Hacks For How To Pack Toiletries and Makeup

Hacks For How To Pack Toiletries and Makeup

This content was updated for accuracy and relevance on December 24th, 2021.

Whether you’re headed out for business travel, or you’re packing for your next girls’ trip, you need your favorite face wash, makeup, and hair care products to ensure that your skin and mane look their best while you’re away from home. It all comes down to having travel luggage that sets up for packing success.

With today’s TSA restrictions, making it through security with each and every product can be quite a feat. And beyond the risk of confiscation, you don’t want to end up with a concealer or your go-to curl cream ruining half the clothes you’ve packed in your travel bag!

How can you make sure your deodorant, sunscreen, and makeup all arrive at their final destination? Don’t sweat it! We’ve assembled this guide on how to pack toiletries and makeup so that you can pack your essentials without worrying about TSA requirements, spills, or space.

Without further ado, here's the best way to pack toiletries for travel. Learn how to travel with makeup, toiletries, and all your essential beautifying liquids and gels according to TSA regulations!

To Get Started, Survey Your Toiletries

Are you wondering how to pack makeup for air travel? First things first—size matters.

When it comes to carry-on, you’re restricted in both the size of your toiletries and in the total amount of liquid, gel, and cream you carry on.

The TSA explains the “3-1-1 liquids rule” for travel size toiletries as follows:

“You are allowed to bring a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes through the checkpoint. These are limited to 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item.”

Why is it called the 3-1-1 rule? Each passenger is allowed:

  • 3.4 oz items
  • In 1 quart-sized plastic bag
  • 1 bag allowed per passenger

This translates to about nine 3-oz items (since there are 32 oz in a quart). To break it down further, 3-oz items are those travel-size bathroom items, or reusable bottles, found at most convenience stores. However, depending on the size of each container or liquids bag , you may have room for a few more or less toiletries.

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The good news? You can also place additional full- and travel-sized liquids in any luggage you’re checking. 

To get started packing toiletries and to maximize your space, decide what to check and what to carry on. Start by making a list of your liquid, cream, and gel travel essentials, including:

  • Contact solution
  • Toothpaste
  • Sunscreen
  • Shampoo or dry shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Shower Gel
  • Styling products
  • Face wash
  • Moisturizer
  • Night cream
  • Under-eye cream
  • Primer
  • Foundation or BB cream
  • Concealer
  • Mascara
  • Brow gel
  • Nail polish
  • Perfume

We recommend packing your most irreplaceable products like moisturizer, face wash, or liquid foundation in your carry-on bag. While you hope checked luggage will be at baggage claim when you arrive, something can always go wrong. 

If you arrive at your destination without toothpaste (or toothbrush!), it's easy enough to buy a tube, or even use the complimentary option in your hotel. But going a few days without your favorite makeup and moisturizer is a little more inconvenient. And if your suitcase goes missing permanently , you could lose hundreds of dollars worth of cosmetics.

Once you decide what to carry on and what to pack, the next step is learning how to organize toiletries in your luggage without risking spills.

Maximize Space With Travel Size, Refillables and Solids

Have you narrowed down the list of what you need to pack in your 1-quart carry-on bag?

If you feel like you have twice as many cosmetics as can fit, you’re not alone.

Figure out how to economize space by bringing only the products you need.

More manufacturers than ever now put their perfumes, CC creams, and smoothing balms in TSA-compliant 3.4 oz containers. However, you may not really need 3.4 oz for a short overnight trip. 

Hanging makeup and toiletry bag on a beige dresser

Try a few different strategies to make sure each product is as petite as possible:

  • Invest in travel-sized products – It’s easy to get a teensy tube of toothpaste or mouthwash to take with you during travel. There are also a travel-sized skincare product options.
  • Switch from liquid to solid – Solid perfume, facial soap, makeup remover (makeup wipes), and even shampoo and conditioner can be your best friends when it comes to travel toiletries. Every solid item you bring is one less liquid in your quart sized bag—and one less goopy spill to worry about in your luggage. Just be sure to place any solid toiletries in a plastic bag of their own to avoid residue on your clothes.

  • Try refillable containers – It’s easier than ever to find chic, refillable containers to deposit a smidge of your sunscreen or perfume. Made of soft silicone and other spill-proof materials, you’ll never have to worry about a fancy glass bottle breaking again!

  • Now that you’ve downsized your collection, you’re ready to stash it in your luggage!


