Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Temptalia Asks You


Would you use used makeup? Does it matter if it’s from a stranger vs. friend?

Temptalia's AnswerI’ve done so in the past, but I haven’t in four or five years. The older I get, the more of a germaphobe I become! I’d be okay with using a product from certain friends (e.g. ones I knew who took good care of their products) if it was lightly used (think once or twice).

Thanks to Anila for today’s question! Got a question idea? Submit yours here.

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92 thoughts on “Would you use used makeup?

  1. I have done so in the past, and if it’s something that can be wiped clean such as powdered stuff or lipstick, I’m alright, but if it’s something such as mascara and lipgloss, definitely not.

    • I’ve been swapping on MUA (makeupalley) for about 4 years now and trust the people that put description of use on their items (prefer used once/swatched one/new) and I do the same. I trust that over any tester found in any store. Sephora/MAC/Depart Store/Drug Store testers I only use on the back of my hand for shade matching. ;)

      2 things I just won’t swap for it mascara and lipgloss unless they are brand new.

  2. Pawsha

    I wouldn’t do it myself and I think the blog sales are just plain gross!

  3. I don’t mind using used cosmetics if it’s someone I know keeps them as sanitary as possible. However, I know of a little store nearby my house where they sell REALLY OLD used cosmetics.. and they leave them all sitting wide open (like lipsticks and eyeshadows) in the store. It’s disgusting. Funny enough none of the things are limited edition.. they’re just super old drugstore cosmetics that they sell for higher than buying new stuff would be. Ugh makes me shudder every time.

    • Avatar of Pamela Pamela

      I don’t understand why anyone would buy opened/used drugstore brands for higher prices when the $1 stores sell brand new drugstore stuff for…well $1.

      • I doubt anyone actually buys any of the makeup. They also sell perfume so maybe that’s how the place is still around, but the thought of thousands of people walking past the shop in the place with dirty hands from touching stuff at all the other vendors.. dust and whatever else, just freaks me out.

  4. Avatar of Laurel Laurel

    I have, but only for products that are easily sanitized (like lipstick). I like to sanitize things like 20 times to be sure I got every little tiny germ off and then I still scrape off the part someone used. I try to avoid it though, because I usually gross myself out thinking about it and then I never use the product.

  5. Prachi

    Don’t like doing that. But if needed I can use eye shadows (with my own brushes) and only from friends. Can’t use anything from strangers.

  6. Nic

    If it’s in good condition and it can be sanitized, I’m fine with it. Otherwise, no.

  7. Lulee

    I know blog sales are all the rage these days but I think it’s such a disgusting concept. I would never use a stranger’s makeup products. Especially lip gloss, I don’t know what kind of dirty hamster would sell a used gloss to someone else. What happens if the person whose makeup you’re buying/using had mono or herpes. Omg gross. Gross. Gross. Just say no to used makeup.

    • I’ve done lab test at my locally highschool my final year and the amount of contact/germs spreading culture we got back was more horrifying then anything I’ve seen and it’s the reason I’m cautious with tester as it’s the same sort of breading ground.

      Herpes is transferred by skin to skin contact (site of infection to the site of contact) it’s doesn’t thrive on none living tissue at all.

      Mono on the other had is transferred by siliva and could live in a liquid product like lip gloss or a public water fountain for a short time. Mono is much more prevalent in High School for that reason. ;)

  8. I’ve swapped on makeupalley.com once, and very very occasionally I would use makeup at Sephora, but after I thoroughly sanitize it. I wouldn’t purchase used makeup at all though. And NO to lip glosses/liquid liners!

  9. Maureen

    … I SHARE makeup, but I wouldn’t purchase makeup that belonged to someone else, no.

  10. Only at the cosmetic counters for testing….and I would wipe it with alcohol or kleenex before usage….but never never never from anyone else. Never had hand me down clothing so cannot even fathom using someone’s makeup.

  11. RM

    Certain things yes. I’ve worn used lipsticks before. I wouldn’t use any used eye product though – I tried wearing my mom’s extremely old makeup once (this was years ago, though), and I got an eyelid infection. :(

  12. No. I can’t overcome the fear of germ, esp. eye products and cream formula.

  13. Sarah

    No even though i used beautysoclean on all my products. Im ok sharing my things with my best of friends… but not using theres.

