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I lean more towards finding sample sizes for products I really want. Things like eyeshadows, I will freuquently swatch on my hand; everything else is rarely awatched.

This is why I go to check out collections on the release date! Sometimes I’m unsure if it’ll look good on my skintone and I really want to test them out. So when it’s the release date the products are still really new and barely touched so I don’t feel too weird if I get them to sanitize it and let me use it 🙂

nope. if i really want to try something i’ll swatch i on my hand. but i would never dare try it on my face. it always seriously grosses me out when i see people trying things on in the store. seriously lady? you couldn’t spritz that lipstick with alcohol at the very least before putting it to your lips? it’s like asking for herpes.

I will test stuff on the back of my hand and arm if it is shadows, liners, face powders, glosses, mascara… etc.

But if it is lipstick in a tube, I will try it on after asking [nicely!!!] for one of the employees to wash it first and this is because matching lipstick to me is tricky.

I also have them test liquid foundation on my skin if I am not wearing anything so I can really see the product in action.

i only swatch on the back of my hand never on my face. i never trust the testers that stores have out. if i truly want to try out a product i’ll most likely buy.

Just to swatch the colour on my hands… for using them as make up on myself ABSOLUTELY NOT! They’re so full of bacteria! Totally unhygienic!

Same as you – I only swatch on the back of my hand or on my arm.

Well, that’s not entirely true. Every so often I will sanitize a lipstick and try it on (I really like that at the MAC counter they do this for you) but I’m not about to try wanded gloss or mascara in the store and I’m definitely wary of putting blush on my face that everyone’s been sticking their fingers into… =/

No, never. At most I test the stuff on my hand. The testers at the makeup counters are DISGUSTING and incredibly unhygienic.

There are also rude people that test lipsticks directly onto their lips when SAs aren’t looking. Any chemist will tell you that viruses CAN host themselves on lipsticks. Not so comforting after you keep in mind that 20% of the american population has the herpes simplex virus in some form.

I know that plenty of SAs are lazy and they never bother with the daily 70% isopropyl alcohol sanitation routine. Even that routine does not guarantee that you won’t contract a virus or get a bacterial infection. I remember reading about a casual study at Cambridge that took samples of makeup counter testers at the beginning of the day (lipsticks, mascaras, foundations… etc) and put them under microscopes. There was rod-shaped bacteria in the mascara, and they found the most bacteria in the lipsticks. (Powders are generally safer, because dry powder is not an ideal place for bacteria to grow. But if you use your eyeshadows wet, you should be careful… My friend got a eye infection from tester eyeshadow)

Next time you use testers at a makeup counter, avoid using them anywhere other than your hand. I always carry a small spray bottle of 75% ethanol solution to sanitize the products before I test them. Remember to sanitize your hands afterwards!

I did when I was younger and missed something in my morning makeup routine (yes I know, shame on me). Nowadays I only swatch them on my skin.

Ummm…. Yes but only like you said,
to swatch in my skin
no offense to anyone but I don’t know where
other peoples lips/mouth have been or if they
had pink eye or something… NO WAY!
Just test on my hand 🙂 Why is there a reason
why u DONT test them out on yourself?

I sometimes use tester at makeup counters , but in Italy there is not much care for the testing of cosmetics. Little hygiene………

Only for swatches on my hands, and then only if the tester isn’t totally scuzzy. I know there’s alcohol available for example in Sephora but even so I wouldn’t try on shadows, mascara or lipsticks on my face like I see some people doing! I can be a happy germ-o-phobe!

I -only- swatch on my hand/arm using testers. I find it very gross and annoying when I am at a Sephora and I see a girl hogging a section because she wants to do her ENTIRE FACE.

NEVER! If you have a cut or a scratch even a hand swatch can be dangerously laden with bacteria. If you do hand swatches, make sure you wash hands well afterwards.

Yes, but generally just for swatching. I’ve let my MAC MAs try lipsticks on me – at my local freestanding they sanitise all the lipsticks with rubbing alcohol before and after you try them, and it’s all very clean, so I trust them. I’ve also had foundation tested on my jawline – if the MA helps, and they have clean sponges etc. I’d never just pick something random up and use it on my face. It wouldn’t bug me if a MA used a tester in a makeover as long as it was sanitised and the brush was clean, though.

I only test them on my skin (back of my hands) too. I shudder when I see young girls putting the tester lipstick on their lips in the stores, yuck yuck yuck!

I do but usually only in the mac store because I can see them cleaning the product. Sephora scares me lol, but I still use the testers there too.

i test on my hands. by the time i leave sephora/mac/macys/bloomies my hands are stained.

the counters at dept store testers seem to be a little safer than sephora because of the sales folks that help. but i still wont test any eye makeup on my face.


When I go into a makeup store, my hands will look like swatch books !! I NEED to swatch haha, that is the only time I will use testers though

I only swatch on the back of my hand, I’m always scared of what other people who used it might have… I really don’t feel like getting herpes.

I hate when people go to the stores to do their make up with testers, when I see something like that I feel like slapping them…

Only on my skin. People are weird about just walking up to a counter and slapping the sample lipstick on their lips. UGH!

I only swatch eyeshadows and blushes on my hand a little. I don’t get instore makeovers and I don’t swatch anything on my face.

Only on my skin – NEVER on my face or lips! It totally grosses me out when I see people walk up and put tester lipstick on their mouth without even checking to see if it was disinfected! I actually saw someone steal a couple of tester lipsticks and lipglosses one time. Seriously, you must need that makeup realllllly bad!

Heck no! I just can’t get over the fact of how many people have used it before me. I know they sanitize it but I’m still not comfortable with it. When I go to the Mac counter and look through lipsticks the ladies are always like yeah you can go ahead and try those on. But I just swatch them on my hand 🙂

I also only swatch on my skin, though I have had a MAC MA sanitize a l/s for me to test it out on my lips (Warm Me Up–I ended up purchasing it!).

Almost never. If I test a lipstick/gloss, I put it on the inside of my wrist. I don’t trust the potential germ factor otherwise!

I’ll use them to swatch the back of my hand, but that’s it. I’ve seen people apply almost a full face of makeup from those testers, and that just grosses me out. Yuck!

On my arm/hand yes. But at MAC I get behind the counter and alcohol the testers and use clean disposable tools when I play in the lipsticks. Otherwise.. noooooo not on my face at other counters etc.

I swatch as well and foundation I’ll try if it’s in a bottle to better color match. I stopped using creams and moisturizers and all that after seeing Koren’s reaction to some tester on a video.

i only use them to swatch on my hand too. i cringe when i see people actually put tester products on their skin/lips/etc.

I also just use them to swatch my skin. After 45 years of wearing make-up, I know how the color and finish will look when applied to my eyes, lips, etc. The exception is when I have a MA do my make-up and then I check to be sure correct sanitation practices are being observed. I’m not germ phobic, just cautious.

Nope. Don’t trust ’em! If the store has a good return policy, I’ll buy the product and if worst comes to worst, I’ll bring it back!

It gives me the willies but yes, sometimes I use the testers. Mainly for lipsticks and lip glosses. With eyeshadows I can tell if I’ll like it or not just from swatching off the back of my hand.

I do use the testers, mostly on my hand as well. I will only use them on my myself when the MUA cleans whatever with alcohol.

I’m the same as you. I won’t put them on my lips/eyes/cheeks, but I’ll get an idea of the color payoff by putting the makeup on my hand.

I only swatch on my hand,I find it to weird to use products on my lips,face or eyes,when they are already used by other people.

I only swatch on my hand/arm. Thank goodness for stores like MAC and Sephora with great return policies if the color turns out to be absolutely horrid when put on the face!

