Now we all know the one about not eating bar nuts, but according to a LA Times report a biological sciences professor called Dr. Elizabeth Brooks has unearthed another area of hygienic concern for consumers, cosmetic testers in-store. With hundreds of people squeezing, poking, dabbing and smudging the cosmetics laid out at the beauty counters, it is not surprising that anything other than draconian hygiene practices can lead to some very ugly results. Dr. Brooks directed a two-year study in department stores, specialty beauty shops and pharmacies with rather disquieting results. Counter products tested positive for Herpies, E. Coli, Conjunctivitis (pink eye), Straph and Strep and at busy times like Saturdays the percentage of infected make up rose to 100%. Not a pretty sight! There are ways to avoid a rather uncomfortable conversation with your boyfriend, 'No honestly my love I got it from a lipstick...' Opt for single serving testers, wipe the surface of the product with an alcohol soaked tissue before testing or ask for a disposable applicator like a cotton bud. If you are fancy one of those Oompa Loompa counter make overs make sure they use a clean brush. The rule of thumb is...if in doubt avoid testers touching your eyes, nose and mouth.