  14. Well, I do swap makeup, just as long as it’s not heavily used.

  15. Liz

    hm, depends on the product and packaging. If it’s something with an air-tight pump I really wouldn’t have issues (if I knew how old it is and that it’s not past it’s life-span obviously!). If it’s a powder or a lipstick it depends on the person and on how well I can sanitize it on the go (and how desperate I am). As for cream products (the kind you dip your fingers in to), lip glosses, mascara and any of the sort – eww no!

  16. Avatar of Emma Emma

    I’ve have used very close friends’ and my mum’s before now and they’ve use mine on occasion but only certain things. Like I wouldn’t fancy using anyone elses lipgloss, that you can’t really sanitize.

  17. Yazmin

    only by friends and family, apart from mascara

  18. Avatar of Janis summerblue

    I’ve swapped over the past 2 years on mua, however, rarely now as I’ve lost my heart for it — just too much effort & angst. I have no problem swapping for BN or lightly used powder products as these are easily disinfected with alcohol or Fresh wipes. Although I have swapped for 2 cream products (BN or just swatched), I generally do not swap for cream products.

  19. Avatar of Mariella Mariella

    I wouldn’t have a problem with it (with the exception of certain things). Our skin is actually a pretty effective barrier to things getting into our systems – we’re more at risk from some of the chemicals in some cosmetics being absorbed than we are from “germs” getting into us. The only “used” item I have is actually a Clarins cheek product that was LE and sold out before I could purchase it. My Clarins SA got permission to give me the counter sample – she wiped off the top layer with a disinfecting wipe and gave it to me for free. I haven’t had a single problem with it. I might be a bit more concerned about something like a mascara or an eye liner, especially if I used it to line my water-line.

  20. Avatar of Lize Lize

    I wouldn’t use mascara or lipgloss, but everything else is fine if it has been sharpened or disinfected with alcohol and it is still in good condition :)

  21. sarah

    not mascara or potted lip products. things like lipstick or powder blush/eyeshadow can be sanitized with alcohol, so i have used thoes, but only from close friends and famly.

  22. If it was from someone who had very good cleaning habits and a it was a powder product, then maybe.

  23. Karlie

    If it’s possible to be a germaphobe (but not exactly a germaphile), that’s me. I have no problem using used makeup. Mascara is the one exception.

  24. kharanya

    Never! Unless it was from a close friend or family member.

  25. I could use powder products after scrapping off the top layer. And maybe cream products that come in a bottle with a pump. That’s about it…

    I never EVER try testers on my face, I’m really grossed out when I see people using mascara testers on their lashes in Sephora, eerk!

  26. Jazz

    I dont mind using the testers at the store. BUT I will not buy used makeup. There is no item that I need that much that I have to buy it 2nd hand.

  27. Avatar of Street Jaime Jaime

    Probably not. That’s like making out with a hobo.

  28. Avatar of artemis artemis

    yes..sometimes…when i visit a friend and it’s something i really like(tho i usually am the one that has more and shares it)

  29. Avatar of Melissa divinem (Melissa)

    Only if very minimally used, and I would sterilize it with alcohol before using.

  30. Avatar of Natalie Natalie

    I’m okay with it only if it’s a very close friend, and something that can be sanitized.

  31. Hi,
    I’m a makeup artist and if you look at this way…Makeup artists have their kit of Makeup where they use in many people, so Its okay, as long as, sanitized and wands are not double dipped into the product. We all should use common sense when using makeup that is used in many people. Look at the makeup counters…They have their lipstick displayed but it doesnt mean we have to grub that tube of lipstick and go right into our lips…sanitize because you never know whom has put their mouth before you and diseases are out there. Try dippin the tip of that lipstick on 70% isopropyl alcohol and wipe it off the top layer of that lipstick…it will be safe and clean for you to try it!
    Mascaras…always grub a disposible wand to try and never double dip them into the product.
    Powder products, such as powders, blushes and eyeshadows…always wipe it off the top layer of the product before using it.
    Last but not least, Clean and sanitized brushes are very important!!!
    Hope you liked my tip.
    Have a great week everyone!

