BREAKING NEWS- NARS is no longer Gluten Free

I am grateful for their honesty, but that doesn’t mean I’m not disappointed.

When I first talked to NARS, they told me how careful they were in watching their gluten content. They told me they tested periodically to double check that their products were safe. While it took some time to finally get this information from them, at least I got answers!

Well, after the Arbonne thing and the realization that I need to reevaluate my old “questionnaires”, NARS was the next obvious company on the list to double check. Big, many products and not natural in the slightest. Some of my fab, smart, observant readers also emailed me wondering the exact same thing. So I set to work finding out.

I finally got my answer back from them and I wasn’t very happy about it.

Here’s what the gal told me:

Our statement [has] changed recently to say that we can’t guarantee that there will be any traces of gluten.

Many of our products do not contain ingredients derived from barley, oats, rye, spelt or wheat, which are commonly known sources of gluten. However, due to the wide range of raw materials and equipment used during the manufacturing of our products, we cannot confirm that our products are free from any traces of gluten.

As far as ingredients derived from barley, oats, rye, spelt or wheat we provide our clients with ingredient lists for any product in which they are interested as a lot of our products do not contain such ingredients.

This is completely different than what I’d heard before. Pretty much a 180 turn around from what they told me to start with.

As sad as this makes me, better to know now than to not know, right? I am grateful we at least know now!

However, I’m a bit troubled.

I do not now know if this has always been the case and they misinformed me to begin with, or if they really did try to be 100% gluten free for a while and just gave up.

I do know that I’ve had a few mysterious “watery/burning eye” days when wearing makeup and I wasn’t 100% sure what the problem was. Allergies? Someone’s perfume? Too much wind? (all plausible for me) But it makes sense that the NARS mascara I was wearing could be cross contaminated, because in hindsight, that’s exactly how my eyes react to gluten. The reactions from the NARS mascara were just so mild I wasn’t sure where it was coming from.

Since NARS is such a huge company, I’m pushing out an emergency list update to remove it.

If you’ve already signed up for the list, you will get this update in just a few seconds, or else you’ve already received it. If you’re reading this and you haven’t got the list already, you will have the updated version if you sign up.

Ugh, I just feel kinda sick about this. Guess I shouldn’t be too surprised that NARS is gluten free no longer, but still. All those options just… Gone.

Thank you NARS for the clarification. But I’m still really sad about this. NARS- gluten free no longer.

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Placed into drawers: Featured, Gluten Info, News, Not Safe

  • Rose_H_Tyler

    Yikes, this is really disappointing. I love NARS products and use several. Thank you so much for telling us, though. I’ve emailed them to inquire about the specific NARS products I use and will report back. (Unlike some folks I’m not so sensitive that cross-contamination is a concern, so as long as my specific products are OK, I’m safe. Though it’s still too bad because it means I can’t just buy any NARS products without worrying.)

    • Ugh, it really is… I just have been feeling sick to my stomach ever since I got the news. So sad. πŸ™

      If cross-contamination isn’t an issue for you, NARS had a lovely list they gave me for individual products. So as long as they reply back to you within a reasonable amount of time, they should be able to help you out there. πŸ™‚ But unfortunately, it wasn’t until I mentioned I’m an Associate Editor of Simply Gluten Free Magazine that they gave me prompt service and answers. Up until that point they replied to me with a frequency of about 1 email of theirs to 3 emails of mine. Maybe you’ll fare better than I did at first? Here’s hoping you do. πŸ™‚

      • Rose_H_Tyler

        Thanks! If you have that list of individual products, would you mind sharing it with me, since it sounds like I may have trouble hearing back from them? The one I’m most worried about is what I put on my lips – the Satin Lip Pencil. Thanks again. I really appreciate the work you do to make it easier for us to find safe products!

        • I wish I could! However they only sent me the information for the two products I have, the “Larger than Life” mascara and the “stylo” eyeliner. It was a lot of info, mostly irrelevant, but it was thorough. Both of those AT THE MOMENT do not have straight gluten in them.

          You are most welcome! I’m so glad it’s helpful. πŸ™‚

  • This is awful. I literally just spent $360 last week buying NARS because I have celiac disease. I went to Sephora because the NARS cosmetic artists were there and swore up and down how NARS was GF…but they should have known that it isn’t if we’re hearing a week later that NARS isn’t GF anymore. I don’t even know if Sephora will accept these as a return.

    • I am so sorry… NARS artists told you that??? They absolutely should have known better! I’ve been keeping up with it to the best of my ability, but I’m not affiliated with the company in any way. If NARS wanted to change their policy, they should have sent that information out to ALL their employees.

