Friday, July 6th, 2012

Urban Decay Decides Not to Sell in China

After careful consideration of many issues, we have decided not to start selling Urban Decay products in China. While several factors were important in reaching this decision, ultimately we did not feel we could comply with current regulations in China and remain true to our core principles. We know there are many progressive consumers in China who would embrace an opportunity to purchase non-animal tested products – our hope remains that we have the chance to offer Urban Decay products to these consumers someday in the future.

Following our initial announcement, we realized that we needed to step back, carefully review our original plan, and talk to a number of individuals and organizations that were interested in our decision. We regret that we were unable to respond immediately to many of the questions we received, and appreciate the patience our customers have shown as we worked through this difficult issue.

Since our founding in 1996, we have been committed to ending animal testing in the cosmetics industry. As demonstrated by the renewed support we have received from organizations like PETA and the CCIC, this principle remains at our core. Urban Decay does not test its finished products on animals, nor do we allow others to test on our behalf, and we require our suppliers to certify that the raw materials used in the manufacture of our products are not tested on animals. Urban Decay is proud to be100% cruelty-free.

If you have additional questions, please email us at [email protected]

Your voices have been heard, considered, and the decision changed, will you support the brand once again?

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

Comments that include advertisements, self-promotion, insults, etc. may be in violation of our comment policy and subject to deletion. Please see our comment policy for more information.

208 thoughts on “Urban Decay Decides Not to Sell in China

  1. BethaneyMars

    Yay!!! so happy they made the right choice!!

  2. Good news!! I am really happy to hear this.

  3. 1. Wow. 2. What about the UD launch they had in China the day before the original announcement? 3. Just curious–  will those who originally said they’d boycott UD, still boycott them? (I personally am on the fence until i get more information)

    • Moker

       @Killerteeth I am still boycotting them. The way they handled this decision was horrible. Their PR people need to be fired.

      •  @Moker I would never want to threaten someones job, myself, bc I know how important it is…but I have to agree with you….the PR team made the brand as a whole look shameful…

  4. French_Mea

    WOOOW :)  That’s amazing news ! I am relieved ! 

  5. Catherine

    Guess, who’s excited to go to sephora to buy UD now?

  6. Tigress

    I wish I could say this is great news, but I still feel betrayed. They’ve proven to be flimsy with their morals and I don’t respect that, nor do I feel like I can trust this company not to change their mind again. I feel a bit mind effed by this entire situation.

    • moena

      Exactly! It’s like a celebrity making a racist or homophobic comment and then giving a PR apology the next day due to the backlash. If they were true to their principles, they would never have considered selling in China to begin with, just like a truly progressive celeb would not make such outbursts. This backtracking just goes to show that the almighty dollar is priority one, over animal testing.

      • Screamer77

         @moena If they were only thinking about money, they would still go to China. The Chinese market can more than make up for every single customer lost here.
        I see it as a lover admitting to be attracted to someone but resisting temptation in the end. This time, and this time only, I am willing to give them a second chance. 

    • by

      I agree. I am still not going to purchase anything from UD.

  7. electrogeek77

    We influenced them. Now we must be vigilant and hold them to this decision. UD needs responsible consumers in order for them to remain a responsible business.

  8. VickWalker

    Didn’t matter to me one way or the other to be honest.


    makes sense. they pissed off so many people with this decision they kinda had no other choice than to go back or they would lose a lot of customers. yay for them not selling in china, but let’s be real…they’re too easily influenced as a company to hold strongly on to their beliefs.

    • xamyx

      @MIRIANV I think they just realized the numbers wouldn’t be as high asthey hoped. Perhaps I’m a bit jaded, but business is business.

  10. xamyx

    I never planned to stop, but I hope they will still work on changing China’s law that reserves the right to test.

  11. Great testament to the effect consumers can have on a company. Whether or not it rebuilds the trust that loyal customers had with them remains to be seen, but the backtrack/ change of heart clearly comes from the lambasting they took from their customer base.

  12. Annette

    Doesn’t  matter to me at all. Its ridiculous that someone can start disliking brand because they sell in China

    • by

      Selling in China = animal testing. For people who are against animal testing, it’s not ridiculous at all.

      • nacacijin

        And this brand has been at the forefront of of cruelty free cosmetics for decades. Urban Decay has been a favorite among vegans and animal rights activists for their principles in regards to cruelty-free cosmetics. And on top of that, some people weren’t even angry about the animal testing, they were angry about the way Urban Decay handled it. The whole thing was incredibly ill conceived on UDs part and they alienated a LOT of people.
        It’s not just “because they sell in China,” it’s everything that came with and from that decision.

      • Screamer77

         @by Exactly, especially when the brand made their fortune on their cf campaign. 

  13. Did anyone else sign/pass on the petition as well?

  14. This makes me shake my head and say this is good and hopefully it wasn’t just a publicity stunt. This is great news for UD and all the fans out there who were ready not to buy. I would have used their products either way because I like what I like. 

  15. Nicola

    So pleased with this decision! Urban Decay is one of my favourite brands and I was extremely disappointed by the last two PR statements. I’m glad they listened to their biggest base, the consumers, and have changed their mind!

  16. Gina

    I will absolutely return to the brand! This shows that they listen to and care about their customers. I’m really proud of them. I never expected them to change their minds, so it’s a really welcome surprise.

  17. macaroonsxoxo

    I am so happy they changed their mind maybe now they can start spreading the brand all around europe! :))

  18. Stephenie

    It was not a publicity stunt and they are not flimsy with their morals, maybe UD execs just didn’t know all the facts before they made thier initial decision, no doubt pressured by their biggest distributor Sephora, and then after they found out they couldn’t change things they backed out because they are NOT flimsy about their morals.If anyone bans anything, they should ban Sephora and order straight from UD online.  Anyway, why assume the worst of the good guys, there’s not many out there.

  19. LuceLuLys

    So happy to hear this. Glad they listened to their hearts and customers. Will be happy to begin using UD products again, nice to hear I don’t have to find a dupe for their Underground 24/7 liner! UD was the very first makeup brand I was in to as a preteen/young teenager and has a special place in my heart. Way to keep that place, UD.

