Friday, December 21, 2012

Hello Winter!

Brrrrrrr...Fight dry winter skin. Since your skin produces less oil in the winter due to the absence of sunlight and heat, you’re left with dry skin.  There is less humidity in winter air, which causes any moisture you may have to evaporate right off of your skin.
Here are some usesful tips to ensure your skin looks healthy and radiant in frigid weather.
Tip #1: Exfoliate

Take the extra step - it’s worth it! It’s important to exfoliate during the winter because dry skin will clog your pores resulting in breakouts. Some scrub cleansers can be harsh on dry skin, so try baking soda.

Tip #2: Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize

You need a heavy moisturizer this season. Have no fear! You can go back to your beloved oil-free moisturizer in the summertime, but you need a heavier moisturizer infused with humectants to draw water from the atmosphere into your skin. Hydrate with honey! See the benefits of honey here. Not convinced? Try Organic, Cold Pressed Coconut Oil paired with Pure MSM Cream - your skin will look instantly plumper and firmer.

Tip #3: Avoid Harsh Acne Products

Avoid alcohol-based products in the winter.  They can be too drying and can backfire by intensifying redness in your already sensitive skin.   Reduce the dryness. Buy a product made with witch hazel rather than alcohol to avoid stripping the skin. If you have a breakout, use Tea Tree Oil. That pimple will be zapped overnight!

Tip #4: Bring the Humidity in Doors

Invest in a humidifier.  Air is naturally drier in the winter and since we spend most of our time in doors during this season and getting dried out by heating systems.  So humidifiers are a must.

Happy First Day of Winter!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Engagement Season Is Here!

 Makeup by MyChoKolateKisses Makeup Artistry

'Tis the season! Did you know that it’s officially “engagement season"? Did you know that 1/3 of couples do get engaged from November to February? Maybe it’s the family gatherings. Maybe it's the family portraits. Maybe because it's getting cold outside. Whatever it is, there is something in the air that makes this the season for engagements.

According to The Wedding Report, December is the most popular month for engagements. There are many reasons why the holidays have grown to become the most popular time for engagements; family is in town, everyone can be involved, everyone is in the holiday spirit, love is simply in the air…um, and sales LOL.

The holidays are a perfect time to propose, which is why it is the most popular time of year to pop the question.

If you are considering MyChoKolateKisses as your Makeup Artist, give us a call at 770-820-5927 or shoot us an email – don’t be shy.

Happy Holidays!  Kisses!
Last minute touch ups before Stephanie walks down the aisle!

Last minute touch ups before Fatima walks down the aisle!
Visit for Karen's portfolio.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Types of Beards - Grow The Right Style For You

November is slowly ending and your beard should be growing like crazy. Now what? What kind of beard should you shape it into? Puzzled about where to start? Find the style that suits you.  Here are some beard styles that you may want to follow.

A chin beard that is grown long into a point and styled with an accompanying mustache to resemble the shape of a ship's anchor.
Anchor Beard worn by Zac Efron

A wide chin beard that covers the chin as well as a small area beyond it, accompanied by a separated mustache.
Balbo Beard worn by Johnny Depp

Chin Curtain
A longer beard grown only along the lower portion of the face, covering the chin and following the jawline.

Chin Curtain worn by Abraham Lincoln

Circle Beard
Facial hair consisting of a chin beard and mustache connected by hair along the sides of one's mouth, thus forming a circle. Also called a "door knocker." Sometimes referred to as a "goatee," though technically the goatee refers only to hair growing on the chin area, not the mustache.

 Circle Beard worn by Kanye West

Full Beard
A beard characterized by coverage on all areas of the face: upper lip, chin, sides, and sideburns. A full beard can have either a styled or integrated mustache, and can be clipped close or grown long. There are many possible variations of the full beard.

Full Beard as seen on Duck Dynasty

A wide, full beard with a rounded bottom and integrated mustache.
 Garbardi Beard worn by Rick Ross

A beard formed by hair grown only on the chin area.

Goatee worn by P. Diddy 

A beard with integrated mustache that is worn on the lower part of the chin and jaw area, without connecting sideburns.

