How to Test Makeup Safely!


Powders:  Eyeshadow/Blush/Bronzer

Spray tissue with alcohol disinfectant and wipe off the top layer.  Use a new disposable sample brush to apply the makeup.  It is helpful if you repeat the first step after use to ensure the palette is free of your germs for the next tester.  Throw away your sample brush.


Lips:  Lipstick, Lipgloss, Lipstains

Never apply lip products directly to your mouth! First, spray tissue with alcohol, wipe off the top layer and use a new, disposable applicator to apply. Most salespeople are happy to do the disinfecting for you – just ask. And if you’re still a little freaked out, try applying the color to the back of your hand. It won’t look the same as it will on your lips, but at least you can get a sense of the texture, opacity, and pigmentation.

Pencils: Eyeliners, Lip Liners, etc.

You should sharpen off the top layer of anything that comes in a pencil form.  Wipe with the alcohol tissue for extra precaution.  Eyeliners and lip liners are best tested on your hands.  The eye area in particular in known for manifesting bacteria, and the last thing you want is pink eye from a tester!


Foundations that come out of a pump have a very low risk of contamination.  Make sure you use a NEW disposable sponge or applicator.  Avoid testing foundations that come in jars – there’s no way of knowing if someone has dipped their finger in there. Luckily, many cosmetic counters are happy to supply you with a few days’ worth of foundation samples. Try your luck at major retailers like Sephora, Macy’s and Nordstrom.


Though it is not recommended to try mascaras on your eyes before buying, we know that some of you are going to do it anyway.  Make sure you are using a new disposable mascara wand (don’t use the one that belongs to the tester).  If you need to re-dip for more mascara, get a NEW wand… double dipping – this is where the contamination begins.  If you just want to see the color and texture, we strongly recommend testing the product on your hand or hair, this keeps the product a safe distance from those gorgeous eyes!

Nail Polish:

Thankfully, nail polish is one product you don’t have to worry too much about.  It is fairly safe to test polish on your nails; just make sure you aren’t testing on a finger with any sores or open wounds!

Bonus Tips:

• Test on Weekdays.  If you know you are going to be trying on makeup, avoid shopping on the weekends.  This is the busiest time for makeup counters, and there will be a much greater chance of cross-contamination.

• Use New Applicators or Brushes. Ask for a new, unused applicator before testing any product.

• No Jars or Pots.  Don’t test ANYTHING that comes in a jar or a pot!  The contamination in these products goes below the surface layer, so simply wiping the top won’t cut it.  Stay safe and just don’t go there.

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