  20. Screamer77

    So glad! I understand how tempting the Chinese market is, and I admire UD’s decision to wait. They listened to their customers and decided to stick to their values. I will give them a second chance.

  21. jilliant

    For me, I’m still turned off from the brand, not because they wanted to expand to China, but because of the condescending drivel that was that first press release. 

    • Thats where I am at mentally…I don’t think I can purchase from a brand tht is condescending…I need to think before I buy anything from them.

    • Very much agreed. In my list of values that are affecting my decision, repudiating animal testing is not that high.
      What turns me off instead is how UD has clearly and vocally, if you read in between the lines of their press releases, put the entire country of China into a category that is labelled: “Amoral Heathens (Barring A Few Progressive Consumers) Who We Are Only Stooping To Sell To For The Financial Motive”. 

  22. xmissxandristx

    I am very pleased that they’ve decided to pull out of China; I don’t see how condoning animal testing would’ve possibly gotten any policies changed. Haha. However, I don’t know if i’ll be returning to the brand. I have literally thousands of dollars worth of UD cosmetics, and I feel like I made that massive investment just to be slapped in the face. So we’ll see.
    I do think they need new pr people tho. This whole fiasco was presented so terribly.

  23. kristanna

    heres the problem. with all the pandering bs they have said before makes it hard for me to believe them now. bloom is off the rose. bye UD.

  24. Ann Clothier

    Although I do not personally go out of my way to discover each company’s habits, I understand why so many were upset.  What I do not understand, is why those people will continue to boycott.  You let your voices/opinions be heard and for once a company listened.  How often does that happen?  I do not think this was a decision (to go or to back out) that UD came to lightly.  It appears to me that some real thought and hard work went in to these decisions.  I think it is unfair to say they are ‘too easily influenced as a company’ or that they have ‘flimsy morals’.  You asked, NO…you demanded that they reconsider or lose their most loyal customers and they did.  I think it’s only fair to show them your support by continuing to buy their products.  

    •  @Ann Clothier Well thought out…I like what you said

    • Coco

       @Ann Clothier I agree.  I don’t think I should turn my back on something (be it a makeup company or something else) that has returned to what I wanted, and so many people fought for, it to be.

    • maureenmojen

       @Ann Clothier AMEN.

    • blueraccoon

       @Ann Clothier I totally agree. It’s like saying that because someone you know said something you disagree with, and then changed their mind to agree with you, you still can’t be friends with them anymore. Is no one ever allowed to learn from their mistakes? UD tried something, got backlash, thought about it and listened to their customers, and changed. Yes, maybe the bloom is off the rose but at least they listened and changed their behavior…what more can we ask for?

    • Amanda

      Like X 10,000!!!!! @Ann Clothier

    • Gina

       @Ann Clothier I agree! It’s very obvious that they put a lot of thought into this–before today’s announcement, they hadn’t posted anything on their Facebook page since June 17th.

    • shii

       @Ann Clothier Well, their mission statement was offensive, and the fact that they had even decided to do this in the first place despite their motto.  I can see why people would be soured towards Urban Decay from now on, despite UD turning tail.  When you’ve been insulted it’s hard to forgive.

    • lesa5363

       @Ann ClothierI have to agree.  I believe many of us made our points, and who knows if UD listened or they just figured now wasn’t the right time to go to China.  I woudlike to think that they did listen, and I have to believe that they had to re-evaluate their core values and who their consumer’s are and what they want.  I stated quite clearly that if they were going to sell/test on animals in China, I would no longer support them.  I don’t entirely trust them, but I may go back to buying their products.  I have a huge stash of my favorite products, I will use them and if UD still sticks to being cruelty free, I may go back.  They will have to renew my faith though.  They had horrible PR and it was condensending as well as offensive.  If they haven’t figured out their core customers by now, they haven’t learned anything about business, and I hope the do actually learn from this. 

  25. misscheriamor

    This is pretty impressive. A lot of brands would have ignored their consumers to make money in a new place, but the fact that UD listened speaks a lot to their character as a brand. I think this is great!

  26. blueraccoon

    I think they could have handled this whole situation a lot better, but I am pleased with their decision. I almost stopped at Ulta today to buy a 24/7 liner in celebration :)

  27. Dominique33

    I had plan to boycott UD, a brand I love ( I’ve been knowing UD for many years, actually when UD came here I found them amazing and innovative ). I am glad they decided to step back, hoping they will keep their promises. Curiously enough I wore Naked 2 today, their palettes are really great. Cruelty free values of the brand are essential, it’s good news.

  28. Caitlin9127

    Very happy with this outcome! Thank you for coming to your senses UD; I will continue to use and love your products!

  29. RedWeatherTiger

    Wow, yes, I’m impressed!  I haven’t even looked at anything UD since they announced their plan for China, but I am VERY happy to put them back into my favored brands.

  30. vee

    It all boils down to the allmighty dollar. They realised the return on investments wouldn’t be as high as they hoped so they shelved the idea… for the time being.

  31. TatianaRojas

    Brave decision!

  32. Mich

    Thanks UD, guess i’m a costumer once again.

  33. Cat G

    I am convinced this has more to do with the business side of things working with China than the backlash they received here in the U.S. from loyal fans. They obviously realized it wasn’t going to work in a way that would be profitable for them to enter China. For now. So my stance is that I remain suspicious of the brand’s intentions from now on. I have products of UD (that I bought before this whole China thing was initially announced) that I intend to use up before I buy anything again. If I do ever feel the need to buy something UD again… I just figure, there’s so many brands out there, I could easily be happy with my cosmetics collection despite  never buying something from UD again after this fiasco.

