Cosmetic Counter Cooties

So I’ve been reading this book & what do you know, a blog idea came to mind! Ha! What do women love more other than makeup, cremes, & anything else that makes them look pretty or says anti-aging on it? They love FREE makeup, cremes, & anything else that makes them look pretty or says anti-aging on it. Its like us women see a cosmetic tester counter & we hear angels singing to us…we are just naturally drawn to them, like a kid in a candy store.

The first thing we do is try on whatever shade is shown on the cover of the current Glamour or Fashion  magazine, next we usually go for a shades we would usually not wear nor buy, just to see what we would look like with colors we usually don’t incorporate with our everyday look. As for beauty products, we dip in that like we’ve never seen moisturizer or a serum ever in our lives, haha…its free right…so why not slather it on …hell put more on than it says too! I know…I’m guilty of it myself. I’ve worked at many high end salons, spas, & freelanced for many makeup & product lines, so i get to see the “behind the scenes” the setting up of the free sample/tester stands & all that goes on when the client in not there. I have to say, I am amazed at what I’ve seen.

Most businesses want the young, pretty barbie to greet the guests at the front desk, which I find totally hysterical. The majority of the time, “Barbie” could give 2 shits about the clients or the place they are working for. Don’t even ask  them questions about the product lines, I guarantee you’ll get the “Oh I love this product, I use it everyday” line, all because, for one, they know NOTHING about it, what it does, & what skin type its for, & mostly because they really could careless if you bought it or not…unless they are on commission…that’s a whole other story in itself! Haha That’s just how the business is.

So have you ever wondered what its like at the cosmetic/product tester counter when there aren’t any clients around? Probably not, being in the beauty industry 16+ years, I’ll tell you. The cosmetic/product testers are sitting their growing…yes, I said growing….critters that is…a variety of bacterial germs. See its like this, when “Barbie” isn’t surfing the internet or texting her flavor of the week, shes at the counter “freshing” up. I mean no one is gonna know right? Stick your finger in the new moisturizer, dab on some eye creme, pick up the test brush, put some foundation on….hmmm….lets try this bronzer, now for some blush, the new shade of lip color, & complete with some mascara, I mean, who’s gonna miss one swipe of mascara out of a brand new tube you can not see thru? Usually this is done quickly & disposables are usually not disposed, just to avoid getting caught by a manager since this is usually considered theft in the beauty world.

After the makeup application is done, brushes, sponges, lip & mascara wands are placed neatly back into their original places. Back to work “Barbie” goes. Did I mention “Barbie” was out partying the night before & went to bed with her makeup on, dirt, oil, sweat from dancing is still on her face & impacted in her pores, had  caught a  blister from sharing her drinks, was also a smoker, and was sick with a cold…yuk! I don’t wanna single out “Barbie”, so think of how many other clients with poor hygiene that have used the testers or how many times the applicators have been used. Many salon & spas are to cheap to buy disposables & would rather have the pretty professional applicators & brushes to give the setup a better look. I’m sure a bottle of brush cleaner is there & they tell the clients all the brushes are clean. Pick up the bottle, ill put money on it that its full & not been used & those brushes are caked with makeup & that tester jar of moisturizer has finger swipe marks in it.

Touching & using contaminated testers & products puts you at risk for colds, infections, hepatitis A & salmonella. Don’t ever test out a tube of lipstick on your lips, if a previous user had a cold sore, you most likely will get one yourself. Eye pencils, eyeliners, & mascara wands can be contaminated with conjunctivitis (pinkeye), unless you plan on wearing an eye patch, there’s no concealer that’ll hide that!
Don’t think every beauty tester setup is crawling with yuckiness, I’ve worked with many professionals that really care about their client’s well-being & their own. It doesn’t matter how ritzy & glamorous the spa is or how expensive the beauty line is, unfortunately, “Barbie” & poor hygiene is out there.
The next time you come across that free tester/sample bar you just have to visit, here are some tips for ya:

Make sure they have antibacterial wipes or gel, tissues, sealed disposable lipstick & eye shadow wands, little spatulas for scooping out creams, & a sharpener for lip & eye pencils available.
Use a hand sanitizer before putting anything on, if your getting the application done by someone, make sure they use it as well.
Try to avoid testing products on lips & eyes, use the back of your hand instead.

Try to test only products that come from some type of pump dispenser, if its a jar, make sure they are for  a single use. Have a trained professional (I happen to know a few great ones) do your makeup or give you a facial product sample, they are usually trained with the proper sanitary measures, including disinfecting their hands, using spatulas for cremes, sharpening pencils, spraying makeup brushes with antibacterial spray between clients, & most of all disposing of disposables!
Hope this info comes in handy.


About the Author:

Beauty Writer & Lifestyle Blogger April M. Monterrosa is a Proud Latina from San Antonio, Texas, a Military wife, the mama of a dachshund, a licensed Cosmetologist of 18 years, Owner of The Lil Spa Room, & a Nuskin Skin Care Distributor. With beauty & blogging being such passions, Shine Beautifully was born. Shine Beautifully will feature beauty tips, home remedies, quotes, poetry, recipes, personal stories, & travel adventures. Don’t forget to subscribe!

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