Beauty Etiquette: Makeup Counter Hygiene
Published Jul 23, 2011
I love living in New York City, but even I can admit this city can get a little filthy. I literally cringe when I think about the amount of germs on the subway. The train is usually packed to the point where breathing can become somewhat difficult and people who probably haven’t had a chance to wash their hands all day touch the same things you do (the pole, the seat, the handrail, the door). It’s a pretty disgusting image that may seem a bit extreme, but these are also the people who pass by my counter every day. But it just doesn’t cross your mind when you’re standing over makeup products, eager to touch and try everything.
You don’t have to live in a big city to understand that bacteria lives everywhere, and that’s why being sanitary is so important for everyone’s health. Hundreds of people pass my counter everyday and most of the time I want to cry when I see someone being unsanitary.
Sometimes our disposable lip brushes have to be restocked throughout the day. A lady came up to me and asked me for more. Lip infections and cold sores spread really easily, so I thanked her when she pointed out that it was time for me to replenish. However, it completely shocked me when she double-dipped her disposable wand as she applied the lip gloss, especially because I gave her three wands! She put some gloss on and used the same wand to get more product, thereby contaminating the whole tube of gloss with her germs.
I completely understand that the brush is important when applying mascara. There is a reason each brush is shaped differently and beauty companies spend millions developing the perfect bristles and wands. But that does not mean it’s acceptable to use the mascara wand straight from the tester tube. A stye or pinkeye does not look pretty before a special event! I have thrown out many contaminated testers, but that doesn’t mean we catch every single person who’s used that same wand. Beauties, your eyes are one of your most sensitive areas, so remember to protect them.
There are many eye shadows, pigments, and powders on display at counters. How many times have you swatched a color on your hand using your fingers because you can’t find a cotton ball, cotton swab, or brush? I have seen people do this everywhere. It never occurs to these touchy feely testers that their hands are unsanitary. Scraping off the top layer of product may help clean it up, but I rarely see people do this. You may wonder why a certain powder broke you out when you tried it on in a store. It could have been the tester. Sure, you might have used a clean brush, but think about the amount of people who have touched the same product with unclean fingers. Be aware and cautious of what you put on your face. That If you have questions on how to keep sanitary, just ask your beauty advisor.
Undercover Beauty Agent is just an average makeup artist at your local beauty counter who's reporting true stories exclusively for Beautylish: "I love what I do because I get to make people feel beautiful on a daily basis. Working with so many different people in New York City has definitely been interesting. I've learned a lot and not all of it is very pretty. I'm a beauty advisor by day and a secret beauty agent by night, totally ready to share all my insider secrets and gossip."