Hollywoodian Beard worn by Leonardo DiCaprio  

Soul Patch
A small tuft of hair under the lower lip. Also called a "royale" or a "flavor saver."

Soul Patch Beard worn by Mario Vanpeebles

A large, long beard, connected by sideburns, without a mustache. Also called a "Shenandoah."

Spade Beard worn by Freeway

Van Dyck
A goatee accompanied by a mustache; usually the two are not connected.

Van Dyck Beard worn by Colonel Sanders

Whats your favorite beard style??

Happy Growing,


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

November is National Beard Month

It's cold outside so I expect to see more grizzly faces this season.  

November is National Beard [Growing] Month.  Join the challenge!  Okay, so you may initial start off with a sloppy look, but hang in there. You'll get over it.  You'll be grateful for your patience at the end in exchange for a bunch of beard 4 weeks later! 

I asked my BF to join the challenge. Stay tuned to see the transformation.  Photo taken 11.05.12

Start here:

  • Schedule your plan to coincide with your vacation to stay away from friends, family and coworkers.  This can get ugly.  If you must, keep your beard tapered once a week.
  • Give your face a final clean shave to remove trapped dirt and make way for succeeding hair to grow evenly.
Want to grow a beard even faster? Try these!

  • Eucalyptus Oil - It stimulates blood flow around the hair follicle to promote hair growth.
  • Rogaine - (don't laugh) Even without FDA approval, many people used the “hair stimulant” property of the anti-hypertensive drug to induce hair growth. Be cautious when trying any drugs that aren't FDA approved for facial hair. If these products are consumed too much over time or rubbed in extra amounts, they can cause serious damage to the skin. It even induces severe side effects like a lapse in your blood pressure.  So be careful in choosing a product to grow a beard. 
  • VitaBeard - Specially formulated to aid beard growth, this dietary supplement which contains B-complex, Silica, MSM and other vitamins, is not only reported to promote facial hair growth but also alleviate the "itchy beard syndrome".
  • Biotin - This should sound familiar if you're a naturalista reading this.  Taking one capsule daily can increase metabolic reaction to strengthen hair root.
Will you join the challenge?

Happy Growing!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Here Comes Honey, Boo Boo!

Honey, the natural amber-colored sweetener that lends a moistness and rich flavor to cakes and cookies, provides many benefits to the body in a few different ways.  I guess we all know that honey is great for healing sore throats, coughs and general cold symptoms, but did you know that the vitamins, minerals and amino acids found in honey make it a wonderful chemical-free skincare product?

One tablespoon of honey a day can do wonders to your body and soul. Although honey is pretty high in calories, when consumed with hot water, it can work as a good weight loss agent by burning the fat stored in our body. Honey raises our protective antioxidant levels which will help in removing these free radicals and build the immunity of the body. Honey's natural antioxidant and anti-fungal properties help disinfect and speed the repair of wounds, damaged tissue and burns, protect the skin from the damage of the sun's rays, supports the skin's ability to rejuvenate and refresh depleted skin; leaving it feeling silky soft, supple and a reduction of wrinkles.

Photo courtesy of The New Zealand Honey Shop
Honey as a wound dressing can help promote healing and prevent infection due to its natural antimicrobial properties. The sugars interact with water in a way that microorganisms cannot develop. When the sweetener comes in contact with wounds, hydrogen peroxide is produced. The creation of the hydrogen peroxide can provide antibacterial benefits to ulcerated areas, which speeds healing and prevents infections.

Honey's ability to absorb impurities from the pores on the skin and retain moisture make it an ideal part of a dry skin regimen.  Using a honey-based facial mask is beneficial to areas of skin that tend to become dry or itchy because it lends moisture to those areas. People have oily skin can also benefit from honey.  The sweetener can help your skin retain moisture and elasticity without drying it out, as some conventional facial washes do.  With the wide-ranging of natural skin care recipes, there's no wonder that you can find a huge number of honey products in the market for hair care, baby care, skin care for sunscreen, hand lotions, facial scrubs and moisturizers.  Honey is the key ingredient in a lot of cosmetics because it helps keep the skin hydrated and fresh and prevents drying. 

