Makeup retailer Sephora is being sued by a customer – who claims that a lipstick sample at one of its stores gave her herpes.

According to TMZ, a Californian woman is taking legal action following her visit to the Hollywood store in October 2015, where she sampled a lipstick from one of the "common use" tubes on display.

In documents obtained by the site, she states she was later diagnosed with herpes, a condition she had never had before her visit.

The complaint insists that had she been warned she was at risk of contracting the lifelong disease from using samples, she would have never used them.

She points out that other cosmetics companies offer individual samples or assistance from trained staff to minimise the risk of herpes.

The herpes virus – or "cold sore virus" – is highly contagious and can be easily passed from person to person by close direct contact. It is possible to pass herpes through sharing makeup.

The woman is now suing the French cosmetics chain, which houses brands like Fenty Beauty, for the emotional distress over an "incurable lifelong affliction" and failure to protect their customers' oral health.

IBTimes UK has reached out to Sephora for comment.

The lawsuit is likely to overshadow its recent 'Reach Out and Gift' campaign, which is designed to promote diversity. The retailer enlisted 10 members of staff from different ethnicities, skin tones, and ages to highlight unique perspectives on beauty.

"We've been having the conversation about unique perspectives in beauty and celebrating diversity in our marketing for a number of years," says Deborah Yeh, the senior vice president of marketing and brand at Sephora."But this is our first opportunity to really show it in such a demonstrative way, by elevating real people from the real Sephora beauty community."