Health

When You Love Makeup Enough to Eat It

A woman in Toledo can't control her insatiable cravings for cosmetics

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"Beauty comes from within" is an expression that's well intended -- until someone gets hurt.

Let's back up.

Meet Brittoni, a 22-year-old woman who "wants to be beautiful on the inside too." Nothing wrong with that except that rather than maybe volunteering for a charity or working on her spiritual self, Brittoni took the literal route and started eating makeup.

READ: 12 Best Eyeshadows

On TLC's "My Strange Addiction," the show that's showcased a woman who eats her dead husband's ashes, one who sucks on dirty diapers and a guy who makes out with his car, Brittoni revealed that she's been addicted to consuming cosmetics since she was 9 years old and is now up to a 15-20 compact a day habit that sets her back $200 each week.

"It's like a craving of your favorite candy bar," the Toledo, Ohio resident explains of her compulsion to ingest makeup -- particularly eyeshadow. "I prefer the gray, white and brown colors, they taste cleaner than dark colors."

As with any "food," taste matters and there are some brands and items that Brittoni prefers over others so she makes sure to test everything before buying it. "When I come into the store, I have to taste to make sure. If it's not the right kind, [and] nobody seen me lick it? I will put it back. I don't want to get stuck with something I'm not going to eat or wear."

And, like any addict, Brittoni doesn't like to be far from her substance of choice. That's why she hides makeup around her house (in the couch, under the bed, etc.) so she's never too far from a fix.

Naturally, Brittoni's family (most of whom have a penchant for sprinkling baby powder on their food before eating it -- but that's a story for another day) and her fiancé are worried about the health ramifications associated with ingesting non-edible items -- especially since was diagnosed with heart disease at age 12, a diagnosis her physician thinks could stem from the chemicals she's been putting into her body.

Lead, nickel, cadmium and arsenic are but a few of the toxic substances to be found in some cosmetics and none of them are safe to eat. This is not lost on Dr. Jack Siebenaler, the Medical Director of Oregon Urgent Care in Toledo, who cautions Brittoni that additional heart ailments and perhaps even cancer could result from her continuing to indulge in her cravings for cosmetics.

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