May 29, 2015

Dear People of the Makeup World, STOP Testing Drugstore Makeup

Dear People of the Makeup World,

Dear people of the makeup world,

It is not ok to swatch, try on, squish, squeeze, touch, smush, smash, unwrap, open, or test makeup at the drugstore. You are not at Sephora, you are not at your favorite makeup counter, there are no testers at the drugstore and the products you’re swatching, smashing, and smushing are ones that other people actually want to purchase and OWN so stop making a mess of them! Not only are drugstores losing money because of you but you’re making a lot of makeup lovers cry and become rather pissy when they see a limited edition product or color they want only to open it when they come home and find it has been freaking used.

Please stop.

Thank you!

This is a public service announcement and no evil drugstore testers and squishers were harmed in the making of this post but if they continue on their destructive path I cannot be held responsible for my actions or the actions of other makeup addicts.

So, how annoyed are you when you find a limited edition lipstick or a blush or some other product at the drugstore only to discovered it has been opened and swatched or even used.

I’ve purchased products like Biore Nose Strips only to get home and realize the box held ONE STRIP! What?!

Sometimes I’m rushing and I’ll get excited to see a new limited edition product and I’ll stupidly buy it without checking it first. Head home, open it, and realize someone freaking swatched it or even squished it.

That’s so fracked up.

Needless to say this is very annoying!

What’s the worst drugstore experience you’ve had in regards to people using an item?

Do share!

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • cora

    Drugstore employee here. This is part of why I *hated* when I had to work the beauty aisles. Probably the worst thing about drugstore makeup squishers is how indignant they’d get when I asked them to quit rubbing the lipsticks all over themselves. Ok… rant off.

    • Isabella Muse

      It’s such a waste, I hate to think how much money they lose because of this!

  • Shamim de Varax

    feeling fairly lucky that our drugstores (both in melbourne and dubai) usually have testers. I get sad when the testers are all dirty and horrible or when I see people using lipsticks and mascaras directly on their faces….eeeyuck.

    • Isabella Muse

      yuk! We are starting to see of that in the US, foundation displays have testers now but lipsticks don’t and it drives me nuts people think it is ok to open and swatch it!

  • Dee

    Amen! Hate getting home and opening lipstick and finding a chunk out of it.

  • Emilee

    It is really so gross. What is wrong with people? I wish companies would start putting plastic seals on their products… but some people are so stupid/entitled that they’d probably just rip the plastic right off in the aisle and try it out.
    Stores should really get more vigilant about trying to stop this. Technically if you open a product, use it, and then put it back on the shelf, it should be at the same level as stealing. And should be treated as such.

    • Maggie

      I SAW THIS HAPPENING IN PERSON!!!! A girl just wandering the aisle, picking up products, unwrapping and then trying it on and putting it back. I got soo angry and was tempted to tell her to stop myself but an employee walked by, saw what she was doing, and then walked on right past her. GAAAAHHH!!!!

  • Jay

    GAAAHHH!!!! It is absolutely infuriating!!! I’ve said something to people with their grimey hands in products AND I’ve pointed it out to employees. Ulta, Walmart, Target…disgusting.

  • melanie

    Oh this makes me so mad!!! I have other choice words of course! Especially when its something I been looking for and the last one left is the one that had been opened. I don’t understand why companies will not provide a sample. I know theft…but glue that crap down. I too hate to think of the cost involved with products that can’t be sold and returned to manufacturers because of this. When I see girls do this I call them out on it. Opening products to sample is equivalent to stealing. STOP IT People !!!!

    • Isabella Muse

      honestly Melanie, I bet even with testers, people would still squish! idiots!

  • Kate

    Thank you

    I was at Harmon and a Jr. HS girl did that to a Maybelline lipstick, I gave her the stink eye.
    then some woman at Harmon opened a tube of Rimmel and used it on her face and PUT IT BACK, i said something to her.
    At most drugstores you can return makeup you don’t like.

    • Brandi

      That’s the thing, though. If you don’t like it and return it, nobody is gonna want to buy a used product that was returned, anyways. And the company is still losing money. So it would be in everybody’s benefit for most or even all of the drugstore makeup companies to provide testers for their products. What is even more annoying is when you can’t see the color or finish of a product, and have to go based off a sticker… I’m not going to waste money on something I can’t even see the color or finish of, LOL.

      • C

        If a Company, whether CVS or Walgreens knows that money is significantly lost because people try the product, then it is their responsibility to provide a hygienic tester for the products. This is not an issue about how gross something is or isn’t… It is about the investment choices made by the Company. The big drug stores are not losing enough money to warrant heathy testing options for it’s customers. I’m not about to spend my money on a product unless I know it will look appropriate for me. Shame on the Companies that make you think it is rude thing to do, at the expense of their tight pocketbooks.

    • Dee

      That’s the thing! There are very few drug stores that don’t take makeup back if the color isn’t right. Didn’t used to be, but that isn’t the case anymore.

  • Maureen

    Buying something you really want and finding out when you go to use it that it has been man-handled is annoying but when your in a rush at the store and you grab something from the display based on what the display says is supposed to be stocked there and you go to use it and its the wrong shade is just as bad

  • Tracy

    Thank you!!!! I always open the cap if I can to see if it’s been used or touched because I hate getting home only to have to turn around and bring it back. I even have the SAs at Ulta, Sephora and department stores open the product for me because I once brought home an eyeshadow palette with missing shadows.
    Back when I was on the hunt for the Revlon Lip Butters at CVS all of them literally looked like someone had eaten them. GROSS!

