Pre-Owned Makeup for Sale? Ex-Employee’s Tweet Leads to 18-State Suit

(Bloomberg) -- For cosmetics maker Ulta Beauty Inc., a former employee’s allegations that it was common practice to resell used makeup “made to look new” aren’t going away any time soon.

A judge ruled Tuesday that a class-action lawsuit seeking unspecified damages on behalf of consumers in 18 states can proceed. The case grew out of a January 2018 tweet gone viral claiming that whenever merchandise was returned, workers were encouraged to repackage or reseal the item and put it back on the shelf for sale.

The Chicago federal judge rejected the company’s argument that the customers suing failed to describe the alleged fraud in enough detail. “The deception in this case stems from Ulta’s behind-the-scenes inventory management, rather than from what happened at the cash register,” U.S. District Judge Jorge Alonso wrote.

Ulta said it was pleased with the ruling, which it said “substantially narrowed the plaintiffs’ claims.”

“We remain confident in the company’s position on the remaining claims, which we continue to believe are without merit,” an Ulta representative said in an email.

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