There are two primary things to keep in mind when purchasing honey for nutritional purposes. First, dark colored honey, is generally thought to contain higher levels of antioxidants than the lighter colored varieties. Second, raw or unprocessed honey contains the widest variety of health-supportive substances.

Stay Sweet, Honey!


Monday, October 8, 2012

Skin Care Tips For Men With Beards

Taking care of your skin is vital during the growth period of your beard.  Oily skin, dry skin and everything in between… we all have one or the other, and it changes from season to season.

Depending on the weather conditions, your facial skin is TTG [trained to go] to protect itself.  Your face reacts differently when exposed to different elements.  In dryer climates your skin may feel a bit drier, stiffer and tighter [we'll blame that on the these colder, darker months], where in more humid climates the opposite reaction may be more common.  So how do you care for your skin underneath if there is a beard in the way?  Many of you think that there’s no need since it’s covered by hair, right? Wrong! This skin is just as important as the rest of your face. Here’s how you should be taking care of it this season.

  • Exfoliating is very important. It rids the face of dead skin cells while allowing the younger skin cells to reach the surface. This helps to keep the skin looking and feeling young and healthy!
  • For bearded men with normal to oily skin, it is even more important to make sure that a facial exfoliation regimen is implemented at least once a week. That's it - just once a week.  A careful focus on the bearded area will help to remove dead skin and oils that can build-up and create skin irritation and cause "the scratchy beard syndrome" and for others, acne.
  • For the guys with the challenge of dry skin, exfoliation is still important. Also, make sure that your beard is not only shampooed but conditioned. This is very important for health of the beard, and the skin underneath.  Shampoo and condition your beard every 2-3 days.
  • For all skin types, implementing a moisturizer will help to balance the skin of the oily beard and provide relief with an extra boost of moisture for the drier bearded gentleman. If you fall off the wagon during this dry season, it will take 10-14 days to add moisture back to your skin. 
Growing a beard can be an easy way to freshen up your look this season.  Keep it fresh. Until next time....stay tuned for more tips on how to care for your beard.

Give Your Face A Rest - Grow A Beard

Let the fall season begin! Fall is definitely my favorite time of the year.  Not only I do I love the wardrobe shift, there’s something about a beard complimenting a man’s scarf and pea coat.  It totally works.

 Tom Ford Autumn-Winter 2012/2013 Campaign 

Growing a beard this season won’t be such a pain because you get the chance to give up the woes of shaving on a daily basis.  Giving your face a rest has its advantages on your skin too.  Growing a beard gives your skin the chance to start over.  Many men struggle with ingrown hairs, razor bumps and burns.  By the time spring comes back around, you will restore your skin back to its natural state. 

Before you commit to growing your beard…oops, I know commitment is a scary word. Its okay, you just have to pick up a few products and stick to a regimen.  Treat your facial hair the same as you would the hair on your head.

Follow these steps:

  • Use shampoos and conditioners on your beard 2-3 times a week
  • Exfoliate once a week
  • Use Tea Tree Oil for ingrown hairs
Easy enough, right?

For those of you who struggle with growing your beard, you can always invest in a Beardo.

 UFC Fighter Tyson Griffin wearing his Beardo. Photo courtesy of Beardo.

Read more about beard care here.

Happy Growing!


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Is That A Squirrel In Your Makeup Bag?

Okay, so I was over here I am feeling like I lost a bff a couple weeks ago. I misplaced my personal makeup bag [OR someone stole it because it hasn't popped up YET!] with at least 10 of my favorite items, including the BEST makeup brush that I've ever owned. This eco-friendly brush set was gifted to me by one of my best buds. The bristles were amazingly soft, so soft that it actually feels like squirrel. Yes, I've pet a squirrel before, but I cant say that I've ever rubbed a squirrel's hindquarters on my face. Awkward moment... Anyway, for my #mondaymakeupmadness tip on 9/17/12, I posted "Have a some faves in your makeup bag? Double up in case your makeup bag is lost, stolen or misplaced". It was definitely a sad day in paradise. I wasn't worried about the makeup, that can be replaced.

