Monday, 6 May 2013

Jewish Woman Sues Lancome for Lying About the Shvitz-Proof Powers of their Foundation

As any Big Lebowski fan will tell you, there are a lot of things you aren't allowed to do on Shabbat -- cook, roll, drive -- and, apparently, touch up your makeup. So when Rorie Weisberg wanted to look flawless for her son's bar mitzvah this summer, she splurged (God I hate that word) on Lancome's Teint Idole Ultra 24 Hour Foundation, which purports to last all day with no need for re-application.

What she got instead was a shonda.

All yiddish jokes aside (and I've yet to see an article that managed to resist that temptation), Weisberg's lawsuit does bring up a fair and interesting point -- should companies be allowed to make claims that are flat-out untrue? On the one hand, I could've told Weisberg that even the highest-end, longest-lasting foundation was probably not going to make it through 3 or 4 hours of dancing in a rented hall in June without some of it sliding around and making her face look like a gently-melted candle. On the other, maybe it should be illegal for a cosmetics company to pretend otherwise.

The United Kingdom has made great strides lately with their photoshop bans, so could outlandish claims be the next victim in the war on misleading advertisements?

And let's be clear here -- the woman in question didn't just blindly trust the company and wear this foundation to an event only to find out later that she looked like a mess. She actually tested the foundation out months ahead of time in preparation for the summer party.

Shaindy Kelman of ShainDee Cosmetics (whose "Shabbos Queen" line is specifically aimed at observant Jewish women who need long-lasting makeup) has called the lawsuit ridiculous, advising people in Weisberg's situation to choose powder foundation with better staying power and arguing that a company can't and shouldn't need to guarantee their foundations for all skin types. But again, if this is such an obvious fact, should Lancome be allowed to effectively label and market a product with the claim that it will last for a full 24 hours without any further caveats?

My personal opinion is that the lawsuit isn't quite as silly as it seems, and it would be nice to have a bit more truth in advertising, but I have no expectation of that any time in the near future.

And Rorie, girl, if you're reading this -- go get MAC Face and Body with your out-of-court settlement and thank me later.

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