PSA - Guidelines To Avoid Makeup Cooties

Almost nothing makes me happier than going into my favorite makeup retailer on Tuesdays (sometimes Wednesdays) when the new stock is likely to be put out and new, gleaming products are on display for the first time. My impulse, like yours, is to run toward the shiny new items and apply them to my face. However, I always stop myself and remind myself doing so is likely to give me cooties. Real cooties. Cooties that cause things like pink eye, staph infections, colds, rashes and who-knows-what-else.

Now envision yourself the last time you went to a makeup retailer.

Did you apply a lip stick straight from the tube? Did you try out a new eyeliner without sharpening it first? And please tell me the answer is no, but did you apply mascara straight from the wand?

(Actual cootie in its angered state.)

If you answered yes, then you have makeup cooties. Other-people-whom-you-don't-know-cooties. They are probably not fatal cooties and are the kind of cooties that wear off in a shower (or 15 minutes after a good cootie spray).

(Mythical cootie shot.)

However, adult cooties are different from the childhood variety and need to be taken seriously. (As seriously as cooties CAN be taken.) Adult cooties give you real illnesses, rashes and things like pink eye. Below you will find guidelines to avoid makeup cooties. But first, let's make sure we understand the main goal and some definitions.

The Main Goal:
Only apply untouched, sanitary products to your face with an unused applicator

Definitions You Need To Understand:

New product is product that hasn't been touched by someone else before. Reveal untouched product by gently scraping away old product with a sanitary applicator.

A clean applicator is only clean the first time you use it (from the product to your face ONCE is one use). For example: You want to apply a lip stick with a lip brush. Start by wiping or dipping the actual lip stick in alcohol. Then use a clean, disposable lip brush to get color off of the lipstick. When you have enough to both of your lips on the brush, apply to your lips. If you need more, GET ANOTHER APPLICATOR and start again. Otherwise, you are double dipping and spreading cooties.

The Rules To Avoid Makeup Cooties:

1. Never apply any product directly to your body without properly sanitizing it, especially on tissues like eyes and lips. The store provides alcohol and cotton for a reason, use it.

2. Always sharpen an eye liner before applying it to your eye. Ask an employee for a sharpener if you have to see what it looks like on your eye. It's a better idea to swatch it on your hand and avoid risking getting someone else's cooties in your eye.

3. Always put alcohol on a lipstick (via a cotton ball if you can't dip directly) before putting the lipstick on your lips. Even better, clean the lip stick and then use a disposable brush to remove enough lip color. NEVER DOUBLE DIP. It gives everything cooties.

4. If you must put an eye shadow on your actual eye, ask a sales associate for help. They will make sure it's as sanitary as possible. Your best bet? Check out the color on the back of your hand.

5. Never, and I mean ever, put mascara on straight from the tube. If you MUST try it on, get two clean disposable spoolie brushes and use one ONCE for the first eye and the second brush ONCE on your other eye. Do not put the spoolie applicator back into the tube after it has been on your eye.

6. When in doubt, put it on the back of your hand. In fact, the safe bet is to put everything on your hands. Plus there are no nearby mucus membranes to transport someone else's cooties to your brain (or wherever that particular type of cootie wants to live.)

7. Some items come in sanitary containers which makes everything easy. For example, some foundation comes in bottles you squeeze or pump. Wipe off the top of the opening with alcohol and then squeeze enough to apply on the back of your hand. Apply the makeup from your hand to your face. There could still be cooties, but they are minimal (the equivalent of slight back wash).

8. Think before you apply. If you aren't sure how to clean it, ask. Store employees will be happy to show you. If you can't clean it or put it on your hand, just admire it in the container.

9. Just put it on your hand. Just in case you weren't listening.

10. Clean up after yourself. Wipe off your cooties with alcohol and give the next person, who may not be as cootie-savvy as you, a fighting chance.

Are you cootie-free or do you spread cooties like the 70's spread free love? Have you been a victim of makeup cooties? Do you have another strategy for avoiding makeup cooties? Tell me in the comments!

Cootie rules were compiled based on my past experience working as a MUA for a spa with exceptional cleanliness rules. These are not guidelines from any makeup retailer.

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