  32. Avatar of Cindy Cindy

    I will only use makeup that my mom tried and doesn’t like, if it might look better on me. Otherwise it can be returned if it’s within the store’s return policy. With return policies as they are today, I don’t understand the concept of “swapping” used makeup with strangers. If I don’t like a product I just return it. I would never use used mascara from ANYONE, even my mom – our eyes are too sensitive to risk it!

    • JIlliant

      Those generous return policies pretty much only exist in america. In most other places the only way you get a refund is if it horribly broke you out and it claimed to be for sensitive skin or something like that, never for incorrect choice.

    • I’m right there with you! I have a severe eye condition, iritis, (not contagious) that can cause blindness. It’s makeup. It is NOT worth my health or my vision! I get the fuss over limited editions, etc, but you just cannot guarantee it is safe. I’d like to see how “sanitary” any makeup is after being used–even after “cleaning it with alcohol”.

      My daughter ran an experiment on what worked best to kill germs. Bleach was the only thing that prevented any growth–not alcohol, hand sanitizer, nothing else.

      *so very skeeved*

  33. Avatar of Pamela Pamela

    I’m germ phobic as well but, oddly enough, I’ve been swapping new/used makeup for over five years! So yes, I use “pre-loved” makeup but never, ever mascara or eyeliner. As with everything else, I use plenty of rubbing alcohol to sterilize.

  34. Nadia

    I would share makeup with friends (goes without saying, who in heck would ask a stranger if they’d share their lipstick lol). I do not buy used makeup though. I do use the Sephora testers but I sanitize before doing so.

  35. If its easily sanitized, like lipstick. Otherwise no.

    I don’t mind sharing makeup with my mum or maybe my sister in law, but never mascara or eyeliner I use on my waterline.

  36. Sarah R

    Never! The thought of it makes me feel sickly :(

  37. TG

    I have, and have also donated lightly used makeup. I have a special sanitizing spray for powder products that works well, and it’s about 100x’s more drying than alcohol if you get it on your skin, so I imagine it’s pretty good at killing germs.

    For lipsticks, I sanitize a knife and slice the tip off, and then take a wipe (from the same company who makes the spray) and wipe the tip off.

    For eyeliners, I sharpen and wipe off with a wipe.

    As for mascaras, glosses or liquid liners, no way.

  38. Avatar of Sarah Sarah

    I’ve shared makeup with my mom… anyone other than her though, no way.

  39. Michelle

    Heck yes, I would (and do). I swap at makeupalley.
    I’ve taken microbiology classes and I’m sorry to say that phobis regarding germs and makeup are overblown. If you think you are not picking up others germs including MRSA many times a day by avoiding used makeup you are wrong. Psychologically I can understan it, but it’s not backed up by science. Regarding used lipgloss-someone mentiomed herpes. Herpes can’t survive in a tube of lipgloss-only body secretions-it’s skin to skin transmission. If Not to mention 2/3 of you are carryingthe HSV virus anyway, and if you don’t get coldsores it’s because you have a good immune system. :)
    Anyways, just had to interject a little science intothe discussion.

    And yes, I wore hand-me-downs as a child. There’s nothing wrong with that.

    • Agreed Michelle! I’ve also taken Micro and can honestly say that I’m way more concerned with the germs on hand rails at the mall than a powder that’s been touched a few times. Germs can’t live on places where they have no source of food, and makeup products very rarely have anything to sustain bacterial or viral life.

      I will not, however, swap for used mascara because I have extremely sensitive eyes, and I always worry about irritants from other people. I’m not above used lip glosses or lipsticks because I’m pretty positive that most bacterial life has since ceased to exist by the time it makes it to me.

    • Lulee

      i was the one who mentioned herpes. im glad youve taken microbiology classes but i have a bachelors in biology and worked in a lab for many years, so i dare say i have more experience. my point was not that you can get herpes from the used gloss, it was that someone who had herpes could have used that gloss. it is disgusting. and there are MANY diseases that you can contract from using used makeup. whether u turn a blind eye to that is your choice. there has been many tests performed on makeup at counters and 100% of samples had e.coli on them (from poop). there is a difference between getting bacteria on your hands from touching hand rails (which you can easily wash off or sanitize) than getting bacteria on your face, eyes, lips where it sits for hours is can easily be ingested.

