Thursday, December 8, 2016


Have you ever gone to Priceline or any store that sells budget through moderately priced cosmetics and you see people applying testers directly onto their faces? Do you find opened merchandise that appears to have been used or witness somebody using it? Do you have an urge to react in an anti-social manner but use every strength to not punch the perp in the face, or at least hope they contract an infectious disease so they learn their lesson? Do you alert staff to suspected theft and merchandise damage?

Reenactment of in-store tester application directly to eyes and lips using my own products.
I'm a consumer. I tell it like it is. I alert staff to asinine acts that take place in the makeup aisle because I don't want to get sick from irresponsible citizens who think applying testers to their face, or worse still, opening merchandise to use as testers is okay. You're just ruining it for everybody.

Testers are present for the consumer to test a product they wish to possibly purchase for colour, texture/finish of the formula and how it feels on the skin; it's a try before you buy sort of deal, where you swatch a product on your already dirty hand. Unopened merchandise is not to be opened to test. If there are no testers for a certain product, you ask the staff about it.

Testers are unsanitary vessels of disease and for every person that even so much as places the product on the back of their hand, all sorts of biological matter gets transferred. Why would you put that shared cesspool onto your face?! In your eyes?! On your lips?! Even if the next person is going to swatch the product on their hand, there is now a risk of somebody contracting an infection. Do you think professional makeup artists would not sanitize their products and tools between clients? NO.

Your skin, when in tact and healthy, is the first line of immune defence against foreign microbes, so all is well and good if you have a properly functioning immune system, but what about the makeup lovers out there with compromised immune systems? I belong to part of the population considered to be immunocompromised. This means my immune system is working at a lower capacity than normal; it is induced by chemotherapy drugs to minimize activity of some hyperactive antibodies that are attacking my own tissues (what I have is called Systemic Lupus Erythematosus - an autoimmune disease that affects many different systems in the body). Others belonging to the immunocompromised portion of the community are babies who have yet to be vaccinated, children who cannot be vaccinated due to illness such as Leukemia, people who have HIV/AIDS, those who are malnourished, people undergoing chemotherapy, and the elderly, the list goes on. These people are put at risk in general, let alone when they wish to test out a lipstick colour on their hand.

Firstly, it's extremely selfish to assume that your actions have no potential risks. Secondly, there is a sense of carelessness for your own health - you're not immune to catching pathogens from others. Thirdly, it ruins the fun for everybody.

What to do instead: Place the colour on your hand and look in a mirror with your hand up near your face. If there is hand sanitizer available nearby, use it.


The other absolute horror is finding a product for sale that has been opened and used as a tester then put back on the shelf. These products wind up being voided for sale for hygiene reasons. It's a very disappointing occurrence, especially if it is the last one available.

I was in Priceline, just doing my regular browse when I spotted two young women in the makeup section, up against a mirror. As I walked past, this woman was using a [relatively expensive] makeup brush she had picked up from its original packaging, dumped the box on the floor and started to apply blush to her face with it. The blush was possibly a tester, and it's still ultimately gross that she decided to put it directly on her face. I had alerted staff, paid for my merchandise and left. Later, I had seen the two young women walk out of the store with a bag, seemingly looking as though they had purchased the item they had used. I felt threatened that they may have found out I was the snitch, but it was a simple and subtle alert to the staff. The fear of reporting gross and pathetic acts can leave you running scared.

"You break it, you buy it." - the pottery store rule

The frustration arises when the staff have to write off the product that has been customer damaged as a loss. From a legal perspective, it's a form of vandalism upon the store's merchandise. These losses, along with theft, play as factors in raising prices of consumer goods. Small businesses aren't going to be able to cope as well as the giants. It's not even a matter of whether it's a small pharmacy or Chemist Warehouse, it's going to be another statistic and means for raising prices; security and loss prevention measures cost money, and paying customers become the real victims.

What to do instead: Ask the staff; they work there so they can help you. If you have questions about a product, ask a manager, a trainee, anybody. Ask another customer if they are looking at the same product. Go online and Google the product for reviews and instructions beyond what is available to you on the packaging. JUST ASK SOMEBODY.



  1. Yesssssssssss to all of this! I can't stand it when I see women applying a tester lipstick DIRECTLY FROM THE BULLET onto their lips - ewwwwww! Either test it on the back of your hand (which I always do) or ask a staff member to sanitise the damn thing first BEFORE you apply it. It's not that hard!

    I feel like giving these people an education & telling them about all the germs they've just put on their face, but in another (and more evil) way, I figure they'll find out soon enough when they get sick bahahahaha.

    1. You almost kind of hope they contract herpes simplex.

  2. There should have to be sign, but areas like the city need them. So many asian stores have them, the you open it you buy it rule. I do know stores where lots of asians (internationals I'm looking at you, not locals) shop have them. Or they have people/SAs follow you around.

    1. It's more prevalent in large stores such as Target and Big W, where they're so large (and sells stock so cheaply) that staff can't cover all ground.

  3. PREACH! The amount of times I see people applying tester lipsticks directly to pout or brushing stuff onto their eyes . . . *shudder* That's why I was so happy to see NYX move to Priceline as everything in Target was always severely tampered with as to be unsaleable. ENJOY YOUR COLD SORES AND CONJUNCTIVITIS, LADIES.