Friday, April 29, 2011

Germs At The Makeup Counter

Okay, don't freak out. Germs aren't attacking your system, but they could if you aren't careful. Most people don't think about washing their hands before they touch testers at the makeup counter. I'm sure you've come across an open tube of lipstick or a broken seal on a tube of mascara. People simply aren't careful. They don't realize that contaminated makeup testers can lead to skin problems.

I don't think I'd be too far off the mark if I said that you can pick up herpes from a tube of lipstick if the person before you had a cold sore. It wouldn't be too hard to believe that you can catch conjunctivitis (pinkeye) via eye pencils or mascara.

Do you ever think about this? Exactly where was that lipstick before the sales person smeared it on your lips? Did they use a new mascara wand before they touched your delicate lashes? Well, they probably did, but did you? Sales people are usually exceptionally hygienic. It's customers who need hygiene 101.

What You Need To Know: 

Concealer Sticks and Lipsticks
Ask the salesperson to dip the stick in alcohol, then wipe off the top layer with a tissue.

Eye and Lip Liner
Completely sharpen (three turns) the pencils with a disinfected sharpener.

Lip-Gloss Pots 
AVOID! They are contaminated throughout.


Use a new wand.

If it's a pump or tube, wipe the opening with a alcohol pad. If it's a compact, AVOID it.

 Loose Powder
AVOID! They are contaminated throughout.

My Advice:

Avoid testing on lips and eyes; use the back of your hand.

Wash your hands with soap and water or use a hand sanitizer before and after visiting a makeup  counter.

Only test single use products that come in dispensers that shake or pump.

Have an in-store makeup artist apply testers for you. They are trained by the cosmetic companies to use sanitary measures, including disinfecting their hands, sharpening pencils, and spraying makeup brushes with antibacterial spray between customers.

Only sample makeup from counters manned by a salesperson who can oversee hygienic usage, including single-use applicators.

The safest route: Don't use testers at all. Simply buy your makeup from a store where you can return it. Inquire about the return policy first.

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