Pack Your Carry-On

Now, you know exactly what you’re going to put in your hand luggage.

But what are you going to put it in?

Many of us have gotten away with putting a regular, old makeup bag jam-packed with liquids through security. However, there’s nothing worse than finding you’re in a security line with sticklers who rifle through your non-compliant bag in great detail, swabbing and scanning every item. This could delay your connection or even make you miss your flight!

That's why you need a travel toiletry kit that contains a reusable, TSA-compliant clear pouch.

A hanging cosmetic travel bag is perfect for the traveler who needs to pack all her cosmetics for the weekend away. Designed for ladies who want to keep their hair, skin, and makeup on point, the BÈIS hanging toiletry bag features:

  • A unique hanging design – use the hanger to set up your case in your hotel room and enjoy the next best thing to your medicine cabinet. 
  • A TSA-complaint pouchPop this clear bag out of your carry-on at a moment's notice to make sure your travel-size liquid toiletries get through the security checkpoint in the blink of an eye.
  • Three compartments – It’s easy to stash powdered makeup, hairbrushes, and more in your makeup case alongside your liquid cosmetics. Use the compartments to spread out and see all the components of your beauty routine at once.
Beige makeup bag with makeup and toiletries inside of the bag

Organize Your Checked Bag

You may need to place any cosmetic overflow into your checked luggage. Besides, if you’re going on a long trip, it makes perfect sense to take full-size versions of your contact solution, shampoo, body wash, and more. 

The key is to make sure they don’t leak all over your clothes, requiring you to invest in a dry cleaner (or maybe a whole new wardrobe) when you arrive!

Try these luggage packing tips to avoid dreaded spills:

  • Maximize space from the get-go. Do you have to sit on your luggage to get it closed? There’s a better way. Use packing cubes to compress and organize your clothing into neat squares and rectangles so that you're not squeezing your hair product between your heels and leather jacket. Using a packing cube to group certain clothes together also makes finding the perfect outfit that much easier at your destination!

  • Cover the opening. We know—your cosmetics already have lids. But you can add another layer of protection by opening each bottle and placing a piece of flexible saran wrap underneath it. Be sure not to stretch it too tightly, so there’s a little room for the liquid to expand. Trust us: losing a little bit of product in the plastic wrap is much better than risking an all-out explosion in your travel bag!

  • Buy a dopp kit. The best way to pack toiletries in a suitcase is to place them in a leak-proof bag. A zippered bag with sturdy sides ensures that spillage will never make its way into your suitcase. Our dopp kit excels in the hotel room, too. Place it on the bathroom vanity or use the snap-loop to hang it from your towel rod, so you never have to worry about your favorite vacation perfume cascading from the narrow sink.


Travel Light, Travel Smart and Enjoy Your Trip

Overpacking is incredibly tempting. When you’re visiting a new city, you might feel like you need a full arsenal of hair products—mousse, pomade, hairspray, the works—not to mention every eyeshadow in your collection so you can make sure your look matches your mood.

We completely sympathize!

At the same time, there's nothing more stressful than having to throw out products to make it through security, or realizing you need to check an extra bag for your return flight after you've purchased one too many products on your trip! Set yourself up for success and make a toiletries packing list before you start packing.

Avoid the temptation to stash nail polish, lip balm and face serums in the little pockets of your suitcase. Pack your toiletries in a TSA-approved toiletries bag or ziplock bag that's easily accessible from your carry on bag. If there's anything that won't fit, you'll just have to treat yourself to a manicure or blow-out on your trip, won't you? Now that's how you start a trip.

Stress-Free Travel with BÈIS

Embarking on a new adventure (did someone say girls trip?) can give you a break from the everyday stress, allowing you to recharge your batteries.

At the same time, getting there can be stressful—from making your packing list and checking it twice to dealing with long lines at security and impossibly short layovers.

And the wrong luggage can make the stress even worse.

Are you ready to upgrade your travel game so that you can always hit the road with ample space, amazing organization, and style? At BÈIS, our luggage sets and travel accessories combine form and function.

When you know your essential travel toiletries, skin care and beauty products are on lock, it’s that much easier to travel stress-free.


  1. Arneson, Krystin. “The 8 Best Travel Toiletry Bottles of 2020.” TripSavvy. URL

  2. “What Is the 3-1-1 Liquids Rule?”. Transportation Security Administration. URL

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