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I've frequented makeup sites long enough to come across a number of makeup counter employees share the secrets of what it's really like to work behind the counter — whether people really take samples, and what it's like to do makeovers. Get the gossip!

I don't know about you, but I've spent many a happy hour wandering around a department store browsing shelves upon shelves of gorgeous luxury makeup, telling myself that although I don't need another lipstick or another mascara or another concealer, this one is different and so I end up buying it. And lo and behold, there is always a beautiful, smiling, glamorous person behind the makeup counter to help guide me through the confusing world of lipsticks, as well as to offer me "free" samples and even a makeover, if I'm particularly lucky. 

But there are a few secrets behind the makeup counters that you might not know — and I'm here to to share them with you. Listen up, ladies, because this is gonna be big!

Everything Is Covered In Germs

Yeah, sorry about that. But all of the samples, all of the brushes, and everything that you touch in the store — the makeup, the samples, the perfume samples — everything has already been touched by a bunch of hands, and beyond. If you think about it, that lipstick that you're swiping onto your mouth has already been swiped onto multiple mouths in the past. That mascara? Touched multiple lashes. And that kohl pencil has been swiped onto multiple waterlines. Kinda gross, if you think about it. But then, the only way you're gonna be able to avoid the germs is to either sharpen everything you come into contact with or to simply test them on the back of your hand or your jawline rather than putting them anywhere near your eyes to avoid infection. Probably the worst offender is lip gloss, so let me just tell you this — never, ever, ever put lip gloss anywhere near your mouth, even with your own clean brush. Put it on the back of your hand.
 
If you do want to have a makeover, ladies, make absolutely sure that you book the first appointment of the day. 
 
That's when the brushes are going to be freshly clean and you don't have to worry that they've been used on someone else. By lunch time, your artist might not have had time to clean their brushes properly and although they might have wanted to, they just might not have had time.
Keep in mind too that you can speak up, if you like, if you feel a little bit uncomfortable about anything that the salesperson might be doing — for example, most artists will be willing to give you a little pot of foundation to last for a day, just so that you can have something fresh without having to worry that you're using something that loads of other people have used. Alternatively, you can ask for a color chart. As long as you're reasonable with what you ask for in terms of samples, as in, one to three days' worth, most salespeople will be more than willing to provide you with that. If you ask for your own miniatures they're going to tell you that you're being cheeky, so bear that in mind.
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