Beauty Advice for Thought (BAFT): Sephora, MAC, and Cosmetic Sharing

Lately, this has made headlines:

The Hidden Dangers of Dirty Makeup Brushes.

The title seems self-explanatory at a first glance. Heck, if I was obnoxious I’d put this as an article for The Raised Eyebrow for the sheer fact that there is just no excuse behind not cleaning your brushes. At. All.

We’re all guilty of not cleaning our brushes after use at least once, but the most I’ve gone on without cleaning a makeup brush after using it is one day. Just the sheer thought of all the microbes that decided to hitch a ride on the bristles is enough to wake me up when I feel tired, lazy, or just in a procrastinating mood about the thought of washing my used makeup brushes. Along with the couple of bouts of infections on my eyelid that I’ve had.

But it isn’t just about makeup tool hygiene that’s got me writing about the article. It’s also the concept of sharing cosmetic tools in general.

If carrying every cosmetic arsenal wasn’t such a pain in the ass, then every single cosmetic user would be doing it. No doubt there is at least one or two cosmetic product or tool that we simply have to have with us when we walk through the door. But life happens every now and then and when we find ourselves without one of our go-to items and we see a girl or gay or queer friend with that go-to item, we figured there’s no harm in borrowing once.

If you read the article from above, you’ll understand the horror of taking that one chance. Of course, the experts did say that getting MRSA from a shared cosmetic tool is a very rare occurrence. But do you really want to take that chance?

I remember telling you lovely peeps one of the horrors that I’ve learned from working in retail: seeing used cosmetics on the shelves of my old pharmacy store. And whenever we come across a Sephora or MAC store, it’s nearly impossible to resist the urge to get a quick touch up on the makeup of the day or do a quick makeup makeover with all the… tester… products…

*eye twitch* The double-edged sword that is the tester.

Don’t get me wrong: tester products are awesome because they keep buyer’s regret away… except when it comes to cosmetics, you’re better off having buyer’s regret than a permanent, microbe-induced regret. Because no matter how many “clean” mascara brushes or eyeshadow applicators or cotton pads they provide, the moment those store doors open, thousands of dust and microbes have made their way and decided to settle anywhere and everywhere they can.

And don’t get me started on those people who unconsciously breathe on the tester product or procrastinate on getting a “clean” applicator and decided to go ahead and use the tester product right on themselves (even moreso in drugstores. Watch those packaging, people!).

I’m not a germaphobic. Really, I’m not. I’ve handled dead animals, owl pellets, and potentially-lethal microbes in my Human Anatomy and Microbiology classes. Heck, I watch forensic shows like a crack addict.

Am I saying that you’ll automatically get MRSA if you decide to use a cosmetic tester in a cosmetic store? No. Our skin gets exposed to thousands, if not millions, of microbes every day. And exposure to them allows us to build immunity…. occasionally. But that or procrastination shouldn’t be our reason / excuse to share a cosmetic product or tool or forego sanitizing things that touch our face. A lot.

Take care, you lovely peeps. I’ll see you in the next entry!

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