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Thread: Yikes! Testing makeup at counters can give you herpes and pink eye

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    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    Default Yikes! Testing makeup at counters can give you herpes and pink eye

    Yikes! Testing makeup at counters can give you herpes and pink eye - Fashion + Beauty on Shine



    You've read it and heard it a million times—do not share your makeup with a friend. But it's you best friend, and you can't go out without lipstick or mascara, so how bad can be to give yourself one quick swipe? According to a new article in the LA Times, pretty darn bad. And you can just forget about testing out makeup at a department store or your local Sephora. That's like sharing makeup with thousands of people you know nothing about.

    "If a woman has a cut on her lip and borrows lipstick from someone who has a cold sore, she'll get a cold sore," Beverly Hills dermatologist Dr. Zein Obagi tells the LA Times. "You can pass herpes [the cold sore virus], conjunctivitis [pink eye] and all sorts of things through sharing makeup." The FDA stresses the importance of keeping makeup—particularly eye products—to yourself. They caution that, "the risk of contamination may be even greater with ‘testers' at retail stores, where a number of people are using the same sample product."

    Whether you're tempted to get a mini makeover by one of the makeup counter cosmeticians, or dying to try a new shade of lipgloss or eyeshadow, you might want to think twice. While displays are set up for you to test products, the makeup items are loaded with bacteria and germs. Dr. Elizabeth Brooks, a biological sciences professor at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, conducted a two-year study on the makeup testers and applicators in department stores, drugstores and specialty shops in New Jersey five years ago and discovered some disappointing and scary results. Staph, strep, and E. coli bacteria were all present. "Wherever you see E. coli, you should just think 'E. coli equals feces,'" said Brooks. "That means someone went to the bathroom, didn't wash their hands and then stuck their fingers in that moisturizer." Grossed out yet? According to Brooks, when they tested products on Saturdays—the busiest day at makeup counters—100% of the makeup was contaminated.

    If you're looking for a safe way to try products, some methods are safer than others. Ask the salesperson for a clean tester, or single-use sample—many stores keep these stocked behind the counter. Wiping off a lipstick, or even disinfecting it in alcohol is not enough to definitely kill all viruses (herpes, for one), so disposable applicators are a must. If you don't see them on display, just ask, because the wand that comes with a mascara or gloss is a breeding ground for ickiness. Lotions that you can squeeze out, as opposed to sticking your fingers in, are tougher to be contaminated.

    Brooks says although this information is scary, that you shouldn't be discouraged to try items as long as you're smart about it. "Even doing all of this research, I'm not afraid or afraid to send my daughters to the mall," she said. "I just tell them not to put anything near their eyes, nose or mouth and you'll be OK. I want women to be happy that they're women and enjoy makeup, but just be careful." Consider yourselves warned. [LA Times]

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    Elite Member Kathie_Moffett's Avatar
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    Well, this makes sense. I always just put stuff on my arm, anyway. Occasionally I HAVE to test a lipstick if it's expensive, since my body chemistry really does turn lipstick different colors than what they look like in the tube. But I roll it all the way out and chip off a bit from way down at the bottom of the lipstick, where nobody else has been. Or I just ask for a fresh tester.
    Did you know that every time a parent gives in to their kid's whines and buys them candy at the checkout lane, a kitten gets diabetes?-Dlisted
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    Elite Member Sundance's Avatar
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    I won't use those things. I'd rather just buy it & hope for the best. Sometimes it gets thrown out after the first use but it beats the risk imo. People are nasty.
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    Super Moderator twitchy2.0's Avatar
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    Anyone else ever been in the makeup section at the drugstore and see someone come in and put on her complete face using testers?
    As Canadian as possible under the circumstances

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    "What's traitors, precious?" -- President Gollum

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    Elite Member Sundance's Avatar
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    Yes!
    “The thing that attracts people to “The Sopranos” is the family element. It shows that America still has a longing for that traditional upbringing.” Christine O'Donnell

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    Elite Member cupcake's Avatar
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    never done it never will. huge germaphobe here.
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    Elite Member TonjaLasagna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twitchy2.0 View Post
    Anyone else ever been in the makeup section at the drugstore and see someone come in and put on her complete face using testers?
    Drugstore testers?.......15 yrs i'd go to Neiman Marcus or Saks and do my eyes with thee most expensive eye shadows. Even then, the snotty make-up girls would give me throw-away applicators to use. I don't do that anymore, instead I make an appt with the make-up artist & let her do my face for special occasions. Then i buy a lipstain or lipgloss
    "the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that they're gone"

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    Super Moderator twitchy2.0's Avatar
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    Nope not the throwaway applicators. I watched this woman do her whole face with the testers. From foundation to lipstick and eyes. There's cutting corners on your budget and then there's downright ridiculous.
    As Canadian as possible under the circumstances

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    Elite Member Honey's Avatar
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    I wouldn't go that far, maybe try it out on my hand but not the face

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    Elite Member dallison's Avatar
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    I sell makeup and skincare. I go through and clean the testers every single shift. We throw out anything gross and put new testers out.
    We also have brushes that we clean and disinfect every day, lots of cosmetic places do. So if you ever want to try something in a store, ask if they have a new tester or if they can clean the current one and give you a clean, sanitized brush to use.


    Oh... and if buying stuff from a place where all their product is on the shelf and you don't have to ask for it, grab from the back of the shelf. Customers can be assholes and open products, use it, then put it back. Watch for that.

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    Silver Member Abbey Normal's Avatar
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    I'll only test on my hand or arm and then go and wash everything off. Even the cheap drugstores will usually let you return makeup if you don't like it, so it's not worth the risk to test on your face. Grody.
    ...of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most.

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