It's a sad, sad day for the cruelty-free beauty community! Everyone got their tissues ready? NARS, one of the worlds leading cruelty-free beauty brands, is NO LONGER CRUELTY-FREE (it's a good thing we're wearing water proof mascara!)
To be honest, I never shopped with NARS due to the company being owned by Shisedo, a parent company that DOES test on animals and sells in China (boooo!), but I know a lot of cruelty-free beauty fanatics that loved the brand and their products!
But, WHY are they no longer cruelty-free?! Well my little jelly beans, let me tell you the answer right now! Chinese law. That's why. NARS recently announced on social media platform, Instagram, that they are going to be selling physically in China later this year and need to abide by the Chinese animal testing laws. Double booo! Everyone throw your rotten tomatoes at NARS!
(@NARSISSIT announcement - Instagram)
Lets back track, why is this such a big deal? I'll tell you why! Chinese law requires imported beauty products, including makeup, perfume, skincare, nail products, hair products, hair dye, deodorant, sunscreen and whitening products to be tested on animals before being sold within the Chinese market. Therefore, any company that claims to be cruelty-free, yet sells in China physically, is automatically NOT cruelty-free, for example MAC. (This law does not count for brands that sell to China online or to Hong Kong - they do not require animal testing!)
So why have NARS decided to sell in China? They claim it is "important to bring our vision of beauty and artistry to the fans of the region" but I think we all know the real reason, CHA-CHING. Money. If NARS really wanted to bring their vision of beauty to the fans of the region, why not sell online, direct to their doorstep where no animal testing is required? Doesn't that make more sense and comply with the ethics of their company while making profits and expanding to a wider market at the same time?
Back to money, China is a very attractive market to American and European cosmetic companies due to the worth of the cosmetic industry in China. Last year alone, the cosmetic market in China was worth over 26 billion smackeroonies, meaning a company that sells in China, will receive more sales. Shisedo decided to take on the Asian market after there was a decline in brand development. They created a headquarters in Asia and have since then been adapting their sales to 'customer-orientated reforms'. NARS was a brand with strong potential growth, therefore they have been selected to be sold in China. A real shame. Shame on you, Shisedo. So clearly this has been the works for quiet some time. (Announcement ont NARS instagram page - @NARSISSIT)
This was all stated in their annual report in 2015 - read about it here:
SO, I dropped NARS a little email asking about this move to China.
Here is my email:
(MY email to NARS)
And here is NARS' reply:
(Email reply from NARS)
I think we can all see that NARS have avoided the questions within my email, and replied with a very standard, seemingly rehearsed, reply which is very similar to the wording within their Instagram announcement. Again, it purely sounds like the company is putting money over ethics, but using customer satisfaction as defence shield. Not cool, NARS. NARS replied extremely quickly to my email, I believe in less than 12 hours, kind of hinting at the fact they have been bombarded with emails and upset fans over this announcement, but that doesn't surprise me. So I went and looked on the NARS FAQ about animal testing:
(NARS FAQ - https://narscosmetics.co.uk/en_GB/customer-care)
To me, this does not make any sense. FAQ's state: "NARS is actively working with industry and other partners to eliminate animal testing globally and is committed to the development and acceptance of alternative methods." yet by selling on the Chinese market, they are completely going against this statement, don't you think?
NARS are still going to be cruelty-free, but only test on animals where required by law. Any products sold in countries were animal-testing is not required by law will still be cruelty-free. ALTHOUGH, this does not fly with me, and many others, because NARS are still:
1. Selling in China/ testing on animals where required by law.
2. Owned by a non-cruelty-free company, Shisedo.
In my eyes, and many others, NARS (or Shisedo) have put money over principles MASSIVELY with this announcement. As a collective in the cosmetic industry, many brands are making strives to become cruelty-free and vegan, PETA and Leaping Bunny Approved. Personally, I follow Leaping Bunny on Instagram and every other day they're posting new Leaping Bunny Approved brands! I'm seeing a rising trend with more and more people turning to cruelty-free and vegan beauty options; however, NARS took a HUGE step back and this did not fly well with many fans who took to raising their uproar on the NARS Instragram post, which lead to a trending hastagh on both Twitter and Instagram, #BoycottNARS. lol.
I can't say they don't deserve it if I'm honest! It's 2017, the cosmetic industry should NOT be testing on animals anymore since they have developed multiple, cruelty-free alternatives! Personally, I never purchased anything wrong NARS due to their parent company, but I can say for sure that NARS will be losing a huge chunk of profit from their American/European fans, and they deserve it.
If you were a huge fan of NARS, Youtuber JKissa offers some perfect cruelty-free dupes for you to swap to! Check out her video below:
How do you feel about the NARS announcment? Are you onboard with #BoycottNARS?
Let me know in the comments below!
Until next time,