    • Isabella Muse

      UGH! totally had it happen to me at Sephora too Tracy and that really hurts because I’m spending a lot more vs drugstore!

    • Heaven

      This might be urban legend, but I heard that there are people who will bite off high end, department store lipsticks and then spit them out (into a ziploc?) when they leave the store to use them, thereby stealing the lipstick.

  • Justin

    I’m so scared of drugstore makeup I analyze a product like it was held at Guantanamo Bay to make sure all the seals are on it! I bought a panstick (when max factor was still in states) got it home and when I twist up the tube it look like someone sliced it off like a hickory farms sausage!

  • Andrew

    I’m going to keep it 100 for a minute and confess: if I can’t tell if a product has been used (or the color indicator seems unreliable) and it’s unsealed, I have no problem popping that cap open for a split second to make sure it’s in good shape. Do I swatch them? Never. It’s not a tester nor is it my property.

    Now if something is sealed, wrapped, or you can clearly see the color/finish then it’s all good. But I’ve had to return more than my fair share of products because people can’t keep their nasty hands to themselves or, even worse, a brand doesn’t give full disclosure on a color or finish (I’m looking at you, L’Oreal and Maybelline lipsticks). The last thing I want to do is have to return items because of something the stores can’t control. I’ve had several jobs in retail and I know that some days all it takes is that one extra return to screw up your metrics for the entire day.

    • Isabella Muse

      Guilty, I pop caps too to look at the color sometimes! but I don’t swatch them and I don’t open anything that is sealed or wrapped.

      • Lori

        I wish all makeup was sealed, including nail polish. I get so mad when the lip glosses that are sealed are even opened. Why can’t people stop doing this?

    • Ashe

      I think this okay, I mean we check for food seals also and now that tampering is an issue, we gotta be careful! But for sane people, the product just isn’t ours!

  • Lupe

    Ugh. Drugstore employee. A girl came to the counter putting on nail polish. However she said the color wasn’t her taste anymore so she wanted to leave it as if it was okay. She wasn’t too happy when I told her she had to pay for it. She was so angry she left without still paying it. Caught another lady putting on foundation. Wth lady. She claimed it was “already opened” and that is okay how?

    • amy

      At least she used the one some other idiot already opened… I was looking high & low for a Revlon lipstick a while back, and although it wasn’t LE, some stores didn’t carry the shade, or they were all sold out. When I *finally* found a display that had 4-5 of them ALL were opened! If one was already opened/swatched (which is bad enough), why would you open another one…?

  • devon

    i have come home from sephora, opened a box (lipstick, powder, foundation…) and went through all of the wrapping and such to find that it was tested, repackaged, and put back in the display. this gets me so upset. i always have to open everything to check and then i feel badly for opening it and want to always explain to the sephora girls that i am checking to make sure it’s ok. i know at harmons they have samples of a lot of the foundations behind the counter that you can ask to check out and test, but UGH THE OTHER PRODUCTS!!! everything should be in those cardboard and plastic hanging wrappers. that’s the only way to know it’s safe!!!

    • amy

      I do that, as well, but because I once bought a Too Faced palette that was broken. I also bought a NARS eyeshadow that was in the wrong box… I do, however, pay for it first, unless I know I’m short on time & there’s a long line, and I don’t have time to do an exchange.

    • Lulle

      That’s one of the reasons why I do 99% of my beauty purchases online. It doesn’t eliminate the risk completely mind you, recently Sephora sent me a product that had been tested: it had a big fat fingerprint on it :/

  • Katarin

    This is especially NUTS here in the States considering that CVS/Walgreens have INCREDIBLY reasonable return policies! If you buy makeup from them and don’t like it/it’s not your color/it’s total crap, YOU CAN RETURN IT, no problem!

    Just stop it! Wait until you get home! If it doesn’t work out, YOU CAN GET YOUR MONEY BACK.

    • dia

      Actually, it depends on the store. I had bought a lipstick at Walgreens only to find out when I got home that it had been used. When I tried to return it, the Walgreens in Berkeley, CA told me I couldn’t because it had been used. Didn’t matter that it wasn’t used by me.

  • Veerle

    I work in a drugstore in belgium and we have testers here but that’s not stopping customers from opening sealed products.. Also stealing testers seems normal to them. It’s so frustrating and it just makes me hate those people. Ugh!

    • Isabella Muse

      yup! I always doubt testers help as there testers a plenty at Sephora and I still see people opening new stuff up!

  • Isabela

    Amen!!! I love the Milani lipsticks and they are almost always unsealed at my local CVS. I feel so guilty when workers walk by and I’m opening the lipstick to inspect. One time I had to explain what I was doing because the worker thought I opened it, and she was disgusted that most of the lipsticks were already opened.

  • JJ24

    I agree, it took me three months to get a Maybelliene glaze blush because everyone I found had been open/swatched. One even had a very clear finger print on the top of it. I know I can clean it but for $9 I want it new! Finally gotten one after the 3 months but still it’s infuriating. It’s especially infuriating with something that has no seal(looking at you rimmel lipsticks)!

  • amy

    Back in the 90’s, DS brands sold smaller bottles of foundation for $1-2, and later “blister packs” with 3-5 shades. I realize this was likely a loss leader, but at least noone would have an excuse to open and/or return a foundation, which I imagine costs even more. As for lip & eye products, don’t we all have *some* idea of what works for us…? I know orange/coral lippies & pastel shadows won’t look good on me,and I have absolutely no interest in bright pinks, so I would have no reason to even swatch them, whether or not a tester is available. I

  • The Asian Pear

    I was really confused the first time I went to the US and shopped for cosmetics at Target. There were no testers. In Canada, a lot of our drugstores have testers. Maybe not full array of them, but a selection usually of a few lines so at least you get a sense. I’m surprised it is not more prevalent in the US. May save some money in the long run from people refunding used stuff.