  34. I’ve never bought a single UD product, or been tempted to try one, for the simple reason that they are not sold in the two countries where I spend most of my time: Australia and China.Seeing how mercenary and disrespectful UD plainly are about their customers now leaves me with absolutely no wish to touch that brand. There is no way to “spin” that first news release they did – the timing of it, the wording, the condescending attitude and underlying racism, all badly done – and all this back-peddling just turns me off the brand further.
    A few weeks ago, there was an opinion article in <I>The Guardian</i> that felt very apropos: <a href=””>Do consumers care whether brands tell the truth?</a>
    <blockquote><i>In the 1950s, politicians, celebrities and royalty could reasonably expect to control their representation in the media – now they all have to cope with a 24/7 gossip fuelled news agenda that they are powerless to control.
    They have had to adapt. How well they are doing (or not doing) at adapting is evident in the news stories we read every day. Brands have got to adapt too – if what brands are telling the consumer doesn’t match the real experience the consumer has of that brand, advertising will be a costly waste of both time and money.
    Of course consumers care about truth. We all do. So the best way to sell stuff to them is to tell them the truth. Half a century ago David Ogilvy said: “The consumer is not a moron, she is your wife”.
    Now she is an expert with a smartphone who can find out as much as she wants about a brand in a matter of minutes. If that doesn’t match what the advertising says then the brand hasn’t just lost a sale, it has potentially lost a customer for a lifetime, and the implications of this are enormous.
    The start point for communications should not be what the consumer insights team has told the marketing department would be a “nice approach” for the brand. It’s not what the brand owners want the world to believe on a “corporate level” about it, delivered beautifully. The start point must be what is true about the brand: what cannot be denied about it, and how can it be delivered in a straight talking way?
    Brands which have a process for telling the truth are likely to sell more products, make more money, keep more customers and, most importantly, keep their loyalty.</i></blockquote>
    Blogs with a very wide readership, like this one, where conversation between people who have a common interest/passion and many different views is facilitated, can add enormously to our collective consumer intelligence. UD clearly didn’t know what it was getting into when it distributed that initial news release.
    I freely admit to not being a “progressive shopper” in the UD sense; animal testing doesn’t have a strong affect on my opinion of a makeup brand, one way or the other (I guess it must be the ignorant, apathetic Chinese part of me that is in dire need of coaching from UD). But I do feel very strongly that companies should treat their customers fairly and with respect, and trust enough in their discernment and intelligence to expect them to know the difference between truth and b******t. 
    With that view in mind, America, you can keep your Urban Decay. 

    • JS

       @Li Wen Can you please explain why the Chinese feel the need to continue to practice animal testing? I’m honestly intellectually curious.

      • @JS I’m not sure what gave the impression that I am somehow qualified to speak for the Chinese authorities… Even if I was Chinese by nationality (which I’m not), how would I know what went on in their heads? A people cannot be held to the same opinions as their government, especially when that country is not a democracy.

    • Nar

       @Li Wen This is my problem with UD, too.  I’m not Chinese nor of Chinese descent, but the worst think in that press release wasn’t the animal testing thing as much as the condescending, imperialistic attitude of having to change the way China thinks to the “right” way of thinking.  As much as I appreciate them upholding their animal testing ideals, I don’t know if I can get past the racism in the press release.  Who runs their PR dept??

    • Gina

       @Li Wen I completely agree. I think the worst part of all of this was how they found a way to put all of them blame on China and the Chinese people, rather than them.

  35. Kafka

    I’m pleased, for the most part. They’ve still lost a lot of my respect for the way they handled things, given how clearly it was all motivated by money and how insulting that press release was on a number of levels. The bloom is most definitely off the rose. But I will buy from them again. I don’t have to adore and worship a company to buy their products.  Beauty products are, at the end of the day, something I use to make myself feel good or feel better. And that wouldn’t happen if a company’s products made me uncomfortable with the animal testing issue or if I felt my intelligence were insulted on top of it all.  Now that they’ve walked away, I can buy the Strip, S&M, and Mary Jane eyeshadows I wanted so badly. All that said, I do give them some credit for reversing their stance.  It may be motivated by money yet again, but still, it’s not easy for any company to publicly reverse course and admit the egg they got (most deservedly) on their face.     

    • 18thCenturyFox

      @Kafka Agree with all you have said.. Plus I sort of had a pretend shopping cart thing going on over at ACW that I played around with but was determined not to purchase. I am gun shy about UD now but I do feel the need to reward the decision somewhat regardless of how they came to it. This pains me because 1) it’s like not showing your work on a math problem and 2) Like insisting a child apologize to someone when they are, perhaps, not quite sorry or sure of why they are apologizing…

  36. I’m very relieved they did the right thing.  I have to agree with many of the other commenters here that this clearly could’ve been handled much better. The whole thing has been bizarre to me. I was honestly shocked when I learned they’d be selling in China and I’m almost as shocked now that they’re not.
    What does Urban Decay actually believe in? Frankly, I have no idea. This decision could’ve been as much about money and publicity as concern for animals (usually, I’d give companies the benefit of the doubt, but I think skepticism is warranted here). But the bottom line is – they’re still cruelty-free and I’m going to be supporting them again.

  37. BTW, this new press release is every bit as disingenuous as the old one. They are obviously a company with no morals whatsoever, except whatever is convenient in the short-term to get them out of the line of fire. How can anyone believe a word UD says after this?

  38. I never planned to boycott them when it happened – I was annoyed at the tone of the release, and saying “sod it” to their morals, essentially, but I knew I would have just been like “ooh pretty– wait wasn’t there a reason I wasn’t talking to this brand? Oh well.” – and while I’m happy that they’ve changed their mind because we need more high profile brands that take an animal friendly view, I still feel somewhat unsure about them now. If they really did care about their principles, this wouldn’t have been an issue in the first place

  39. watchthesky

    while i’m glad this means animals will no longer be unnecessarily harmed by UD’s business, the fact that they even considered going to china at all and the way they handled it still leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. for the time being i’d rather spend my money elsewhere but we’ll see how they handle things in the future. maybe i’ll come around again, maybe not.

