The urban legends website, Snopes.com, indicates the lead contaminated lipstick emails have been circulating since 2003. At least one of those emails discusses a "sure fire" test involving a gold ring to detect lead in lipstick. Be warned: this test method is false. It does not detect the presence of lead in lipstick. But, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics' report indicates at least some lead contaminated lipsticks are available on the marketplace. Also, several Proposition 65 lawsuits (Proposition 65 is a California law) have indicated that testing have revealed the presence of lead in cosmetics, including lipstick.
For most of us, lead in lipstick may not be a big concern. But if you are pregnant, or have small children, you might want to re-think that red lipstick. Although, to be honest, if you are pregnant or have small children, you probably don't have time for a night on the town. I don't think I even know where my favorite red lipstick is . . .