Update: You can call a mascara "better than sex" all you want (and jury's still out if you'd be right), but Too Faced officially won't be claiming that the product gives lashes "1,944% more volume." After five months of back-and-forth between the makeup brand and the Better Business Bureau's National Advertising Division, the latter ruled that the research behind the claim, and its before-and-after photos, did not support the precise quantified volume increase.
In a statement, Too Faced said that while the company "strongly disagrees with NARB's conclusions, Too Faced agrees to make modifications moving forward to its packaging and advertising based upon NARB's recommendations and will take NARB’s recommendations into account in future advertising."
This story was originally published on November 10, 2017.
Body wash that makes your skin smell like lemons for 25 hours. Lipstick that won't transfer after 100 make-outs. Eyeliner that lasts longer than a weekend. Elaborate claims are nothing new to the beauty world, and even the biggest cynics among us have been convinced by a compelling "before" and "after" photo or five.
But there is one thing that cannot be measured by clinical data or a skin microtopography device — and that's whether a beauty product is objectively better than sex. A really good lip color that looks perfect on your skin tone can, theoretically, be more confidence-boosting than some mediocre, stare-at-the-ceiling horizontal tango. But mind-blowing, toe-curling, I-would-give-up-french-fries-for-this kind of sex? Nothing can beat that, right?
Not according to Too Faced, whose cult "Better Than Sex" Mascara is now a top-seller. It's a claim that not even the Better Business Bureau's National Advertising Division has found a reasonable nor scientific way to challenge. What the NAD can do, however, is take a closer look at the hard, tangible numbers listed on the back of the mascara box — which is what landed Too Faced in hot water this week.
The division, which monitors and regulates advertising claims, has officially recommended that Too Faced remove the "1,944% more volume" language associated with Better Than Sex, as well as the before and after pictures, from all of its packaging. (The irony that this is the claim in question is not lost on us.) This isn't the first or last time the NAD has come down on brands regarding mascara images and claims, which are often manipulated with false lashes or post-production enhancements.
In response, Too Faced agreed to take out all references to the claim being based on a "clinical study," but a rep for the brand tells Refinery29 that it has appealed NAD's decision about the "1,944%" part of the case: "The tests used to establish these claims were conducted using sound methodology at a highly-regarded independent laboratory, and the results support not only the 1,944% claim, but also the before-and-after photographs at issue." The company has also submitted confidential documents of product testing that stand by its statement to the NAD.
No word yet on when, exactly, a decision will be made. We leave the conclusion on the brand's other claim entirely up to you.