We all know sharing makeup can risky — but we still do it. Stores like Sephora and MAC are playgrounds for girly girls. The LA Times reports hazardous makeup play could lead to harmful infections.

According to Dr. Zein Obagi, a dermatologist in Beverly Hills, “You can pass herpes, pink eye and all sorts of things through sharing makeup. If a woman has a cut on her lip and borrows lipstick from someone who has a cold sore, she’ll get a cold sore.”

Research from a two-year study at the Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia found staph, strep and E. coli bacteria on makeup testers. On high-traffic Saturdays at cosmetic stands, the percentage of tainted makeup was at 100 percent.

So can we still enjoy testing makeup at Sephora or our BFF’s hot new Nars blush? Of course! The moral of the story is do not share makeup on your eyes, nose or mouth. You can also insist that your makeup attendant sanitize all products before you use them. That is, if you want to be infection-free.


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  • And just to furhter add, if you are testing new make-up in general for the first time, try it on your hand because you never know if you are going to have an allergy to it.

    A few months ago I had a make-over at a Benefit Cosmetics counter, the next day I had some crusty dry, lizard like skin on one of my cheekbones and around my right eye. Looked like eczema, and I don’t even have eczema. They used all the usual cotton swabs and so on, but how do I know the hygiene practices of the previous make-up artists who had used these products?

    The product combinations used were dr. feelgood, you rebel, benetint, and high beam.

    I had to continually moisturise the area everyday until the skin healed up. This took about two months. I had a bad allergy to their products.

  • dvine

    ewww.. i wonder how long they live those samples open for the public 2 use..