Every girl loves playing around at the beauty counters! We can get so wrapped up in all of the pretty colors, new collections, and seasonal trends, that we tend to forget about proper sanitation when testing out products at the counter.
I read a startling and disturbing fact from Rowan University’s study on makeup tester germs. They reported from their study that “more than half of all testers were contaminated, and we found staph, strep, and E. coli bacteria from feces.” Gross!!
Ok, so here’s the up side to things. I know most of you ladies want to see how a color looks on you before you purchase it. Here are 4 of the best ways you can test your makeup safely!
1. Ask the salesperson to prep the tester
For lipstick: Ask for the lipstick to be sprayed or dipped in alcohol, then scrape off the top layer, and use a new, disposable applicator (not their finger) — or a brush sprayed with alcohol to apply.
For lip and eye liners: Because all of the contamination is on the surface layer, sharpening works for lip and eye liners.
For powders: Powders can be just as germy as creams, so you can try bringing your own makeup alcohol wipes to clean them. Make sure to wipe the entire surface of the tester, and still have the salesperson scrape it afterwards.
2. Shop on weekdays
From the Rowan University study, they took samples from different days of the week, and Saturdays were the most contaminated days (b/c more people shop during the weekend). The least-germy batches were Friday morning and Wednesday morning, since the nights before tend to be low-traffic.
3. Beware of the pot
Don’t try anything that comes in an open jar people dip a finger into, such as lotion, lip gloss, or loose eye shadow, because then the contamination isn’t just on the top layer — it’s throughout, so there’s no way to clean it (unless you’re sure it’s a new jar).
4. Get cheeky
It’s fine to apply foundation, blush, or any other products to the back of your hand, or jawline (the worst that could happen is that you get a zit). Unless you know you’re getting a clean sample, avoid applying testers to your eyes or lips, which are direct entry points for germs and can lead to infections and viruses.