nars animal testing
photo: NARS Cosmetics

Last week, NARS Cosmetics shocked makeup lovers everywhere by announcing the brand would no longer be cruelty-free.

NARS, which has long been one of the only prestige beauty brands that does not utilize animal testing, announced it would begin selling makeup and skin care in China — presumably to get a slice of the estimated $50 BILLION spent on beauty there every year.

But that comes with a price: All cosmetics and skin care sold in China must first be tested on animals in state-run labs to determine whether the products are safe. And outspoken animal rights activist Kat Von D has something to say to NARS — and every brand that chooses money over morals.

"For years I've supported NARS beauty products because they were one of the few artistry brands that didn't test on animals," Kat wrote in a fiery Instagram post. "I am so confused/heartbroken that after all these years they would choose a paycheck over compassion."

kat von d vegan
photo: Kat Von D

Her original post included an album of VERY graphic images of animal testing. You can see that post here.

Those graphic images, wrote Kat, "are mild in comparison to the typical types of testing that [NARS] will now be implementing on all their products."

kat von d instagram
photo: Kat Von D

"This unnecessary cruelty is what you will be supporting every time you purchase one of their products [as well as any other company that CHOOSES to test on animals - because it is a choice]."

Kat, whose namesake beauty brand *is* cruelty-free, called on "true animal-lovers" to boycott NARS Cosmetics entirely.

kat von d animal testing
photo: Kat Von D

"Using the excuse that you want to elevate artistry is complete bullshit when it comes at this price," wrote Von D. "You are NOT at the "forefront" of making change when you consciously choose to test on animals. There are already non-animal tests that give far more accurate results than testing on animals and supporting that horrible billion dollar industry is criminal. Shame on you for hiding behind such a false marketing statement in order to line your pockets, while countless animals suffer. Please reconsider selling in China until the animal testing laws change. Until then, I along with many true animal lovers will gladly boycott your products."

The response from the anti-animal testing community was swift and serious. NARS' official Instagram account has been FLOODED with fans, who are enraged over what they see as a major betrayal of the company's values.

There are literally hundreds of thousands of comments on every Instagram post NARS has ever shared, all about the brand's choice to test on animals. A tiny sampling:

"Will be savouring every drop of product in every nars product I own as I will never be restocking. Absolutely love your makeup, but your morals disgust me."

"Absolutely disgusting. Choosing greed over innocent lives. I hope your sales are impacted severely by this and you realise there's no market for cruelty."

"I've used your products for over ten years, but that ends today. Utterly disappointing. What a shame, that creatures should suffer and die for your greed."

The backlash was so severe, the brand had to respond. "We want you to know that we hear you," NARS spokespeople wrote in an Instagram statement. "The global elimination of animal testing needs to happen."

nars cosmetics animal testing
photo: NARS Cosmetics

"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."

Read the entire statement right here.

Although it seems like NARS is going ahead with plans to sell in China, and therefore to begin animal testing, Kat has some words of wisdom for her upset fans.

kat von d animal testing
photo: Kat Von D

"Every purchase we make is a vote," she wrote in an earlier post (which contains more graphic images of animal testing; be warned). "When we buy products from a company that tests on animals, we are voting for cruelty — and no lipstick or eyeshadow is worth this. The good news is that we have the power to change this — simply by choosing to support cruelty-free beauty instead."