If you’ve ever thought twice about swatching those readily-available makeup samples while shopping at the beauty store, you now have even more reason to second guess that practice. A California woman is suing Sephora for emotional distress after she claims she contracted oral herpes from a sample lipstick tester during an October 2015 visit to one of their stores.
According to TMZ, the unnamed plaintiff says she was diagnosed with oral herpes by a doctor after her visit to Hollywood store where she used one of the “common use” lipsticks on display. The legal filings for the case state the customer insists that she never had the infection before her visit to the store. In her complaint, she says that she was never warned by store employees about the risk of contracting the disease. She also cited other cosmetic companies that take stronger measures—like using individual samples or supplying the assistance of trained professionals—for avoiding exposure to herpes and other infections.
Sephora has yet to comment on the lawsuit, but in the meantime, it’s safe to say that you should avoid using any cosmetic tester or sample that has not been properly disinfected and sterilized. According to the plaintiff’s complaint she is now left with emotional distress and an “incurable lifelong affliction” caused by a simple swipe of a lipstick tester.