly pack them. Lipsticks are a staple in most women’s beauty routines, but do they count as liquids on planes?

Let’s take a look at the best lipstick formulas for travel.

Matte Lipsticks

Matte lipsticks are a great option for travel because they tend to have a long-lasting formula that doesn’t smudge easily. They usually come in a solid stick form, which means they won’t be considered as liquids by airlines.

Plus, they offer a wide range of colors and finishes, making them a versatile choice for any traveler. Some popular matte lipstick brands include MAC, NARS, and Maybelline.

Liquid Lipsticks

Liquid lipsticks, on the other hand, can be a bit trickier when it comes to traveling. These lipsticks typically come in a liquid form and are applied with a wand or brush. While they may provide a long-lasting and highly pigmented color, they are considered as liquids by airlines.

Therefore, if you’re planning to bring liquid lipsticks with you on your trip, make sure to follow the TSA guidelines for carrying liquids in your carry-on bag.

Lip Stains

Lip stains are another option to consider for travel. These formulas are designed to provide long-lasting color that won’t smudge or transfer easily. Lip stains usually come in a liquid or gel form, but they dry quickly and tend to be less messy compared to traditional liquid lipsticks.

However, like liquid lipsticks, lip stains are considered as liquids by airlines.

Lip Balms and Conditioners

If you’re looking for a more hydrating and nourishing option for your lips during travel, lip balms and conditioners are a great choice. These products usually come in a solid stick or pot form and are not considered as liquids by airlines.

Lip balms and conditioners provide moisture and protection for your lips, keeping them soft and supple during your journey. Some popular lip balm brands include Burt’s Bees, EOS, and Carmex.

It’s important to note that the rules and regulations regarding liquids on planes may vary depending on the airline and country you are traveling to. Always check with the airline’s guidelines before packing your cosmetics to avoid any issues at the security checkpoint.

For more information on TSA guidelines and what items are considered liquids, you can visit the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website.


While most lipsticks aren’t considered liquids, following TSA rules and being prepared will make your airport experience smoother. Keeping your lipstick handy, allowing extra screening time if needed, and choosing the right formulas can help eliminate hassle.

With the comprehensive information above, you can fly through security knowing whether lipsticks count as liquids on planes.

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