    • Dee

      It seems like the only testers at Target are the pieces of paper they have out to test nail polish on.

  • Diana

    I don’t understand how people can do this. Customers who do this know they’re in the wrong and that they’re ruining the shopping experience for someone else, but they just have to screw things up, anyway.

    Yes, it sucks that you can’t try the makeup on in store–it would be great if drugstores had testers, but that would require a lot more work for employees who already seem stretched thin. Many drugstores have generous return policies for cosmetics to compensate for the fake that customers can’t try on makeup.

  • Cindy

    Suddenly I feel very lucky to live in Europe. Testers in drugstores everywhere.

  • Jane

    Not going to lie, this practice makes me almost literally stabby. I would pay the full retail price if I could shop drugstore products like at a Sephora. In fact, if I had money, that would be the makeup store I would start.

  • Lulle

    OMG this behavior makes me so MAD. I want to punch people when I see them do that!

    There are 2 things I don’t understand though:

    – why do some drugstore brands STILL make products that come WITHOUT a safety seal??? I mean, how hard is it to add friggin’ safety seal, seriously? The absence thereof is the reason I NEVER buy L’Oreal lip products in store. If I can’t tell whether they’ve been opened, I assume they were and I’m not gonna buy contaminated makeup products, obvioulsy.

    – why do stores passively accept this behavior? Aren’t they losing money if they have to throw away half their stock of makeup products? I’ve seen drugstore employees walk by people who were opening lipglosses and trying them ON THEIR LIPS say nothing! WTF?! If you did that in France, where I come from, the store would demand that you PAY for the product. It’s about time drugstores adopt a “You open it, you pay for it” policy if you ask me.

  • Erin

    I agree, but at the same time people are saying it’s like stealing, and the store is losing money. How is it any different if you buy it, use it and return it? It’s not. So… rude to swatch? yes. Stealing and causing the store to lose money? No.

    Also, this is why I love to go to Ulta and buy NYX. They have testers. I test on my hand, decide what I want and buy a new sealed one. Perfect.

    • Isabella Muse

      Too true, it is one and the same, so either way the store does in fact lose out. But swatching in store, when someone else wants to purchase it, well, that’s all kinds of crappy! At least the store doesn’t put returns back on the shelf but people who swatch something without the store knowing it and you end up buying the makeup swatched already without checking first, well, that’s kinda a crummy situation. Even when testers are present I still see people opening up brand new products πŸ™

      • amy

        They are pretty much the same thing, which is why I feel retailers need to rethink their “generous” return policies. Apparently, Sephora is cracking down from what I’ve heard… Also, if one must split hairs & justify the “difference”, retailers can approve whether or not they’ll take a return/exchange; when someone tests a sealed product, the retailer has that option removed.

    • pinkSugar

      I would reply to Erin – saying that testing and leaving it on the rack is no different than Buying it and then returning it if you don’t like it… – Not really true.

      If someone swatches/tests all the lipsticks on the rack then just puts them back, the Employee walks thru on order day and sees product in the racks; may not have time to inspect all the items, they see product so they don’t reorder.
      If you Buy it, it updates inventory and they know it sold so they can reorder.
      Then if/when you return it, that also takes the item out of the system so it too can be replaced without having to inspect the items..

      When people think they are entitled to test and swatch, it basically ensures a rack full of useless makeup no one will buy but there it sits until the store takes the time to zero it all out.. what a waste!!

      Target is so afraid of offending a shopper by approaching them if they are Testing.. Bottom line, if its not Sealed, I no longer buy. Period.

  • Elena

    Hello Muse! I love your blog and thank you for the rant. In Canada we have drugstore testers for virtually everything, including the limited stuff and STILL people would open up packages and destroy the products. But the discount stores like T.J. Maxx, good god, it’s disgusting. The high-end products and most fragrances are sealed, but drugstore and skincare get mangled. I mean, it’s already a fraction of a drugstore price, what gives? That being said, I scored sealed Chanel, YSL Kiss & Blush, lotsa Edward Bess makeup and a 44$ 100 ml Bond No. 9 So New York bottle. For that, I will go deep.

    • Isabella Muse

      I see it at Sephora Elena. Perfectly good testers and people open new stuff. WTH? Oh yes, TJ Maxx def! it’s such a shame as you can find some steals there but people make such a mess out of items you can’t buy it πŸ™ OMG Bond No 9? THAT is a score!

  • blee

    ITA! All the nail polish, lip liner, and lip stick that is on the display area and when I get home my foundation has been used and it was the last one. REALLY?! LOL :0)

  • blee

    And I forgot once I ordered on line and my eye shadow pallet came with a very LARGE finger print in one of the eye shadows I called and asked for a new one and I would return the one I got. My new one had three dings in the shadows. I stopped buying from them πŸ™

  • Cassi

    I’ve taken to buying most of my ds makeup online at Ulta but I hate it when I want to buy something that’s been used. I almost bought a tangle teezer at Target before I realized it had hair in it! EW!

    Who takes a brush out of the box, uses it and then puts it back in the box? So weird.

  • Danielle

    AMEN. I almost stood up at my desk and clapped when I read the title of this post. Let’s hope it get’s through to people.