The brushes were perfect for me and that's what made me upset. I wasn't sure that I would find another set to fall in love with. Funny enough [well, not so funny] I took pics a week before "the case of my missing makeup bag" because I intended on blogging about these brushes.  

Well, this brings me to my post tonight... There are so many brushes out there, are you using the right one for you? Cosmetic brushes are essential tools for all makeup users - amateurs and pros alike. They come in many brands, types and two major categories: man-made aka synthetic and natural aka animal hair. Is there a squirrel in your makeup bag? Some companies may tell you that their natural-hair brushes are 100%. They buy from manufacturers in other countries and therefore, they don't know firsthand how the animals were treated. I'm not sure if I like the idea of using animals for the purpose of using their fur for makeup brushes anyway. Because I didn't know where to find the previous brush set, I went to Ulta to purchase a 5 brush set by Eco Tools. They are super soft and they came with an Alicia Silverstone cosmetic bag made with cotton & hemp blend!
Anyway, enough about my opinions. Here are the facts. 

Natural Brushes 
What they’re made of: Often made with real hair from animals, like squirrels, goats, horses, minks, sables, badgers, mongooses or a combination of multiple animals’ hair. So, if you oppose using animal products or are concerned about ethical animal treatment, you might not want to choose this option. 
• Soft, more natural finish to your makeup 
• Easy application of powder cosmetics, like loose powder, powder blush or powder eye shadows 
• Even distribution of makeup pigments, which prevents streaks, blotchiness or a caked on appearance Cons: 
• If you have an allergy to some animal hair or fur, you might not want a natural makeup brush 
• Natural brushes aren’t good for applying cream-based makeup. This can result in a cakey, sticky finish 
• Natural brushes are often more expensive than synthetic brushes 

Synthetic Brushes 
What they’re made of: Typically have bristles made of taklon or nylon. They don’t use natural hair or fur from animals. 
• They’re ideal for deep, rich colors or dramatic makeup looks 
• They offer precise application in small, defined areas, such as your lips, lashline or on specific blemishes  
• They have a lower price tag than natural brushes 
• They’re ideal for cream-based concealer, foundation or lipstick
• They can become cakey and goopy with makeup 
• Their bristles harden with time, which can make your makeup application more difficult and uncomfortable 

Whichever bristles you chose to work with, make sure you care for them properly to extend the life. Stay tuned for a post on how to care for your brushes. That's all for now! Kisses!

Monday, September 17, 2012

MyChoKolateKisses Makeup Artistry Backstage at Bronner Bros. Int'l. Hair...

I was honored to be a part of the nation's most leading African American hair and skin care companies. The show comes to the Georgia World Congress Center twice a year. People of different backgrounds, cultures, shades and preferences had one thing in common - hair. This year, the Bronner Brothers International Hair Show celebrated it 65 years serving the hair and beauty industry with its products and giving us the best show. It is considered to be the world’s largest beauty and trade show of its kind, the event will includes a comedy show, church service and a legendary “Barber Battle.”

So here I am backstage at the hair show. Three days of creative hairstyles, makeup and wardrobe.

Here's a #picstitch of some photos that were taken backstage. Makeup done by yours truly :)

If you love Chokolate, Click. Like. Fall in Love & Share with a Friend!

Until next time,


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Skin Magicians

For a model, a good skin care routine should not only be personal, it is important for a career move. Get your complexion ready for close-ups with these photo-ready tips, tricks and crisis solutions.

Flaky, patchy skin and acne are not a girl's bff, especially when you are a model., computer programs can work its magic on pimples and baggy eyes, but there's no program in the world creative enough to generate real healthy, radiant, even-toned skin. Everyone isn't lucky enough to be born with radiant skin. Some of us have to work at it but it can be achieved with proper skin care. Models who lack proper skin care regimes present a number of obstacles for makeup artists. Not only are we faced with the usual challenges of creating gorgeous makeup applications that will last and not melt under hot lights, we also have to ensure that our work doesn't show up blighted on a beautiful model who has unflattering skin.

