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The best way to swatch makeup products when shopping
This scenario will probably sound familiar: you’re standing in front of a make-up stand at your local Priceline/Sephora/Mecca/chemist/department store and you spot a lipstick (or nine) you want to try, but one look at the condition of the bullet(s) has you feeling like:
Now you’re left with two choices: 1) Buy the shades you think you want/will work well and risk it, or 2) Ditch the idea and leave, sad and lipstick-less. Which defeats the entire purpose of having the testers there to begin with.
So how do you avoid this issue altogether? Well, all it takes is a little etiquette and some preparation. Follow these dos and don’ts and your make-up shopping experience is bound to be a gazillion times more successful (and hygienic!). Plus, how nice would it be if everyone followed these simple steps?
Carry a small bottle of rubbing alcohol in your bag whenever you’re planning to browse the beauty counters. Use it to spritz a tissue and the bullet of lipstick you want to try and wipe the top clean. You can also do this with pressed blushes and bronzers, as the rubbing alcohol dries super-quickly.
Apply lipstick, lip gloss, or lip balm directly onto your lips. If you want to find out how pigmented the colour is and what the finish looks like, apply it to the back of your hand. And if you want to test if the colour will suit your skin tone, pop some lipstick on the tip of your finger as the colouring there is more similar to your lips.
Use a mini spatula if one is available. If not, it might be worth investing in your own. You can use it to scrape some lipstick off the bullet, or to dislodge some powdered product to test.
Test products in jars or pots if you can. A product in a jar could be harbouring bacteria from hundreds of women, and that’s not the kind of thing you really want to be applying to any skin on your body.
Sharpen eyeliners and lip liners before testing – even on the back of your hand. By sharpening the pencil, you’re getting rid of that top layer that could have been used on someone’s eyes or lips just before you got there.
Test foundation near your eyes. There’s no getting around needing to test foundation on your skin (thankfully foundations, BB creams and tinted moisturisers with squeeze tubes and pumps do okay in the sanitary department), so make sure you test it along your cheek and jawline. Plus, your eye area isn’t the greatest place to colour match anyway, so cheek and jawline for the double win!
Use some hand sanitiser when you’re done. Even if you’re being super-cautious, it always pays to give your hands a quick wash when you’re done.
Go the traditional route and carry a mini bottle in your bag (we love Palmolive Hand Sanitiser in Fig & Coconut), or try something a bit different with Dettol Instant Hand Sanitising Wipes or Natralus NatraSan Instant Natural Antibacterial Hand Sanitiser Spray in Chamomile & Apple Blossom.
Do you follow any etiquette when trying out make-up in store? What tips for you have for testing products without spreading germs?