When you put on a new shade of lipstick, you hope to see a beautiful new color on your lips — not anything like what happened to Florida resident Lily Cleopatra Maurice, who experienced a severe allergic reaction after applying a new lip color.
In a Facebook post revealing her reaction, Maurice writes, “WARNING! … Purchased lip this week woke up choking with huge swollen lips.” She explains she had to be rushed to the emergency room as a result and that she “could’ve died” in her sleep.
According to Randy Schueller, the cosmetic chemist Refinery29 consulted on this story, the lipstick — which came from the CoverGirl Queen Collection — doesn’t seem to contain any ingredient that “stands out as being problematic.” He says that it contains fragrance, however, which some folks can be allergic to. Still, he notes that “CoverGirl is a major brand and I’m sure they vet all their raw materials appropriately.”
Regarding Maurice’s reaction, Laura Brinker of CoverGirl Communications had this to say:
“As soon as we learned of this woman’s experience, which would certainly not be expected from lipstick use, we reached out to her to learn more about what happened and see how we could help. We are glad to hear she is okay and are awaiting her response. At CoverGirl, the safety of people who use our brand is our top priority. We conduct extensive testing on all our products to ensure they’re safe and effective.”
As someone who once had a very swollen reaction appeared similar to Maurice’s after using a lipstick (not from CoverGirl), I can say firsthand that it is truly disturbing to look in your mirror and suddenly see your reflection look disfigured. It’s essential to be aware of what your sensitivities and allergies are — otherwise, you could wind up with a terrible reaction.
“Allergic reactions can often be unexpected yet serious at times with a wide range of symptoms,” says Birnur K. Aral, Ph.D., Director of the Beauty Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute. “If you have allergic tendencies, please consult your physician about what steps you need to take in case of an emergency.”