Posted by: cindyletchworth | April 25, 2012

One Cosmetic Applicator, Ten Users

I was sitting there waiting for my niece to perform in her school talent show. She was to perform with a group of girls and they all looked adorable in their matching skirts and scarves. Before the show started, one of the girls came up to her mother and asked for some make-up. The mother whipped out her cosmetic bag and began applying eye shadow, blush and lip stain to the eight-year-old’s face. She applied all of this color with one brush.

pd7609I didn’t think too much about it until a second girl came up wanting the same thing. Suddenly all the girls were waiting for a turn. I sat in disbelief as the woman applied the eye shadow and lip stain to each child using the very same brush. I wanted to reach down and hand her some of our sterile Cotton Tipped Applicators.

As the brush went from mouth to eyes I shuddered. What if the Herpes Simplex virus was lingering on someone’s lips? According to WebMD this virus often starts working before you actually see any evidence of a sore. As anyone who has ever had a cold sore knows, that is often the case. You usually feel sensations on your lips or mouth before you actually see anything. Touching an infected area, and then your eyes, can spread the virus.

Just opening a cosmetic product and exposing it to the air, leaves it vulnerable to bacteria. If elements like saliva or water are introduced, this only boosts the contamination possibilities, say many experts. Since saliva is loaded with germs, you should never lick your finger and then use it as an applicator.

Even our own lashes harbor bacteria. The folks at Brigham and Women’s Hospital explain that if a brush touches your lash and then goes back into the product you are using, bacteria is being added to the cosmetic. The germs on our own lashes normally don’t bother us, but if there is a virus, such as Pink Eye hovering there, it can easily spread to the next person should they use the same brush or wand. All cosmetics, and especially mascara which directly touches the lashes, should always be a one-person product.

Thankfully no mascara was presented to the girls, and since my niece was the last one in line, I just hoped no one was ill. Cosmetics are fun, but like everything, they need to be used carefully, especially when touching them to your precious, precious eyes.



  1. Postscript: My niece unfortunately did come down with Pink Eye 2 days after the show. So I will leave it for you to decide if the cosmetic sharing was the culprit.

  2. It was bad enough to use the same applicator on each child, but to use the same brush for eyeshadow and lip stain. That seems so gross to me. Never in a million years would I use my lip brush for my eyeshadow. My guess is the Pink eye came from the makeup sharing, hope your neice is better soon!

  3. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Susan. Appreciate your “vote” on this issue.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: