It’s hard to resist the appeal of a makeup counter. The pretty new products on display practically call your name as you walk past. It doesn’t help that there is usually a beauty counter associate trying to lure you in with a free makeover. You think, “What’s the harm in a free makeover, right? I get my makeup done for free and I don’t have to buy anything.” But what if it turns out that”free” beauty counter makeovers are actually bad for your skin? While these makeovers are seemingly harmless, there can be some serious risks.
Most shoppers don’t realize that makeup brushes are a breeding ground for bacteria. Although most associates clean the makeup brushes between costumers, you can never be 100% sure that the brushes at a makeup counter have been properly sanitized. Imagine that the person before you at the counter had a terrible acne breakout. If the same makeup brush is used on you afterwards, you run the risk of spreading the acne bacteria to your face. Sharing products can lead to skin irritation, discoloration or in extreme cases, scarring.
It’s not only the makeup brushes that you should be worried about. The beauty products themselves are also contaminated. People are constantly going up to beauty counters and playing with the products. They either stick their fingers in the product or apply it directly to their skin. Either way, this leads to the spread of bacteria. A sales counter associate rarely ever open a new product for use. They almost always use the display sample that’s been touched by hundreds of people.
It’s more than just acne that you need to worry about, too. Most shoppers are oblivious to the fact that tester makeup can harbor serious bacteria that can lead staph, strep, or even E. coli. You never want to use an eye product, like eyeliner or mascara, that has been used by other people. These products can carry bacteria that can cause viruses like pink eye.
For the most part, beauty counter makeovers are safe. You just need to make sure that the makeup counter associate is using clean, disposable applicators. Even if they use a new mascara wand, and they double dip it, it’s now considered contaminated. Don’t be afraid to be assertive and ask from them to use clean, sanitized products. Walking around the mall with a pretty smokey eye is not worth the risk of infection.