Sunday, February 08, 2009

Hygiene is In!

I've always been wary of using make-up and skin care samples from cosmetic counters. The idea of testing something that so many other people have used just grosses me out. That's why I love the Shiseido store near our place because they are just so liberal with their samples that are packaged in such cute little containers that I can bring home. No shared pots, compacts, lipstick tubes or whatever. I usually buy one thing, and I get a bagful of samples enough to last me weeks! I'm also amazed at how Sephora here is so generous with their throw-away make-up applicators, removers and tissues. These are just on stand-by ready to be used, without having to ask a sales associate for a single-use sponge, mascara wand or eyeshadow applicator.

Turns out it pays to err on the side of paranoia. Especially since testers and make-up counters harbor germs - "from the type of staph bacteria found on doorknobs to E. coli, a fecal bacteria transmitted via contaminated hands", according to an article by Wendy Korn for Eeeww!

So, how do we make sure we do not get the short end of the (lip)stick when we're out to stock up on make-up and skin care supplies? Here are some tips and reminders from make-up hygiene advocate Sydney Go...

1. Remember, you can get warts, skin irritations, herpes, or eye infections from contaminated make-up.

2. Samples in cosmetic counters are generally safe to use if ALL consumers use disposable sponges/brushes. If someone uses the sponge with the powder, and you use the same powder with a different sponge, it's still not that safe. But if from the beginning, the beauty associate uses new sponges, then definitely it lessens the chances of contamination.

WIth other cosmetic applicators, keep this in mind:
- With mascara brush, NO disposable brush or even the same tube brush should be pumped TWICE into the tube. If you need to pump again, use another disposable brush.
- With lipstick, it's better to use a lip brush (than swipe it directly on your lips), we don't know if a previous user has herpes (which btw, if one has it, it dies down but sometimes it can erupt again).
- With lipglosses, it's the same idea as liptsicks.
- It is safest NOT to share your cosmetics with other people.

3. For makeovers, check with the make-up artist if they have their own set of makeup brush tools which should at least be cleaned with a cosmetic brush cleaner (every week for general cleaning. every after use for sanitation).

4. Be aware that there are some cosmetic counters/spas who reuse make up sponges/facial sponges/applicators. We as customers should be more active in demanding single-use sponges and applicators. According to Sydney, "Some brands say --the consumers don't ask for it, so they don't give new ones. It's a sad state."

4. To stress further, be sure to be active in demanding for what you deserve especially if the brand you're buying is not cheap and they can surely afford to give you a clean sponge, etc. For salons and spas, there are other items which may be reused. It's best to be vigilant and finicky about the items used on you especially the ones used closest to your skin and face and other body parts. Make sure the machines, equipment etc are sterilized to kill the bad bacteria.

Oh, and since we are on the subject of hygiene, here's a latest discovery - the SevĂ  Mat and Towel Refresher that is perfect for gym rats, boxing enthusiasts and yoga (especially bikram yoga) addicts!

This refresher spray was created to be applied onto mats, towels and clothing that are often soaked by heavy sweating (just what I needed when I was doing Bikram yoga, my yoga mat had to be air dried after each use because I would drip buckets of sweat and the towel on top always got soaked through!). Hygienic, environment-friendly and non-toxic, it is safe to spray on children's clothing, an exercise towel, or even your kitchen towel. Not only does this refresher spray kill unwanted dirt and bacteria, its squeaky clean lemon scent gives off a freshly laundered smell.

To use: Just spray on the area you want, and leave it to air dry after each washing. You may spray on mats and towels before and after each use. For clothing, spray before wearing clothes for your daily exercise.

Available for Php350 per bottle at:
Aura Athletica Power Plant Mall
Certified Calm at Shangri-la Plaza,
Pulse Yoga Greenhills (02) 721 7900
Pulse Yoga Makati (02) 468 4165.

For those abroad interested in getting the Seva Mat & Towel refresher, you may email Sydney at to inquire about shipping costs to your country.


Anonymous said...

hi how do buy this spray and other products that you feature in your blog considering those are from P.I.?
SHOPPING - which do you consider could save you most online shopping or just by going to the malls? (online shopping not most of the items are available at mall/store?)

Lisa said...

The last time I bought makeup it was NARS orgasm blush, and I lucked out because the staff had just washed all their brushes. Most of the time if I don't see disposable applicators around, I'll test the makeup on the back of my hand and wipe it off afterward.

Anonymous said...

Hey Tin! I will get that spray! :D

cd_mfo said...

Hi Ms. Style! Some products are available online, while others are available for shipping, you just need to contact the company/seller for their shipping fees =) As for your question re: shopping, I've gotten lots of good deals from buying online. Sometimes it is better to buy online especially if the site offers free shipping and has a return policy. That way you can shop from the convenience of your own home without having to go out and spend time and gas just to do your shopping. Although of course, there are items that would be better off bought at the malls/boutiques, like clothes or shoes you need to try on, or luxury items that you want to make sure are the real deal! Hope this helps! =)

Yeah, I agree Lisa. I just usually test at the back of my hand too, I try to avoid anything from touching my face unless I am absolutely sure that it's been cleaned, heehee!

Yes Ruby! The spray is perfect for you because you're such a fitness buff!

Marian said...

this is a great post CD! its amazing how much can caught possibly from a sample/tester.
hopw are you dear?
muah x

Joni Andrea said...

Your blog is fabulous! Sending you an award - :)

cd_mfo said...

For those abroad interested in getting the Seva Mat & Towel refresher, you may email Sydney at and inquire about shipping costs!

cd_mfo said...

Thanks Marian and Joni!!! =)

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