    I’ve literally stared women down when they’ve done this before.

  • Alison

    I have a good one. I work for a drug store and I was helping a woman pick out a shade of the then new Almay CC cream. I gave her my recommendation and then right in front of me she opens the cap, peels the foil off the end, squirts a big pile on her hand and then rubs it ALL over her face. I was just stunned and thinking.. WTF?

    Then to make it better… she looks at me and then asks.. “Do I need to buy the one I was just sampling?” I looked at her and told her that yes, she did have to buy that one. She looked really mad and said with poor grace that it was the only one of that color anyway. Later in the day I found it sitting on a counter somewhere else in the store. Yay customers.

      • Alison

        Yea tell me about it. I also had a lady try to talk me into giving her a discount for a used lipstick. Because she wanted it and it was the only one of that color left. She figured because I’m one of the managers I could do that for her. Well in theory yes.. in reality… just gross and shame for even considering it. I told her that for health reasons I can’t sell used products and thank you for bringing it to my attention and I whisked it away to garbage land. She was rather shocked. Honestly I wouldn’t have put it past her to have been the one to try out the color and think that she could get a discount. I hate thinking that of people but when you’ve seen as much as I have… it’s hard not to.

        Also fun fact about drug store makeup.. Do you realize how many products have to be disposed of in our special toxic containers? A lot of drug store foundations, eye shadows, eyeliners and lipsticks contain chemicals that require special environmental disposal. I mean gross much? Also many many drug store mascaras are classified as ignitable. Just something to consider next time you are considering grabbing for drug store makeup!

  • dia

    I bought a L’Oreal lipstick at Walgreens, and when I got home, I saw that it had been used. Went back to return it, and was told I could not return used cosmetics – didn’t matter that I wasn’t the one that used it. Can’t win! I wish drugstore makeup would all come sealed. At least you can then easily tell that it’s been messed with.

  • Carrie

    Funny(ish) story! I was at Walgreens checking out foundations and I noticed my at the time HG foundation had a few open ones (just my luck, right?) so I was going through them to find a decent one. One of the jars was basically half empty and covered in foundation. This older woman was mulling around behind me but then left. I finally found one but then an employee came up to me and told me that the older woman had reported me to her that I was being a “tester” because some of the foundation got on me! I absolutely hate when people decide to swatch and test drugstore products, like if they wanted you to test them out they would have testers.

  • makeupbykifana

    I actually returned a lipgloss I didn’t end up liking once and the next day I was convinced I saw it back on the shelf! Aren’t they NOT supposed to do that?? This whole used drugstore makeup is such a turn off! But more annoying is no testers! They need to invest in making testers to save money in the long run.

  • sushiwifey

    For the past few years every makeup item I have returned to walmart they have put back on the shelf. I noticed it because I accidentaly bought a used lipstick and returned it, then a week later I was lookingfor it again and the only one on theshelf was the one I returned. Next a highlighter that was too shimmery for me, in a cardboard package that was torn, they taped it back up and put it back on the shelf. Over and over they did this. I don’t know if that’s a walmart policy or just my store it but does not seem safe! People could have infections!

  • Tania

    We in Australia have testers at the drug stores and Target however people still insist on opening and trying on the makeup which is for sale. Worst place is Target and the NYX displays and I have bought used lipstick even though there was a tester. The NYX display always looks like a tornado hit it. Gross !!

  • dc

    It’s so rude to test products that are for sale. Really don’t understand why people do it. In Canada, there’s testers for every product in the drugstore which is convenient. I’ve always wondered why the states don’t have testers in their stores. It can be frustrating when you accidentally pick out the wrong shade of foundation. I understand that it may be cheaper than the highend products but money is still money. Very annoying when you end up wasting it after buying the wrong shade of makeup.

  • Cindy

    OMG, I thought I was the only one that felt this way! What bothers me the most is when there are like 10 of the same lipsticks and every one of them has been tampered with, EVERY ONE! If you are going to test the makeup at least test the one that has already been open, don’t open one up for your own pleasure.

  • stevee

    I always open the boxes at sephora just to make sure it’s the right color but I never just open up the new stuff and swatch it. That’s ridiculous especially when most sephoras have one or two testers of everything. Ulta has the same problem, most of the ones in jax fl, have testers of the nyx products, which doesn’t stop people from opening up all the sealed products and destroying them……its the same damn product and color.

  • Eriu

    Do any of these self-important, spoiled, and entitled samplers understand that their own behavior is what drives up the cost of drugstore makeup? The drugstore already purchased from the manufacturer so that’s a fixed cost, but every one of those units they can’t sell means money they have lost and have to recoup somewhere else! I work retail and yes, returns are a loss of profit but add in damaged product on top of that and the cost is even higher. I understand selfishness and wanting to be sure of a purchase but selfishness coupled with willfull disregard of other human beings (exactly like them!) Just gets my blood boiling! The only way this will stop is for stores to quit living in fear of an “upset” customer and strictly enforce policies, cosmetic companies being required to safety seal products by those same retail outlets, and us…the outraged consumers publicly shaming this bad behavior. But I dream.

  • Grace

    Most drugstores in Canada have testers for foundations, lipsticks, and sometimes eyeliners. That being said, I wasn’t paying attention one time and ended up buying a smushed lipstick! Luckily the return/exchange policy was fine after I talked to customer service, but I really hate how some lipsticks don’t have any seals on them. I mean it’s not going to stop the more determined customers but at least people will know it’s been opened and pick a different one πŸ™

    I think having seals on all packaging and official testers should solve most of the problem… there’s nothing you can really do about the weirdos that actually try the products on their faces (short of calling them out on it, but that would just cause unnecessary drama imo… the world is a dangerous place lol).

