Reader question: How should you test makeup in stores?

We all know makeup testers can be home to bacteria and diseases, but of course sometimes we need to try them first before purchasing. I wonder: what do you do to avoid risking your health when you want to test products in the store? Thanks! -Leng

Hi Leng! Thanks for your great question! A lot of girls can be careless when it comes to swatching makeup before buying them. They're not aware that it's not safe or even if they are, they disregard the issue because they really want to test the makeup before they buy it. I can understand that; I mean, who wants to buy something that's been untested? 

So here's my main rule for testing makeup on the counters: don't put anything on your face unless you know it's been sanitized. 

If it's a liquid product in a tube or any powder in a sifter jar, that ought to be safe to test. Liquid products, too  - just sanitize the opening with alcohol.

For lipsticks, eyeliners, and eyeshadows which are hard to clean, you can just swatch them on your hand. You don't need to wear them to appreciate how they'd look on you; just hold your hand to your face and you'll get a good idea of how they would work on your skin. If you feel you really HAVE to wear the product, spray it with alcohol, wipe with tissue, and wait for it to dry before using it on your face.

For powder foundation, swatch it on your neck. Personally, I think foundation should match the neck for a more natural look. It depends though. But as a general rule (for me), I swatch the foundation on my neck instead of my face. It's safer and gets me a better color match. If you intend to wear the foundation all over your face, again, spray the surface with alcohol.

For mascara, just try not to test it at all. You don't know what's brewing in that black tube!

And that's how I swatch makeup on the counter. :D