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Is NARS Cruelty Free & Vegan?

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Last Updated on 07/05/2021

NARS used to be the ultimate brand of choice for cruelty free makeup enthusiasts. But suddenly, in 2017, they decided to play in the deep water by expanding themselves to Chinese mainstream market. Many are still buying NARS in 2021 thinking they are cruelty free. Is NARS currently cruelty freer? Or should you bid adieu to them? Here’s the answer.

During the first half of 2010’s, among other brands such as MAC, Estee Lauder or Too Faced was NARS.  They were offering long wear concealers, lipsticks and what not. You could even create a whole makeup stash with NARS only.

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Is NARS Cruelty Free & Vegan?


NARS Cruelty Free vegan


NARS – Past & Present

1994: NARS cosmetics was founded in 1994 by François Nars, a young makeup artist. In his makeup and photography career, he had always been dissatisfied with the quality and longevity of studio makeup. He wanted midrange makeup products to be more versatile. This urge made him create a new range of makeup, under the name of NARS cosmetics.

NARS made its debut in Barneys. Their first product was a 12 shade wide lip color collection. It was a huge hit among drugstore makeup lovers. They came out with many other makeup items later on.

2000: In 2000, NARS cosmetics was sold to Shiseido, a Japanese skincare and makeup brand. Seiseido is a non cruelty free brand as we all know. In spite of this acquisition, NARS decided to remain cruelty free like before.

2017: However, a big shock came to the loyal users of NARS when they declared expanding the brand to Chinese provinces and allowing cruelty tests on their products.

What NARS says about their cruelty free status?

NARS gets frequent user queries regarding its animal testing policy. Answering this question NARS says,

“NARS does not test on animals nor do we ask others to test on our behalf, except where required by law.

From this statement, you can easily see that NARS is willing to allow ‘exceptions’ in their ‘no animal testing’ ideals. They used to provide clear cut denial in animal testing when they were truly cruelty free.

In 2017, they brought changes in their policy. The one quoted above is their new policy. Here you can see the discrepancy.

At one point, NARS says they don’t support animal testing in any form. However, in the same document, they are allowing passive animal testing in the name of law enforcement.

In reality, their products do pass through phases of animal testing in state run Chinese laboratories. NARS allows animal testing and funds them as well.


is NARS Cruelty Free

Cruelty Free Timeline

1994: NARS has been a cruelty free brand for the majority of its lifetime. From its foundation in 1994 to 2017, NARS was completely cruelty free. They even made tall claims about their responsibility towards animal welfare.

2017: Suddenly in 2017 NARS changed their cruelty testing policy to get into the Chinese market. In this big flip NARS’s loyal customers started protesting. There was even a boycott movement run by ethical makeup lovers. Sadly, nothing could budge NARS. They still chose the money path by sticking to the non cruelty free status.

Is NARS Cruelty Free?

No. NARS used to be a cruelty free brand till 2017. They lost their cruelty free status when they decided to market their products in China.

As we all know, Chinese law mandates animal testing on all imported products. NARS now pays a hefty amount to run their products through animal testing procedures as required by Chinese authorities.

Is NARS manufactured in China?

No. As per our information, NARS has no manufacturing unit in China. NARS products enter the Chinese consumer market as imported cosmetics.


NARS Cruelty Free or not


Is NARS currently being sold in China?

Yes. From 2017 onwards NARS products are available in the mainstream Chinese cosmetic market. You can buy them in China via online as well as offline shops.

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Is it vegan?

No. But NARS is trying to replace all their animal derived ingredients into same quality vegan substitutes. According to the brand, their major ingredients have now been replaced by vegan ingredients. But till this date you will find certain animal derived ingredients in their products. Currently, they are not a 100% vegan brand.


is NARS vegan

Do we recommend NARS?

No. It is a makeup brand which has shifted from its animal friendly stance just for monetary benefits. NARS products are not cruelty free. They are not even gluten free.

NARS also uses harmful chemicals such as parabens in their products. They even justify the use of paraben naming it as a safety measure.

Alternatives to 5 Highly Recommended NARS Products

1. NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer

Looking for a lightweight concealer with high coverage? Tarte Shape Tape Concealer is what you need. This cult favorite concealer comes in 30 shades. The crease free concealer stays put for 8-9 hours. What more do you need?

2. NARS Blush Orgasm:

elf Studio Blush Twinkle Pink will give you the exact same coral accents with gold shimmers like NARS Orgasm. Twinkle pink is far more pigmented than Orgasm original and has impressive staying power.

3. NARS Climax Mascara

Formulated by ace makeup artists and cosmetic surgeons, the IT Cosmetics Superhero Mascara changes your lash game for ever. Enjoy non-clumpy fanned out lashes with this amazing cruelty free formula.

4. NARS Bronzing Powder Laguna

Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer is one of the best cruelty free matte bronzers in the market right now. This 100% vegan bronzer adds the perfect oomph to your face and gives naturally carved cheeks.

5. NARS Sheer Glow Foundation

If you like lightweight foundations like NARS Sheer Glow but cringe from cruelty, Bite Beauty Changemaker Supercharged Micellar Foundation will make your day! The feather soft formula of Bite Beauty foundation melts into the skin and provides high coverage skin like finish.


I’m glad you made it till here. If you have a favorite alternative for NARS that you personally adore, share with everyone in the comments below.


Do share the article and spread awareness!


Further Read:


Cruelty Free Makeup Brands – Drugstore

10 Best Cruelty Free Deodorants 2021

Skincare Brands that Test on Animals

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