  • Yen

    Yes, please STOP! I always open the cap of a lip product or eyeliner like nyx to see if it has been used and to see the color a bit better. There are many times I found used nyx retractable eyeliners and I was not happy in stores.

    I remember going to bed bath and beyond looking for a specific shade of maybelline color whispers to find them ALL USED. Really?? All products of the same shade?? when the revlon lacquer balms came out I was so excited! I wanted the shade Enticing and I was lucky to find a new display. At other drugstores I found all the stickers of the lacquer balms were not intact and they have been used.

    I have to check my sephora products also. I once found a used MUFE eyeliner brush that was put back in the display and a used hourglass concealer. There were no testers for my shade and i needed to repurchase. There were 2 products left so I checked to see if they got swatched. I also carefully open nail polish to see if the edges are clean and not crusty because I’ve bought too much tested polish in the past.

  • Penny

    Back in the day when I used to buy drugstore makeup I would always check to make sure it had not been used first. Don’t know how many times I would find a Lipstick that had been used/swatched…made me sooooo mad! It’s a shame that people have to be such idiots and think they can do whatever the he$$ they want and ruin things for others. Now I buy all of my makeup from QVC, Ulta or I will order directly from a brands website. Luckily, I have not run into any products that have been previously used. Even at Ulta sometimes the displays are in such a mess it makes me wonder what is going on in there, but at least they usually have testers of most of the products I want to try.

  • Karen

    I check every unsealed drugstore cosmetic before I stroll to the checkout with it. I cannot count the times I’ve watched women open products and test them on their hands or even apply them on their face, only to put them back on the display. I have found the employees at Target and Ulta to be very proactive when I’ve approached them about someone treating the cosmetics displays like an all-you-can-eat buffet. Unfortunately, they can’t constantly patrol the area so it will continue to happen. My advice is to check everything before you buy!

  • Rachel R.

    Thank you! I hate that people do this. It’s gross to find in the store. It’s even worse to come home, open something, and finding it was used and repackaged. I had this happen with an eyeshadow palette. The clear sticker was resealed, and I got it home to find every shade had been swatched with someone’s fingers. Ugh!

    Drugstores in the states used to have testers when I was younger, but people steal them, mix the colors together, use dirty fingers and leave dirt in the product, gouge them. So stores/manufacturers took them out. Now we’re seeing them again, but I bet the same issues will occur.

  • Pamela

    Gosh, most makeup I buy in the drugstore is sealed. If it isn’t, I don’t buy it.

    But the other day I saw a woman with a dog in her cart. Then she let it down when it kept whining in the makeup isle. It tinkeled into some stuff on the bottom of the makeup line!

    The she picked the dog up and put it back into the cart. Right where you’d seat your child. Freaked me out.

    When I talked to the manager he said he can’t help that because our town is so dog friendly. Ug!

    • Isabella Muse

      I love animals, I have fur babies whom I adore but there are limits to where I take them and I do kinda feel grossed out when people take their pets to the supermarket or the drugstore/etc…it’s just not a place for animals imho! I hear your pain Pamela!

      • makeupbykifana

        So true, I get grossed out myself. Duane Reade/Walgreen’s has a sign up on their doors here in NYC that says something along the lines of they love pets but they’re not allowed in the store due to NY State health laws. Some people get offended, but there’s a reason for that!

        • Isabella Muse

          Yeah I’ve seen those signs at Duane Reade in the city too! But not Walgreens yet! No reason to be offended at all! As I said, love my fur babies but I don’t need to bring them EVERYWHERE with me!

          • makeupbykifana

            TBH, not sure if I’ve seen them at Walgreen’s, definitely DR but since they’re one and the same nowadays I figured they did, lol. I go to DR more anyway since I work Midtown Manhattan. I did a Google search and pet owners were pissed about it. Whatevs… Anyway, the no testers is what makes me buy things like foundation at dept. stores and Sephora instead where I can try before I buy. Then there’s this feeling at drugstores like you’re being watched as you handle the cosmetics. Maybe it’s just me. I get that people shoplift, test products or whatever but jeez! I prefer the comfort of testing/trying at places like Sephora.

          • Isabella Muse

            haha true true! Oh you go to the one near 34th than on the corner? I go there too! They have a nice Gosh display! I like Sephora and counters for the reason myself (plus no pets hahahaha)

      • makeupbykifana

        Sorry, couldn’t reply to your last comment for some reason. I mainly go to the DR on 52nd and Broadway. They have a nice Gosh display that seems to always be empty on one side, lmao! Actually, my sis is in Montreal, Canada and the Gosh eye liner she always gets has been out of stock for months. We were wondering if they’re going out of business, lol! This location has the Look Boutique too with the balm, etc., and you can test. I went in to buy a Revlon Photoready foundation and the Look Boutique girl was like “I can’t help you with those, but have a look at Boots no. 7” and I was able to try and bought it. Left the Revlon…which I actually went back and bought days later, lmaoo! I have issues! I didn’t realize you were in NYC too, nice! πŸ™‚ My fav Sephora is the Time Sq one, then 34th πŸ˜‰

        • Isabella Muse

          We should meet there and gawk at the makeup together haha! I don’t hear much about Gosh at all lately I just assumed it was because it wasn’t a regular US thing! I’d be sad if they went out of business as I like some of their items quite a lot! UGH GIRL I hate the 34th one! People are literally on top of each other in that place! haha!

