Makeup Store Samples Are Even Grosser Than We Thought

If you are like me, the thought of using makeup store samples of anything from lipstick to mascara skeeves you out. I have done it, swiping lipstick on my hand (never my lips!) and blending foundation into my forearm. But now I may never do that again.

According to a report on Good Morning America, cosmetic counters are filled with samples caked with mold and bacteria. Brushes and foundations are the nastiest, natch and experts suggest that you apply makeup to the neck rather than the face. But still. Ew, right?

Personally, I have never liked the idea of communal samples anyway and some of the stores said they keep them for up to a year. Hell, I don’t keep my OWN makeup that long. How gross is that?


As for what you can do, experts have a few suggestions. Most obvious is don’t use it (OK, that’s mine). But if you must, they suggest doing research online so you are not trying 12 or more samples and have already narrowed your search. Other suggestions include asking the salesperson to sanitize the samples with alcohol before using them and applying lip products to the pad of the finger rather than the lips (duh).

It’s not just makeup, either. Open jars of moisturizers are also teeming with bacteria because people have dipped their hands in them (ewwwww!) so it's best to just avoid those altogether. The best suggestion (I think) is to take advantage of “buy and try” policies at certain stores and not worry about whether or not the samples have bacteria. Just get a new one.

Even still, the fact is, germs are everywhere. A germaphobe is probably not going to want to be using these makeup samples anyway and everyone else has been doing so for years without catching the black plague.

Now we know. And what we do with that information is entirely individual.

Does this make you think differently about makeup samples?


Image via o5com/Flickr

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