I like to think of myself as a pretty generous person, especially when it comes to my friends. “What’s mine is yours” pretty much sums up my philosophy and my friends know that in an emergency they can raid my closet for dresses, shoes, jewelery, a curling iron or anything they need. That being said, there are some beauty products I wouldn’t share with my BFF, and neither should you.
Mascara and eyeliner
I shouldn’t need to tell you: eyes are super sensitive. This means that you should be extra careful with any product that goes near your eyes. Your eyelids and lashes are the playground of tons of gross bacteria, that then hitches a ride on your mascara wand and eyeliner. This makes it really easy to transfer harmful bacteria to your bestie (and for her to transfer bacteria back to you). To make matters worse, the mascara tube is a dark, damp place, just the kind of place bacteria love to breed in. Avoid awful infections like pink eye, and keep your mascara and eyeliner all to yourself.
Lip gloss, lipstick, chapstick, anything that goes on your lips, really. I know, it’s almost second nature to reach into your friend’s purse when your lips are dry or your rouge needs retouching, but this is a really bad idea. These products make it really easy to transfer contagious infections and germs, like the common cold. More worrying, this is a great way to transfer the oral herpes virus (HSV-1). According to Planned Parenthood, more than half of adults carry this virus, and it can be contagious even when not showing sores. It’s not a specifically harmful virus, but it is annoying and unsightly when flaring out.
Anything that comes in a jar
Be honest, do you wash your hands every time you are going to apply lip butter or lip gloss? That’s okay, me neither. I try, but sometimes I’m in a hurry or I forget, so I end up sticking my dirty fingers in the jar anyway. Now multiply this by how many people are using the same lip gloss. No need to do the math, the answer is “gross”. The same applies to face lotion, foundation, primer and any other product that comes in a jar.
I’m sure you went over this in middle school health class. Never share any personal item that can draw blood, like razors. Sure, this is to avoid HIV, as your health ed teacher told you, but that’s far from the only thing you can catch from someone else’s blood. Used razors are a great way to spread blood-borne viruses (like staph infections) and bacterial infections that can be extremely dangerous. Not to mention certain STDs, like Hepatitis B can be transmitted this way as well. Razors are cheap, it’s worth it to buy your own one.
Finding that perfect foundation sponge that distributes the product perfectly, has great texture and helps you put on a full face of natural-looking make-up faster is my version of heaven. I would love to share that joy with my friends, but I know better. Sponges are made from soft, porous material (shocking, I know) that makes it really easy for bacteria to reproduce. Sharing sponges mean that you can spread all kinds of infections without even trying. Keep your sponges clean, wash them once a week with cleanser and hot water. And keep them to yourself.