December 14, 2015

Oops, Was That Not A Tester?

beauty mistakes

This post was inspired by a reader today who was telling me she had mistakenly tried one of Etude House’s new blush sticks. Mistake, how’s that? Well, she unintentionally swatched one of the blush sticks not realizing it wasn’t a tester.

And yes, this has so happened to me.

In particular, this used to happen to me ALL the time at Victoria’s Secret with their little bins of lipgloss. I thought I was swatching a tester and only realized, when it was too late, that it was actually a brand new lipgloss. I will say those gloss bins are sticky so sometimes you think it is a tester and in realize it is a brand new tube someone unwrapped.


In my defense, I’ve done this a number of times and I actually recap them and buy them due to my stupidity to make up for the fact I goofed. Needless to say I have a lot of makeup oopsies in my collection, stuff I didn’t even want but ended up buying because I felt guilty about making a really dumb mistake!

But yeah, sometimes I have one of those “OOPS, Was that not a tester!?” moments.

Have you ever had one?


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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  • Jay

    Ulta…the NYX section…every time! I’ll admit, it’s sometimes tempting to swatch products that have been opened, even when its obviously not a tester. I rarely buy makeup from Target or Walmart anymore because when I see people open stuff it makes me unreasonably angry lol. AND you have to open stuff up before you buy just to make sure it’s still fresh!

    • Kimberly

      So true the last couple times I’ve bought from a Walmart or a Walgreens I 9 times out of 10 have an idea of what I want so when I see it I uncap to see if it’s been used. I found a Rimmel lippie I was in love with and the store had 2 both demolished, I went to 3 stores to find the shade in stock and even while it looked alright I came home and sanitized it, which unless it’s wrapped is what I do now with all drug store products.

  • Neola

    I had an experience where I purchased an eyeshadow palette at Sephora and when I got home and opened it up, there were finger swipe marks across most of the shadows from where some random customer had swatched it. It was not a tester. So now, I make a point of opening up an item I intend to buy to make sure no one has swatched it before I purchase it. I’m not paying for a somewhat used product! lol
    Sephora is usually pretty good about having testers for most of their products. But I guess someone decided to swatch a packaged palette anyway.

  • Cath

    You’re honest. I won’t bother to buy. There, it’s a tester now. I’m sure someone else will benefit.

    • Isabella Muse

      I can’t do that. It was my fault and if I leave it the store will have to toss it and that would cause them to lose money! So I just buy it! 🙂

  • Lyn

    I applaud and say KUDOS to you and to other posters on here for your honest integrity in buying the products anyway (although the stores may have more clearly marked the items as testers, so I don’t necessarily blame you for the mistake). But I truly hate it when a buyer tries on an item, knowing it’s not a tester, and puts it back anyway (shame on you). The stores never go through their in stock inventory and then I end up buying an item only to bring it home to find it has been opened and used by someone else!! It’s not that it is just gross but unsanitary issue I have a problem with. I myself get frequent cold sores, so how would you like it if I went around and tested non tester items and put them back and spread this little problem to you. Or what if someone currently have a case of Pink Eye or Mono or Strep Throat? How would you like to pick those little gems up just because you bought a new shade of lipstick or eyeliner and now your are going to have to pay $100 of dollars at the doctors to fix it? And yes the stores should be checking their in house stock, but everyone knows they don’t (and I don’t blame the store employees because the retailers keep their store underemployed). So until retailers finally wake up and fix this problem, I expect buyers to step up to the plate and take some actions as the one on here have. Again thank you very kindly to the posters on here for your moral integrity. Some of us sincerely appreciate it. 🙂

  • Ruth

    On black friday, Ulta offered some of the becca mousse blushes at half price so I bought two and the blush pallet. I got home and both of the blushes had been used as a tester and what i thought was a blush pallet was eyeshadow because someone put it back in the wrong spot. i was ok with keeping it because the colors are right up my alley but it had a big fingerprint in the middle of the shadows. when i took them back to the store the associates were even more appalled than I was that everything i bought had been used.

