Mouthing Off

05.30.13

Woman Allegedly Contracts Herpes from Rihanna Lipstick Tester

A New York City waitress is suing MAC Cosmetics, saying she was infected by Rihanna's "Riri Woo" lipstick.

Call it a serious case of Disturbia: A New York City waitress has filed a lawsuit against MAC Cosmetics after alledgedly contracting Herpes while visiting the brand’s Rihanna capsule collection pop-up shop at the Barclay's Center on May 7.

Starkeema Greenidge, 28, claims that a brand representative applied an unsanitized, herpes-infected tube of ‘Riri Woo’ lipstick to her mouth. She says that two days after her visit to the pop-up, she developed a cold sore on her lip which a doctor diagnosed as herpes. She is suing MAC for an undisclosed amount of money, seeking reparation for emotional distress and lost earnings after missing two weeks of work.

Greenidge’s suit outlines that MAC’s makeup artist “didn’t use a fresh or new lipstick tube, but rather one that had been used for other patrons.” While this practice is common amongst makeup brands, who tend to offer ‘testers’ for customers to try, in the United States it is commonplace for those tubes to be sanitized between each use. When Greenidge allegedly inquired if the ‘Riri Woo’ tube-in-question was clean, the MAC representatives hastily insisted that it was. “This is going to happen over and over again if nothing is done,” Greenidge told the New York Daily News of her mouthy ordeal.

When reached for comment on Thursday, a spokesperson for MAC Cosmetics issued the following statement to The Daily Beast: “Consumer safety is a top priority at MAC Cosmetics, and we take these matters very seriously. We are closely reviewing these claims.” [NYDN]

Editor’s Note: This story originally incorrectly characterized Herpes cold sores as a sexually transmitted disease. Herpes cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1), which is usually not an STD.