January 28, 2019

If the Drugstore Locked Down Makeup Would It Annoy You?

Imagine if you went to the drugstore and all the makeup was locked up. You know like going to Best Buy to buy the latest iPhone but you have to get a sales rep to unlock the showcase it’s in. Would that be annoying to you?

One of my reader’s just commented in my L’Oreal Colour Riche Gold Addiction Lipstick and said that all the makeup at her local Walmart is now locked up and you have to ask a sales associate to unlock it for you to grab what you want.

WHAT!? Makes sense I guess considering people think it’s ok to open up makeup and start swatching it like their at a Sephora or the MAC counter at Nordstrom.

Sadly, drugstore makeup cannot be tested or swatched. In some cases, some brands have evolved and started arming their displays with samples to test or sample cards featuring popular shades that have tiny swatch samples but all in all, drugstore makeup isn’t like mid or high-range and the swatch and test experience unfortunately isn’t available with many brands.

If drugstores or Walmart in this case are locking up makeup it’s likely for one of two reasons. One might be shoplifting or it might be people opening and swatching or just damaging makeup items. There is nothing more annoying than buying a lipstick, getting it home, opening it, and discovering someone squashed it or swatched it or maybe even applied it. And it’s damn hard returning it and explaining to a sales rep it was like that when you purchased it. Most give you that skeptical, “Yeah right” look.

Walmart has pretty much has their makeup aisles on lock down for a while now though so, if they are locking up makeup it wouldn’t surprise me. They installed cameras in every aisle about two or so years ago that are oddly creepy. They switch on as soon as you enter the aisle and some aisles even have two. I honestly feel like a criminal looking at makeup when those cameras switch on. I’m not doing anything wrong but I feel like I am! If they started locking up makeup I’d probably hate it even more for a number of reasons.

First off, it would probably be impossible to get someone to unlock the case for you. I dunno about your Walmart but my Walmart has a lot of clueless people walking around. I can just picture myself asking one person to unlock the case and they don’t have a key and they have to ask Jane and Jane has to ask Bob and Bob has to ask Mary. It’ll take an hour to get someone with a key to open the showcase for the single lipstick I’d want to purchase.

Secondly, I sometimes go on a drugstore binge and I’ll purchase a bunch of new stuff at once. I can just picture someone getting annoyed with me if they have to keep opening a variety of cases or silently judge me for buying a bunch of makeup.

Thirdly, I actually sort of like looking at stuff, holding it, and just sort of walk around with it in my cart before I decide if I’m buying it or putting it back. I also, like reading the back sometimes and looking at the color. If I need someone to unlock a case for me I’d feel sort of rushed to grab the item and go.

I dunno if locked cases are really going to stop shoplifters or stop people from swatching as once you get the item do you have to check out right away or can you still walk around the store with the item? If you can still walk around with the item that means you’ll still have the potential to steal or swatch it right….?

So, locking down makeup is a horrible idea in my opinion!

Has your Walmart started doing this?

What if they did?

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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  • Nikole

    I realize that this response will not be popular with many.
    I think locking up makeup in drugstores will be a pain in the rear; but I understand why they would do that. It is gross and rude to swatch makeup that is not a tester. I can’t imagine how much makeup gets ruined this way. That being said, drugstores need to either have testers or a way to get a sample of a product if they go this route.
    I do agree about the potential problem of getting people to unlock the makeup. Walmarts are notoriously understaffed. Other retailers like Walgreens and CVS also can have staffing issues. If these stores do not have an easy, smooth system for unlocking access to these products, then their sales of these products will take a severe hit. That may not be wise, considering that many of these retailers are trying to EXPAND their beauty sections.
    To be continued, I guess.

    • Isabella Muse

      I agree with you! I think it’s awful how people ruin makeup! Squish lipsticks, open up products and try them, etc..! I think locked counters could be a good thing HOWEVER, they really need to have someone just working the makeup aisle in that case so they can be there to unlock the case. If not, it’ll take a major hit on sales! and also annoying people!

  • Wendy Sue

    I no longer buy any makeup in person, I’ve been burned too many times getting it home and finding it’s been used. I order everything online — most have liberal return policies. It just works for me. But yeah, if I walked into a store and all the makeup was under lock and key, I wouldn’t bother. But I truly understand why they do it.

  • Kimmyyy

    If they start locking it all up, I’ll more than likely stop buying from them (at least in store). I do not have the patience to track someone down in that giant store and then wait for them to open everything, because like you said, I’m betting that every employee I find won’t have the keys. Our Walmart employees are just as clueless as all the others. I understand the reason some are doing this or thinking about it, but I think it’s going to be too frustrating for the consumer. Also, I enjoy picking things up and checking them out before making a decision. Maybe something will look appealing inside the case, then I’ll get it in my hand and see the color up close and decide I don’t like it for whatever reason. I’m perfectly OK with making an employee wait around or open tons of cases for me (they’re getting paid, so don’t care), but I just don’t like the hassle of it. I can also guarantee you they’ll lose a ton of sales doing it that way, more than they’re losing from theft or tampering. If someone likes the idea because they hate getting makeup that’s been tampered with, then always make sure you check before you purchase or buy online. Just my opinion!

