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Are Makeup Counter Germs Killing You?

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Not To Be All Drama Queen-y, But Makeup Counter Samples Are Rife With Bacteria, Mold and -- Yikes -- Fecal Matter

Everyday, it seems the media reveals yet another thing that will potentially send us all to our early graves, but we think it's safe to assume that no one is willing to die, or even get a little sick, for the sake of testing a lipstick.
Read: FDA Finds Trace Amount of Lead in 400 Lipsticks
But that's what a Good Morning America undercover investigation (via Jezebel.com) reports could happen, as the communal samples available at department store cosmetics encounters were found to be caked with bacteria, mold and other creepy, germ-y things that could spell doom, or, okay, maybe a little cold, for shoppers.
The GMA report uncovered scoop from makeup counter salespeople about how frequently, or rather infrequently, the samples are swapped out: just once a year, which, as GMA points out, means you're sharing makeup with hundreds, maybe thousands of strangers if you partake of the samples.
The morning show's reporter took samples from, um, samples -- including communal lipsticks, makeup brushes and eyeshadows -- at the counters and then had them analyzed by a lab at New York University.
Read: Brave Women Share Morning Faces, No Makeup In XO Jane Project
The findings: gross. Skin bacteria, yeast and even fecal matter were among the results the lab tests turned up, and some of those came from samples that were supposedly sterilized or gotten with disposable applicators.
Ew. Ew! EW! Fecal matter, people … on your eyes!
So, what does the GMA reporter recommend to avoid poo in your face while sampling goodies at the makeup counter?
1. When testing eyeshadows, use a disposable applicator -- NOT the one in the eyeshadow case -- and test on your hand, not your eyes;
2. Test foundations on your neck, away from your face and lips;
3. Test lipsticks on the pad of your finger, not your lips.
The GMA report's bottom lines: foundations and eyeshadow samples were the most germy, and there was no difference between the samples in upscale department stores and drugstore samples.
Read: 1 in 5 Americans Pees in Public Swimming Pools
Check out the complete GMA makeup report at the show's website, and remember: most major drugstore chains allow you to return makeup, so the best way to sample might also include buying a sealed product, taking it home and testing it in the privacy (and cleanliness) of your own home, and then simply returning/exchanging it if it's not quite right for you.


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