      If NARS themselves told you they were gluten free, I would think you ought to be able to return the products because of the false information you received. It’s worth a try, anyway. I would and make sure I throw a huge fit if need be. That’s either a lot of money to just throw out or a lot of makeup to work through not knowing whether or not you’ll react to it. Ugh…

      I am so sorry. πŸ™ I reallyreallyreally hope you can get your money back.

      • You’ve been such a lifesaver with your site. It’s so nice to have one place to go to get info, and it’s awesome when someone cares enough to send out an emergency post right away. I cannot have any gluten or cross contamination at all, so I’m not using these products anymore. I was totally surprised that the NARS artists didn’t know what was going on (the woman had celiac, too!). Thanks for the advice; I’m definitely going to try to get my money back, and one heck of a fit will follow if they give me a hassle. Makeup isn’t worth getting rashes or cancer over.

        • Aww, thanks for your kind words. πŸ™‚ I’m glad to be able to help.

          Surely it wasn’t her fault? Maybe it was just a fluke or something. They never were super open about it when they claimed they were gluten free. But then again, if their artist knew… They should have informed her when things changed. If their concern is avoiding any legal action for claiming something not 100% true, then they ought to make sure NOBODY from their company claims that.

          You go get ’em, girl! I’d be real curious to hear what Sephora says if/when (let’s bank on WHEN) they get you your money back. Sassy Celiac lady don’t take no trash. Haha. Good luck!

      • Sephora is great about returns, even if you use the products.

  • Jennifer M F

    And I saw they put triclosan in their Orgasm blush (which I don’t use, but was reading the ingredients). Of course, I just bought a new lipstick yesterday. Gah!

  • Wendy Coffman

    I just bought a load of NARS at a big event last weekend. I spoke with three reps before buying after reading here that it was safe, and all assured me that NARS is totally gluten free. This week the day after I first really wore all NARS on my face I got so sick, so inexplicably ill with a weird migraine my hubby had to take the day off to care for our kids. I could not explain how it happened at all…and now I’m so cross I can hardly type!

    • Ugh, I am so, so sorry Wendy… Why didn’t NARS inform their reps of the change??? They should have!

      At first I was just disappointed about this, but I’m starting to get really ticked off after all these stories y’all are sharing. NARS is still letting their reps spread the word that they are gluten free? Get on the ball, NARS! Inform your reps pronto!

      • Wendy Coffman

        I still felt so ripped off this morning…so I’m going through every online makeup shopping site to submit my story/review on the NARS product line. I know I can retrun my pile of expensive makeup – but when I research stuff online, there were lots of notes that the line is safe, so now there needs to be a dissenting voice that says hey, man, it’s not ok to play with the celiacs this way. Would they process something on a line with nuts then market it to gals with a nut allergy as safe?

        • Woah, you go girl! That is SO true! It really frustrates me how companies are cavalier about gluten. But then again, even some Celiacs are cavalier about gluten… So I guess those who don’t take their disease seriously end up hurting the rest of us by painting a poor picture of what it means to be Celiac. Then there’s the doctors who tell their patients “Oh, you’ve been GF for three months? You’re cured of Celiac! :D” (true story) Guess they aren’t helping us much either.

          Nevertheless. Companies need to be aware that Celiac and gluten intolerance IS serious, even in our makeup. And we have to be the ones to let them know.

  • Melisa

    Thanks so much for double checking this company and for letting us know. Thankfully, I don’t have any Nars!

    • Lucky lady… Though at the time I thought we were lucky because we COULD have it. Heh. At least you don’t have to figure out how to get your money back!

  • That is so true, Alana… I think your approach really is safest. I mean, why take risks when you don’t have to?

    This is why I try to give y’all all the info I can find: So everyone can make their own informed choices. Everyone is different, everyone has a different comfort level.

    Though the more I go along, the more I want to just go your route, Alana… Heh. Better safe than sorry.

  • Oh Gwendolyn, I’m so sorry!! I’d be super bummed out to give up my favorite lipstick color… *hugs her fav Red Apple Lipstick shades close to her heart* At least you’ll be able to return it… And I know that only kinda helps. It’s still terribly depressing, no matter how you look at it. πŸ™

    For the record, Sephora’s staff is rather shockingly uninformed for all the assurances they give. While NARS was actually considered safe, I’ve also heard tales of Sephora swearing up and down other brands were safe when the brand only had a dozen or so products they themselves claimed were gluten free. I’m not sure where the gals get the idea of what is gluten free and what isn’t, but it seems sadly common for them to get it wrong. In this case, they just had outdated info. But that’s not always true for them. Oftentimes it’s just plain wrong.