          • makeupbykifana

            We should! Yeah, it’s so crowded there, but I like going to Macy’s then shooting across there some days! It’s so funny because my sis has been using Gosh for years and I just sort of zoom past the display in DR to get to the pharmacy or whatnot. I actually never went into the Look Boutique until maybe a 3-4 weeks ago! Hahaha! NYC’ers, always in a rush! We don’t stop to smell the roses, or the makeup, LMAO! πŸ˜‰

          • Isabella Muse

            that would be cool! Email me! I like going there too because I can do Macys, UO, Lush, and Sephora all in one go πŸ˜€ Oh hell, my life=ONE big rush!

          • makeupbykifana

            I will! You just reminded me that I want to try Lush’s lip scrub! I didn’t even realize wth they moved to until over the weekend when I had to Google to find out! Now there’s that humongous H&M at that corner. Yeah so I’ve never been to that UO, loll, I was like “HUH? An UO near Herald?! NO WAY!!” rofl YIKES!

          • Isabella Muse

            i know! I was there Christmas and I was like wait, “Where the hell is Lush!?” I like the new location though! It’s very cute! Seems like a little more room in there too (not by much though). Apparently it’s the flagship store for Korean beauty!!!!! Although there prices are ridiculousness!

  • Sonya

    We are lucky in Australia. There’s testers for everything in Priceline (our equivalent to CVS, I guess), and Mecca Cosmetica/Mecca Maxima/Kit (our answer to Sephora – actually, we do have Sephora as well) has testers too. Everything is either sealed with plastic that is scored (that riiiiip is satisfying) or sticky tape (harder, leaves gluey marks).

    However, we have tighter refund policies – returns have to be unused, BUT everyone will take stuff back if you’ve had a reaction, because they then turn around and get money back from the manufacturer. Yay for Australian Consumer Law!

  • Iris

    Agree! It’s like you read my mind with this post: I was in a store today and wanted to purchase a lipstick from the Maybelline 100th Anniversary collection. They were all unsealed. I picked one up but changed my mind at the last minute. There was a worker nearby and I was too… anxious to open the item to see if it was untested as I may be accused of trying to test it. I could always return it if it was used but I didn’t want the hassle. I left with only a Baby Lips in Ra-Ra-Red as those are sealed in blister packs.

    One of the drugstores near me is great and the cosmeticians seal all the makeup with scotch tape to make certain they are not tampered with. I’m willing to pay an extra few dollars for this and will be getting my lipstick there.

    My only unfortunate experience was I once purchased a product, didn’t check it thoroughly, and found out it was used when I got home. It was only a few dollars but I went back to exchange it.

    I’m with Elena regarding TJ Maxx/Winners/Marshalls. It is a mess. Sometimes you find untested wrapped products for a steal but other times, items are messy, obviously used, and the store still sells them. Simply keeps marking them down.

  • pinkSugar

    I used to be a beauty person at a Target store, and I’ve been a company merchandiser/vendor for P&G (CoverGirl) – Walmart shoppers are the worst offenders I’ve seen.. but Target shoppers are coming up a close 2nd. Total entitlement mentality. If you didn’t pay for it, Its not Yours. Don’t use it. Can I come to your house and use Your makeup? I said something to a girl using a makeup item off the rack in one of those stores and she literally called me a ‘B!tch’ for pointing it out to her.. Another one was ‘hovering’ at the Loreal lipsticks and I could tell she wanted to use them so I would not leave the aisle.. she left but kept looking and when I was still there, she would walk by, Then she came back to the lipsticks and finally got the Courage to ask me, Is it OK if I swatch some of the lipsticks? I said NO it’s really not. These are NOT Testers and if You use it, No one will buy it and we have to throw it away. She said, Okay and left. People think if they don’t TAKE it out of the store, its not really Stealing.. you don’t really think the companies just say Oh Well, there goes another to throw out?? All those losses get counted and added to their prices so we ALL pay for those lipsticks that get ruined!

  • Freya

    Drugstore cosmetics employee here. We are not allowed to say anything when we see a customer swatching a product. Chaps my hide I tell ya. So what I do to get around that is….go up to the offender and ask “how’s that color working out for you?” Usually stops them cold, because they KNOW they’re not suppose to do that. If they do say oh it’s too shimmery blah blah blah, I’ll put my hand out and say, “well let’s find you a color more to your liking…I’ll take that lipstick (polish etc) so I can claims it out, because it’s contaminated now” it skirts around the policy, yet educates the customer that they just ruined a perfectly good product and I have to pull it off the shelf.

    We tried testers (they get stolen) also safety sealing doesn’t help because people just unwrap it and test anyway. The best course of action is educate people that is not ok. When I’m not at work and see people (mostly jr highers) opening up makeup, I always say something. A simple “please don’t test that, someone probably wants to buy it” and then move on. I’ve never had anyone argue with me with that simple statement. Of course I can’t say that when I’m on the clock though.

  • Nat

    I really hate this! We have some of our stuff sealed in plastic so that you know if it hasn’t been tampered with the seal will still be on. However, people WILL and HAVE unwrapped things to test them and then put them back. :S

    I always use the testers, always. AND when I buy a product and it hasn’t got a seal on it I check if it’s been tampered with. If it has and there isn’t a fresh one I notify the staff.

    It happened ages ago when I wanted to buy a lipstick for myself. They’d all been smushed and tried on, so I let a member of staff know and she was furious.

