In-Store Make Up Testers Could Be Your Worst Nightmare

While in-store cosmetic testers have been a staple in the industry forever, a Marketplace investigation revealed that you may want to avoid them. 

So, you’re walking through Sephora, The Bay or any other major department store and you’ve been lured into the make up section. The beautiful lighting, the dizzying array of colours and the ample supply of testers have been drawing in makeup lovers since the time of your mama’s mama.

While in-store cosmetic testers have been a staple in the industry forever, a Marketplace investigation revealed that you may want to avoid them.

Producers of the CBC show Marketplace went undercover at dozens of makeup store in the GTA and took swab samples of 60 eyeshadow, mascara, lip gloss, cream blush and lipstick testers available to shoppers and sent them to a lab for further inspection.

The lab results weren’t pretty as almost half of the samples (40 per cent) had Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, a common bacteria that can cause skin irritations and even lead to a Staph infection.  An additional 28 per cent of makeup testers tested contained mould and other harmful agents.

The worst part is that while bacteria are common and unavoidable – when Marketplace asked employees if they cleaned the brushes, most did not.  What makes it worse is that every store has a sanitation policy, it just seems that staff aren’t’ required to enforce it.

So next time you are thinking about testing out some eyeliner in-store,  Because eyeliner should get your eyes noticed, but not for pink eye.