The makeup artists who specialize in photo shoots and fashions shows have a few tricks up their sleeves for presenting neglected skin to make it look its absolute best. Their biggest tips are no secret - just your normal back-to-basics tips that are very effective and easy to promote healthy, flawless skin.

Below are a few tips to get your skin photo-ready:

Cleanse - Your face collects all kinds of particles. Besides the particles in the air, your face is also exposed to chemical substances found in makeup. Since your face takes up a lot different facial beatings everyday, let's ensure that we keep it youthful and glowing. Cleansing is one of the best ways we can keep your skin as healthy as it can be and is one of the most important processes your face must go through everyday.

Tone - Toners close and tightening pores. Since you probably wash your face with warm water, which opens the pores to cleanse them, toner helps to close them back up. It prepares the face for a smooth makeup application.

Moisturize - Normal cleansing can strip your skin of its natural oils and leave it feeling dry and flaky. A good moisturizer is essential no matter what type of skin you have. Try a light, oil-free moisturzier for oily skin. Use cream moisturizers for dry skin and apply it twice a day. Water-based moisturizers work best for combination skin types. Use a high spf during the summer and double up pn moisturizer during winter months.

Exfoliate Once a Week - Exfoliation is an excellent part of maintaining healthy, balanced skin. It prevents the skin from becoming clogged and congested. It keeps your skin looking fresh and glowing. Look for products with natural ingredients.

Get a Facial - When was the last time you treated yourself to a facial? Facials are not only a great way to relax, they give your face a deep cleaning, promoting circulation and stimulating a nice glow to your complexion.

Keep Your Climate Under Control - To ensure that your skin is hydrated, besides drinking plenty of water, invest in a humidifier. It locks in the moisture and prevents the skin from drying out. When the skin is dehydrated, lines become more visable.

Remove Makeup Before Going To Sleep. It is not okay to leave your makeup on overnight. Any makeup left on overnight clogs the pores, forms comedones and results in skin that looks and feels bumpy. Acne is not your bff. The dirt and oil stains your pillow cases and leaves behind all kinds of bacteria.

Care For Your Skin - Get back to the basics with a simple cleansing regime - cleanse, tone, moisturize. Prepare your skin for beautiful photos. You worked hard bookng the event so make sure your skin is as beautiful as it can be - naturally.

Although makeup artists are talented at finding the right foundation to fit your skin; colors that compliment your beauty; concealer to hide unevened tones; we can't magically fix what is going on inside. Beauty is definitely skin deep because it starts from within. You know the saying "you are what you eat" - this not only relates to weight, but to how your skin reacts to what you consume. The foods that we eat are processed, full of sugar and all kinds of synthetic substances. It influences hormone levels and effects the skins overall look. Eating fruits and vegetables and drinking plenty of water keeps your skin fresh and beautiful.

When it comes to skin care, some people just don't realize what affects the weather, pollution and diets have on their skin. Plenty of water and a balanced diet can help some, but a good skin care routine is essential to healthy, fresh and vibrant looking skin for everyone.

Happy Cleansing!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Super Sunday

Im baaaack! It's been a hectic season for me, doing what I absolutely LOVE -bridal makeup! Pictures coming soon. Anyway, I received a great offer from my friends over at Sugar Lips Apparel! My favorite was the Sunday Striped Dress. The fit is amazing. The breathable cotton was so comfortable to wear on a hot summer day. It was so appropriate to wear today, Sunday of course, with a splash of any color. I chose orange. I put on my favorite scarf [fit for the perfect bad hair day] and my new favorite shoes. I think I had a citrus overdose when I added Morange by MAC - totally appropriate for the summer tho. I think orange is my new favorite color.
I totally love animal prints. I try to incorporate the prints every chance
I get. It's the the fruits of the jungle. This is my rendition of Journey to Brasil and Im loving it.

For more info, visit to update your wardrobe with for the summer.

Happy Shopping!


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Get Zapped!