  • N

    I appreciate your honesty Muse and that you have bought the products you accidentally tested. I’ve never accidentally tested a new product fortunately. It is to no ones benefit to open a new product intentionally or unintentionally and leave it there. That is just gross. Testers are contaminated enough, so can you imagine using ones that are never cleaned. The store is not sanitizing the used products like a tester would be sanitized at the end of the day. So unless you like getting someone else’s e-coli or herpes, I suggest you don’t do that. I have been excited to try a new product I bought at home, just to be disappointed that when I opened it it had obvious swipe marks and I had to go through with the bother of returning it and explaining what happened to the SA. When I purchase something I expected to be new and unused, as every consumer should expect. That is why I buy 99% of my beauty purchases online. If I do buy in the store I make sure it is well wrapped or sealed, and if it’s not I don’t buy it.

    • Isabella Muse

      I agree it is very gross. I’ve gotten my share of products home and they are used! So gross! I typically purchase online for the exact same reason you do. In particular Lush comes to mind with packaging and touching/etc! I love Lush but hate that nothing in the store is wrapped so everyone is touching everything and not buying and leaving it there for the next person! Ugh so gross!

  • dia

    one of the reasons i tend to buy drugstore makeup online (through ulta or is that it’s difficult to find an untested lip product at the local drugstore. most of the lipsticks have been swiped – many with the tips smooshed into the cap. when the lipgloss is unsealed, there’s no way i can tell if it’s been tested or not, and i’m just not willing to risk it.

  • Thea

    Gads, people swatching non-testers is SUCH a pet peeve of mine. I understand if it’s an accident, but most of the time I think people know exactly what they’re doing. I’ve been in stores where every single lipstick has been opened and swatched. Like, of the same color. Frankly, it’s incredibly rude. I actually told someone off in Nordstrom rack the other day for doing it. She was opening boxes for pretty mich every single makeup item in the place and swatching. I watched her for like, 3 minutes and finally said “are you realy not going to buy any of the products you just ruined for everyone else?” She just sort of stared blankly at me and left the store quickly. So entitled.

  • devon

    i have had this happen to me at sephora where i bring a lipstick home and it has been used. if i see that the packaging might have been tampered with, i always ask/tell a sales associate that i want to check the product to make sure it’s new.

  • melissa

    Late to this comment but here’s my two cents anyways. I haven’t been frequenting sephora (or lush) for a few reasons including that I’ve been making my own stuff as I get ready to launch my new etsy store, and I have been loving ulta sales more, and also because the perfume scents kill me lately. Anyways, I went into Sephora with my $15 BI card to get the mufe eyeshadow studio pallette thats on sale. While I was looking at the display, I wanted to test a new primer but there clearly wasn’t a tester out for the formula. I grabbed a lady that was asking people if they needed help. She scanned the display and the drawer underneath then opened a tube for me to try, took the box, and walked off! She told me to ask if I had questions and was friendly but she didn’t put a tester sticker on the new tube. So I swatched myself happy and put the tube with the other testers in the row. At ulta, testers are gross, and so I typically take a q-tip and a tissue from the benefit area and use that to swatch things. I also hit the hand sanitizers they have at the end of the aisles, a few times during my trip. I open and packaging while in line at either store. I have definitely gone home a few times to find my new compact is broken, wrong, used, etc. I think you are a good person for purchasing any accidentally tested products.

  • Christine Joy Luikuo

    I thought you were referring to me in this post. Haha! I mentioned this in your post before and I would mention it again. I accidentally tested a NYX eyeshadow, thinking it was also a tester because it did not have a seal on it. I bought it out of humiliation and guilt but I got traumatized afterwards. Usually, cosmetic products sold in the Philippines have seals and testers are open and mostly left “abused” so I wasn’t expecting to see unsealed new items.

    • Isabella Muse

      haha I’ve done this too! Don’t feel bad! and totally purchased because I felt bad I did it 😀 Don’t feel bad, it happens!

  • cat

    Hahaha. I’ve grabbed a product a few times and opened it up to see that it looked pristine and put it back so I haven’t exactly run into this problem. But now I’m curious if all the lip products I never buy at the drugstore because they’ve been swatched were swatched by rude folks or just people who were unaware that they weren’t holding testers!