A woman from New York is suing MAC Cosmetics after a contaminated makeup sample allegedly gave her Herpes, CBS New York reports. A used lipstick was applied onto her lips by a MAC employee at a concert in May, and two days later her lips started to swell. A doctor confirmed that she had a cold sore, caused by contracting Oral Herpes.

Whilst it has yet to be determined whether the herpes derived from the lipstick sample, it is possible to get Herpes from an object that has been in touch with an infected person’s lips. Cuts or sores greatly increase the risk of passing any infections, and shared makeup can transmit not only Herpes, but other conditions such as conjunctivitis. Using disposable applicators or washing after use with alcohol is highly recommended with shared makeup, and if you are unsure of where it has been, don’t use it!

Once infected Herpes lies dormant in nerve tissues, but sometimes it may reactive, causing cold sores. Anti-viral medicines can decrease the frequency and severity of the outbreaks, so it is important to identify and treat Herpes as quickly as possible. If you are concerned you may have Herpes, visit our Herpes testing page for more information.

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