For those of you who get tired of the hair on your chin and want to hang up the razors and retire the waxing kits, laser hair removal is a practical and efficient way to reduce the density of hair growth on the body and certain parts of the face. Oh, wait...or is it just me? I’ve had this problem for as long as I could remember looking at my Aunt's face and wondering why in the world is she walk around with hair on her chin; just shave it off!. One day it happened to me. Thick hairs turned into dark spots. I’ve gone to the dermatologist for prescription creams that didn’t work. I shaved. I waxed. I plucked at home. I plucked in the car at red lights on my way to work [that was the best light]. You would never catch me without tweezers in my makeup bag. The hairs were easy, the dark spots was the hard part. Unitl one day I decided to try a laser treatment. I told my sister, who has the same problem [yeah it definitely runs in the family], about my decision. We discussed the hazards and pain that we might encounter. I did some research and discovered that laser hair removal would not only remove the thick hairs from my chinny-chin-chin, but would also minimize my dark spots that the plucking left behind. I thought to give it a try but the procedure was pretty costly.

My worries went away when I saw a Groupon for laser hair removal a few months ago and jumped at the opportunity to finally get rid of the unwanted hair that I’ve been cursed with. I went for a consult at the office that offered the discount. I sat in the waiting room for 30 minutes only to find out that they did not have the proper laser equipment to remove hair for darker skin. WHAT?! Why didnt they tell me this over the phone? I guess it wouldn't be proper to ask what tone I was over the phone. I was a little discourage until I was referred to a specialist who was more equipped with working with darker skin types and who had the YAG lasers [AND who would honor my Groupon, of course].

How Laser Hair Removal Works. The process entails delivering a laser beam to a cluster of hair follicles to heat them and put them in the resting stage of growth. ZAP!

Hazards to Dark Skin Tones. People with fair skin and dark hair generally get the best results from the treatment. Those with darker skin tones can also get good results from this type of treatment. However, the Hair Removal Journal notes that treating dark skin can be challenging.

Lasers target the melanin [which is pigment] in the hair follicle. The problem for those with darker skin is that the melanin in the skin "steals" the light that should be absorbed by the melanin in the hair follicle, says Hair Removal Journal. This makes it more likely that the skin will blister as a result of treatment. People with tanned and dark skin aren't excluded from the procedure, but dermatologists and techinicians who perform the treatments must exercise extreme care.

Laser Types. Three devices that may be used when treating dark skin tones are alexandrite, diode and YAG lasers. Lasers with longest light wavelength are used to treat those with very dark skin, as the light can still be absorbed by the melanin in the hair follicles without harming the skin.

I started my treatment at Cosmetic Laser Specialists in Dunwoody in late March. My appointments are only once a month and I must say that I am excited about my results so far. Although the hairs weren't visible, I went for my third treatment last week. I was in and out in about 10 minutes; even after I asked the technician to spend a little time zapping a little at my sideburns, free of charge. ;)

Here's an oooold pic I found without makeup and a most recent pic. Dark spot are fading away...

Give laser hair removal a try. I'm glad I did. Now I'm thinking about other unwanted hair I plan to remove. Let me know what you think!

Happy Zapping!


Monday, May 7, 2012

Bumble Bee

Hi there, MCK here! MCK has been busy like a bumble bee this Spring with many shoots and events. Here's a sneak peak of the new photos that will be posted on MCK's website. PrimeTime Magazine Fashion Show/Power Shoot:
Bridal Shoot with Empress Holley:
Street Shoot with Sachete:
Beauty Shoot with PrimeTime Magazine:
Stay tuned for more updates. In the meantime, be sure to follow MyChoKolateKisses on Twitter @choklatekisses for new updates on Makeup Monday Madness for tips starting TODAY, Monday, May 7, 2012. You'll be glad you did :) Thats all for now! Kisses!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Makeup During Pollen Season

Spring is here! The sun is shining bright [and so are your toes and finger nails], the flowers are blooming, the bees are you know what that means?! It's also pollen season. This past weekend, Atlanta's pollen count hit a record high with over 8,000 pollen particles in the air - and still counting. YIKES! If you're anything like me, your eyes are watering like crazy right now. It's pretty annoying when you want to look your best and rock your new makeup for the season.