    I’m sorry… Here’s hoping you manage to find something else you love from a safer company.

    Lovin’ Life Gluten Free,

    ~ Afton Jones

    Gluten Free Makeup Gal Website

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  • Hey Mary-Lynne,

    Well, it really depends on how sensitive you are to digested gluten. I’m given to understand that at least some of the lipsticks don’t directly contain gluten, but everything has potential to be cross-contaminated. If you have trouble with cross-contamination at restaurants, I strongly urge you to get rid of the NARS lipstick. If you don’t tend to have problems, technically it might be OK. Lipstick even with gluten derived vitamin e has been tested to below 10 ppm in some preliminary tests. It’s not conclusive that all test that way, but some have. Supposedly, 10 ppm is “safe” for Celiacs, according to the FDA. Of course, in the same breath the FDA told us that Celiacs can react all the way down to 1 ppm… (no joke)

    If you aren’t having trouble with it, most people would tell you it’s OK to keep using it. I personally would probably finish what I had and just not buy any more, to be safe. But it’s up to you. πŸ™‚ And you can always email NARS and find out if you have anything with direct gluten in it. They should be able to tell you.

    Lovin’ Life Gluten Free,

    ~ Afton Jones

    Gluten Free Makeup Gal Website

    Facebook Google+ Pinterest Twitter

  • Hey Dayna,

    Thanks for the recommendation! Unfortunately, Mineral Fusion’s standard of gluten free is “we can take the gluten out of gluten grains”. This is such a dangerous, doubtful practice that it will soon be outlawed in the US for food. I wrote a big post about it here-
    So sad. I wish they would change their stance, because everything I tried before I learned this I LOVED. πŸ™

  • This is a really good idea. It’s true that we are our own advocates. So dear readers, email away! Write FB posts, G+ it, Tweet it, write blog posts! You can even use this article in your posts, if you like (just please link back to this page).

    I’m so sorry… My stomach plummeted when I got the news too and now that you mention it… I may have made a very loud sound too… Heh.

  • It’s perhaps the biggest bummer of all my gluten free makeup history… In fact, it may be the biggest bummer of ALL gluten free makeup history!
    No, I’ve never even heard of Bite Beauty! But I looked them up and found some VERY promising info about their company. It sounds amazing! I will certainly look into them and get back with y’all.

    Thanks for your comment and recommendation, Molly!

  • Perhaps you can review Juice Beauty? They emailed me yesterday that everything is gluten free

    • I’ll look into it! I’ve been hearing this about them quite a bit lately, however when I first talked to them they were NOT all gluten free. But as I recall, it would be very easy for them to go 100% gluten free. So perhaps they have!

      Thanks for letting me know! I’ll see what I can do. πŸ™‚

  • Tracey L Croisier

    Thanks for a great site … just found it today while researching things like triethoxycaprylylsilane (sand) after Ole Henriksen passed the buck and said it was the consumer’s job to determine from the ingredient list if the product was GF or not. bah. And boohiss on NARS! I see their website now recommends us gals take their products and ask our doctor to help us determine what’s okay. pfffft.

    • You’re most welcome Tracey! I’m glad the site has been helpful to you! πŸ™‚
      Whaaat!? I don’t think I heard about that… Oh please. PLEASE. The ingredient list isn’t even the half of it!

      Yeah, I’m really disappointed about NARS… But at least they changed their info on their site as soon as they determined they couldn’t say the products are 100% gf.

  • Stephxieh

    I’m late to this but I’m glad I’ve resisted all the lipsticks. I seem to do okay with face products although I do make sure to use nothing with actual gluten ingredients. i haven’t had a reaction for Cross contamination. I don’t however use any lip products that are questionable since that seems to be the only makeup products i react to.

    Sad to see my nars lippies go away πŸ™

  • Kristin Adams

    This is why anyone with a gluten allergy should only trust companies who walk their talk and get third party certified with the GFCO. Afterglow did this. It was a long and detailed process but it was worth it to me personally. Again – companies can claim anything but without third party oversight of those claims (that affect your health) the only one who looses in the end is you. In the meantime, their claims just got them a whole new batch of customers that trust gluten-free claims that they aren’t willing or able to uphold.

    • I totally agree. There are some companies who I truly believe attempt to be gluten free without the verification, but you can’t really KNOW unless there has been third party certification. And being able to know means a lot.