    • Isabella Muse

      AMEN! At least that’s how my Walmart is. You know it’s going to be all about calling someone up and they either never arrive or they don’t have keys and have to call a hundred people who also don’t have keys. It’ll be a circus lol! I was at home depot which is ALWAYS a horror show and every time I need something it turns into an absolute drama to get someone to help. I was left standing in an isle for 30 minutes because they were going to call someone who NEVER came. What happened? I brought the item I needed online!

      • Kimmyyy

        I never even saw your reply! I went digging for this thread a day or two after I posted and I couldn’t find it anywhere and thought you may have deleted it, but I guess I went right past it!! I only remembered it after seeing your new post today about them being sued! Lol… Any big store like that sucks. I think Target is the only one in that realm that I’m OK with, since it’s generally really easy to find whatever I need (except in the electronics).

        • Isabella Muse

          Oh no I don’t delete replies/comments! I’d never do that! Maybe I didn’t get a sec to reply but wouldn’t delete a comment! 🙂 your comment is def in this post! I like Target too plus in some cases the pirces are cheaper than Walmart!

  • SleepyTimeTay

    I agree with you, Muse. I understand from a loss prevention standpoint, and also with people testing products and then not buying…which then makes others not want to buy. But I like the whole experience of looking at and comparing colors, sizes, debating if I *do* need a 20th gold shadow. I can only imagine how frustrating it would be to the sale associate having to stay with me while I shop and then other people bothering them. For the drugstore market and environment, I don’t see it being workable.

    • Isabella Muse

      AGREED! I’m like this. I sort of like placing it in my cart, walking around, musing if I need it. I also like looking at the packaging, reading the box, etc…! I’m an idiot like that. If I have to ask a poor sales rep to open the case and I decide I don’t want it that can be annoying for them!

  • kimkats

    My walmarts have the annoying and creepy cameras in every aisle now too – I hate that. It makes me feel like a thief even though I’m not one!! If they lock up the makeup, they will lose more sales than they lost to shoplifting or to damaged goods. Makeup is often an impulse item and if you have to hunt down someone just to look at it, well, not many people are going to take the time to do that. they’ll just go to walgreens or CVS or wherever to buy it where it isn’t locked up tight. I’m pretty sure I will not take the time to hunt someone down to open up a case to look at a product.

    Its really sad that we’ve come to that state of affairs where even drugstore makeup has to be locked up to prevent it from being stolen or damaged. It really bothers me that we as a society have come to that…

    • Isabella Muse

      Likewise. It sort of makes me feel weird for some reason! Big brother is watching lol! Me too! I mean aren’t we all mature enough to look at makeup without being watched and monitored? Guess not?

      • CL

        After I saw a young woman using the new L’Oreal lipsticks in Target a few weeks ago, I completely understand why some merchants lock them up. I ordered the lipstick I wanted rather than try to figure out whether this woman had used all of them (my near vision isn’t great). It would help if L’Oreal and some others would put decent tamper-proof packaging on their items. Also, some audacious thieves have undoubtedly occasionally swept huge amounts of items into a bag or their clothing and bolted for the door. Locked cases would prevent that.

  • Amy

    My local TK Maxx (same company, slightly different name in Europe) has all mid to high range makeup (and perfume) in huge plastic containers that need a key to unlock, because people are trashy and will just open or steal things. I very rarely buy without a very good idea of what something looks like, but that’s what reviews and testers are for. (testers are common for cosmetics in the UK, even at the lower end. They tend to be disgusting, but they do the job)
    I was shocked and a bit depressed recently that Tesco in my area seems to have started putting Maybelline mascara behind the counter with the cigarettes. Good grief, is this really what we’ve come to?

  • Laurie

    I’m not a WalMart shopper, but I do buy at Target, RiteAid and Walgreens, where I’ve never encountered issues. The big problem for me is at Marshall’s, Ross and Nordstrom’s Rack. Forget that they rarely have products to fit my fair skin, but almost everything, from makeup to skincare, has been opened and tested. I am now to the point where I make the cashier open boxes … unless shrink-wrapped or in a safety box … to make sure it’s fresh.

    • Joanna

      I also ask the cashier to check the products for me! They’ve always understood why and not minded.

  • Maria

    I buy makeup online since I do not like seeing drugstore makeup tested and used by people. I feel that is why makeup is getting expensive because drugstores are losing money.

  • Rachel

    I rarely buy makeup at my Walmart anymore. It’s been locked away for about four months now. They do have an employee that stands back there all day, but if more than one person is shopping, you will have to wait. It also annoys me that if I don’t know exactly what I want, or I’m surfing for new items, I can’t pick up the package and read it without calling someone to unlock the case. And if I don’t want it, what then? I understand why they do it, but I think they will find they lose more money in lost sales than shoplifting. On the plus side, if you do know what you are looking for, chances are excellent that it’s in stock. Also it should be noted that Walmart does not lock up the makeup in all stores-there is one about twenty minutes farther in a slightly nicer suburb that has no locked cabinets except for fragrance. So I’ll just take my business to Walgreens, CVS, or Target.