  40. I’m feeling kind of mixed about this.
    I love Urban Decay, I really do. I love their products, their ethos, and as a brand and company, I think they are brilliant.
    After the whole entering the chinese market thing, I was planning on no longer purchasing from them, not even so much because the products would be tested on animals by the chinese government, after all, I, living in the UK, would be buying products that weren’t tested on animals, so why should it matter to me?
    Well, my problem was that UD dropped their beliefs and morals for money. I can see how China can be very tempting, hell 1/7 of the world’s population lives there, and that’s a huge amount of money to be made (their claim that it would take a while to even make a profit and that china wasn’t ready for their brand etc was a lot of BS, imo), so I see the attraction. But as a vegetarian and animal lover, who’s always lived around my dog, cats and horses, even guinea pigs (typical animal test subjects) I wouldn’t care how much money was to be made by eating meat or being cruel to animals, I would never back out on my beliefs.
    UD made a very informed decision to enter the chinese market, they knew full well they would make a huge profit (I’m sure there are plenty of people in China gagging for a UD palette on their dressing table, and I don’t blame them!) at the cost of animal’s lives. They knew innocent animals would me mutilated, tortured and killed through that decision. And that is not the way to stop animal testing at all.
    Knowing all this, they decided to follow Estée Lauder’s lead and do it.
    I don’t think they expected quite so much backlash. They got waaaay more than Estée Lauder, because their PR statement was to be frank, plain shitty, and it went against everything UD stands for.
    I think they deserve what they got. And after all that, they aren’t going ahead with it.
    Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad they’re not, I just think it was kind of cowardly.
    I am, however, glad that they listened to their customers. But I don’t think they went back on their decision to please the customers, I think it had more to do with the number of customers deserting the brand, including people with large followings online.
    Will I purchase from UD again? Probably. Do I agree with what they have done? Not entirely, I’m just glad they saw sense in the end.

  41. Sierrablue

    This is very good news indeed, although I assume it was a business decision after all. The great thing that came from this whole debacle is really the fact that so many consumers stood up and not just blatantly refused to buy their product but went to great length to argue their case. Whether the decision was made based on money or money and conscience, it showed me there is a lot of compassion against animal cruelty. Very grateful for the dialogue indeed. 

  42. stillsick

    I’m so glad! MAC needs to follow in their footsteps! 

    • mightyclassy07

       @stillsick MAC is owned by Estee Lauder which is HUGE in China so I seriously doubt it.  But it might turn some non-EL owned brands around :)

    • Dominique33

       I agree with you, M.A.C and all beauty products brands.

  43. As much as I love Urban Decays products, this decision has still soured me on them. As others have said the decision to not sell in China was a financial one and not one made out of respect for their cruelty free past. It’s unfortunate that two brands that I adore (UD and MAC) have made decisions this year that have forced me to stop using their products, but it’s also allowed me to explore some great indie brands. Guess we’ll just have to stay broken up UD.

  44. You have to wonder how this decision was changed — if it was from the backlash of fans in the United States and around the rest of the world, or if it was driven entirely by money. I like how they’re pretending to be all high and mighty, too — righhht. As if they “forgot” their ideals before. Your customers can see right through you, UD…

  45. Good news! However I’m really curious about the details: what made them change their mind in the end?
    Anyway, I think that in this case, stepping back was a courageous decision, but I’m afraid the brand’s image and reputation have been greatly affected by this PR fiasco.

  46. Kate

    Nope.  The fact that they even considered it, and the way they insulted their customers’ intelligence with that press release, makes this brand one I will never shop from again.

  47. FayePunny

    A company can only exist from profit, and in China they would’ve made more profit than they would have lost on customers here. Regardless if it’s business (it is a business after all), image or morals. This is the right thing to do and I wish more companies followed their example. They told us their plans, we disagreed and they turned it around. What more can you ask for? They’ve been quite transparent about the whole deal and made the right decision. For me, that counts. I support a company that fixes their mistakes. Not the companies that make the mistakes anyway or tell customers ‘we’re not going to china’ (like lush) as marketing stunt. Urban Decay did right, don’t go hold grudges for them messing up.

    • whigrose

       @FayePunny But that’s just an assumption–that they automatically would have made more in China.  I don’t know the Chinese market, I’ll admit, but if they were an unknown, they’d still have to catch on before sales were good.  Is it a large market?  Yes, I’ll give you that.  I just don’t think you can assume sales in China would necessarily have made up for lost US customers so quickly without an investment in advertising and some time.  No matter how large the market, ticking off an existing customer base to acquire a new one seems a bad move, even from a purely business perspective.  Now, all that said, I’m not sure they can completely undo all the damage that’s been done.  I mean, can we really trust them?  Or will it always be in the back of our minds that they *could* choose to sell in China at any time.  They might even do it behind our backs next time.  I don’t think my suspicion is uncalled for, as some have suggested.  Fool me once, you know…

      • FayePunny

        I am indeed making an assumption, based on these things i’ve heard/read:
        -The chinese market is booming business and here we have the crisis going on and on
        -Chinese cities are much much larger than your average European city or even most American cities.
        -High end brands often do good business in Japan, Korea and China (The places that are relatively westenized) Appearantly most asians are willing to spend their money on luxury good. I read that during the Japan crisis sales dramaticly dropped for many luxurious brands, because that’s their biggest market.
        -Urban Decay is well kown for their glide on pencils, naked palettes and primer potion, Seeing how blogs and beautyguru’s advertise these products, I am positive that most Chinese (who are interested in makeup) would know about these products and would purchase them as soon as they can. I don’t think urban decay is a ‘new brand’ there that need months and months to establisch a good customer base.
        and again, whatever the reason, I am glad they aren’t selling in China and aren’t testing on animals.

    • vtach126

       @FayePunny I agree completely. They presented their plan to us, and we basically killed it with our responses. They STILL do have a reputation/image to hold up to in the U.S. (even if sales are poor), especially when selling outside the U.S., since we are viewed as the trendsetters and cult followers.  With that I do have more respect for them in that they did take heed to our words/comments, and with that they stopped the move to China.  They looked before the jumped, and stopped it before it completely flopped, and now they are trying to regain the faith.  They sent me an email today, which I didn’t expect.

