Can You Bring Nail Polish on a Plane? TSA Rules 2023

Can You Bring Nail Polish on a Plane?

Wondering can you bring nail polish on a plane? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered! This article will discuss everything from TSA rules to airline policies regarding nail polish on planes. So, stick around and learn how to keep your nails looking fabulous while traveling!

What the TSA Says

According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), you can bring nail polish on a plane, but some restrictions exist. Due to the liquid rules set by the TSA, nail polish bottles must be placed in a plastic quart-sized bag and follow the TSA’s 3-1-1 rule. This means that each passenger can carry liquids in containers no larger than 3.4 ounces (100 ml) inside a single, clear, quart-sized, and resealable plastic bag.

Domestic vs. International Flights

The rules for domestic and international flights are quite similar when bringing nail polish on board. Just follow the TSA’s 3-1-1 liquid rule and pack your nail polish in your carry-on luggage or checked luggage accordingly.

Airline Policies

While most airlines, like United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and American Airlines, do allow nail polish on their flights, it’s always a good idea to double-check with your specific airline before packing your nail polish. Remember that the final decision rests with the airline and flight crew, so don’t be surprised if they have special instructions or restrictions.

Packing Tips

When packing your nail polish, consider the following tips:

  • Use bubble wrap or similar padding to protect your nail polish bottles from breaking.
  • Bring nail polish remover wipes instead of liquid nail polish remover to avoid any issues with the liquid rules.
  • Keep your nail polish in easy-access locations, like your personal items or hand luggage, in case you need to present it at the airport security checkpoint.

In-flight Manicures: Yay or Nay?

Although you can bring nail polish on a plane, painting your nails mid-flight might not be the best idea. The noxious fumes from the nail polish can be bothersome to the cabin crew and the comfort of your fellow passengers. So, save that in-flight manicure for when you reach your final destination!

Additional Items to Consider

Apart from nail polish, you might want to bring other nail care items like nail clippers, nail files, or small nail scissors. Just make sure to pack them in your checked luggage, as these items with sharp edges may not be allowed in your carry-on luggage.

Can You Bring Nail Polish on a Plane


Q: Are there restrictions on how many nail polish bottles I can bring on a plane?

A: There’s no specific limit on the number of bottles you can bring, as long as they all fit inside the clear quart-size resealable bag and follow the TSA’s 3-1-1 rule.

Q: Can I bring nail glue on a plane?

A: You can bring nail glue, but it must also adhere to the TSA’s 3-1-1 liquid rule.

Q: Is nail polish considered a flammable item?

A: Some nail polishes contain flammable ingredients. However, as long as you follow the TSA’s 3-1-1 liquid rule and airline policies; it is generally allowed on planes for personal use.

Q: Can I bring lithium batteries or small arms ammunition on a plane?

A: Lithium batteries are allowed in carry-on luggage but not in checked baggage. Small arms ammunition is allowed in checked baggage only, provided it is properly packed and declared to the airline.

Q: What if I have gel food items or liquid makeup in addition to nail polish?

A: Gel food items and liquid makeup must also adhere to the TSA’s 3-1-1 liquid rule. They must fit in the same clear quart-size resealable bag along with your nail polish and other liquid items.

Q: Are the rules different for flights within the European Union?

A: The European Union has similar rules to the United States regarding carrying liquids on flights. Just make sure to follow the guidelines set by the airline you’re flying with and the airports you’ll be traveling through.

The Role of Flight Attendants and TSA Officers

Flight attendants and TSA officers play a crucial role in ensuring the safety and comfort of passengers on board. While the TSA officers are responsible for enforcing TSA regulations and inspecting your carry-on items at the x-ray machine, flight attendants are there to ensure a comfortable experience for all passengers. They can also guide the use of nail polish and other items during the flight.

Manicure Kit Essentials

A well-stocked manicure kit can make your trip more enjoyable. Some essentials include nail clippers, nail files, cuticle pushers, and a nail technician-approved base coat and top coat. You can also pack nail varnish in different colors to change your look during your trip. Remember to pack these items according to the guidelines mentioned earlier.

Handling Nail Polish by Baggage Handlers and TSA Agents

Baggage handlers and TSA agents are trained to handle various carry-on baggage and items, including nail polish. They’ll ensure that your nail polish bottles are properly screened and stored under the federal law and official policy of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Restrictions and Considerations

Regarding liquid cosmetics like nail polish, the only restriction is adhering to the TSA’s 3-1-1 liquid rule. This means you should limit the amount of liquid to 3.4 ounces (100 ml) per container and pack them in a transparent resealable bag. The fluid ounces guideline applies to all smaller containers as well.

A Contentious Carry-on Item?

Nail polish can be a contentious carry-on item for some travelers. Some people might express concerns on social media about passengers using nail polish during the flight, leading to passenger shaming. To avoid any uncomfortable situations, be mindful of the comfort of your fellow passengers and avoid painting your nails on board.

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Planning Your Upcoming Flight

As you prepare for your upcoming flight, consider the essential items you’ll need, including nail polish and other beauty products. Pack them according to the FAA regulations and guidelines set by the number of airlines you’ll be flying with.

The Comfort of Fellow Travelers

When deciding whether to give yourself a mid-flight manicure, consider the comfort of your fellow travelers. While you might love the smell of nail polish, others might find the odor overwhelming. As Karen May wisely said, “The comfort of their fellow passengers should always be a priority for travelers.”

In Summary

With proper packing and consideration for fellow passengers, bringing nail polish on a plane is possible. Just remember to follow the guidelines set by the TSA, FAA, and your chosen airline. Enjoy your flight and have a great trip!


The short answer is yes, you can bring nail polish on a plane! Just follow the TSA’s 3-1-1 liquid rule, pack your nail polish properly, and adhere to any specific airline rules or guidelines. Remember that painting your nails on a flight is not recommended, as it might affect the comfort of your fellow travelers. So, save that fabulous manicure when you arrive at your destination, and enjoy your flight! Safe travels!