Nars is known for their iconic Radiant Creamy Concealer, Orgasm Blush and Laguna Bronzer. They’re definitely a high end brand and they release tons of new, shiny and pricey launches each season. While up there in price, they create some beautiful products that are dubbed cult classics in the beauty community. The true question is – is Nars cruelty-free?
No, Nars is not cruelty-free because they are sold in Mainland China. Beauty brands sold in Mainland China must submit to post market, 3rd party animal testing. Unfortunately, since Nars tests on animals in China they cannot be cruelty-free anywhere. Along with that, Nars is not vegan as they test on animals and use ingredients like lanolin. If you are cruelty-free and/or vegan with your makeup, Nars is definitely a brand you want to avoid.
Here is the statement from their website:
“NARS does not test on animals nor do we ask others to test on our behalf, except where required by law. 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. We are equally dedicated to the health and safety of our consumers ensuring we meet the highest in quality standards. We remain committed to bringing our vision of beauty and artistry to more fans around the globe, as part of our long-held commitment to empower women everywhere.”
This statement isn’t awful because they do state that they don’t test on animals except where required by law. Unfortunately there’s not much else that Nars can say. They sell in China, they test on animals. That won’t change anytime soon.
Nars used to be cruelty-free. They moved to China in 2017 as a way 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.” Their words not ours. As you can imagine many customers were very upset with this move. It’s worth noting that a brand can sell online in China without testing on animals so there are ways around this. Nars did not choose to take that route.
It’s also worth noting that Nars is owned by Shiseido and they test on animals.
No, Nars is not a vegan brand but they do have some non animal byproduct containing products. There is also the notion that if a brand tests on animals can they be vegan? No. So overall, Nars is not a vegan brand.
Here is their statement:
“We are continually evaluating alternatives to animal-derived ingredients and have replaced many ingredients with vegetable derived substitutes. However, certain NARS products may contain animal derivatives, such as lanolin.”
Lanolin is a byproduct from sheeps and used as a hydrator or emollient in beauty products. It’s a pretty commonly used animal byproduct.
No, Nars is not organic and they have no claims to be. They do state that they use natural formulations which is why their products need parabens and preservatives. So, nothing about Nars is natural or organic. If you want some comparable organic options, try Lawless Beauty, Kosas, Ilia and Westman Atelier.
Nars’ products are made in Canada. They are a US based brand owned by Shiseido.
Yes, Nars is sold in Mainland China stores. This is why they are not cruelty-free. They submit to 3rd party animal testing in order to be sold there.
No, Nars uses parabens in their products as preservatives.
Here is part of their statement:
“It is important to use preservatives to prevent bacterial and fungal contamination. With the high level of natural ingredients in our formulations, the absence of preservatives would require our products to be refrigerated and would need to be used within approximately two weeks after production. Additionally, we strive to ensure our products do not present any health risk from contamination by harmful microorganisms by using preservatives such as parabens.”
This is a weak statement because there are other preservatives Nars can use that aren’t parabens. It’s also a little long winded because it takes them a while to answer the question. YES! They use parabens in their products.
However, some of their paraben and phthalate free products include:
- Highlighting Powder
- Soft Matte Complete Foundation
- Creamy Radiant Concealer
Nars states that while many of their products don’t contain wheat or wheat byproducts, they can’t be sure about cross contamination on shared machinery. So, if you need gluten-free makeup, Nars is not the most sound choice.
Phthalates are found in fragrance. They’re commonly used to improve texture and slip in products. They’re bad and highly controversial because they’re linked to endocrine disruption. And, brands don’t have to disclose phthalates in products if it’s in the fragrance. Instead it will just say ‘fragrance’ on the label. So, since Nars uses fragrance in their products, we are going to say they are not fully phthalate free.
But, they do have some phthalate free products. For instance, their Highlighter Power is paraben and phthalate free. So is the Soft Matte Complete Foundation and the iconic Radiant Creamy Concealer.
Not all of Nars’ foundations are non-comedogenic. But, their Sheer Matte Foundation and Radiant Longwear Foundations are. This simply just means it’s not pore clogging.
Is Nars PETA Cruelty-Free Approved?
No, Nars is not PETA cruelty-free because they test on animals. The same goes for a Leaping Bunny certification. Any brand sold in China can have neither because they test on animals.
Nars is a mid-point luxury brand sold at department like Nordstrom, Saks, Neiman Marcus, and Net-a-porter. It is also sold online at:
Unfortunately if you’re looking for cruelty-free or vegan makeup, Nars is not the brand to look to. They sell in Mainland China and test on animals. Some of their products contain animal byproducts like lanolin. And they use parabens and phthalates in some of their products. For an expensive and basically, luxury brand, they have a ton of work to do on the ingredient front. Some cruelty-free and vegan alternatives to Nars include Kosas and Cover FX.