      • Michelle

        my point was not that you can get herpes from the used gloss, it was that someone who had herpes could have used that gloss. it is disgusting.”

        Exactly-as I said, it’s a visceral, emotional response not based in scientific evidence.
        So by all means, continue to avoid used cosmetics. But please spare me the “ewwws” if I continue to do so. In turn I promise to not say “ew” when you shop for broccoli and then scratch your nose. :)

    • Nothing wrong w/ handmedown clothes! Heck I only have 2 kids and I definitely saved the gender neutral stuff from my daughter for my son!

      I agree with what you’re saying about there being germs everywhere–it’s not called dirty money for nothing ;) But I do not agree with your stance that used makeup is not a risk.

      With the increase in drug-resistant bacteria, why do people think you can sanitize a lipstick with a little alcohol?

      Besides the health history of the person, you don’t know the condition the person kept said item in. Was it ever left in a hot car? Carried in a purse and used in a bathroom?

      Not many people would drink out of a stranger’s cup, kiss a stranger, lick their face–but that’s what you’re doing when you use their used makeup.

      Seriously, everyone should look up that report Dr. Oz had. If I had any inkling of using 2nd hand makeup, that was enough to scare the bejeezus out of me.

  40. Courtney

    If its a close friend or one of my sisters I don’t mind sharing my makeup. I generally don’t use other people’s just because of the fact that they don’t have anything that appeals to me (didn’t mean to sound like a snob there but I meant just because I’m a junky and my friends don’t really care about makeup), but I think I probably would if it was a good friend, even a lipstick or gloss. Sorry if that’s gross!

    A lot of the time I like when my sisters and friends use my makeup because I want them to be as obsessed with it as I am!

    But then again I am kind of protective of people that I don’t know using or even touching my makeup!

  41. slick

    Use it? Sure. If you ever have your makeup professionally done, then chances are very high that “used” makeup was applied to your face. Luckily there’s this thing called sanitation…..beleive in it! lol. I have no problems buying/swapping/using makeup from friends or strangers (swapping) as long as the product can and has been be properly sanitized.

  42. Hilde

    I have bought/swapped a lot of used makeup. Lipsticks and powder products like blush and eyeshadows can be easily sanitized with rubbing alcohol and wiped a bit. Unsanitizable items like lipgloss and mascaras I stay away from.

  43. Eileen

    The only place I would ever consider using used make-up is on my hand/wrist to see how a product swatches. I do let professional MA’s do my make-up because I can see good hygiene being practiced. As for blog sale make-up, you’ve got to be kidding! No matter what the person says about the product, the bottom line is that they want to sell it. You have absolutely no way of knowing how that product has been treated or to what extent it has been contaminated.

  44. Margaret

    Definitely no under any circumstances. Even swatching make up at department stores or Sephora grosses me out.

  45. Eileen

    You misread the comment written by Ani Bee who mentioned herpes. She actually dismissed it as the problem because of the need for skin to skin contact–just as you mentioned. She suggested we should be more concerned about mono which could live in an environment like that of a gloss.

    You are right in that germs are out there everywhere which is why we are admonished to wash our hands frequently and not touch our lips, nose, and eyes after handling things that could be contaminated. Just because germs are so prevalent does not mean we should expose ourselves heedlessly to contamination. After all, most of us would agree it’s not good hygiene to wear clothes that are never washed, eat from dirty dishes and utensils, use a public shower without protecting our feet, etc. Being cautious about used make-up is just one of many ways to mitigate our exposure
    to harmful germs.

  46. Powder pressed eyeshadow and blushes that have been kept in a dry environment that can be sanitized, yes-in fact, some of my favorite shadows and blushes came from swaps from tried and trusted swappers. I also use watch testers on my arm that I can easily clean off before I leave. Everything else however, absolutely not!

  47. No No No. I have never used used makeup and I never will!

  48. Avatar of Sass Sass

    Only powders and I have to know the person or people. I have one used blush and one used Mineralized Skinfinish. I still sanitized the items anyway.

