What makeup can you take in your hand luggage?

Packing for a holiday and struggling to decipher what needs to go in your plastic liquids bag? We look into what you can, and can’t, take in your hand luggage.

What are the rules for liquids when flying?

According to government guidance in the UK, there are restrictions on the quantities of liquids you can carry in your hand luggage. There are exceptions for dietary requirements, baby food and essential medicines, but other than that all liquid products (like cosmetics) need to hold no more than 100ml individually, with a combined maximum of 1 litre. In order to meet requirements, your liquids must all fit into one, transparent, resealable plastic bag that measures around 20cm by 20cm – the kind you use for sandwiches or food storage. You’re only allowed to carry one bag per person, so keep this in mind when packing.

Does cream makeup count as liquid when flying?

There is some confusion surrounding the definition of a liquid when it comes to cosmetics like makeup and skincare. Do creams, like concealer and lipstick still count as liquid? And what about lotions and gels? Unfortunately, it’s not great news for the over-packers. The Department for Transport defines liquids as “including creams, lotions, oils, perfume, mascara and lip gloss”. The Civil Aviation Authority confirmed this for us, advising that they would “recommend putting cream-based makeup products in the plastic bag provided for liquids.”

Why cream makeup is best for travel

The good news is that, even though it counts as a liquid, cream makeup is the best option for travel. Why? Because the thicker texture, especially of things like cream blusher, cream bronzer and concealer, means they’re too dense to spill – removing the risk of stained clothes when you arrive at your destination. They’re also far less likely to become damaged in transit too. Even if your makeup is beneath your seat or in the overhead locker, rather than in the hold, it still goes through its own fair amount of turbulence as it’s moved from place to place. And, if among your hand luggage is a gorgeous pressed powder makeup palette, the chances of you landing without at least a hairline fracture in the pan is unlikely. Not only is this annoying from an aesthetics point of view (powders don’t look quite so gorgeous when they’re shattered) but also makes it difficult to apply, as it’s hard to avoid getting too much product on the brush. Cream-based makeup travels far better.

Beauty packing guide: Everything you need

The best solution for packing your makeup for a holiday? Stackable, cream-based makeup in your own personalised shades. All of our eye, lip, blush, bronzer, highlight and contour products come in their very own T-Pot, and slot together to create your very own stack. Our complexion products are in tubes (all under 100ml) but you can decant them in an empty T-Pot easily for travel. Use our Match2Me tool to discover the perfect shades for you, based on your skin, hair and eye colour.

Starter Stack

Ready to rethink your routine? Our bestsellers are a smart place to start. BFF SPF 30 Cream provides a your-skin-but-better finish, with the added benefit of sun protection. Eye2Eye, our silky eye colour, Lip2Cheek, our two-in-one blusher and lip colour and Lip Glow, a lightly tinted gloss, are all a doddle to apply with your fingers on the go.

Summer Glow Stack

Summer and glowing skin go hand-in-hand, and this special stack will ensure you’re looking refreshed before you’ve even left home. Our BFF SPF 30 Cream creates a healthy-looking, protective base with a hint of tint, while Golden Glow, our cream-based bronzer, makes it easy to create a sun-kissed finish. A slick of Eye2Eye eye colour and a touch of Sheer Shimmer tinted lip gloss add the finishing touches.

Fresh Face Stack

Makeup in need of a refresh? Pick three favourites for an effortless everyday look. Select your perfect shades in Eye2Eye, our silky eyeshadows, Lip2Cheek, our multitasking lip and cheek hybrid and Lip Glow, our subtly tinted (non-sticky) gloss.

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