A roomy purse is the perfect place to stash just about any small item you might need on your next flight, as long as each item meets Transportation Security Administration regulations. While the rules are a bit more lax than they were a few years back, some items still aren't allowed through security, such as knives of any kind and large bottles of liquids.

Personal Care Products

Just about any type of makeup or personal-care product is allowed in a purse, as long as it meets TSA regulations. Any quantities of dry makeup such as eye shadow and face powder are allowed in purses and carry-on bags. Liquids such as hairspray, mascara and perfume are permitted, as long as each container holds less than 3.4 ounces. Speed up your security screening by placing all such liquids in a clear resealable plastic bag. Place these items on the conveyor belt or in a bin on the belt instead of leaving them in your purse, otherwise you're likely to get pulled aside for additional screening. The liquids rule also applies to gels, creams and aerosols.

Food Items

The purse is handy place to stash snacks for your next flight, especially when airline food leaves a lot to be desired. As with personal care products, any gels, liquids or creams follow the 3.4-ounce liquid rule. This applies to items such as yogurt, peanut butter and even cream cheese, while any quantity of solid cheese is allowed. Solid, dry or natural food items such as trail mix, celery sticks or crackers are allowed in any quantity.

For best results without questioning from security, keep foods in their original packaging and unopened until after you pass the checkpoint. If you've brought food from home, keep it in a sealed clear container or plastic bag.

Sharp Objects

When it comes to sharp objects, some items are okay to bring through airport security, and some are not. Objects such as knitting needles, tweezers and hair or nail clippers will make it through airport security. Box cutters and utility knives can't be brought along in carry-ons. Scissors are allowed, as long as the blades are 4 inches or less, measured past the pivot point.

No knives are allowed, other than plastic butter knives. If you need a knife to spread cream cheese on crackers, for instance, pick one up at a fast-food restaurant at the airport. Multi-tools that contain sharp objects are also prohibited, as are razor blades. Disposable razors are fine to pack in a purse. Wrap or package sharp objects to make them safe for both yourself and the TSA agent.

Purse Problems

While you might think that purse with a handle shaped like a weapon is cute, the TSA agents probably won't agree. A purse that has weapon-like features or that otherwise resembles a weapon won't be allowed past the security checkpoint.

If your purse is practically large enough to carry a pony, keep in mind that it's still subject to carry-on regulations. Every purse is considered a carry-on item, so it must meet the carry-on size regulations determined by the airline. While each airline sets its own guidelines, in general, a bag must be no greater than 21 inches long, 14 inches tall and 9 inches high. Ask the check-in-desk representative if you're unsure, or check the airline's website ahead of time for specific details. Many airlines place sample measurement bins near the check-in desk, so feel free to set your purse inside to determine if it can be carried onto the plane. If not, check it, or stuff it into a bag you plan to check, after removing items you'll need on the plane. Place your must-haves in another carry-on instead.