The truth behind your favourite makeup brands

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Saturday, 9 September 2017, 3:16PM

Animal testing is still widespread in the cosmetics industry, with popular makeup brand Nars the latest being criticised for the "cruel" and "completely unnecessary" practice.

A new campaign is calling for Nars to stop selling its cosmetics in China - a country which requires testing on animals in order for products to be sold there, reports news.com.au.

The e-petition has nearly 250,000 signatures. It states that the French cosmetics giant had previously "been committed to creating products without animal testing".

"Unfortunately, in order to sell products in China, brands must test on animals," the petition said.

"Instead of forgoing opening to the Chinese market, Nars has decided to test products on animals so they can sell in China."

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals associate director Ashley Fruno described Nars' conduct as "shameful".

"The company previously claimed that it didn't test on animals. But because Nars wouldn't sign our legal documents to be certified as cruelty-free, we couldn't guarantee that the company's claims were truthful or accurate," Fruno told News Corp Australia today.

"It's shameful that Nars is going back on its self-proclaimed cruelty-free principles in order to make a profit in the Chinese market."

Nars has revised its animal testing statement on its website "which now indicates that it will comply with legal requirements for tests on animals in countries where it sells its products", according to Fruno.

And it's not just Nars who is doing it.

Nars did not immediately respond to News Corp Australia's request for comment.

Popular makeup brands L'Oreal, Covergirl, Maybelline, Max Factor and Avon also test on animals, according to a list published by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

High-end Clinique, Estee Lauder, Dior and YSL cosmetics also engage in the practice, along with Benefit and OPI.

BRANDS AGAINST ANIMAL TESTING

The cruelty-free movement is growing in the cosmetics industry, with brands increasingly declaring they do not test on animals.

These include Kat von D beauty, Marc Jacobs, Hourglass, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Charlotte Tilbury, Tarte, and Urban Decay.

Of course, Ruby Rose - an animal activist - is the face of Urban Decay.

Other brands on the list include Too Faced, It Cosmetics, By Terry and cult beauty brand Glossier.

Kat von D's line of cosmetics also includes vegan makeup, marked #veganalert ("we define it as as a product that does not contain any animal products or byproducts, and has not been tested on animals," the company states on its website).

Among its vegan-grade products are foundations, powders, lip liners, concealers, setting mists, primer, brushes and lipstick.

SOLD IN CHINA: INSIDE ANIMAL TESTING PRACTICES

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Animal testing is mandatory for brands that sell into the lucrative China market according to government regulation.

"When foreign companies sell cosmetics in China, its government requires that products be tested by forcing chemicals down animals' throats and smearing substances onto their shaved skin-meaning that, ultimately, they'll be killed-just for shampoo or eye shadow," Fruno said.

Fruno said this practice was "completely unnecessary" as "numerous non-animal test methods have been validated and are widely in use around the globe".

America's PETA organisation has bankrolled training of Chinese scientists in the use of "superior, non-animal test methods".

The Chinese government has already accepted one non-animal test, with more to follow, Fruno said.

"But until animal testing for cosmetics is no longer required, companies with a conscience will stay away from China,' Fruno said.

So what PETA's the advice to consumers next time you're shopping for makeup?

Consult its llist of cruelty-free brands here. Brands that are certified by PETA are printed with bunny ears on their packaging.