Extra Scary Halloween MakeUp

My house is almost all set for Halloween.  Costumes are ready; one elephant and one vampire.  Decorations are in place. My kids are counting down in anticipation.  But I am having trouble finding a face makeup which gives me comfort.

I have good reason to be concerned about face make-up. Health Canada just announced a recall of a particular brand of Halloween makeup citing excessive lead content. 5000 packages of this particular product have been sold in Canada already. Now that is SCARY.

Lead is a powerful neurotoxin causing a number of serious health concerns.  Among other issues, it slows the development of the central nervous system and brain causing learning issues and worse.  Most health authorities on the subject agree children under 6 years old are most affected.  Fortunately, Health Canada, offers information on its website so parents can understand the health issues and make more informed decisions.

People have asked me how do I know if there is lead in a make-up?  You don’t. Lead is a contaminant and NEVER an ingredient.  This means even if you are card-carrying, certified label-reader as I am, you will never find lead on an ingredient declaration.  A case in point, both the FDA and Health Canada have recently tested for lead in conventional lipsticks.  I find the results good information for parents who may be thinking of using a conventional red lipstick for the vampire mouth ‘blood drip’ this Halloween.

The Campaign For Safe Cosmetics has published DIY makeup recipes. I have tried some of their recipes. Although there is no doubt that DIY on their terms is the ultimate, best way to confirm safe make-up this Halloween, my experience tells me I am not a DIY-type.  I tried a few variations with no real success in my opinion.  So embarassingly streaky were some of my home-made make-up attempts, my 7 year was horrified at the thought I might send her out on fright night looking unintentionally more freaky.

I have decided that the best bet for my kids made-up faces to look good this Halloween and to be as safe as possible,  I will buy face make-up from a reputable theatrical make-up company. Most recall information points to inexpensive imports from China as the main culprits in very excessive lead content.  And even when lead may not be an issue, the ingredients of cheap Halloween cosmetics usually contain toxic chemicals such as parabens. Being that these are linked to cancer will cause most parents further added ‘fright’.

In Toronto, good quality face make-up such as Kryolan is available at Malabar, located at 14 McCaul Street with an option for online shopping.  Have a Happy AND Safe Halloween!


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