Is This the End of In-Store Makeup Testers At Beauty Stores?
Germaphobes have long side-eyed makeup testers, even before a global pandemic shuttered beauty retailers' doors around the world. Communal lipstick used by 138 other people!? No, thankyouverymuch. Still, for most people (86 percent, according to a study by Base Beauty Creative Agency), sampling a beauty product before making a purchase is a critical component of in-store shopping. How else can you know for sure how well a foundation or moisturiser works with your skin tone and type without physically trying it on for size?
That, amid store reopenings post-COVID 19 lockdown this month, seems to be the million-dollar question.
The problem? Despite the strict parameters around store hygiene procedures, there is no set guidance for beauty retailers on what to do about product samples from the US government. That means companies are left to weigh their options individually, keeping in mind that consumers have adopted a newfound focus on cleanliness.
"This is the thing that I'm working through the most, because how are people going to test beauty products before they buy them?" said Jess Richards, founder of Brooklyn-based retailer SHEN Beauty.
The possible answer: they don't. While avoiding in-store makeup testers like the plague from some apocalyptic zombie nightmare may not be the answer, retailers are experimenting with a multitude of alternatives. What that looks like across the board is uncertain, but one thing is for sure: change is looming.
In-Store Testers Will Be For Display Only
As a result of sanitary concerns amid coronavirus lockdowns, big-name retailers like Ulta and Sephora are nixing traditional beauty testers in lieu of display samples when they reopen their doors.
"We are still in the early planning stages, but expect testers as we know them to go away," April Uchitel, CEO of Violet Grey. For Sephora, a rep echoed that sentiment, confirming they will be pulling samples for use "to protect the safety and health of our entire community" for the time being.