The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

Red Flag: Lead Threat in Lipsticks

Nothing says "glamour" like luscious red lips, especially during the decadent holiday party season. But before you pucker up, we wanted to alert you to one recent report from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics which suggests that many popular brand-name lipsticks may contain potentially unsafe amounts of lead.
From "According to new product tests, 61 percent of brand-name lipsticks tested contained detectable levels of lead, which can be toxic if ingested.

The top brands testing positive for lead included L'Oréal Colour Riche "True Red," L'Oréal Colour Riche "Classic Wine," Cover Girl Incredifull Lipcolor "Maximum Red" and Dior Addict "Positive Red," the group said.

The FDA said it is aware of concerns about lead in lipstick and is following up on the report, a spokeswoman said."

Our advice: Concerns over unsafe amounts of lead in everything from cosmetics to children's toys has been all over the news lately. If you're feeling unsure, skip purchasing suspect products and go for brands with a reputation for using all-natural ingredients.

Great Gifts: Marimekko Coasters

If coffee tables could talk, they'd ask Santa for these Marimekko coasters featuring the Finnish textile firm's signature Unikko design.

Unikko, which means "poppy" in Finnish, came about in 1964 after Marimekko founder Armi Ratia publicly announced that absolutely no floral fabrics were designed at her progressive textile firm.

But in spirited defiance of such a restriction, designer Maija Isola created a complete collection of bold floral patterns, thus giving birth to the iconic Unikko print.

Who wouldn't want to rest (their holiday cup o' cheer) on those laurels?

Set of 6 Marimekko Unikko Coasters available in black, red, lime or blue, $10 at

Marimekko at H&M This Spring

H&M is teaming up with Finnish textile firm Marimekko for a special Summer 2008 collection arriving in stores next April, featuring popular vintage Marimekko patterns from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.

Marimekko for HM

Known for their bold modern designs that combine large-scale patterns with bright colors, Marimekko was quite the cutting-edge innovator back in the 1950s when they got their start. In recent history, they've certainly seen a resurgence in popularity as their now-timeless designs have reached ever-widening audiences worldwide.

Although it's our understanding that Marimekko designs are ubiquitous back in their native Finland (they can be found on everything from computer mouses to hospital curtains), we used to consider them a rare eye-candy treat when we'd spot their wares at some hip, upscale niche boutiques in a trendy part of town.

Then, we discovered the Marimekko offerings at Crate & Barrel and more recently, Anthropologie. Seeing as how we like the stuff, we saw these partnerships as being beneficial rather than the dissolution of a notable brand.

We're looking forward to the chance to actually wear their punchy prints - and hopefully get our hands on that retro poppy print they're so famous for!