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Australia’s beauty counters re-open without testers

Nothing makes a beauty junkie happier than playing with a make-up product before buying it. Sure, you can buy a new lippie or foundation online, but nothing beats swatching it on your skin to see if it’s the right colour for you. So while the news that beauty counters have reopened brought joy to beauty…

Nothing makes a beauty junkie happier than playing with a make-up product before buying it. Sure, you can buy a new lippie or foundation online, but nothing beats swatching it on your skin to see if it’s the right colour for you.

So while the news that beauty counters have reopened brought joy to beauty enthusiasts, it was short-lived for some with the announcement make-up testers have been ditched.

Major Australian beauty retailers Sephora, Mecca, Priceline and Myer have all confirmed the products – which are traditionally left out for shoppers to play with – were no longer available for safety reasons to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Instead, the products would simply be used for display.

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The decision is part of the industry’s move to get business flowing after doors to stores were forced shut in the midst of the coronavirus global pandemic.

So does this mean testers are a thing of the past forever?

Dr William Schaffner, professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee said he’s adopted a three word response to the question: “Not to worry”.

“I think the risk, if there is any at all, must be vastly low,” he told a worried beauty lover in a Q&A for CNN.

“This isn’t the time to share lipstick, mascara, powder. Keep it to yourself,” he said.

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The low-risk hasn’t stopped beauty retailers from adopting the advice, with a spokesperson for Mecca telling news.com.au it had adopted an alternative for shoppers.

“All testers that can be effectively disinfected are in use via a no-touch policy, with team members sanitising their hands, then sanitising the tester before hygienically dispensing it for the customer into a sample pot or onto a disposable applicator for the customer to try.”

Other retailers in Australia have taken a stricter approach, removing testers altogether until official advice changes.

“All testers and tools including makeup brushes and single use applicators will not be available for self-service for the time being,” a spokesperson for Sephora told news.com.au.

Priceline, which has remained open throughout COVID-19 as an essential service as a pharmacy, has also removed the popular feature.

“Priceline suspended beauty services and removed testers from the floor among other changes,” the spokesperson said.

While understanding, the move – which is being adopted globally too – has left some make-up fans disappointed who’ve said “Corona has changed everything”.

All retailers are following government social distancing and extra hygiene practices post-lockdown, including 1.5m gaps between shoppers, temperature checks on entry, cashless registers and hand sanitiser stations.

“Protecting the health and wellbeing of all our people is of the highest priority. This also extends to our customers,” Priceline’s spokesperson said.

“As a frontline community healthcare provider, our store teams are well trained on ensuring our customers’ health and safety is also prioritised. When it comes to measures we’ve taken in our Priceline stores, we have bolstered our cleaning and store hygiene practices.”

Mecca has also given staff personal face screens and boosted online services like its Virtual Services, which offers free-of-charge beauty consultations over FaceTime with a consultant in store.

Continue the conversation @RebekahScanlan | rebekah.scanlan@news.com.au

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