Millions of "tween" girls received gifts from Claire's over the holiday season. And many of those gifts included makeup and lip gloss.
Cathy Augustine was among those buying gifts from Claire's.
She had just been to Claire's to return the makeup kit she bought for her granddaughter.
"It really worried me, I just didn't want her to have anything to do with it," Augustine said.
More than a dozen items recalled
The reason for her concern: News that Claire's was recalling 17 different cosmetics items for possible asbestos contamination. Asbestos has been linked to the deadly lung disease mesothelioma.
Products recalled and pulled from the shelves include lip gloss, glitter and kids' makeup kits. See the full list on the Claire's website.
"You protect your children and grandchildren. And when I read that a mom had it tested and it had some kind of particles of asbestos in it, I said no," she said.
The chain issued a major recall in the days after Christmas, when a Rhode Island law firm claimed its tests found asbestos in cosmetics sold at Claire's stores in nine different states.
But Augustine said she didn't hear about it for days, due to the holiday, and says there was no alert in the store when she went back.
"I came in and didn't see any signs, that's not to say there weren't any but I didn't see any signs," she said.
So we checked the Claire's in the Kenwood Towne Center and did not see any recall notices either, at the register or anywhere else.
The chain is not advertising the recall, and unlike with automobile recalls, it is not required to contact buyers (which would be impossible anyway, since many of its purchases are made with cash).
For its part, Claire's says its makeup products are asbestos free. The retailer conducted additional testing recently and released this statement:
“We are pleased to report that test results received to date from two certified independent labs confirm that the products in question are asbestos free, completely safe and meet all government requirements. Any report that suggests that the products are not safe is totally false.”
In addition, the retailer says that it has made "multiple requests" for the test data from the Rhode Island law firm, but that the firm has not provided them with the data. Claire's disputes the findings of the law firm.
Augustine just wants to make sure other parents know about the recall.
"Moms and girls who had gotten the same thing for Christmas, or something similar, should know about this," she said.
Bottom line: Claire's says all the makeup it has tested so far is safe, but will give refunds to any parents who have recently purchased its kids cosmetics.
Stop in a local store if you have concerns so you don't waste your money.
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