    • Isabella Muse

      wow wow! This hasn’t happened in my area yet. How annoying but at least they have a person and you don’t have to run around trying to find someone to unlock the case! That’s a relief. but still very annoying!

  • Cindy

    I’d have to say it’s about time! I am soooo sick & tired of running into women (especially at Hellmart) trying makeup on and I call them out every time! The latest was some lady blocking the aisle while she tried on nailpolish! I said “you’re not supposed to do that!” and she just glared at me! I mean come on, common sense – God forbid she had a nail fungus! Ugh, anyway, sorry for the rant but that has to be one of my biggest pet peeves with makeup. I’d say the stores are more concerned about theft, and in the past I’ve been to several Walmarts where they set up a separate checkout at the cosmetic department. Wonder why they’re not all doing that, it makes the most sense.

    • Isabella Muse

      I see people all the time swatching nail polish in store. ALL the time! Or painting it on the display. It’s annoying AF.

  • Angie Clementine

    I’m the one who made the original comment on the other thread. I was pretty surprised when I first saw that the entire makeup aisle at my local Walmart was under lock and key. Most makeup is not a high-value or high-risk item, nonetheless, I suspect that theft was a big problem, and I know for sure that products were frequently opened and swatched, to the point where it was often hard to find the lipstick you wanted, untarnished. Heck, people used to use nail polish to paint all over the display cases and draw on the models’ faces, etc. It was gross and made me not want to shop there.

    Now with the locks, it’s a pain that you can’t easily pick up an item and look at it. But every time I’ve been, there have been multiple employees working the cosmetics aisles, and they would even come up and ask, “Can I help you?” I don’t know whether these employees are there the whole time the store is open, and who knows, maybe in the future, Walmart will go through a cost-cutting exercise and give those employees the boot. But considering that minimum wage is just over $5/hr and the average makeup item in their store probably costs more than $5, I can see how they might consider these employees a good investment.

    In short, I don’t mind the locks if they increase my chances of finding the item I want without it being tampered with.

    • Isabella Muse

      you were indeed! I haven’t been to walmart in a bit, I hate going, but as far as I know as of my last visit in December everything was the same I wonder if mine is doing this too! It’s crazy! YUP! same here with drawing on the models’ faces, etc…! Horrible! If there are employees around I’d feel much better so I don’t have to run around and ask everyone to get me something.

      • Angie Clementine

        Another thing I should mention is that I feel more pressure to buy something if there’s a salesperson hovering about, helping me find things. If I was just browsing by myself, I would have no problem if I decided to leave the store empty-handed. But when someone spends their time helping me, I feel guilty if I don’t buy anything, like I owe them a commission or something.

  • Ana

    Hello Muse, as a fellow reader from Mexico I must say that this happens pretty much all the time here 🙁 at the supermarkets like Walmart and other mexican retailers, unfortunately here people doesn’t care about opening or shoplifting stuff , so retailers I guess have to take those measurement, in cases where makeup is on display usually is in a special “hall” where there’s always a lady at the entrance and unless you’re going to buy the makeup they let you take it out of there. Oh 99.99% of the times makeup is full of annoying tape that is almost impossible to open it when brand new. Sadly buying makeup here is a nightmare so when I have a trip to US I really try to enjoy the most I can my experience of buying makeup without being watched by some random lady!

    • Isabella Muse

      oh my gosh wow! I’ve been to Mexico several times but honestly I never really shopped makeup whole I was there so never experienced this. That’s sounds like a real nightmare ;( I hope the US doesn’t start doing this too! It would be rather sad!

  • Adrienne

    I completely understand but they would probably lose my business just because of the inconvenience and it will be a pain for the employees. Just like a jewelry associate when you want to see several for comparison. My Walmart has not locked anything down as of yet but they have a designated checkout and the entrance/exit of the cosmetic section and you are recored a’s you walk through and theres a beep midway the aisle when you cross a certain point

  • CindyB

    Ever notice in Walgreens if you go down a certain aisle (namely, the nail bar with the Essie polishes), suddenly over the intercom it’s announced “service is needed in the nail bar”. I hate this. It’s like there are camera sensors over there and the cashiers are being alerted that you are in the area and watch closely so someone doesn’t steal. Oyy.

    • Isabella Muse

      omg no lol! that’s hysterical! I need to listen more closely haha!

    • Jessica

      I always wondered why the intercom would announce “service is needed in the makeup department” when I would be looking at makeup lol, I guess that was their sensor thing!

  • Frozendiva

    It’s not just Walmart and it is becoming common. A lot of stuff is locked up at my nearest Walmart. Makeup is starting to be locked or on shelves with doors. I don’t buy a lot of drugstore makeup. Real Canadian Superstore has more open shelves and I am more inclined to look.

