A proposed class action claims Maybelline LLC and L’Oréal USA Products, Inc. have misled consumers by labeling certain cosmetics products as “oil-free” when they contain oil.
According to the 15-page case, Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless foundation, Maybelline Fit Me Concealer, and L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte, though advertised as oil-free, contain one or more oils, including tocopherol, isododecane, hydrogenated polyisobutene, and tocopherol acetate.
The lawsuit alleges the defendants have intentionally and fraudulently advertised the products as oil-free in order to mislead consumers into purchasing makeup they otherwise would not have bought.
Per the complaint, the term “oil” describes materials that are both hydrophobic and lipophilic, such as hydrocarbons, triglycerides, esters, fatty acids, oil-soluble silicones, and fatty alcohols. According to the case, Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless foundation contains the oils tocopherol, commonly known as vitamin E, and isododecane. Maybelline Fit Me Concealer contains the oils tocopherol and hydrogenated polyisobutene, the lawsuit goes on to allege, while L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte contains tocopherol acetate.
As the case tells it, the plaintiff and other consumers could not have been able to determine that the products contained oils without an advanced knowledge of chemistry and were deceived into paying for makeup they did not want due to the defendants’ false representations.
Moreover, the lawsuit claims Maybelline and L’Oréal were well aware that the makeup products at issue contained oil given they employ professional chemists tasked with developing the products’ chemical formulas. According to the suit, the defendants, through their employees, knew the makeup contained oil but labeled the products as “oil-free” because “they did not believe their customers were well educated enough to know the difference.”
“Defendants, and not Plaintiff, the Class, or Sub-Class, knew or should have known that the Products’ express labeling stating ‘Oil-Free’ was false, deceptive, and misleading, and that Plaintiff, the Class, and Sub-Class members would not be able to tell the Products’ contained oils unless Defendants expressly told them,” the complaint scathes, alleging the deception on the defendants’ part was intentional.
The plaintiff, an Illinois consumer, claims the false labeling of the Maybelline and L’Oréal products deprived her and others of their “protected interest to choose the type and quality of products they use on their bodies.”
The plaintiff looks to represent a proposed class comprised of anyone in the U.S. who purchased the products within the past four years and through the date of class certification, as well as a subclass of consumers in Illinois who purchased the products within the past 10 years and through the date of class certification.
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