    • @FayePunny Here’s the thing though: It was the “plans” to launch in China that they announced, despite the wording of that initial press release. By the time that statement of “intention” was up on the website, UD had already had an official launch in Shanghai. So it was a bald faced lie, as if they thought China was completely cut off from the world and nobody in the US would find out. Strictly speaking, the latest statement should say “stop selling in China”, and not “not sell in China”.

      • Quinctia

         @Li Wen  @FayePunny Oh that’s right, they did do that launch in Shanghai.  So…they’re just going to be eliminated from that store?  Bizarre.  And I feel sorry for anyone in Shanghai that launch excited, if that’s the case. :(

      • FayePunny

         @Li Wen   I did not know this, They should’ve said tested was started or not. Although I read that no product had been tested yet to their knowledge, so im not sure if the testing had already taken place. They should fire their PR people. The statements were crap to begin with, and if they leave information like this out of the pictures it upsets only more customer.
        Regardless, I think UD got punished for this move since a lot of people won’t be buying from them again. I will buy from them again, but with caution. I will just make sure that leaping bunny is still there. In the end, i just enjoy their products and im not going to miss out on them because of their sucky press statements.

  48. All I can say is .. well, Duh!  Since UD managed to offend pretty much everybody with their initial statement..  but no, I still won’t respect you in the morning.

  49. Fruzsi Kmn

    i might like them again then..

  50. Tai O'Leary

    China will probably come up with it’s own knock off/fake version just like everything else.

  51. Nina Ratterree

    Respect…another reason to buy more Urban Decay.

  52. Bebe Tc

    I am seriously so happy about this :)!!!

  53. Viri Romero

    nice! power of the internet and the makeup community!

  54. Elizabeth Kathryn


  55. Johanna Glatz

    Pls come to Australia!!!! We embrace ur principles and we love u even more becoz of them!!!

  56. Virginia G

    I’m a bit confused. In their press release it says “Urban Decay does not test its finished products on animals, nor do we allow others to test on our behalf, and we require our suppliers to certify that the raw materials used in the manufacture of our products are not tested on animals.” Does this mean that their test formulation might be tested on animals? This website helped answer that question for me: Seems kind of shady to me!

    • @Virginia G That very statement raised a red flag for me too!

    • nacacijin

      I don’t think it’s shady, I just think it’s probably worded poorly (considering that many people have had the same concerns that you have). But I think it was UD’s way of trying to cover all of their bases, like saying “We don’t test our products on animals, we don’t allow other companies or manufacturers to test our products on animals, and none of our ingredients are tested on animals.” I would say that describing them as “finished products” just means that the eyeshadow/lipgloss/etc itself isn’t tested on animals, in addition to none of the ingredients being tested on animals. So I wouldn’t say that this particular release is shady, but they definitely need better writers in their PR department, that’s for sure.

    • I’m far from an expert on how this all works, but I’ve read that products sold in the UK have to use the “finished product not tested on animals” phrasing if any ingredient was ever tested on animals by any company at any point in time. (PETA says this, for instance:

    • No, it means no one on their behalf can…I know cruelty free can be a tasking thing, and its confusing…it doesn’t mean all makeup brands test no matter what however…when brands use a statement, “We don’t test unless required by law.” that means there is some testing done on their behalf…also “we don’t test our finished product” is where we need to raise the red flag.

  57. Lirael

    I am so glad they actually listen to their customers, and its not the first time they’ve done this, albeit for more minor changes. No doubt its monetary gain is a significant factor but still, I bet a lot of other companies wouldn’t have the nerve to swallow their pride an do a U-turn *cough* MAC *cough*

  58. While the skeptic in me thinks that this is all about the almighty dollar, the shallow person in me is just glad I can buy some of their glittery glosses without guilt.

  59. Well, this just goes to show that a company can try to fix its mistakes and cater to their customers and it still isn’t good enough.

  60. Maya

    Wow.  Thank you, Urban Decay!  It takes a lot to admit you’re wrong, and even more to turn it around.  They could have made serious money in China (and easily made up for lost buyers here), but changed their minds after listening to loyal customers.  Although I wish they never considered China in the first place and I know a lot of people will remain angry, I choose to forgive and support this new decision.

    • @Maya It’s the wording of the retraction that irritates me, though. “Not to start selling in China”, instead of “to reverse our launch into China” or “step selling in China”, since the Shanghai launch party for the brand took place an entire month ago, the day before the press release announcing that they were going to sell in China. The whole thing just reeks of damage control, with not an ounce of apology, and leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

  61. kelly

    So glad to hear this & glad to purchase UD again!

  62. Chinese

    I am Chinese in U.S.
    I liked UD before all these happened. But won’t buy any more UD products. 
    And I know I have many friends will do the same too. Farewell UD. 

  63. Chinese

    I am a Chinese girl in U.S.
    I liked UD a lot before all these happened. But I won’t buy any more UD products. 
    And I know I have many friends will do the same too. Farewell UD. 

    • Ansa Leath

      @Chinese Confused?! Why wouldn’t you buy them now if you did before?

      • cidatel

         @Ansa Leath Put yourself in her shoes for a second.  This entire thread has been one big anti-China CRUSH THE EVIL EMPIRE party, largely disregarding the fact that this kind of debacle SUCKS if you’re actally Chinese.  UD may have been affirming their stance against Chinese government policies, sure, but they’ve also told their current and prospective Chinese customers that they are too ‘morally inferior’ to deserve their products.  Not fun.
        Personally, I admire UD for sticking to it’s guns.  I just wish they didn’t have to create this horrible contreversy in order to do it.

      • shii

         @Ansa Leath  @Chinese Maybe because of the way the statement was worded, it was offensive to our intelligence and offensive to the Chinese.  Or maybe because of the idea that they were really going to do this in the first place when they were a vegan company; just because they backed out at the last minute doesn’t mean there will be people who forgive them for what they had decided they were about to do.