    It just sucks how selfish some people can be. πŸ™

  • Lizzie

    Drug stores are not the only offenders unfortunately. I bought a $20 Urband Decay lip liner from Ulta only to come home and realize it had been tested and used. Yuck. I know Ulta at least has a forgiving return policy but what a hassle! The worst I saw was some woman at Target picking her ear wax and flicking it and then walk over to the Essie nail polish and trying the nail polish on her nails and then putting it back. Ehhh gawd!! Freaking gross!! I’m so paranoid now I always reach the back but that doesn’t always work.

    • devon

      i think i just threw up in my mouth a little… that is AWFUL!

  • Bonnie S

    I ALWAYS open the tube of lipstick before I buy (if it’s unsealed) to make sure it’s pristine, never been used. Learned my lesson by selecting a tube of Rimmel, buying it, opening it later on and realizing that it was used DOWN TO THE CORE. i.e. no lipstick. And I didn’t have my receipt anymore, and Rexall drug stores in Canada are very bad about returning things, so I just chalked it up to a life lesson. Rimmel and L’Oreal lipsticks are probably used – you have to check that the tip is pristine if you’re going to buy it. Chances are, it’s not, it’s used, gross! This problem is not going to go away anytime soon, so really I find that I prefer to buy drugstore stuff online – less chance of used goods!

    PS I have also found this problem with drugstore body lotions – a lot of them with the twist lock caps are suspiciously unlocked – I always do a check before I buy cleanser, moisturizer etc.

    • Isabella Muse

      You are correct! It happens a lot with shampoos/conditioners and even deodorants too Bonnie!

  • Heidi

    When I used to shop more in Canada I loved that their drugstores had testers. I make it a point, though, to check everything, to see if it looks like it’s been tampered with. I even check boxes of band-aids to see if the right amount is in there.
    I hate seeing people play with makeup in stores, though. Once, in an Ulta, a woman let her kids run wild and they were playing with the NYX products. Another time, in Target, I saw one girl putting makeup on an older woman who had sores around her mouth. So gross!
    I’d love to see an employee boot these people out or tell them, “you use it, you bought it.”

  • Gillie

    It’s so disappointing and nasty when the last products on the shelf have been opened and abused. I agree that it’s worse at some types of stores, and worse with some brands, too.

    Where I am, Wal-Mart and Ulta have the worst offenders. One Wal-Mart near me is a no-go for Hard Candy; that section is always wrecked. The other Wal-Mart seems to attract people who swatch the WNW stuff. At Ulta, it’s NYX that draws the stealth swatchers, even though there are bountiful testers available there.

    I wonder if the swatchers are some of the same people who put on makeup on public transportation. It seems like the same type of boundary issues in both situations.

  • Zovesta

    I entirely agree. =( I feel like I’m not taking a huge dive with, like, $5… That being said, our WalMart doesn’t have messed up makeup like that very often. And when they do, it’s only one, and to be honest, if there’s one that’s already open and I was considering buying the shade… I’ll test it, too.

  • dc

    This does make me mad, but I moreso blame the stores because if they are losing so much money you’d think they’d finally wise up and start simply making a tester. Losing 1 product to testing is much better than losing many due to customers taking it into their own hands. It’s an easy solution to stop people from ruining product, just give them a tester. Thankfully I do continue to see more testers in drugstores and am happily shocked every time. But yeah, broken limited edition lipsticks or even eyeshadows (maybe because they were dropped) is so saddening.

    • dc

      Also, many drugstores allow returns on used makeup so it’s technically the same loss whether someone tests it in stores but doesn’t buy it, causing the store to be unable to sell it (if they catch it before someone else buys it) or if someone buys it and tests it at home and then returns it and the store needs to junk it. The best solution seems to simply have testers. It’s a good next step since many drugstores and even grocery stores are trying to market themselves as a go to place for makeup.

    • Leslie

      This is exactly what I was going to say. Department stores and cosmetic stores like Ulta and Sephora all supply testers for all of their makeup. Why can’t drugtores do the same? This is one of the reasons I won’t buy drugstore makeup…because I can’t test it before I buy it like I can at Sephora, etc. Well, that and the fact that I think it’s not as good as higher end brands lol. But drugstores do need to put out testers.

  • Jamie

    i used to work nights in the cosmetic department at walmart, at the end of the night i’d have a big box full of opened/used makeup, and people would get so huffy when i’d tell them to stop opening stuff. such a waste πŸ™

  • Jade

    This actually makes me soooo mad! I work in cosmetics and we have testers for most products (I’m in Canada.. are there really no testers in the US? o.o) and people will still open a new one! That or they use the tester and hide it behind the products instead of putting it back properly like what?? Even though it definitely doesn’t stop people I don’t understand why brands don’t seal all their products, especially lipgloss etc. which is hard to tell if it’s been tampered with. I wanted to try the L’oreal Infallible lip stain/lipsticks but they don’t have seals which gives me the creeps so I had to wait until I ordered them in myself so that I knew they were untouched. I’ve had customers where I show them a product and they’ll open a new one right in front of me without asking and try it and I can only look at them in shock. Then they decide they don’t want it and put it back and I’m like um no I have to put that in damages now you animal. We have a basket where we put damages and it’s usually overflowing halfway through the week!

  • Christine Joy Luikuo

    I’m once guilty of this. I accidentally swatched one of NYX’s single eyeshadows, thinking it was a sample too because it had no seal whatsoever. But I bought it out of shame when the saleslady saw me. After that incident,I had been extra careful. I make sure it’s a tester I’m testing.

