What Would You Do: Tester Abusers. Stop It.

What Would You Do: Tester Abusers

It’s been months since I did a “What Would You Do” post, so I thought I’d resurrect it with a scenario today that you’ve most likely seen more often than you’d like. If you’re new to BA (hello and welcome!), a “What Would You Do” is a scenario post. I give you a scenario and it’s up to you to share what you’d do if you were in that situation. I love posts like this because we can get all ranty about it together and I don’t feel so bad complaining to Tim, who really doesn’t give a rat’s backside.

Hmph. πŸ˜›

I asked this question on my Facebook page last month but I thought I’d open the scenario here to you too. Oh it irks me. It irks me big time.

*shakes fists*

The Scenario:

You’re at a drugstore/pharmacy (it could also be a beauty store like Sephora or a beauty counter at a departmental store). There are plenty of testers for eyeshadows, lipsticks, mascaras but there aren’t any disposable cotton buds or mascara wands around. You see a few people using those testers – particularly mascara, liquid eyeliner and lipsticks – directly on themselves. They’re applying mascara testers on their eyelashes, liquid eyeliner testers on their lash line and lipstick testers directly on their lips as though those tester cosmetics belong to them.

What would you do?

A. Do nothing. It’s none of my business if they want to eat up or put on other people’s spit or bodily fluids.
B. Give them the stinkeye, exclaim that people are so disgusting to use testers directly on themselves like that.
C. Tell them off for using testers directly on themselves like that.
D. Inform the staff about them.
E. Your call. What would you do?

This happens more often than I’d like to see. I’d happily browse Priceline and I’d chance upon ladies using testers directly on themselves without even thinking of using disposable cotton buds. My local Priceline even has disposable cotton buds, mascara wands, tissues, etc for customers to try testers out with and yet I still see people using the products directly on themselves when the disposable products are less than a metre away.

It truly baffles me how they either don’t give a damn about other people testing products out after them or they just haven’t a clue that those testers are meant for public use. It’s unsanitary to use testers directly on your lips and eyes. What if someone swatched lipstick testers on hands that weren’t washed after using a public restroom and you use those testers after me directly on your lips? I can come up with more scenarios but even I’m disgusting myself now just thinking about it.

Unfortunately, I’m a terribly non-confrontational person so I’ve done all but C. I’ve informed staff about it but all they did was shrug because there’s nothing they can do. And I understand that because unless they have people manning every single stand, they’re not going to be able to stop people from using the testers on themselves directly. They’re frustrated about it too.

But you know something? I’ve even caught staff using testers on themselves directly (lippie, mascara, eyeliner, the works). Oh yeah.


What about you? What would you do in this situation?

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32 comments… add one
  1. LeGeeque

    A. If they’re that inconsiderate, they deserve to get ill from eating up germies. DAI GHOST LEI SEI! πŸ˜›

    1. Tine

      HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Yeah I’m not surprised at all you’d say that. πŸ˜‰

  2. MonicaP

    I’m an A. If a person is stupid enough to used a tester on their eyes .. then have yourself a fun trip to the doctor’s office. I’ve mostly seen young girls (un-supervised by their mom’s) test products on themselves the most. Sometimes these younger folks just have to live and learn, but it would be nice if there was parental supervision.

    MonicaP recently posted..Old Navy Hits & MissesMy Profile

    1. Tine

      I’d understand if young girls do it. Not to say that it’s justified action because they’re young, no parental supervision, etc but at least they can still say they don’t know better. I’ve only seen adults do this and it annoys me big time. I look at them apply lipstick testers directly on their lips and all I could picture is them literally licking the testers and putting them back. *shudder*

  3. Mel

    I would probably be an A. I was feeling a bit ‘whatever’ about the scenario until you mentioned what if someone swatched it on their hand after not washing it after using the toilet. EW. That’s disgusting. I may start trying a combination of the stink eye and telling staff. I will also diligently carry about hand sanitiser to use after I’ve swatched…

    Also, I love this style of post!
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    1. Tine

      RIGHT? I’ve seen MANY women use the public loo and not wash their hands. I won’t be surprised if the same ladies use testers as well. OMG I shudder to even think about it now. >.<

  4. Kate

    Pfft, who cares! Everyone can profit from a little boost to the immune system πŸ˜‰

    1. Tine

      HAHAHAHAHAH Kate you crack me up! πŸ˜€

  5. Char

    I didn’t even know this was a big deal to some people… not all stores / corners have cotton buds or testing wands, so I do it from time to time and never got any illnesses or anything disgusting from it. I obviously won’t apply a product on me if I know I have some sort of bacteria / infection, for myself and anyone else’s sake. I know I’ll get a bashing now, but hey… there’s nothing too different between me and the person using the product before me or after me. I’ll be more careful from now on I guess…

    1. Tine

      I liken it to sharing a bottled drink with strangers. Everyone drinking directly from the same bottle, passing the bottle from one to another. Just be very careful especially when using eye makeup testers on your eye area (e.g. mascara, eyeliner, etc). Conjunctivitis can be spread this way too.