  64. Suselew

    Thanks to everyone who voiced their opinion, sponsored boycotts, made videos and simply stopped buying UD products.  We are the heroes in all of this, not UD.  Whatever their reason, we showed the cosmetics world that we have morals and stand by them.  And, for anyone considering continuing their boycott, think of it this way.  If we don’t return to UD based on their decision to do what we asked them, how does it send the right message to OTHER companies?  Why would MAC or Avon or any other company selling there have any encouragement to pull out of China if customers don’t start buying again?

    • Kafka

      @Suselaw  – You raise an excellent point about sending an incentivizing message. Alas, I don’t think it will lead companies like MAC to change to a cruelty-free policy or to pull out of China; they make far too much money there and are far too popular. But perhaps it will send a message to other companies who are considering following UD’s path, who are watching what the outcome will be of the course reversal, and trying to see what the response is from customers who once fled UD.  On the other hand, playing Devil’s Advocate, regardless of how many fans return, they have such a huge market in China, it may not make a difference to them in the end.  Maybe they would just chalk the whole thing up to a lesson in needing a good crisis management and PR team to handle thorny, controversial decisions. The whole thing is so complicated and twisted, it makes my head hurt to think of the “What Ifs” but your point is still definitely something to consider.

    • vtach126

      The animals are the heroes here, WE are simply their advocates because they cannot speak or protect themselves in these situations

    • Really, we need to boycott MAC for a lot more than just selling in China. They need some standards again.

    • @suselew if MAC were to stop testing, I would buy from them again. I am glad I wrote UD to say ‘please don’t do this.’ I’m also glad I wrote UD to say ‘Thank you for changing your stance and not testing.’

  65. Espe1963


  66. Jen

    Why not bring your brand to Hong Kong?

    • Gina

      Because then it would require that the products be tested on animals.

      • Andi

        That is interesting, I’ve always thought that we had separate regulations here. Brands like LUSH and Body Shop that don’t test on animals are readily available here. I’m sure UD will have no problem regulation-wise launching here.

      • Catherine

        Only in Mainland China, animals are tested on, in Hong Kong and Taiwan it’s optional.

      • Jen

        Yeah, I think the rules in China and HK are totally different

  67. Laras

    all I can say is…thank god there is still some decent morals left in the world. Sometimes I feel that we are slaves to the money..but thank goodness we DO have an opinion and that we care about animals. I just really hope that in 20 years time all companies are cruelty free and there is a law banning any testing on animals and that it would be a criminal offence. They have feelings too.

  68. i am VERY pleased with this decision and i will now continue to support their brand.  they have already been recertified by PETA and CCIC Leaping Bunny.
    we are all friends again

  69. Xexuxa

    Hopefully UD was hit by the common sense bus and will start shipping internationally. Really, a simple solution to expand your company.

  70. Ansa Leath

    Good Job UD! I’ll forever be a loyal customer.

  71. Vegan

    Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This literally made my day!!!

  72. annacfonseca


  73. millasondailey

    Wow!  I feel like all of us made a huge difference.  It’s nice to know that sometimes we speak and people actually listen!

    • CNo64

      I, too, have very mixed feelings now about Urban Decay. In their most recent statement, they said, “While several factors were important in reaching this decision, ultimately we did not feel we could comply with current regulations in China and remain true to our core principles.””Ultimately?”I mean, it should have been *immediately* apparent that they’d be violating their cruelty-free “principles” by entering a market where animal-testing is mandatory.I am glad that they’ve reversed their initial decision, and wish that other companies (Hello, Estee Lauder!) would follow their lead, but it seems to me that if a company truly maintains firm principles, it should never even consider violating them. I’d like to see Urban Decay pledge that they will always be cruelty-free, even if it hurts their financial bottom line.

  74. mimimi

    Its a great day :)

  75. Christine85

    UD couldn’t handle the backlash from their fans/consumers. I have many UD products and their first and followup Q&A press release left a funny taste in my mouth. They were looking at the $$$ picture and not the big picture based on their cruelty free products. But this line in their press release left me confused “Urban Decay does not test its finished products on animals…”  because how do they test so see if the green shadow (or gloss, lipstick, etc) is the right shade before it becomes “finished”? UD needs to define this a bit more.

    • Tatrina

       Not on animals, voluntary testers? O.o Good point!

    • Rebecca

       @Christine85 I’m pretty sure it means that some ingredients within them may be tested on animals. Not by UD specifically, but they have been by distributors. It may not even be currently, it may have been in the past or an FDA regulation.At least that was what I heard from another cruelty free brand… I can’t remember which. I think it was TooFaced?

    • xamyx

      @Christine85 It means the actual product isn’t tested, but in theory, one or more of the ingredients may (or may not) have been tested on animals, either separate or in combination, to see if there are any adverse reactions. For exaample, if there are 10 ingredients in said prroduct, anywhere from 1-10 of them may have been tested, even up to 9 at the same time, but it’s when the 10th ingredient is added that makes it “finished”. I hope this clarifies things a bit.

    • Lorraine ER

       That got me too but they follow up with  “nor do we allow others to test on our behalf, and we require our suppliers to certify that the raw materials used in the manufacture of our products are not tested on animals. Urban Decay is proud to be100% cruelty-free.”

    • CNo64

       @Christine85 I completely agree that they need to be more definite. This China fiasco has made me question just how committed Urban Decay is to its “principles.”

  76. I hadn’t decided whether to boycott UD or not, but I certainly won’t be now. Good on them for listening to customer feedback (even if it was just to keep us buying).

  77. TerriMcMillanMansfield

    I am impressed that they have the courage to admit they were wrong and then change their plans.  As for continuing to boycott them, I just have to ask:  Doesn’t everyone deserve a second chance?  

  78. Jiawunnn

    This is why I love Urban Decay :)

  79. meemah

    I dont care about animal testing. I’m a nursing student and I skin and dissect all kinds of animals in the lab so that I can be a great nurse one day. I love Urban Decay and would support them no matter what. Props for UD for listening to their fans and turning down major money because of it. But they have my support no matter what.