    Kids treat the cosmetics section as a toy and play area. Maybe more testers so you don’t get testers filled with bacteria, viruses, and God knows what. Sometimes I will take an item and then think about it d maybe put it back.

    My local Walmart has folks at the door checking bags sometimes. It makes you feel uncomfortable as a customer. I think they want to remove clothing change rooms too. Maybe there are cameras in the grocery section. Meat is expensive and a good target for thieves.

    The Walmart is not in the best area and the Rec Centre across the street brings a lot of people and crime. Other Walmarts are SS locked down.

    One of the liquor stores in that area has locks on a lot of bottles.

    Winners/Marshall’s isn’t too bad. I don’t like that some products are in locked plastic boxes. If I am interested in an item, I have to look it up online to see what colour it is and then come back.

    Department stores also have an issue with testers and perfumes walking.

    • Isabella Muse

      It amazes me no one watches their kids at times as I’ve come across kids destroying stuff in the makeup department as well while their mother is like eight aisles away.

  • Sarah

    Ugh, This annoys me as a consumer and as someone who has worked retail. It’s almost 100% likely the company trying to reduce their shrinkage. But it always has the adverse affect of reduced sales because customers don’t want to wait around for a sales associate to unlock what is seen as a cheep item. We had this issue at the craft store I worked for with jewelry making supplies and the company found a better way to reduce shrinkage without creating more work for themselves and not pissing off customers. They created a display that required customers to lift up a guard in order to access the product. The guard triggered a tinkling sound that the longer the guard was up, the louder it got. It was a very affective way to discourage shoplifters.

    I’d also argue that another simple way would be to hire more sales associates. For the past 20 odd years we’ve been living in a retail culture that has been trying to boost their numbers by reducing payrole, with the results being more mess and theft in stores because there is more opportunity for people to do so without the watchful eyes of employees around. But at the end of the day it costs way more to employ another person then to write off the loss.

    And then big box stores wonder why they are loosing business to online stores-.-

    • Anne

      Sarah, I really agree with you that one of the biggest issues is that retail stores just refuse to hire enough people! Corporate doesn’t get that employees are assets.
      I would not mind at all if things were locked up AND there was someone to help me. But I’m not standing around waiting for something I can get online.

    • kjh

      Exactly. Lean and mean. I had a significant bathroom issue which would not be understood, if I used proper language, the other night. The third person on had called in, so there were only 2 of us. No one would come in for her, so I had to stay…they would not come in for me either. I had to work 3-4 more hours with an inappropriate substance in a female area, without being able to cleanse fully. That is how the employees are treated, for minimum wage. I was so angry, I hit the register and damaged it. The sad part is that I really do not have to work there, as my p/t professional job and SS can cover it. But, wow, have I learned a lot. Our Targets and Walmarts are never in stock, so that’s probably why they are not yet locked down yet. I went into the Target in the bigger mall (with the Sephora that I bitch about all the time, as it looks like the seagulls and rats got to it) and they were ~ 25% stocked, and were not resetting. I’ll do Ulta for DS, maybe the true DSs, but NEVER bother with Target or Wally World. Why? They have nothing. Retail works on the mushroom principle. Keep ’em in the dark and feed ’em shit. Make sure no one gets enough hours to get health insurance, either.

  • TropicalChrome

    I understand why they would do such a thing, but it would indeed prevent me from buying most of the time. I find it more difficult to find what I’m looking for when it’s behind glass that reflects and has glare. Having someone standing there waiting for me to make up my mind also makes me anxious, so I wouldn’t put myself in that position. The only exception would be when I am already looking for something specific that I know I will buy – and that’s mighty rare these days. I don’t even like shopping in the Walmarts that have makeup jails where you have to buy everything before you leave.

  • Julia

    I’m in the middle for this one. I think it’s a great idea to have makeup locked up to avoid people from tampering products because there have been multiple situations where I thought I grabbed a “new” item but it was actually heavily swatched (usually lipstick). But on the other hand, I would hate it if I had to grab a sales associate to unlock the cabinet each time I wanted to grab an item. Something that would work with me is having a system like Costco. There would be testers available for all the shades and then you grab a card for the shade/item you want and go to the till to pay and get your items.

  • Hayley

    OMG SO IT’S NOT JUST MY LOCAL WALMART?!? LOL, well that makes it seem only SLIGHTLY less insane! I honestly cannot BELIEVE that Walmart is doing this. It is RIDICULOUS! If they want to prevent shoplifting, I think this is a pretty extreme way to do it. It’s really offputting, and I agree with everything you said in your post. It makes me feel rushed, judged, and like I’m sort of criminal. Even if they do have tons of shoplifters, I feel like it’s really not a good look to put across the image of “we reallyyyyyy don’t trust our customers, and they’re all thieves.” I no longer want to shop at Walmart for makeup because they’ve taken all the fun out of it.

