A class action lawsuit has been filed in the United States that claims Huda Beauty’s Neon Obsessions makeup products are represented as eyeshadows despite containing ingredients that are not supposed to be used near the eye.
The case, filed in late October by a California resident who experienced burns and irritation as a result of using the makeup, claims that the Neon Obsessions palettes contain colour additives which are not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use near the eye area.
Neon Obsessions was launched in May 2019 as part of the Obsessions line of eyeshadows by Dubai-based beauty influencer and entrepreneur Huda Kattan, who has turned her eponymous brand into a billion-dollar business with offices in the US, Dubai and the United Kingdom. The neon palettes — which include Neon Pink, Neon Orange and Neon Green — were part of the wave of fluorescent colours trending last year.
According to the case, Huda Beauty is well aware there are ingredients present in the makeup palettes that are not approved for use near the eyes and has tried to "obfuscate and conceal" that information from consumers in order to continue to market the Neon Obsessions palettes.
Those additives are Red 6 (CI 15850), Yellow 10 (CI 47005), Red 22 (CI 45380) and Red 28 (CI 45410).
The lawsuit claims that Huda Beauty has been careful not to label the Neon Obsessions line as "eyeshadow" but as "palettes" or "pressed pigments" instead, and that the brand's disclosure to consumers is only accessible once they have bought the product, removed the outer packaging and peeled off a label on the back to reveal a second, hidden label with a disclaimer in small print that says ‘not intended for the eye area.’
The case alleges that even this disclosure is misleading due to Neon Obsessions being marketed in the same packaging as Huda Beauty's other eyeshadow palettes and the extensive advertising — by Huda herself as well as retailers like Sephora — that clearly shows it being used as eyeshadow, indicating its intended use.
Despite the palettes' popularity, the beauty community online has known for a while the Neon Obsessions line contains pigments that are not approved for use, with TikTok videos going viral over the past year showing users removing the back label to find the disclaimer and documenting visible skin damage around the eyes after using the palette.
However, it is important to note neon hues are simply not possible to achieve without those additives and neon palettes released in the past have also been marketed in a similar way as "pigments" along with warnings about using them.
Many countries, including the UK and the European Union, have permitted the sale of such palettes and pigments as eyeshadow and don't have restrictions regarding the additives. It is also possible that the additives may be safe to use, but have simply not gone through the FDA's approval process just yet.
Huda Beauty has not yet commented on the lawsuit or the claims surrounding Neon Obsessions.