    • artemis

      i hope those animals are already dead and died in a painless way.

    • kounelaki

      Animals are ours to dissect in the name of science, torture in the name if entertainment and and experiment on in the name of beauty. Their are several other options! I think you should first care about being a great (and compassionate) human being, and then being a great  nurse. 

    • zeldafitz

      this is an unrelated conversation i guess, but there are other more effective, less expensive, and more humane methods for med/nursing schools to use besides dissecting actual animals.  that is pretty cruel and inhumane, and in all actuality (hate to break it to you) the majority of med schools no longer use animals for these things – especially the cutting edge ones.  
      i found out that certain labs in the med school of my university were using hearts of dogs obtained from shady animal shelters for dissection/research/teaching and i handed over the info to an organization that could raise hell over it…and they did.  the school has now signed a pledge (that many other reputable schools have signed) that they will never use animals again for these things.  if i were you i would hope that this doesn’t happen with wherever you go to school, if  you believe animal dissection will make you “a great nurse one day.”

      • 18thCenturyFox

        @zeldafitz Thank you for this reply. I found that one is skinning and dissecting animals as a response, very odd and bordering on gleeful. My dad teaches at UCSF, my mother is a nurse practitioner- neither would consider partaking in those activities as in any way integral to making a better nurse. Those are generally archaic, outdated methods in HIGH school and I am wondering why they would be helpful to a nurse for humans.

        • xamyx

          @18thCenturyFox meemah never stated what country she was in. She may very well be in a country where they value animals differently. We should not judge others if there are cultural differences. So many are saying UD was “insulting” the Chinese in their original PR statement, but really the things being said on here aren’t much different, if at all.

        • 18thCenturyFox

          @xamyx I’m actually quite aware of cultural relativism and, while being cognizant of differing cultural attitudes regarding an animals worth, still feel comfortable judging that comment within the confines of my white, upper middle class, first world perspective. I was an Anthro major and try to avoid “Orientalizing”, but I the comments attitude remains off putting to me. At 36, I am finally comfortable asserting my opinion as I am glad the original commenter felt comfortable expressing hers. Sorry but that is a major nerve for me.

      • Quinctia

        That’s all good and well, but not everyone’s brains work in the same way.  And, I can tell you, as someone who has studied in an advanced anatomy course in a university setting, the way the heart works?  Didn’t finally click with me until I was sitting there holding an actual sheep’s heart and putting my fingers through the valves, blood vessels, etc.  Plastic models weren’t the same.  And even though I’m fairly good at visualization, in this case, a computer model wasn’t the same.
        I had a hard enough time with my vertebrate morphology lab as it was.  (You can’t touch the specimen during practicals, so I had to use my memory of touching.)  I would’ve done a lot worse if my school had done it your way.
        Do you also support the complete eliminations of human cadavers from the classroom?  Sorry, I don’t want to be in distress and be the first actual animal, let alone human that a med student cuts into or sees the inside of.

        • 18thCenturyFox

          @Quinctia I am not sure where you made the jump from animals bred in hellish conditions and killed for another species designs to ridding medical schools of cadavers? Cadavers are given over to the school long past their expiration of causes unrelated to their second incarnation as a teacher. Using cadavers and animal dissection are two completely different situations. When a sheep dies of natural causes in a field and has deeded their body to science, I will reconsider my position.

        • xamyx

          @18thCenturyFox Believe it or not, there isn’t a huge influx of humans willing their bodies in the name of science, so sometimes, med/science students need to look to animals. There are also protocols when it comes to deeding a human body to science, namely huge fees associated with it, attorneys fees, etc that a person who really *wants* to donate their body simply can’t afford. Sometimes we need to use animals for the sake of humans. Maybe PETA should use some of it’s money to help aid people in donating their bodies to science instead of buying pails of paint to assault people wearing fur with.

        • 18thCenturyFox

          @xamyx Yes, having worked in Radiation/Oncology I am aware of what is required to deed ones body “to science” since I was sometimes asked to consult with patients who were curious. I am aware of other sources of cadavers used in medical schools that may not have known how they would be repurposed. I’m not sure why you are citing PETA? I have never been, and never will be a supporter of theirs. I think it’s rather myopic to assume those of us who would protest animal testing are also members of PETA. I detest that organization and their hypocrisy in both their agenda and objectification of women. I think I’ve spent about all I have in this machine.

        • xamyx

          @18thCenturyFox I never said you were a supporter of PETA; I guess it goes to show that anything can be read into a statement, if that’s what the reader decides to take from it. I just think groups that “work” for animal rights, be it PETA, or *anyone* else, should put their money where there mouths are, and come up with actual, tangible solutions.

        • blauriche

           @xamyx  @18thCenturyFox If you’d like to be better informed on what these companies are doing in the field of “tangible solutions,” a good place to start would be the websites of such organizations of The American Anti-Vivisection Society, The Leaping Bunny, and even PETA. I don’t think you’ll find many people that endorse everything PETA’s been up to, but I think you’ll find that they have indeed done some commendable things in the field of “tangible solutions.” Just because you don’t know about something doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.

        • xamyx

          @blauriche I’ve been on these sites, many, many times, but thank you for the info, anyway.

    • hollylilly92

        I am also going to buy UD because they changed their mind about this, but I don’t understand how people can not care about animal testing.  It’s really horrifying how they’re treated.  I have two kitties that I love so much, and the thought of someone hurting them makes me want to cry.  I understand sometimes its hard for people, before I knew about all this I loved Maybelline products, but now that I know, I just can’t do it.  I’m trying my best to keep animal tested products out of my home. (sorry about the similar comment but I thought it was relevant here)

    • TerriMcMillanMansfield

      Ummm……i have been a nurse for 24 years and although we did dissect in school (one animal if I am remembering correctly?), it had NOTHING to do with becoming a great nurse.
      Nursing is an art, as well as a science and I think you would do well to try and understand that there is so much more to being a “great” nurse than knowing what the anatomy of a cat looks like.  Compassion, empathy and kindness are what one really needs to be a great nurse and you just can’t learn that in a lab.
      Just my two cents, but as a nurse, this comment really bothers me.