  • Heather

    Yes, they did this at my local walmart recently. I get they have theft, but honesty I won’t buy makeup there anymore. It’s to big of a pain. Sorry Walmart!

  • Carol G

    Haven’t seen makeup cases locked yet but have seen the cameras. I agree, Muse. I would not shop at a store where it was locked because it would be a pain in the butt to track down someone to open the case. I imagine they are getting a lot of makeup stolen hence the locked cases. Remember when razor blades used to cost an arm and a leg? They locked those up. Also, I’ve seen Tide detergent locked up too. People are going to steal. I guess this is just an attempt to cut down on it. I, too, like to just look, pick things up, read the labels, etc. I’m right there with you: I don’t want someone breathing down my neck while I’m deciding on a makeup purchase.

  • Dee

    I haven’t seen this in any drugstores out here with the exception of perfume at Target, but if I do I won’t shop there. I’m like you in that I like to look, handle and plop it in my cart and then walk around with it for awhile. A few of our Targets have a ‘beauty concierge’ who is always walking around the aisles, but not all of them. That can be very helpful but I’m sure they are keeping an eye on the customers as much as helping them. I don’t mind that at all, but locking everything up is a different story.

  • Nicole

    I use to be a dept manager of cosmetics at a Walmart so this is coming from someone who’s worked in the trenches so to speak.
    My Walmart does not lock up cosmetics, nor does it have a special area behind glass and a register. We are open shelf. I wished it was locked up and here’s why. $17,000 a year in theft (and we had lowest theft in the market) $23,000 a year in damages. Those teenagers that come in at 10pm love to pour nail polish all over the lipsticks. Those quaint little old ladies love to open all the Covergirl eyeliners so they can see if it’s soft enough. Perfume spraying wars. Little kids using lipstick to draw on the pictures of the displays.

    Every morning I would walk into at least 2 hours of cleaning and damage control. I would have MUCH rather have spent that 2 hours opening cases and helping customers. Know why there’s only 2 of your eyeliners on the peg? Because if we put all 12 out, then all 12 would get stolen. It was a nightmare. The amount of loss sales due to inconvenience would never compare to the lost money in damages and theft combined.

    I glad I don’t work there anymore.

    • Dori Wittenberg

      I used to work in cosmetics and sales in general and can concur. I haven’t lived in the U.S. for a while. Is this expression still used, “The customer is always right.”? The things the old people would get away with is worthy of a heist movie.

      • Nicole

        Pretty much yes…the customer is always right. Erggg!
        Saw a woman on the floor painting her toenails with 5 different colors.
        She was wearing flip flops and had some pretty dirty feet.

        Was not allowed to really say anything but damn this infuriated me. I politely asked her to return the bottles to me when she was done so I can claims them out. She went on a tirade about how she needed to see what the colors looked like on her feet and how dare I say I had to throw them away, I could still sell it. When I explained we cannot sell used cosmetics she blew a gasket.

        That was it for me! I just couldn’t take it anymore. This is why I like dogs more than people. Lol!

        • Angie Clementine

          Omg, that’s horrible. Honestly, the comments on this thread are making me feel embarrassed to be a human. People are so gross sometimes.

  • LS

    I would turn around and leave. I do not have the patience or the time to wander around hunting for an associate to help me. No way.

  • H

    I would be annoyed but I understand it 100%. I guess all of these measures are to discourage even if they can’t solve the problem completely. I work in the beauty department of a TJ Maxx and even when I am roaming the area, a good amount of people do not care and will proceed to open, swatch/use, toss, or steal products right in front of me. Under company policy, we aren’t allowed to say anything because it would demonstrate poor customer service.

  • Brooke

    I have yet to see the lock down at Wal Mart, but the cameras have been around for a while…I have two Wal Marts relatively close to my house; one has cameras that just flash and the other flashes and beeps. I can’t help but randomly look up and stare at the screen and then I get kind of anxious like since I acknowledged that it’s there do they think I’m shady and doing something wrong?
    I can’t imagine having them locked…like you mentioned, it’s usually difficult to get someone to help you plus I’m super indecisive so what I have in my cart at one point may be put back 5 seconds later with a completely different product. I’m sure the staff would love to follow me around and put crap back when I changed my mind for the millionth time.
    We have local grocery stores that have razors and blade refills in a locked cabinet and I always wonder if anyone really goes through the hassle of tracking someone down to unlock the cabinet and if so, do they set it back for you to ensure you don’t steal them if you aren’t finished with your shopping? Yeesh!

  • Joanna

    I want to see an ad campaign that ties product damage to environmental waste and pressure to reduce costs like wages.

    I really wish TJMaxx/Marshalls would keep makeup in a case like the jewelry. I get so excited seeing something I couldn’t quite bring myself to pay full price for. But it’s almost always fouled.

