Artist paints with lipstick to raise breast cancer funds

HOUSTON, Texas -- At first glance, it's not obvious that Katherine Mason's artwork is created with a unique medium.

The Houston artist collects lipstick donated by people affected by breast cancer to create her stunning artwork, part of a series called Painted with Lipstick.

"Most people will donate their lipstick to me in honor of friends of family members who have battled breast cancer and have gone through that terrible disease," said Mason. "A lot of people will also gather lipstick from friends and family members who unfortunately lost their loves to breast cancer."

Mason paints imagery that she hopes will inspire women battling breast cancer, from the female form to floral designs. Her latest painting depicts a pair of boxing gloves, which symbolizes the fight that breast cancer patients face.

Mason first began her Painted with Lipstick series after a close friend was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer a few years ago.

"She had mentioned to me that she was starting to put on lipstick before her chemo treatments as a way to regain power over her situation and make herself feel like a woman again, make herself feel beautiful and powerful," said Mason. "Her doctor has mentioned to her that it was actually having a great reaction with her treatment and her body was responding really well because she felt more positive and felt more beautiful in her skin. I thought it was interesting that something as small as a tube of lipstick could make a big difference in her hardest days."

Twenty percent of the portions of the artwork sold benefits The Rose clinic in Houston.

"It has been the great privilege of my life to take these lipsticks that belonged to these amazing women and to utilize them and create my artwork from them in hopes to raise more money," said Mason.

For more information, visit paintedwithlipstick.com or follow Katherine on Instagram at @paintedwithlipstick.