Let’s start off with a USA Class Action, this time aimed at Degree, Dove and Axe stick deodorants (Unilever), filed in California. It’s claiming that the packaging is deliberated designed to look as though it contains more product than it actually does. This is called Slack Fill – something that is utterly pervasive throughout the beauty industry. I have, in the past, emptied a 30ml bottle drop by drop into a measure jar because I couldn’t believe there was ‘only’ 30ml in the much larger packaging. Slack Fill is empty space on the inside that can’t be seen on the outside.
All products have to, by law, state the amount inside the packaging, but often make it hard to find or so small that nobody notices anyway. I’m interested in this because it’s something that needs action across the board – a few deodorants are the tiniest tip of the ice-berg. The complaint is that the consumers wouldn’t have bought the products had they immediately realised how little (in relation to their expectation) the contents were.
I don’t dip into on-line Beauty Influencer world very often (particularly not in the USA) but I’ve followed Christine at Temptalia for many years. She’s recently decided that she will no longer review Hourglass products after a recent launch revealed no new products for deeper skin tones. We are all committed to making a difference where we can and brands who ignore a significant consumer/user group is something that can’t go untold, particularly when Hourglass is owned by Unilever which manages to be more representative across its other brands. Unilever acquired Hourglass in 2017. I’m also seeing social media calling out brands who have non-inclusive launches splashed all over Instagram. Change comes when people speak and others listen so hopefully Hourglass will be all ears on this one.
Pharrell Williams is on the cusp of launching a skin care range called Humanrace. It sounds interesting – genderless, vegan and made without fragrance – the range features three products. There’s a Rice Powder Cleanser, a Humidifying Cream and a Lotus Enzyme exfoliator. Pharrell worked with dermatologist, Dr Elena Jones to create the range. You can bet your bottom dollar that all the buyers in the UK are vying for this. As a side note, if you’ve ever heard of music producer, Marshmello, he’s apparently challenged a L’Oreal trademark of the name The Marsh Mellow leading to speculation he will launch a make-up range.
Talks of Coty offloading Wella, Clairol, OPI and GHD have been ongoing for quite some time but it’s thought that the sale will be completed any moment. They’re divesting a 60% stake in the brands – which have been huddled into one company under the Wella name – to investment company KKR. It’s thought to be worth $2.5 billion to Coty.
Cult Beauty has brought on entrepreneur Carmen Busquets as non-exec Chairperson. If you don’t know the name, she co-founded (and was a founding investor) Net-A-Porter. The reason my ears have pricked up at this is because Busquets is a sharp investor (she has invested in Cult amongst many others) and knows exactly when to sell. It would not surprise me if her role is to oversee the sale of the beauty e-commerce site. She is also a philanthropist and all round good (and very rich) egg.
Company shares have risen as Revlon’s bid to re-finance looks to be agreed, however, it’s reported that Ronald Perelman (who owns Revlon) has sold artwork to a value of $350 million to liquify assets. Global Cosmetics News reports that he has an Alberto Giacometti listed with Sotheby’s – starting bids? $90 million.
A question! I don’t have the answer to this but my question is whether major brands (fragrance brands are an obvious example) that pivoted during the first lockdown to produce free sanitizers were able to keep their production lines for everything else running just by being ‘open’? Sanitizer production is an ‘essential service’ whereas fragrance production is not and I wondered about the logistics of this.
Huda Beauty is under fire again in this long-running dispute over alleged misleading labelling on her Neon Obsessions palettes. There are different laws in different countries regarding what is considered safe for use around the eyes (and other areas). A class action was filed last week on the basis that the palettes were specifically advertised for use around the eyes, when close examination of the packaging reveals the makeup ‘is not intended for the eye area’. The complainant says she experienced burning and irritation after use. In the UK, a quick check tells me that the palettes are still for sale and are indicated for use on eyes, lips and cheeks. I can only assume that they have been safety passed for the UK where our laws are different to the US. I think the mistake is to advertise in the US for eyes but to label the product not for eyes and not that I think the palettes are dangerous or different in the US to here.
Look out in the New Year for the forthcoming collaboration between Aromatherapy Associates and The Laundress. Personally, I cannot wait to fragrance my sheets with AA but this hits at exactly the right time when fragrances are doing so well and we want our creature comforts within the home.