  49. Avatar of Dawn Dawn

    I wouldn’t use someone else’s mascara, eyeliner or lipgloss at all. Powder blushes, powder eyeshadows or lipsticks I would, provided they were suitably sanitised beforehand and they have been properly looked after

  50. Ariana

    omg no! i dont even swatch the makeup at sephora/ulta stores w. my fingers, i always use cotton swabs to swatch! then wipe off w. makeup remover follow by hand sanitizer asap! xD i love my makeup and i would never share, only w, my mom w. SOME products, even i do not w. my sister to whom im very close with! blehh~ makes me cringe at the site of some ppl putting on the samples swatches at sephora/ulta on their faces >.< im like no0o0o0o0o0o0o! haha! my lesson was learn when i use to do at age 15-16 esp with the eyeshadows and i had styes!! never again!

  51. marci

    I am very picky andwant tested or new m/u. never lipgloss or lipstick.

  52. Kat

    I would not share or trade used make-up if I didn’t know the owner really well and…if you do this make sure you use BeautySoClean! it is the only product that is an actual “sanitizer”. It has an actual bacteria “kill rate”. check it out and proceed with caution with any used product or beauty counter product YUCK & Goodluck! :)))

  53. sandra

    I have some used items but I got them from my friend who did a clean swipe with a Q tip to see how the color was and she did’t like it.

    Now lipsticks and gloss, I wouldn’t.

  54. Logan

    I’ved used barely used make up from my mom (maybe used once or twice) and it was only eyeshadow and maybe lipstick. That was a while ago. Personally I probably wouldn’t buy used make up unless it was in a pump or something where the person couldn’t touch it. I’d rather give away my used (but sanitized) make up then sell it unless it was something expensive. I’m a pretty clean person but I just don’t trust it. I shudder to think about the people that cook your food at the restaurants. Using silverware at a restaurant is kinda like used make up thats been sanitized. All just depends on how gross you think it is. I agree on NO used eyeliner (liquid, gel and for me personally probably pencil too) and of course lipgloss or a liquid lip product. Powders etc unless it’s in a sifter I wouldn’t use.

  55. Pappetee

    I am a member of MUA for a few months now and I am happy to have found some gems (Makeup) in there. Gently used powder products such as blush, highlighters and eyeshadows are fine with me, but I prefer not to swap for used lipsticks, lipgloss and mascara. ;-)

  56. Kit Kat

    Yes I would from my friends and daughter and daughter-in-law. I’ve done this many times but not eyeliner or mascara!

  57. No I wouldn’t use used makeup. Regardless if you wipe it off and disinfect what you can there are some items you can’t disinfect like mascara and lip gloss.

  58. Courtney

    Depends on the product. Pencils and lipsticks, you can cut off the tips. I’m okay with loose minerals and blushes too. However, I will avoid used gloss and mascara, since it’s something that touches the eyes/lips and goes back into the tube. Someone wanted to buy a gloss off me once, but I told her no because I was sick and couldn’t sterilize it.

  59. CeeBee

    Yep. I wouldn’t buy used makeup but I have definitely used it and allowed my stuff to be used on certain individuals whom I trust to have adequate hygiene habits.

    I think it’s fine as long as you take basic precautions (such as sterilization with isopropyl alcohol or similar) and if in doubt, chuck it out. I personally haven’t used pre-loved mascara or wand lipgloss but anything else (except maybe liquid eyeliner) is pretty much game.
    For the record, I will only try makeup counter testers on the back of my hand, but my best friend can and does borrow my lipsticks (sometimes permanently!) without a problem – we’ve shared mouth germs before so neither of us worry about it too much… I know where she’s been ;-)

    Unless you touch your face frequently or rub your eyes a lot, you’re far more likely to pick up harmful bacteria from public door handles, stair rails, call buttons and the like than you are from used makeup. Bacteria need warmth and a food source to survive and multiply – most makeup doesn’t provide that anyway.

  60. jenny

    Yeah, I swap makeup on Makeupalley all the time, and I also trade makeup with my friend sometimes :) Nothing bad has happened to me so far… plus, that’s why we have immune systems!

  61. Kimberly

    I swap on MakeupAlley & buy from blog sales both & I’ve never had a problem. Really I think you just have to be picky about which items you swap for, I sanitize everything myself even if the previous owner sanitizes it as well. Honestly I’m more concerned with getting germs off of testers than from someone from swapping makeup. I’ve gotten a ton of really great makeup that I would have other wise never even had access to or could afford.
    Like some of the other girls have said, germs really don’t live long on these things any way. I think you really just have to use your own judgement when buying used makeup.