It's really not the best idea to wear too much makeup because you'll end up wiping off anyway. But if you insist, here's a technique that I think you'll be happy to try. First, of course, prime your lids. Then, for the browbone and lid, use a concealer as a highlight and/or shadows close to your skin tone. Next, put a bright pop of color in the crease and blend upwards into the browbone color so there are no harsh lines. Use a waterproof eyeliner if you want, but definitely go for the waterproof mascara. Your coated lashes will be sure to keep the pollen from falling into your eyes.

If you have severe allergies and you find yourself rubbing your eyes all the time, just make your lips pop and your cheeks rosey. Until you can really show your beautiful face in public again, keep your hands clean, keep them out of your face, and medicate!

Happy First Day of Spring!


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Lip Service - Miss. Lead

It’s bold. It’s beautiful. It makes a statement. Whether you wear a bold red or a modest nude, lipstick has always been a staple in a girl's makeup bag. Well, recent studies show that there may be some dangers lurking in your makeup bag.

A new study of lead in lipstick conducted by the FDA reveals that the level of lead in lipstick is actually worse than previously reported. The new study found lead in 400 lipsticks tested by the agency, at widely varying levels of up to 7.19 parts per million [ppm] which is more than twice the levels reported in a previous FDA study in 2009.

Severe levels of exposure to lead have been linked to miscarriages, infertility and learning disabilities in children. “Lead is a proven neurotoxin that can cause learning, language and behavioral problems such as lowered IQ, reduced school performance and increased aggression. Pregnant women and young children are particularly vulnerable to lead exposure, because lead easily crosses the placenta and enters the fetal brain where it can interfere with normal development,” according to Sean Palfrey, MD, a professor of pediatrics and public health at Boston University and the medical director of Boston's Lead Poisoning Prevention Program. “Since recent science suggests that there is truly no safe lead exposure for children and pregnant women, it is disturbing that manufacturers are allowed to continue to sell lead-containing lipsticks."

The FDA claims that all dyes used in cosmetics have to be examined for safety and although some of the coloring agents used in cosmetics are approved contain lead, it is present in such a small amount that there are no severe effects from it. Each of the approved dyes has its own set of specifications that must be adhered to. For example, F&C Red #6 cannot contain more than 20ppm of lead. According to the top 10 most lead-contaminating brands list, just about all of the colors are pinks and reds, which contain Red #6.

Psssh, so are you telling me that my favorite go-to red that I wear on the weekend might not be a good choice? Perhaps.

Lead is still an element that is dangerous to humans. Although the recent studies revealed that there are no safe levels of lead exposure, applying lipstick may not necessarily cause cancer, but one should probably make an effort to avoid contact with lead. Period. Lead builds up in the body over time and I guess lipstick that contains lead applied to your lips every day can probably add some significant levels of exposure.

Here is a list of the Top 10 lipsticks that were tested and found high levels of lead:

1. Maybelline’s Color Sensation in Pink Petal. (Lead content: 7.19 ppm)
2. L’Oreal Colour Riche in Volcanic. (Lead content: 7.00 ppm)
3. NARS Semi-Matte in Red Lizard. (Lead content: 4.93 ppm)
4. Cover Girl Queen Collection Vibrant Hues Color in Ruby Remix (Lead content: 4.92 ppm)
5. NARS Semi-Matte in Funny Face. (Lead content: 4.89)
6. L’Oreal Colour Rich in Tickled Pink. (Lead content: 4.45)
7. L’Oreal Intensely Moisturizing Lipcolor in Heroic. (Lead content: 4.41)
8. Cover Girl Continuous Color in Warm Brick. (Lead content: 4.28)
9. Maybelline Color Sensational in Mauve Me. (Lead content: 4.23)
10. Stargazer lipstick in shade “c.” (Lead content: 4.12)

Because lead is a contaminant not listed on lipstick ingredient labels, it's damn near impossible for consumers to avoid it. Hey, don't let that dissuade you from doing something though:
- E-mail, call or write to the companies that make your favorite lipstick shades and tell them that lead-free products are important to you.
- Write to L’Oreal to demand the company get the lead out of its products.

Although I love when my lips are poppin', I don't wear lipstick every day so its not a major concern for me. I'm no doctor, but I don’t think that it’s a major cause for concern...well, unless you’re eating it!

Until next time,