Customer Allegedly Contracted Oral Herpes From A Lipstick Sample From Sephora!

This is the stuff nightmares are made of!

We were blissfully toasting with tequila on a Taco Tuesday when the news broke. A California woman has a lawsuit against Sephora for allegedly contracting herpes from a lipstick tester.

Who is to blame on this issue? Sephora or the customer?

The woman says "other lipstick companies have proven methods of avoiding herpes exposure -- like individual samples or assistance from trained professionals" (TMZ). If you shop IRL at Sephora, you know that there are a bunch of employees floating around the gondolas to help you if you were to ask. You can even clean the lipstick sample for yourself with the alcohol dispensers that are at least a quarter of the way filled at each station. Where there also are the very doe foot applicators you use to apply a lipstick sample. Stil, should Sephora + and it's employees have been more attentive to clean the floor sample?

Where did this all go wrong? The writers of discuss:


Half of me feels bad that she will now live with this disease for the rest of her life just because she participated in the quintessential Sephora shopping experience of swatching. The other half of me wants to go in on her lack of common sense. When she uses a public restroom, is she sittin' or squattin'? How aware are you of the dirtiness of public areas? Hello! We learn not to share chapstick in the 6th grade! Ya'll know 'cooties' has always been code for herpes, right? What upsets me is that this lawsuit threatens the Sephora shopping experience. What if a lawsuit like this prompts the Disney World of makeup stores to take away samples? Don't take swatching away from me *sobs.* Leaving Sephora with stains on my hand from swatches too pigmented to for a quick cleanse to remove is a badge of honor. I'm spiraling. I've walked around a dozen Sephora stores that look clean and for all their soft glow lighting on products, NOT ONCE have I ever thought to put a lipstick directly on my lips! I've seen teeth marks on a lipstick before! This was completely a customer error. To the herpes totting fool who 1) either double dipped with an applicator or 2) put a lipstick directly on your lips -please be more considerate the next time you enter a Sephora. Also, self-care is very important so make sure you are doing just that. No hard feelings. Most of us know better. 


The recent article about the woman in Cali that supposedly  got herpes from using a lipstick at Sephora is a little odd to me.First of all, I have known for many years sharing makeup can lead to disease & infection so I don't do it.  I borrowed an eyeliner when I was in my teens and got pink eyes so that put a quick end to that!  Secondly, that is very hard to prove. She could have gotten it from someone she dated, her cheating husband,  the friend she loaned her lipstick to, etc.  It is next to impossible to know if Sephora's tester lipstick was the true culprit. My recommendation is to never try anything that the public can taint in any way, especially if it can effect your health!  Become a germaphobic!  You will live a drama free or in this case a herpes free life!  


 Via @Oohkayla

I personally have never used a tester directly on my face before, but even if you were to use a q-tip or whatever the business offers you are still at risk. I think that any company that offers testers for customers to use at their own free will should have a sterilization process to avoid situations like this, especially since there are an abundance of diseases that don't have symptoms. In addition, I feel like that risk of it alone should be a challenge on survivor or fear factor.

I would argue that an extend you are consciously putting yourself at risk when using testers but overall it should be the company's job to protect their customers to the fullest extend, because without them there is not company.



Yikes. You couldn't pay me to put an in-store tester on my lips, but if that's how the woman from California who contracted HSV-1 from doing so, wants to collect her coin then sooo be it, I'm not hating.  But what concerns me is that I don't think this woman was trying to scheme on Sephora.  I believe she genuinely wasn't aware of the viruses and bacteria living on in-store testers.  With that being said I'm pretty disappointed in the fact that common sense was not on the fore front of her mind in this moment, but to play devil's advocate if you're an inexperienced makeup purchaser, you may not know how to clean & apply the products correctly if there's no sales associate around to assist.  Sephora can be over whelming at times, but never be afraid to ask for help - they're there to sell you on the product you wanted, plus 3 more you didn't know you needed.  But in the end Sephora needs to be held accountable 100%.  We put labels on blowdryers to warn of electrocution if we use them in a tub or near water ... the same kind of 'obvious warning' should go for sampling testers and the possible implications if the sample is not cleaned or applied correctly.  I'm not saying  you need to hire more  sales associates who can help in these minuscule tasks (or hint hint: maybe you do) but invest in more signage around testing areas that have clear written instructions and warnings against publicly shared makeup.  



After reading about this I wanted nothing more than to disinfect my soul. I don’t understand how this woman feels she can sue Sephora when she herself tested the lipstick DIRECTLY from the tube, onto her lips. Is she too oblivious when it comes to cleanliness. I feel that the risk of using testers is more so common sense. She apparently is suing for “emotional distress caused by their failure to offer safer testers”. Sephora provides Hand Sanitizer and Alcohol as well as cotton swaps, pads and disposable lip applicators and mascara wands. They’re there to be used, and if empty simply ask a worker for help no matter how unapproachable some may be. Health over everything. While I do not blame Sephora for this incident, however I do feel that Sephora should halt letting just anyone who walks through the door whether wealthy or homeless, from using testers especially without the consult of a worker. Herpes doesn’t discriminate and that shit is for life. if you are in the know of your diagnosis, you shouldn’t be going to Sephora or any store and testing out lipsticks, It is YOUR responsibility of looking out for others. As for us, who are uninfected it’s OUR responsibility to look out for ourselves. 




(Above) The face you make after realizing you are the only person who has used a tester on Meetpepperb. I feel bad for this situation. However, I am a firm believer that if you don't know the answer to something find it. I haven't tried a lipstick but I have used testers in Sephora and thoroughly cleaned anything before using it. Most of the time Sephora is extremely busy not that this is an excuse, but why put your safety in someone else's hand ? I prefer to sanitize my own items. I feel better being responsible if something happens. There is google, we take time to research a lot things but why not research something that would prevent you from having long term issues. On several occasions shopping I've witness Sephora employees stop customers and request that they use disposable wands. I am sure they can't keep an eye on every single situation. As the shopper I think its important for you to sanitize your own items.


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