As someone who works for a makeup counter I am shocked at the many people who said “EW, bacteria this, bacteria that”. Because GOD FORBID we don’t have a tester of the product you want to try. I have worked for quite some time now & most women shudder at the idea to buy it first, try it at home, and then SEE if you like it. I have had eye rolls, whisper negative things, and some flat out tell it to my face what they think when we don’t have something we can test out for them. I can’t speak for all but I know for a fact my line prides themselves on monthly tester orders to replace old, used, and ruined testers. I know myself if I so much even saw someone double dip their mascara (and I know it happens often), right into the trash it goes. I clean with alcohol DAILY, 2 and 3 times a day. I work full time so I am at the counter the majority of the time. Like I said, I can’t speak for all but I know there are a lot of women out there who would FLIP if we did not have testers of things to try. Now as far as places such as Sephora and Ulta….I do believe that they are unsanitary letting their products just sit out there for god knows how long, for only who knows, to touch. If I may end in a question. Do you try clothes on in the store before you buy them? You know it is practically the same concept. I didn’t realize how passionate I was about this subject until I read some of the comments! 🙂

Hehe! I like answering my own questions 🙂


Sometimes I will swatch a product on my hand but usually I just swatch it on a piece of paper (I have notebooks that I use for swatches). I also keep hand sanatizer on me if I know I’m going to be picking up make-up products like that.

I remember being in MAC a couple months ago and looking across the store as a woman walked in, grabbed a lip liner and started lining her lips… Right there! No asking for help – She didn’t even wipe it on her sleeve! Hah! Just started fillin’ in her lips! Ha!

I only swatch on my the back of my hand…NEVER actually use the products on my face. I always see girls in Sephora applying mascara straight from the tube or smearing foundation on their face…it grosses me the hell out.

In my most recent encounter with a lipstick tester, I had a cold sore. So I will never ever use a lipstick tester in the future.

ONLY on the back of my hand, after I’ve wiped the product with a tissue. I always wash my hands right away. I carry little alcohol wipes in my purse when I know I will be out shopping for makeup so I can clean the back of my hand after I wash the swatches off.

I swatch them, usually on my hand, except foundation – I always swatch that on my face. And if I am having a bad face day, and I am in the mall, I will fix up with foundations.

Having worked in cosmetics, I am totally creeped about using testers on anything but my hand. Lipstick/ gloss is hit or miss b/c what you swatch on your hand will not look the same on your lips.

I always swatch on my hand then wipe it off with a wet wipe. When it comes to trying things on, most of the girls at the counters near me will sanitize things like lipsticks before they let anyone try it on, and then after too, and you see them cleaning brushes often so I’m not too freaked out by it.
But in the drugstore…I’d never ever try anything on my face, but I’ll swatch on my hand then wipe it off quickly after.

Ugh… makeup testers. Great idea, but not very practical. Much like everyone else here, I will swipe a lipstick on the back of my hand, but I’ll never put it on my lips. I’m just not that brave! I might work up the nerve to put a lipstick on my lips though. I’m really interested in purchasing a red lipstick, but I’m not sure what the right color for me will be.

I only use them to swatch on my hand, I don’t want a tester near my eyes or mouth knowing lots of people already used the product! I made an exception for the MAC eyebrow pencil I just got, because I couldn’t see which colour was the right one after swatching it on my hand and I figured it couldn’t do much harm as the tester looked new and clean 🙂

I swatch eyeshadows/liners/etc on my arms but I try to steer clear from testing lip products.
I also test mascara on my arm hair…which is a little odd but its works!

Ok, some of you are *definitely* fibbing! I haved worked for Chanel and Dior. Let me tell you – I have had ONE woman refuse to use a tester on her mouth. Most people – including clean-cut, otherwise tidy and polished women – stick their fingers in the shadow, slap it right on their lids, and many girls are dismissive when offered a more sanitary option! People, PLEASE: don’t use the lip products in particular. My Dior counter manager was awesome at helping me keep things at my OCD level of clean, but you still can’t prevent the lady from the street from coming in and putting the lipstick all over her face. I can do nothing about this if I’m off or at lunch. And I am not responsible for my coworkers who use the stuff right on themselves too. It’s FOUL. Make sure you see your makeup artist use CLEAN brushes too. ASK, especially foundation brushes, unless you like flesh-eating bacteria. Feel free to ask us to re-clean in front of you. I would never be offended – I’d be glad to have a sanitary client in my chair after some of the people I have to touch!

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