A California resident has filed a putative class action against Coty Inc., alleging that it falsely advertises one of its cosmetic products, Rimmel London Lash Accelerator Mascara with Grow-Lash Complex®, as a product that can lengthen and thicken eyelashes in just 30 days. Algarin v. Coty Inc., No. 3:2012cv02868 (U.S. Dist. Ct., S.D. Cal., filed December 3, 2012).

Seeking to certify multi-state and state-wide classes of consumers, the plaintiff challenges product representations claiming that with regular use, “lashes will be ‘more numerous’ and ‘within 30 days’ will appear ‘117% longer.’” She acknowledges the company’s use of the word “appear” on its product label claims, but contends that by including a picture of a ruler on the product label with an eyelash that has perceptibly grown after 30 days, the lengthening representation “is deceptive in that it imparts the message that the lashes will actually grow longer and multiply.” The company also allegedly claims that its representations are “clinically tested.”

According to the complaint, prescription eyelash lengtheners cannot even perform within the timeframe defendant promises in its product promotions and, with nothing in the mascara product to grow lashes, the company’s “grow lash claim is false, misleading, and reasonably likely to deceive the public.” The plaintiff asserts that consumers pay a premium over other lash applications in reliance on these representations. Alleging breach of express warranty and violations of California’s Unfair Competition Law and Consumers Legal Remedies Act, the plaintiff seeks damages, restitution, disgorgement, and injunctive relief, including stopping the company from continuing these practices and ordering a corrective advertising campaign.