      • hollylilly92

         @TerriMcMillanMansfield My mom is a nurse, in my opinion the best one at our little hospital, and the comment bothered both of us. I agree with you that compassion and kindness is what makes a great nurse.

  80. I’m very glad that they decided to listen to consumers and do what’s right.

  81. itscarin

    I think it makes them look weak.  On one hand, it’s nice to know they’re responsive to consumers’ responses, but on the other hand, the fact that they had to rethink their position makes it look like they didn’t think their initial position through.  

  82. eva

    Wow! I did not expect that, but I’m very happy this happened.

  83. angeliquejadore

    When I first heard about their decision to sell in China, I was upset over the fact that they went against their number one core value. I decided to stop buying their products & because they have withdrawn their decision I will gladly resume buying their products. I have always loved UD, but I’m against companies that build their foundation on certain principles & values & go against it when money comes their way. It doesn’t matter if it’s a computer company or a cosmetic company, any company that turns their backs to one of their core values, it’s disappointing & I do not support that. 

  84. China is going to do as China does.  I dont think China is to change their stance  and one day realize UD was “right”.  Just as I may have to travel outside of the U.S. to get certain makeup products not sold in this country or purchase from an online seller overseas, then those living in China can find a way to do the same.  I hope UD do not follow those makeup companies to have their products made in China.  That’s when I really stop buying from them.

  85. agentsometime

    “Urban Decay does not test its finished products on animals,…” Uhm… that’s some tricky wording. Does that mean certain ingredients are tested on animals or that the products are tested before being finished? That doesn’t look good.

    • DiamondTiara

      All the ingredients in any makeup brand are tested on animals. The colors, the powders, binders, oils, alcohol, etc in everything from eyeshadows to lipsticks to foundations, have all been tested at some point. This practice is beyond the control of the brand. But UD doesn’t take any one of their composed products, i.e. Fishnet eyeshadow or Perversion eyeliner, and test it on animals. Brands such as MAC, Estee Lauder, and Lancome do. That’s the difference.

  86. Sharlie Gugel

    Bravo Urban Decay, I will certainly return as a customer!

  87. blauriche

    I’m conflicted. I can see myself buying from them in the future, but they’ll never be my go-to brand again. They’ve lost my trust and tarnished their brand. I just wish it seemed like more people had gained a clearer understanding of what animal testing really is from this experience. My suspicion is that people know how horrid it is and they pretend they don’t because it would make them feel bad to admit that it’s really as bad as all that.

    • hollylilly92

       @blauriche I don’t understand how people can not care about animal testing.  It’s really terrible how they’re treated.  I have two kitties that I love so much, and the thought of someone hurting them makes me want to cry.  I understand sometimes its hard for people, before I new about all this I loved Maybelline products, but now that I know, I just can’t do it.  I’m trying my best to keep animal tested products out of my home.

  88. Star80

    I’m still not going to support UD.  “Following our initial announcement, we realized that we needed to step back…”.  No, the backlash was too much and you decided to put your China plans on hold.  UD showed its hand by deciding to go into China in the first place:  $$$ > principles 

  89. hollylilly92

    I do have to admit, I’m disappointed they considered it but I am relieved that they changed their decision, and because of it I will support their company by buying their products (which I love).  And because so few companies don’t test on animals, I feel like I have to support them so we can make a change.  Something I don’t understand though is why a lot of people who care about this issue still have an obsession over Mac, they sell in China, and are owned by Estee Lauder which is a company that definitely does test on animals, so the money goes to them, you know what I mean?

    • queen_frostine

       @hollylilly92 I assume in some cases it’s a lack of education over which companies conduct testing and which don’t, but in others I think people were particularly upset at UD because of how hypocritical they appeared when they were about to turn their back on their 15 year long commitment to being cruelty free.  MAC may have labelled itself against animal testing despite the actions of its parent company, but it was never a big calling card of the brand.  UD made its cruelty free commitment a selling point, going as far as to advertise which of its products were vegan, etc.  That’s what made their planned entry into the Chinese market such big news.  They were violating one of the major tenants of their brand identity, one that attracted many people to the brand in the first place, and that rubbed a lot of people the wrong way.

  90. zainab

    So they generated a controversy and got everyone talking about them again… One way to stay current I guess. 

  91. shlomi

    I admire any company that chooses to be cruelty-free! it shows that big companies can mend their ways and understand that there’s no beauty in products the caused great suffering for other beings.

  92. AnGeLwInGz

    It was all about money before and it’s all about money now. They knew they would have lost too many US customers. As much as I love animals I still wouldn’t have boycotted UD, the’re one of my favorite brands. Too bad China won’t be able to experience such great stuff.  

  93. zeldafitz

    i won’t be buying from them regardless.  this experience has just taught me a lot about how to research brands and parent companies, and i’ve found some better brands with stronger ethics. that and i’ve come to the realization that i can live without UD – it’s only makeup and they don’t have anything that fantastic.  
    also – i heard that their “decision” wasn’t actually a decision at all, but part of the business/financial side of the deal fell through so they literally couldn’t sell in china, and the whole thing had nothing to do with animal testing policies.  i haven’t been able to find any other info on that though.

  94. Missahana

    It still is all about the money. They just realised that they would lose more than gain with people threatening to boycott the company. Their profit margin just didn’t good enough anymore for them to go ahead with the expansion….

  95. Kate08

    I wouldn’t have been able to live without my Naked palette, and now I don’t feel guilty using it! I guess we really made a difference. :)

  96. Alexus

    I like UD and some of their products, I really glad they decided not to sell in china. I will continue to buy products from them, since i do like their products.It just sad to see they would even consider this kind of plan knowing that they would hurt their customer base. But overall, it great to hear that they are back ,and hopefully people’s realize that people and company do make mistake and will try to make it better and move forward.

  97. Yvette Garcia