  6. Tracy

    I just walk away in fear of saying something unladylike. I’m lucky enough to know the majority of the staff at the Sephora I shop at so when I want to test something they normally open a new one for me. And they also know I don’t take samples from display testers either because who knows where it’s been.
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    1. Tine

      Yeah I know what you mean. Here, if there are no testers, usually staff would be happy to open a new one for me to try (not all would do it and certainly not on every beauty product in store).

  7. Amy

    I’m not too sure what I would do just because I’ve never seen it happen before. As someone who may one day work in health, I would just try to gently warn them of the germs that might be present. Otherwise I’d either just advise them to at least clean it a bit with a tissue or walk away…
    Amy recently posted..Review: MAC Speak LouderMy Profile

    1. Tine

      I wish I haven’t seen it with my own eyes, Amy. It’s gross πŸ™ I reckon I would have happily stayed in ignorance and bliss than to see people actually use public testers directly on themselves πŸ™

  8. Ana N.

    I agree with you. It is disgusting to see ppl use the testers on themselves directly. God knows what germs are brewing on these.
    I am usually A or B. I wouldn’t talk to the staff just because I have seen them touching up their makeups using these testers themselves! Euuww! No point in talking to them.
    If there’s no disposable brush/ cotton pad/ etc I will usuallty skip trying, and either skip buying as well or just follow my guts n gamble buying them without trying first. Or if I absolutely need to try anything I will apply them on the back of my hand & then apply with my fingers to the area needed after alcohol-rubbed them.

    1. Tine

      OMG I know right? Staff doing the same thing too! Euwwww!
      I always have a pack of antibacterial wipes AND rubbing alcohol with me so I’ll spray the crap out of everything before using. Luckily I haven’t gotten in trouble with the staff for doing that! πŸ˜›

  9. Cocoa

    In this scenario, I’d be the non-confrontational person and do just A. To be honest, (please don’t judge me) I have used mascara testers straight off tester’s mascara wand too. But I draw the line at mascara. For mascara, the manufacturer’s original wand is important to how the product fares ultimately.

    I strictly do not test eyeliners, lipsticks and everything else on my face directly. If I do, I will wipe clean like nobody’s business.

    You see, the thing about being a hygiene freak is that the SAs may tell you off. Sephora (especially the fresh-faced teenagers), M.A.C, and Chanel SAs have told me off badly for wiping the lipsticks before. My entire makeup shopping trip got ruined because of SAs scolding me. They insisted that their lipsticks are clean and needed no wiping. I, on the other hand, spritz alcohol over the product and wipe off the entire outer area from the lipstick. I only tested the lipstick on my lips when I could see a fresh layer of lipstick. After testing, I spritzed alcohol all over again and wiped clean the coat I used. Then, I put back the lipstick.

    Some SAs stare me to death and came over to open their mouths.

    Usually, the SAs who are perfectly fine with such practices are those from NARS, Guerlain, Burberry, and Shu Uemura. These are also the same counters at which I find freshly cut lipstick ALL the time. These brands quality control very well.

    NARS especially is huge on customers testing lipsticks on the lips. NARS is happy to let all their customers pick out 4 or more lipsticks and slowly wipe clean and re-apply. No questions asked.
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    1. Tine

      Seriously? Geez. If someone tells me off for doing that, easy peasy, I’ll just walk out of the store. I’m not giving them my business, not when I get told off for being clean. No, their lipsticks are NOT clean. And I’ll probably tell them off for telling me off. πŸ˜›

      I’m fine with SAs cutting lipstick bits off and putting the lipstick directly on me. And then cut the bits that I’ve used off right after.

  10. Robert C

    Everytime I see someone do that, I cringe. Because unless it’s newly opened, not only is it unhygienic to the next user but also, imagine putting someone else’s germs on your whatever. UHHHHHH. Strange that my local sephora (in malaysia for holidays atm) don’t have disposable mascara wands but have disposable lipstick brush-thingies. On the point of what would I do, it depends I guess. If it’s a stranger, I’m not a fan of confrontation as well, so I’d normally just cringe in the corner and stare at them until they notice lol. If it’s a friend, I slap the product out of their hands (#brutal).
    Robert C recently posted..My Experience With Combating Acne + TipsMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Hahahaha now that’s being a good friend! πŸ˜› If it’s a stranger, I most likely wouldn’t tell them off either, since I’m terrible at confrontations. So I give them the stinkeye or I tell staff about it. Usually staff will go “oh thanks for letting us know” … and then they don’t do anything about it. Hmph.