  • S

    If a company doesn’t want their stuff tested they should put the label on it in a way that it acts as a seal. It is a deliberate choice by the company to have the product be freely openable, and thus, is saying it’s ok to open the cap in the store. I’m not saying people should damage the product, but testing a color on your hand when the cap is freely removable is fair game.

    • amy

      The biggest flaw (among many) in that argument is that the retailer is the one who loses money, not the brand/manufacturer. We *all* then end up paying more for goods from the retailer. Also, if someone leaves their door open, is it “fair game” to just walk in…? If you go into a restaurant with a salad bar, are you entitled to eat if you merely buy a beverage…?

  • Cin

    Amen! I can’t tell you how ticked off I get. One time I witnessed a girl trying on nail polish at CVS – I wanted to say something but was afraid she might clobber me! But recently I’ve been on the hunt for Revlon’s Matte Balm Fiery #270 – and in not one but TWO different Rite Aids, the (albeit flimsy) seal was broken & the lipstick was obviously tested & therefore ‘ruined’.
    I have noticed at certain Walmarts (depending on location, I guess) they have the cosmetics area sealed off (& you have to pay for cosmetic purchases at the register there), which I thought at first was because of shoplifting, now I’m thinking it also prevents the “makeup testers” from trying out products!
    I believe it is the company’s responsibility to either provide testers, or better seals. In any case, if I ever catch someone “testing” products again I WILL speak up!!! Okay, done ranting with my 2 cents πŸ™‚

  • mossystone

    Unless if someone is smashing and REALLY ruining the product, there should be testers on the isle. How on earth can you buy a product without even trying it on????? I think that’s totally absurd. You cannot blame the people who wants to try them on. If the company don’t want to waste their money on those, then let customers try them first!!! Also, there will be always bad people who abuse the ‘tester’ system. But you also gotta know there are many people who are very ashamed of the store that doesn’t have any testers to try.

    Someone said above that I can return a cosmetic after I bought and tried at home. Well, not all stores do that. Then, I just wasted MY money! I can’t buy EVERYTHING just because I can’t know which ones are good color especially on me. Do YOU want to do that?

    Unless they are ruining the product, I do not see any wrong behavior trying them on. It’s the SYSTEM that is wrong. I don’t know who is in the charge of having the testers on their store, but no makeup artist would want to buy even a cheap lipstick without trying them on. Unless that person is a professional makeup artist and wants to stack them.

    And I wander what you do when you buy a brand new one and it doesn’t fit no matter how. You just think “oh well, too bad, but it was only seven bucks” and move on untill you try every single shade?

  • pinkSugar

    Sorry Mossy but if you are using a product (lipstick especially) and you decide it just isn’t right for you – you put it back in the rack – its now useless. No one will buy it. Its now dirty, germed, not safe or clean.. Some shoppers already know they like that product. But now you’ve ruined it so the store is basically out of stock.. If you can’t absorb a $7 loss because you decided a product wasn’t perfect and you choose to buy from a store that Doesn’t refund, then maybe you should not be strolling the makeup aisles.. Once I walked up on a girl @ the L’oreal rack and she already had about 10 lipstick colors swatched on her hand… that’s just someone who is bored and kicking tires but in doing so, Now that’s about $70 of ruined product on the rack.. you might Think you have the right to use everything, but actually unless you are Invited to (with a Tester) then no, you do not have the right.

    Nothing I’ve said is disrespectful. It’s just probably not something you want to hear.

  • Skigh Hy

    A question for drugstore employees: Do the manufacturers wrap the protective plastic seal on the makeup products? Or do the drug stores do it themselves?

    I broke out with a really bad itchy rash all over my face when I bought a bottle of foundation that I thought was unopened. This never happened before with the previous bottle of the same foundation I’ve bought.

  • Ana

    I know this post was done a while ago. But I’m so bother because I went to Ulta today was with all my kids so did not think of checking all of the makeup I bought and I got 6 of the maybelline color tatto eye chrome eyeshadows and when I got home I noticed they were all opened!!! What the…? I’m so upset! Omg!

  • anonymous

    Umm girl youre obviously not a person of colour. Drugstore make concealer/foundation shades that are most of the time too damn light for our skin tones so we need to try them. stop being a brat its literally just makeup.

    • Isabella Muse

      Finding the right shade of foundation/concealer at the drugstore is not limited to any one skin tone. I believe it is an issue across all skin tones due to lack of testers and also drugstore foundations in general seem a little difficult to match compared to mid to high range brands. This isn’t being a brat, this about having respect for my fellow consumers. I don’t think you want to buy something that someone else has swatched, am I correct? If you’re spending money on something, you expect it to be in brand new condition. Or am I understanding that you’re ok if I swatch something and you buy it right after? This isn’t an issue for you? Opening items at the drugstore and testing them on yourself is poor etiquette, hopefully drugsdtore brands will pay attention when someone like myself writes a post like this and maybe that will entice them to bring out more testers in store so, people like you don’t open brand new items to test them on yourself. It is indeed just makeup, but that’s neither here nor there and not an excuse to open up a perfectly brand new product to swatch on yourself and put back on the shelf. If you intend to buy it, I’d say that gives you a little more leeway. But if you’re just opening something and swatching it and returning it to the shelf that’s pretty much ruining something for someone else. In that case, maybe you’re the one that’s being a self entitled brat.

  • Shirley

    Absolutely!!!!! Totally agree. I had wanted to try a new L’OrΓ©al lipstick shade and none were sealed. Ick! How come they don’t come sealed??????
    Thank you for making this known…..So I’m not the only noticing.