  • Claudia

    This is so funny Muse. I have noticed the locks depending on the area in which the Walmart is located. I asked a store manager once and he said it was due to theft, makes sense really. I remember the old days when they had a cashier in the makeup area. I hate going to Walmart; I go twice a year around 4am on a Sunday morning. As a teen I saw people would open and apply deodorant and put it back on the shelf so I learned to always open and check the product to make sure it is unused unless it has one of those tamper seals.
    My local TJMaxx hired a new manager and he started putting those wire sensors on all the mid and high end makeup. I’m glad because they were always open and tested by someone. Another TJMaxx near me in the really good part of town has locked all the fragrances in a tall glass box but no so much for the makeup. I thought that was weird. I take my two and four year olds to Ulta and Sephora all the time and they don’t touch any of the testers, if they move products I stand over them to make sure they put them back exactly where they belong. I tell them if they don’t do it at home they can’t do it in public.

    • kjh

      Girl, you are one in a million. Most moms are non supervisory or non-interventive. I can tell which ones have had DCF programming and do not dare say Boo. Their kids can hit each other with merch, roll and play fight in the aisles, and walk on top of the carts without even a suggestion to stop. Now I ask the parents to correct whatever, because corporate was called on me, when I asked a running 11 year old to tie his shoes. Turned out the problem was he couldn’t. Get velcro. Parents are doing their kids no favor, when they impose no structure…and REWARD their bad behavior with a treat from the vending machine! No one has any idea about reinforcement theory or behavioral analysis. The public is very scary. Cause….effect. Look at something from the other person’s point of view. Presumably these are cognitive skills we learn. Parenting style can certainly disrupt that.

  • Jessica

    I don’t think mine has started doing this for makeup, but they have with certain skincare: Olay and L’Oreal I think. It made me so mad to see it, that I’m seriously considering not buying makeup in person from my Walmart anymore. I don’t like fragrance in either skincare or makeup, so that’s the only reason I would open things. Now I can’t even hold the package to READ the ingredients to see if it has fragrance. I discovered they started doing all this this past Saturday and I was so mad; but seeing this article made me feel not alone in my thoughts!

  • Kish

    As a part time WalMart employee, I hate to say it, but I totally understand why they are doing this. There is so much theft, you guys wouldn’t believe. We catch multiple shoplifters EVERY DAY and makeup is one of the top thefts. I hate the idea of stuff being locked up, but I hate thieves and people who test stuff even more.

    We’ve had so many college education majors steal, it’s out of control. Guess what? You can’t be a teacher with theft on your record. Hope that $120 in makeup was worth your career and life.

    • Isabella Muse

      wow…! insane! I thought it was due to people swatching and not as much theft!

  • April

    Both Walmart’s near me don’t have the cosmetics locked up (only the false lazhes), but it does have its own separate area with a cashier. You have to purchase any cosmetics at that register, can’t take it out. It’s a big pain in the butt because the line tends to be long, and then you have to go wait in another checkout line for your other items. I don’t really buy drugstore makeup, but buying it at Walmart just isn’t worth the hassle. I’ve noticed in the past year or so they’ve started locking up a lot of stuff there; liquor, baby formula, even the razors!! Theives Ruin everything 🙁

  • Joyce

    It would be annoying but I think I would be ok with having the makeup Locked up. At the Walmarts near me , there is a separate cashier for makeup and usually another person or two working the makeup section, so it wouldn’t be such an issue for me to ask them to open up the cases… and if I don’t want something in the end, I wouldn’t feel guilty just giving it back to her at checkout haha. I guess I’m ok with it because I’m more tired of finding a lipstick shade I want but then discovering all 10 available for purchase have been opened and used >.< I mean seriously… you shouldn’t do that in the first place but if you really must swatch, maybe just find one that has already been opened and swatched! You don’t need a fresh one just to swatch !!

    I’d also like to see ALL drugstore makeup with safety packaging. Why isn’t this a thing already?

  • Randi

    My Walmart has clear glass walls around the beauty section. You have to check out there with that specific cashier.

  • Christina

    This is so crazy and not necessarily a bad thing. I don’t shop at Walmart, so I can’t comment, but I know my Target has started to lock things away now, and the worse part is that I can’t put it in my cart and continue to shop. The sales associate will stand and wait for me to make a decision and then give it to the front cashiers until I’m ready to actually check out. I’m like, what the heck? I waited a ridiculously long time for someone to get the key for nail clippers–nail clippers!!–and then tell me she was going to put it with the cashiers and I could ask someone once I’m done to retrieve it for me. O.O Of course, when I got there, no one knew where it was…

    I’m absolutely the type of shopper who will add something to my cart and walk around with it while I do the rest of my shopping. If I can’t do that anymore, then I’ll just not buy it.

  • Ale

    Well, this is going to save me a lot of money, as I prefer to shop leisurely, picking up and putting back lots of stuff while I decide. A rather extreme way to support a no buy!

  • wwndy

    My mom has been in RiteAid management for 30 years, recent 3 girls made a diversion and swept an entire wall…sorry it needs to be locked up, they have an awesome return policy.

  • Patty

    At my local Walmart makeup has been locked for a while now. They have a buzzer to press if you need help. I pressed it one time when I wanted to buy something and no one ever came. I don’t really mind the locking if help comes in a reasonable amount of time because I get the reasons (theft and swatching). I noticed Target had started to do this too.

