NARS is No Longer Cruelty-Free and the World is Angry

Makeup consumers are becoming more conscious not only of what’s in their beauty products, but how they’re tested. It’s been proven that animal testing is less effective as well as more expensive than other methods of testing, so why do so many brands still test on animals?

In China, it’s legally required for companies to test their products on animals before selling there. This is the case for NARS, which has just downgraded from their cruelty-free status by expanding to China. This was met with an outrage from fans, who started the #BoycottNARS trend on social media. The brand responded on their Instagram:

We want you to know that we hear you. The global elimination of animal testing needs to happen. We firmly believe that product and ingredient safety can be proven by non-animal methods, but we must comply with the local laws of the markets in which we operate, including in China. We have decided to make NARS available in China because we feel it is important to bring our vision of beauty and artistry to fans in the region. NARS does not test on animals or ask others to do so on our behalf, except where required by law. NARS is committed and actively working to advance alternative testing methods. We are proud to support the Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS), a globally recognized organization at the forefront of advancing non-animal methods in China and around the world. NARS is hopeful that together, we can work toward a cruelty-free world. For more on the good work IIVS is doing, see:

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This statement didn’t seem to quell their fans; in fact, it seemed to fuel the fire even more. Kat Von D, a notable animal rights activist whose own beauty line is cruelty-free, clapped back with a fiery response on Instagram along with graphic images of animal testing in action (you can see the post here). The beauty guru stated, “I was so sad to hear this news because for years I’ve supported NARS beauty products because they were one of the few artistry brands that didn’t test on animals, and now I am so confused/heartbroken that after all these years they would choose a paycheck over compassion.”

Despite these reactions, it looks like NARS will go forward with selling in China, which stinks because we were really looking forward to their new Powermatte Lip Pigments. Thankfully, there are tons of other quality brands that remain cruelty-free. To find out if your favorite brands test on animals, check out PETA’s Searchable Database and Cruelty-Free Kitty’s alphabetized list of cruelty-free brands.


  • Kristen is currently a rising junior at Emerson College in Boston, majoring in Writing, Literature, and Publishing, and minoring in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She's originally from Long Island, but loves being in the city environment, be it Manhattan or Boston, where there's tons of constant activity and inspiration. She loves fashion and beauty almost as much as she loves writing about it, and is happiest when she's surrounded by friends. She doesn't know much about where she'll be in the future, but she hopes to be working in the fashion industry surrounded by people she loves and lots and lots of clothes.