Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Dangers of Dirty Makeup Testers

What is up with the dirty make-up testers?

Taken by me at a local WalMart, you could tell this was fairly new & hadn't been out long,
 yet someone had put big gouges in it already!
Photo Source:
Nothing turns me off more than dirty, gummy makeup testers.  I fault the store somewhat, but even more I fault the people who are gunking these up.  Who are you?  Who would smush a lipstain, etc, into an unrecognizable stump and just leave it.  Or who would take the lid off something & not bother to replace it?  Worst of all...who the heck is opening the items that aren't testers, ruining them for purchase.  I was at a Canadian grocery/household goods store last week & the makeup testers were pretty much all a disgusting mess, such a turn off. I would never apply any of these things to my face, even with a separate applicator, but I don't even want to put some of them on my hand.  Let's stop the madness!    

      Photo Source:
The following article is a good reminder that we need to protect ourselves at the make-up counter.  As disgusting as this is, it's important that we educate ourselves about the dangers of dirty make-up!

Dr Oz & Paula Begoun Reveal the Dangers at the Makeup Counter & How to Protect Yourself

It’s scary but true:  A recent study found 100% of all the products that were tested were contaminated, some with E. coli.  WOW!  Dr Oz tested products from his local area and also found strep and yeast in the products.

A 2-year study of germs at the makeup counter found that 100% of samples were contaminated with bacteria such as staphylococcus aureus(Staph), strep and E. Coli (the poop germ). It didn’t matter if the store was on Fifth Avenue or Main Street says Dr Oz. 

Dr Oz says every time you touch one of those contaminated testers you risk making the biggest beauty blunder of your life.

The Bacteria at the Makeup Counter - Those pretty shiny testers are touched by hundreds of women who may harbor pink eye, herpes, a cold or flu, or simply hands that weren’t washed after going to the bathroom. They're loaded with bacteria and feces and even e-coli says Paula. She said there is no evidence that your actually getting sick from it, herpes or anything, but most germs are there and just because it's not recorded doesn't mean it isn't happening.

Dr Oz triangle of death (your eyes, nose and mouth) is when bacteria goes through the mucus membrane straight back to the brain. Bacteria, virus's and fungi, all of which were found on the samples, can get right into our blood stream.

Studies found the highest levels of contamination were samples on the weekend, the lowest levels were on Thursday afternoon. 

What can you do?

Use single-use applicators - Have an alcohol spray or ask at the counter for one and spray the tube of lipstick before trying it on and swab it from the side.  

For lip gloss in tubes squeeze out a little bit of it and use a single use applicator to apply.

Disinfect lipsticks, pencils and brushes.  Use a Kleenex to wipe off the top layer of eye shadows, blushes, and powders and apply with a cotton ball or individual applicator.

Take your own mascara for a makeover - everyone is re dipping the same applicator in the mascara and applying it to the eyes and then it is used on someone else.

Test makeup on your wrist or the back of your hand instead of applying it directly to your face.

Wash your skin immediately after trying on makeup.

What do you all think?  Are we all shuddering just a little bit after reading this?  

Source: May 20, 2010


  1. Makeup Counters are always so disgusting. It's sad that people are so dirty !:(

  2. OMG, yes, I am totally shuttering her! Ewhhh! This honestly makes me never want to use a tester again (or just swipe on my hand or arm...which is what I usually do anyway)

  3. Great post. What I can never understand is what you mentioned about lipsticks. The lipstick testers at my local stores are ALWAYS, always, always in a tiny little stump at the bottom, and all messed up all over the place. Clearly not from just being tested so many times, someone has intentionally done that.
    Chances are it's probably younger people/children playing about by themselves or with a group of friends. It's absolutely ridiculous though, and stores should take more time in looking after their make-up displays.

  4. Ewww E. Coli! :O I never use testers. I just buy an intact/sealed product and take my chances. Unless it's lipstick, which I just swab from the side.

  5. Thanks for comments ladies, yes a disgusting topic isn't it. After my recent Sephora trip I actually had some bumps on my hand, where I had been swatching. I'd like to think it was from the irritation of putting on so many products & then removing them with alcohol wipes...I hope anyway :(

  6. Yuck! I don't know why some people do that. The only thing I can think of is kids touching it. lol Thanks for the tips as well.

  7. I always swipe on the back of my hand but after reading this thats still gross! Some people just donr practice common sense... I saw a girl at MAC pick up a lipstick slather it on then put it back without even thinking. Gross!!

  8. Wow, I'm getting a little nauseous just thinking about this. I've swiped eye shadow with my fingertips before, to see the color pay off, but now I won't even be doing that anymore. Much better to get on the internet and google for swatches.

  9. Ugh that's rank - 100% had all that nasty bacteria. Bleugh. I have to admit i'm always dubious about testers and i have never to this day applied anything to my lips at a counter. This has resulted in a lot of bad purchases tho, hehe!


  10. Yes I know it's so beyond gross. I typically will take a tissue, wipe off the top layer of a shadow, blush, etc. Swatch it on my hand & then use disinfecting wipes to remove it. Thanks for the comments ladies!

  11. That is beyond disgusting. I remember breaking out really bad years ago when I first got my make up done at MAC. Never again =/

  12. I knew the makeup testers were gross, but I had no idea that 100% of them were contaminated, and with bacteria like Staph? That's very scary.

  13. I never try the testers! Im a germaphobe and its disgusts me! great post tracy!
    xoxo inna :)
    My Bloggie!

  14. Ewwwww! But a great post! Good idea to let your readers know about all that bacteria lurking in testers. Who would have thought??

  15. I am so grossed out, I will not try testers ever again!

  16. I hope not to scare anyone too much with this, just something to keep in mind. I think it's fine to use the testers, with some pre-cautions swiping off the first layer, etc, but I would suggest using them on your hand, not your face, and never your mouth. And then of course taking it off with alcohol. Then maybe get a drink of alcohol to keep the shuddering down :) Just kidding...kinda.

  17. I think, at least with Walmart, that it's unsupervised kiddos gouging the products... Although I do agree it's a little gross to KNOW the testers are natty with germs, but in all reality, EVERYTHING we touch is germ-laden. Our cell phones, for handle, light switches, pay phone- they have all been shown to have these same germs. So, I guess all I'm saying is I'm not really freaked out by this. Wash your hands, etc., don't test products on your face, but don't have a conniption fit, either. Chances are your cell phone is Germier that those tester products are... :-)


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