  11. sushiroll

    I work in retail. What’s even worse is that they steal the testers. Which means other people will open the new ones for sale and as a result we can’t sell it or i can’t help them with what they want- eg foundation matching or lipstick shades. Then when you do confront them, they’ll go “oh there wren’t any testers so i had to open the new one”. Er, no, you open it and you will have to pay for it. This happens all the time. No wonder makeup is so expensive in Australia, too much shoplifting and they wonder why the prices are going up…… i only apply the testers on my hand-would never apply it on my face.

    1. Tine

      Omg yes! I’ve heard of staff complaining about stolen testers too. If there are no testers and someone opens it to “test”, essentially the person is stealing. It’s important to ask staff to open one and if that’s not possible, then it’s just not meant to be.

  12. Shamim de Varax

    I tell them about the pink eye they’re going to get. In dubai especially it’s horrendous, no one knows or cares about hygiene. the staff looks at me blankly when I ask for disposables to test things out and they’re just notorious for handing over testers to try directly. so many shoppers would just use testers on themselves, especially mascaras, eek!
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    1. Tine

      Sigh whhhhhhyyyyy? I always think, eh you want to get pink eye, don’t give your pink-eye-ness to other people, can?? >.<

  13. Paris B

    A I see it happen all the time here and even more so at Sephora which some people seem to treat as their personal makeup vanity. But I figure it’s their skin, they can go get viruses or bacteria or what have you. At these places, I usually swatch products on the back of my hand to test and then rub it off promptly. You just don’t know where it’s been. At counters with eagle-eyed SAs around, it’s less of an issue usually, but I usually avoid testing eyeliner and mascara or anything really, unless its with a professional makeup artist at a proper makeover, and they’ve properly sanitized everything. i’m not terribly fussy, but I’ve seen how gunky things can get πŸ˜›
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    1. Tine

      I’ve seen really gross and gunky makeup too. And people actually put those gross and gunky makeup on their eyes and lips. I can’t even put it on the back of my hand if it looks remotely grubby. πŸ˜› #snob

  14. Asha

    Honestly, I’m an A. Germs are overrated and I reckon everyone who is a germaphobe ends getting more sick than people who aren’t simply because they aren’t building up their immunity in the same way. Having said that I do prefer the alcohol bottles in Mecca where you can spritz the lippies and give them a wipe down before you use them directly on the face, of course that method, while handy with lippies, would be totally useless with eye make up and such because the alcohol would simply dry it out.

    1. Tine

      Oh yeah, Mecca does have alcohol bottles. I use those to remove swatches on my skin. πŸ˜›

  15. Nurse Jenell

    Responsibly speaking, I will go with C, and would also like the staff to take notice of this and make ladies aware to not use these directly. But in both cases, I don’t see there will be far effective changes. Anyways, I think next time when I visit a store, this incident might prop up in my mind and I might not go ahead testing items.
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    1. Tine

      I usually let the staff know whenever possible. Unless they’re the ones who are using the testers directly on themselves. In that case, I’ll just give them the stinkeye and leave. I’m terrible at confrontations. πŸ™

  16. Victoria

    Oh dear. I did not realised that testers especially lipsticks were not meant to be tested on the lips? I always tested lipsticks at drugstores on my lips (because I want to see how the actual colour appears) after I had wiped them with a tissue as there are usually no cotton buds available for testing products in Malaysian drugstores. Some departmental stores also allow you to test their lipsticks directly on their lips as sometimes their SA are too busy but usually there is always a SA around to assist you by using a cotton bud. Thanks for the post. At least now I know its not advisable to use testers on oneself πŸ™‚

    1. Tine

      I liken it to sharing one bottle of water with many, many strangers. Not the “tilt the head back and hope the mouth doesn’t touch the bottle” situation but the bottle in mouth sort of thing. That’s what it’s like using tester lipsticks directly on ourselves. If we wouldn’t drink from the same bottle of water with strangers (not talking about a life or death situation here), why would we use lipstick testers directly on our lips, y’know what I mean? Plus you never know if the person before you has cold sores or mouth herpes which are contagious. If you’d like to see what it looks like on the lips, rub the lipstick on a piece of tissue until you scrape the top layer away and then give it a go. And then scrape off that layer after you’ve used it. I really, really don’t recommend using tester makeup on yourself, V.

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