  • kellly

    One WalMart in my area did this a while ago and I don’t even look at their makup aisle any more. But they did it because people in that area shop with unsupervised kids who will open a lipstick and use it to write on the cabinet or break it off or jam their fingers deeply into a powder or eyeshadow, making a mess and totally destroying the product. It’s because some people think only of themselves and don’t even consider the fact that their playtime ruins the product for everybody else. I’ve seen it sometimes at Sephora, too, where somone will jam their finger into a shadow and gouge a huge portion of the product out, ruining testers by doing that to several and mixing the colors while they’re gouging each one. It’s absolutely disgusting. I don’t really know what stores can do to stop people from behaving that way, since it’s a behavior that goes deeper than just “not knowing” how to behave in a store without destroying the experience for everybody else.

  • Britni

    I think I’m in the minority here, and I know I have an unpopular opinion, but I really don’t care if makeup has been opened and swatched. Most makeup comes wrapped in plastic, so if I want to see or swatch something myself, I’ll look for the one that is open and unwrapped, and swatch that one. I don’t feel bad for corporations like Walmart who knowingly under staff their stores, under pay their employees, try to change their healthcare offerings, and use foreign sweat shops to produce their clothing. Theyre a billion dollar corp who pay minimal taxes, and do minimal to help their communities and employees. So, no, I dont care that they lose a few thousand dollars in shortage and loss prevention. I do care about CVS, so I won’t do it to CVS. But even cosmetic brands like Revlon, L’oreal, and maybelline KNOW we’ve been begging for drugstore testers and they don’t listen to us, THEIR CONSUMERS, so fuck it. If there’s already an open tube of lipstick, foundation, bronzer, or whatever, yeah, I’ll swatch it, then buy one that’s sealed. If I have to open one, and I like it, I’ll buy the one I opened. If I open one and don’t like it, I’ll put it back for the next person. I don’t feel bad for billion dollar corporations. Not sorry.

    • amy

      While you may not “care” about the multi-million dollar store, who you allege treats employees poorly (I’ve personally known a few people who’ve worked for Walmart, and were paid well, and had fantastic benefits, by the way…), they still have to answer to stockholders, who expect a certain profit margin. If they experience great loss, there are two choices: raise prices, or cut employee hours. Perhaps you don’t care about the “rich corporate people”, but they don’t feel the hurt; it’s the public & employees who take the hit… That said, at least you swatched open packaging, although we should all have a pretty good idea of what colors look like on ourselves…

      • Britni

        Yup, I understand I’m in the minority and have an unpopular opinion. “Although, we should all have a pretty good idea of what colors look like on ourselves.” Maybe, maybe not, but it’s only human nature to want to TRY THINGS ON, or else why would other stores (my local Walgreens for example) have testers out?? It still stands, I really don’t care about how the investors hurt. It also falls back to the brands to send testers for their displays. Still not sorry for having the singular opposing view.

        • CindyB

          Having testers to use is one thing, but opening up some makeup to “try on” and not liking it and putting it back on the shelf for the next person to buy? So uncool. And NASTY!

        • Angie Clementine

          I don’t directly care about Walmart’s profits or shareholders either. However… I also know that as a business, Walmart will do what’s necessary to maximize their profits, and if customers are ruining items on their shelves, they will take action to prevent that. So, I choose not to mess up their products because I don’t want to create a worse shopping experience for myself and other customers, not to mention the employees at the local store.

          So yeah, I’m not trying to do Walmart any favors, but I feel like respecting the store helps us all in the end.

          • Amy

            We all should care, to some extent, about Corporations & Shareholders, as they are the ones responsible for creating jobs… Fortunately, we don’t live in a Socialist economy, but more jobs turns into more spending, which means more jobs being created (along with more tax revenue for entitlement spending), and recirculates back into our economy. If stores aren’t bringing in the revenue/profits, employees lose jobs, or hours are cut, which means paying less in taxes, and less spending. It honestly sickens me that they don’t teach this in basic, High School Economics classes…

          • Angie Clementine

            Amy, that’s a good point. I do care about the economy in general, but Walmart specifically gets less sympathy from me. It has a reputation for exploiting its employees and squashing small businesses, so if Walmart creates a negative shopping experience in its stores, that’s even more reason to shop somewhere else and improve some other company’s revenue. Even if the Goliath of Walmart is brought down, something else will pop up in its place and create other jobs.

            That said, I actually do like shopping at my local Walmart because it’s cheap and convenient, so I try to do my part to keep it a pleasant place to shop.

