lancome

Lawsuit claims Lancôme's 24-hour makeup fails Sabbath test

May 3, 2013 at 2:43 PM ET

What do you do when you think your 24-hour makeup isn’t lasting the 24 hours? File a class-action lawsuit against the manufacturer seeking more than $5 million, of course.

L’Oreal USA, Inc., the maker of Lancôme Teint-Idole Ultra 24H, is facing a suit filed on behalf of Rorie Weisberg, of Monsey, N.Y., an orthodox Jewish woman who said she was duped by misleading advertising into spending $45 on long-lasting foundation that would get her through the Sabbath.

“Lancôme engaged in deceptive, unfair and unconscionable commercial practices in failing to reveal material facts and information,” states the lawsuit filed April 30 in the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York. The company markets the product as “retouch-free” for the “velvety finish you love for 24 hour lasting perfection and comfort,” according to the lawsuit.

“Under all of these circumstances, Lancôme’s conduct in employing these unfair and deceptive trade practices was malicious, willful, wanton and outrageous such as to shock the conscience of the community and warrant the imposition of punitive damages,” the lawsuit states.

The makeup maker disagrees.

"Lancôme strongly believes that this lawsuit has no merit and stands proudly behind our products,” company spokeswoman Rebecca Caruso told NBC News in an email. “We will strenuously contest these allegations in court. Consistent with our practice and policy, however, as this matter is currently in litigation, we cannot comment further.”

The 24-hour claim was of particular interest to Weisberg, the suit claims, because her religious beliefs sometimes prevent her from reapplying make-up for that length of time.

“Plaintiff is an Orthodox Jew and abides by Jewish law by not applying makeup from sundown on Friday until nighttime on Saturday. As such, Plaintiff often wears the same makeup for at least a 24 hour period between Friday and Saturday evening,” the suit states.

In April, the plaintiff tested the product prior to the Sabbath. “She applied the Product at approximately 5:00 p.m. on a Thursday. Plaintiff felt that the product made her skin look very cakey. By Friday morning, Plaintiff’s skin was shiny, particularly around her nose. Moreover, the Product that had been applied had faded significantly, making Plaintiff’s skin look uneven. It looked like very little of the Product was remaining on Plaintiff’s face, which was confirmed when she removed the remainder of the Product at 3:00 p.m. with a white cotton ball, where very little of the Product was found on the pad,” the suit states.

The lawsuit seeks class-action status to obtain refunds, with interest, for everyone in the United States who purchased the product. Jeffrey S. Feinberg of the Feinberg Law Firm, one of four firms that filed suit, declined to comment on the litigation until the matter was concluded. He told NBC News that his client would not comment either.

In 2012, L’Oreal brands posted worldwide sales of 22.46 billion euros, according to its annual report. Overall, 25 percent of those sales were in North America. Lancome Teint-Idole Ultra 24H was launched in March 2012.

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