Bobbi Brown (the person) has launched a new make-up range called Jones Road in the US (it will come here in due course). When Bobbi left Lauder, she had a 4 year exclusion clause that prevented her from creating any like products to the Bobbi Brown brand. In the interim, she created a supplements brand, before embarking on Jones Road. It’s a similar situation to Jo Malone (the person) leaving her namesake brand to found her own fragrance company, Jo Loves. She is forever known as Jo Malone The Person whereas it looks like Bobbi is dropping the Brown to become just Bobbi. According to The Fashion Law, Bobbi also filed a patent, when filing Jones Road for Nameless Beauty.
Sources & resources: thestreet.com, classaction.org, globalcosmeticsnews.com, thefashionlaw.com, reuters.com, businessoffashion.com
All products are sent to me as samples from brands and agencies unless otherwise stated. Affiliate links may be used. Posts are not affiliate driven.
Good for Christina who I do-follow. She has called out brands before, I remember Tarte releasing their Face Tape foundation with not one shade to suitable for WOC. They tried to tell her other deeper shades were coming soon, but she was having none of it. Also, some years back MAC over a collection named for a Mexican town where over the years many women have gone missing or been found murdered. She has also gone into the eyeshadows in palettes that come with a warning not to use near the eyes. It was very detailed about the size of the glitter used etc and how she had to go to seek medical help when it happened to her testing products.
She’s great, isn’t she… one of the originals and as true to herself now as she was at the beginning. I remember the Mexican village collection – it was with a fashion brand – I railed about that too, as did Caroline Hirons.
That was Rodarte – I re-read that post when I was writing the book. We all did good work that weekend!
That’s right!!! I just couldn’t remember the name… I think perhaps that was the first time that social called out a beauty brand and they didn’t rule the skies any more.
What a juicy read Jane, thank you so much. I luurve these BBB BB News posts.
Slack fill is an interesting term. I’m of the opinion that as long as it says how much product is in the container / bottle etc I can’t really be fooled into expecting a lot more. That said I’ve been caught out by very flat eyeshadow pans before, flipped over the palette and found it’s 0.5g or 0.3g instead of 1g or 2g etc. It’s sly of brands to overpackage – maybe it’s time that the law changed and quantities have to be marked up more clearly and and featured on the front / top of the packaging so it’s immediately clear and packaging overall should be reduced non?
Can’t wait for Bobbi Brown’s new range for sure.
I wonder what other art gems lie in the Revlon vaults, I so want to see this brand get its act together again, fingers crossed!
Thank you as ever Jane x
The Huda Beauty claim is a part of a bigger issue – in the US, some bright pigments are not allowed for use around the eye area, whereas EU laws permit their usage for this purpose. So, yeah – it’s practically a safe ingredient that only sensistive eyes should use with caution (a very specific sensitivity, so much so that in the EU you don’t have to state anything), but the marketing error is disastrous. And they’ll probably pay for it. I mean, you don’t create an eye palette and state that it’s not intended for use in the eye area in a small print somewhere deep inside the packaging, no matter how safe the products is. Just regulations. They could have suggested other uses for these shades, but as an owner of this palette… It will be difficult. 😀 Also the price of doing two separate marketing campaigns for both markets. Ouch. But they are not the only ones – this is a recurrent issue with brands that play with bright shades.
Yes, I agree with you – if there are different laws in different countries, you have to package and market appropriately – although the web makes this hard to control. Being honest is always the best option!
I’m so excited about Jones Road – a bit of the “proper” Bobbi Brown aesthetic again! I miss the old BB campaigns, I don’t really recognise the brand anymore. Hopefully it’ll come to the UK soon.
It’s such a small collection at the moment – it will come over here in the New Year so I’m looking forward to seeing it.
I love these updates, as I know most of your followers do. I will be following Jones Road with huge interest as I have always loved Bobbi Brown products. Speaking of BB, they seem to be fairly ‘quiet’ at the moment and I’m underwhelmed by the Christmas offerings, unless they are yet to release them. Do you have any insider knowledge on this Jane ?
Actually, I just received a couple of things that I’ll be blogging this week – there’s nothing to shake the stars but I love the eye crayons and there’s a little duo with a mascara that I really like.
I am excited about the collab between the Aromatherapy Associates and The Laundress x
I’m in the US so I’m going to buy a few of the new Jones Road Beauty products. You get 10% off when you sign up for the mailing list. I like Bobbi Brown’s approach to beauty – minimal, natural. Her old company has totally gone into the sculpting and glitter trends, which is just NOT Bobbi. I wonder sometimes if that is the reason she left.
Yes, there’s a lot to be said for keeping it simple.