A lot of people assume that because I have ‘Bunny’ in my blog name that I am a cruelty-free blogger. I’m not and I know that in this day and age that it’s terrible not to be, but I still buy from brands that aren’t cruelty-free. I have to admit that I have never given the issue much thought, but this week the beauty community and consumers are up in arms over it. Now this post isn’t designed to generate hate or arguments – for me, it is personal choice as to what brands I buy. I respect those who choose to buy purely cruelty-free items, and in the same way I expect people to understand my choices too.
Until this week, NARS have always been a cruelty-free brand, but now they have taken the decision to sell their products in China that all changes. In China it is compulsory for any brand that wants to sell their cosmetics there to test on animals. Admittedly, they are supposedly working with European scientists to look at new methods which would reduce the need for animal testing, but for now, their laws apply.
STATEMENT FROM NARS
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 recognised organisation at the forefront of advancing non-animal methods in China and around the world. NARS is hopeful that together we can work towards a cruelty-free world.
Now before we get into this statement, there’s something that needs to be made clear. NARS was founded in 1994 by Francois Nars with a range of 12 lipsticks that were sold in Barneys. In 2000, the company was sold to Shiseido, although Francois remained on as the artistic director. In 2015, the Chinese cosmetics market was worth around £39 billion and it has been predicted that by 2030, it will be the largest market globally. One of the biggest sellers in the Chinese market, along with L’Oreal, is Shiseido.
When NARS released that statement, the internet went mad. People were angry and very quick to say that they would boycott NARS. Others were saying that this wasn’t about ‘sharing the vision’, but was about money and I agree. China makes up 20% of the world’s population. There’s over a billion people living there. If you had a brand, would you want to exclude yourself from all of those potential sales? When I read the statement, I sensed a real conflict. I’m guessing that the decision hasn’t necessarily been purely down to NARS. When the company that owns you is a driving force in the Chinese market, I can imagine that there has been quite a lot of pressure on NARS to put aside their principles and toe the Shiseido line.
Personally, I don’t think it’s great what NARS are doing, but will I boycott them? No I won’t. I’m sorry but I love their products, and for as long as the quality remains the same, then I will continue to buy from them. Sheer Glow will continue to be my go-to foundation, and Orgasm will always be in my collection. Now before you all jump on me, I want to make one thing clear. I do not agree with testing on animals and in an ideal world no brand would ever do it, but sadly, it does happen. I admit that when I buy makeup, I don’t check whether the brand is cruelty free or not. I only learnt today that Benefit aren’t cruelty free.
I found lists of companies who do test on animals and I was surprised at just how many brands I love were on there, such as:
For a more comprehensive list, go check out crueltyfreekitty.com
I knew that MAC and Chanel weren’t cruelty free, but it was a bit of a shock just to see how many brands I buy that aren’t. Do I feel guilty about this? Yes I do, but I know that I will continue to buy them. I take medications every day to reduce pain and seizures and there’s a strong possibility that some of these pills have been tested on animals. I’m not thrilled about that but I have to take these. I eat meat, I have leather handbags … so to boycott a brand because they want to sell in China would make me really hypocritical.
I actually have a lot of respect for vegans and vegan bloggers like the lovely Aime at The Curvaceous Vegan. They clearly have very strong principles and beliefs and they stick to them rigidly. I applaud that and I 100% understand why they’d boycott NARS – but for those of us who aren’t that disciplined, it’s not that black and white.
I genuinely hope that NARS and the IIVS can find a way to get China to change their laws. It’s 2017 and there really shouldn’t still be animal testing but then there’s lot of issues that shouldn’t still be happening. How many of us have an iPhone or a MacBook? How many of us pop into Primark for a bargain? They’re well known for exploiting child labour and running sweatshops, but you can bet half the people hurling abuse at NARS have been doing so from their iPhone whilst wearing their new Beauty and the Beast pjs from Primark.
Whilst I was going through my makeup, I also realised just how much cruelty free makeup I do own. A lot of brands that I regularly buy do not test on animals, such as:
Kat Von D
Again, crueltyfreekitty.com has a full list.
This showed me that there’s no rhyme or reason to what makeup I buy. I buy what I like, what looks nice on me and what I take pleasure from owning. I just don’t look that deep into it. Maybe this makes me really shallow, but I am a beauty addict. I can’t ever say that I will boycott any brand because they choose to expand their business and sell to China.
I’m not sure how well this coming across … I do not agree with animal testing, but I can almost put blinkers on and not let that affect my purchases. I know some of you will think that’s really bad of me, and I agree to some extent. However, I won’t turn my back on brands that I love. From an ethical standpoint, I think this has been a bad move from NARS, but from a business standpoint – sorry guys, but I do get it.
I ran a really quick poll on Twitter this morning to see how many people would continue to buy NARS. Now this was just 50 people, so by no means is this indicative of the whole beauty community or consumers, but I do have quite a wide cross section of beauty lovers who follow me. I was really surprised by the results. I had expected it to be more in favour of people who wouldn’t buy from them, so I was surprised to see that it was split down the middle. I think a lot of us are split on this – we don’t like the thought of animal testing, but that beauty junkie inside of us still loves their products.
I also asked my Instagram followers, and here are some of their thoughts:
Personally I still buy from brands that test on animals. I try to make the better ethical decision and go for cruelty free as much as possible, but the draw of new products, brands I trust and like, products I see positively reviewed and featured, will always entice me. I would like to use only cruelty free but I spend my money on what I know will give me good results, will work and that I’ll feel joy at owning. We all work hard for our money, so ultimately the decision of where to spend it is down to the individual.
I’ll still buy NARS. Everyone to their own, if you want to boycott them, boycott them. Don’t give others hate if they wish to still buy from them. So sick to death of everyone trying to push their beliefs / views on others, especially with hate and venom. Everyone is entitled to an opinion and their own choices.
I understand the strategy but they’ll alienate so many people who already buy from them as a cruelty free brand. Everyone is so cruelty free conscious now, and at the very least cruelty conscious. I think it’s a dick move personally.
I have to be honest I’ve never used NARS, just because I’ve never picked it up really. But I do think that if you’re going to buy ethical products that has to extend to clothing and homeware. Some high street brands are guilty of using child labour and sweat shops and if you’re going to buy ethically for one thing that should extend to all things.
I think it’s similar to the vegetarian argument. It’s animals suffering, but do I still eat meat?
I definitely don’t think anyone should judge or hate if you want to still buy NARS! For me I’m more bothered that they are changing now, when most brands are moving towards cruelty free. I think their answer of wanting to spread their vision of beauty is rubbish and not a particularly valid reason.
NARS is my favourite makeup brand. I will always purchase from them.
Whilst a lot of my followers share similar views to me, I have seen endless comments on NARS Instagram from people who are very angry. At the end of the day, it is personal choice. I don’t judge people who want to go vegan and buy only cruelty free products, the same way I don’t judge people who buy Jeffree Star products (hands up I have some of his pieces), so I don’t think there should be hate towards people who will continue to buy from brands that aren’t cruelty free.
I review a lot of products on this blog and if something is cruelty free, then I do say so for the readers who do care greatly about this. However, as shallow as it sounds, for as long as the brands I like ,(regardless of their cruelty status), continue to produce beautiful makeup that fills me with joy when I look at it and use it, I will continue to buy it.
What do you think of NARS and their decision to sell in China and lose their cruelty free label?