    • Cindy

      “If I open one and don’t like it, I’ll put it back for the next person.” – You “don’t feel bad for billion dollar corporations” – what about the “next person” who wants that lipstick in that particular shade but they don’t have any unopened ones except for the one YOU OPENED AND TESTED AND DECIDED YOU DIDN’T LIKE. That’s SELFISH & WRONG!!! Like I’ve said, if I ever see anyone opening makeup, I report them – “for the next person”. Not sorry 🙂

      • Britni

        Do it. And I’m not trying to be mean or rude, but your “report” won’t go anywhere. Because it’s not stealing, the store and loss prevention can’t do anything about it. They can only write it off as damaged. I encourage everybody to speak up if you see anything that can be theft, but if the person doesn’t actually steal it, nothing can be done except damaging it out. Again, I’m not trying to be mean or anything, but I highly doubt your local pd or fbi branch are looking into people who swatch lipsticks. No one is going to lose their livelihood over it. One time at Ulta, I took a bunch of empty boxes of Nyx’s brow pencils to the front counter. They had obviously been stolen. Guess what happened? They threw all of them in a bin labeled “damaged.” That’s what happens. So if you want to “report” people, do it. Just know it won’t go anywhere past that. But at least you found something that helps make you feel better!

        • Nicole

          And this Ladies and Gentlemen is exactly why Walmart is locking up the cosmetics. We have come full circle.

  • Carrie

    Some of ours is locked up. We have dove soap locked up too. I work retail, and I can honestly say it’s a pain in the butt to find someone with a key so they can unlock it for a customer. I always feel so bad that it seems to take so long.

      • Carrie

        Sadly, at our store yes. I’m not sure how many are doing it tho. That was our reaction too…”but it’s *soap*! What the hell?” We were trying to figure out what other purposes they could be using it for, haha.

    • Sara

      My husband only uses Dove soap…I think they are discriminating against him…we should file a lawsuit!! (heavily sarcastic while my eyes are rolling back into my head….)

  • maria

    I find it so annoying and inconvient. I’m not about to wait around for a walmart employee .This happened at one of my most convenient walmarts. So I found a cvs down the street that had a much better in stock make up selection and that’s my new goto. I bet they loose a lot of makeup sales due to the locked up isles.

  • Sara

    I recently heard that the Walmart in my area started locking up cotton balls and squares.
    Seriously? Are people really stealing one of the cheapest items??

  • Silvia

    I have visited a Walmart I think three times in my lifetime just don’t have any near me. Maybe is a good thing! While I would hate to ask an employee to open a locked makeup I don’t blame them neither. Fault is with all the thieves that steal have absolutely no shame and also the nasty testers whom randomly open things out to try and toss and leave a mess. Instead of locking things up they should give the thieves and unrespectful nasty testers a few days locked in jail! Give them a nice little lesson and also remind them it can ruin their careers if caught! For the rest of their lifetimes. Nice try!
    People who do that and also let their kids run randomly all over stores screaming and braking stuff they infuriate me. Or leave bunch of clothes tossed on top of racks just why the need to be so unkind. No reason to be such filthy low class pigs.

  • Whocares

    At Amy- What?? Seems like such a basic explanation of an agenda. More jobs does NOT turn into more spending if those jobs (PEOPLE) aren’t being paid enough to be able to spend on products they need. Socialist agendas keep those people that these corp.s don’t value from dying. Who cares about the company more than the person? You? “entitlement spending”?? This post is about makeup at Walmart not hating people?

    • amy

      Apparently, you would benefit from a basic Economics 101 class… Also, i never said social programs weren’t necessary… So, along with that Econ class, you may also consider enrolling into a fundamental reading course…

      • Britni

        You are the angriest person I’ve seen on any makeup blog I’ve ever read. All the offense intended. Chill, bruh. It’s literally JUST MAKEUP. This post was written in January and it’s nearly March. Tap your inner Elsa and LET IT GO.

        • kellly

          honey, it’s not just one person who is “the angriest person I’ve ever seen” (and count yourself really lucky and possibly really sheltered, too, if that’s the case). A store that locks up the items they have FOR SALE to the general public in a first world country is probably going to get a lot of negative feedback for that policy, which is what this post is reflecting. If it upsets your equilibrium so much, I would gently inquire why you keep reading it when you could spare yourself from the ongoing commentary.

          • amy

            If you read further up, you’ll find Britni is one of those people who like to swatch, even when Testers aren’t available… Ironically, she’s a direct part of the the reason for the lockdown, LOL!

      • Britni

        For clarification, I said she was the angriest on a MAKEUP BLOG. Still very valid. Her being upset with the new policy isn’t what makes her the angriest person I’ve seen ON A MAKEUP BLOG, it the fact that she has, and then validated afterward, insulting people’s intelligence who disagree with her. I acknowledge my opinion is an unpopular one, but I’m not insulting anyone who disagrees with me with quips such as “if you knew anything about economy,” or “if you took an Econ 101 class,” “you clearly don’t know anything about” and “you would benefit from a fundamental reading class.” We don’t have to agree, but goddamn, just a reminder: ITS JUST MAKEUP.

  • kellly

    The neighborhood Walmart nearest me is now also locking up DEODORANTS, razors and shampoo. I don’t go to that store very often and now they’ve pretty much guaranteed I won’t be going there at all.