  62. M.

    Polish yes. Eye/lip/face makeup no. In a pinch I might use someone else’s non-eye makeup once, but never eye makeup.

  63. dsixx

    Sure, why not. Professional makeup artists are using “used” products on people/models all the time…

  64. Avatar of Ana Meg

    I used to do that but now I’m quite OCC with makeup.
    I can’t share my lipstick or lipgloss anymore, I don’t share mascaras or eyeliners(that’s so groooooooss!) the only thing I do borrow is eyeshadow.

  65. If it’s been used lightly or only swatched, I’m ok with it except for lipstick/gloss/liner. However some things like nail polish, or anything with a pump would be ok even if it was used more than lightly, assuming it’s not really old/about to go bad.

  66. jenni

    ii bought some off a blog sale and didnt think it wold bother me but the lip products did. I would be fine wih powder products because i would just sanitise them :)

  67. Veneeta

    I don’t mind buying from blog sales of people that I follow and know how they care for their stuff. I only buy stuff that can be sanitized with 99% alcohol, eye shadows, blush, things like that.

  68. Avatar of Stephanie Stephanie

    Nay I’m a total germophobe I don’t even like to share with my mom!

  69. Hannah

    I never have and never will. The cleanliness is definitely an issue, but for me, buying used things just really takes the luxury out of it

  70. Avatar of Veronica Veronica

    I tend to prefer things new, though I swap fairly consistently with friends and family. It’s not like I have much of a choice in the latter – as the only person with some investment in higher end cosmetics, my sister and mother frequently use my makeup drawer as their own personal testing studio. :D

    I will state that while I understand people’s reservations, I don’t think it’s as big as a deal for certain products, given the age and light usage. I work in a hospital, and, well, let me just say that if you’re going to pick up the Big Bad at some point in your life, it’s probably not going to be anywhere you expected it from.

  71. Martina

    nah…maybe something from a good friend, but never from a stranger

  72. Powder products, yes, but not lip products, mascara, liquid liner, etc. Actually, I’d consider buying used pencil eyeliner since they can (and should be often) sharpened.

  73. Nicole

    It depends. I would not use a creme product like lipsticks, glosses and of cause mascara, because of bacteria. I’ll have no problems using powders, if i know where they are coming from.

  74. MAYBE from my sister or my daughter. That’s it. I won’t even buy “used” nailpolish.

    Those of you who think that “wiping off” a lipstick makes it sanitary–so, so, SO VERY WRONG.

    I watched part of an episode of Dr. Oz and he tested the makeup in a woman’s handbag–there was lots of horrible things–e coli, and the bacteria aka “flesh eating bacteria” on her own things.

    Germs, etc don’t just live on the surface of things–they crawl into the nooks and crannies you cannot see with your eyes.

    I am far from being a germophobe–but really, the risks are SO NOT WORTH IT. I would never swatch anything, anywhere on anything but the back of my hand.

    *heebie jeebies*

  75. Amanda

    I probably would if I sanitized it first. I have the perfect example, this evening I was at TJ Maxx and found TheBalm matte eyeshadow palette with no price and it had clearly been swatched. I asked the cashier how much it was and I was willing to pay at least $5 bucks due to the product being used but she insisted it was part of a set and could not sell it to me alone. I was definitely willing to buy TheBalm eyeshadow palette and sanitize it and used it but apparently TJ Maxx wants to re-package it and sell it as ‘new’ even though we both no it is not.

  76. Ada

    ew no. Even testing stuff at the store grosses me out. I always wipe my face and hands down with Sephora alcohol bottles. I also stay with hand sanitizer in my purse at all times.

  77. Joan

    NO. I’m a healthcare professional. I don’t do it, nor would I recommend.

  78. Wren

    As a general rule, I would not. However, I’ve used friends’ eyeshadow and I’m fine with that. That’s about where it ends. I would NEVER use someone else’s mascara, eyeliner or lip stuff. I also don’t let other people handle my face powder or concealer, because my skin is sensitive and very easily irritated. So I would never touch someone else’s skin makeup either.

  79. Nina Van Jacob

    It depends on how used the makeup product was and who it was from.