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Things to Know before You Buy Used Makeup Online


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Reddit is a great resource for many things: Discovering new memes, uncensored interviews with celebs (Snoop Dogg is a fan of K Pop, FYI) and, believe it or not, scoring sweet makeup deals. Yep, this stripped-down dude bulletin board is also home to the Makeup Exchange, a forum where users can sell, request and even swap products for free. Picked up the wrong shade of M.A.C. foundation?

No problem, Julie in Montana will trade you for her Stila lipstick in Phenomenal. Sounds like a makeup junkie’s dream … except for one teensy, tiny, problem: The majority of products being passed around have all been used.

Although the forum’s rules prohibit the sale or swap of used makeup and old nail polish, they are accompanied by a link to this tutorial on how to disinfect your used makeup before you sell or swap it. New rules require all users to post pictures of their products and state how many times they’ve been used.

This is supposed to offer peace of mind, knowing starry night girl’s lipstick is “used the most, but less than 10 times,” only makes me more paranoid. But here, in this land of voracious makeup swapping, no one else seems worried about a minor thing like hygiene. Instead, the forum’s users are more concerned with whether a shade is true “Caramel” as opposed to “Bronze Tan” and how much they are going to have to pay for shipping.

But after extending the question, “Would you swap used makeup?” to our Facebook fans, I know I’m not alone in my squirming — many of you were not down with swapping with strangers (or in some cases even your closest friends), but others had some ifs and buts in their reasoning. What did health experts and cosmetics chemists have to say about your advice on swapping used makeup? We investigate.

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