I’d heard amazing things about Little Ondine:
no chemical smell
no nasty ingredients
easy peel off
There are lots of reviews on their website from beauty experts and bloggers 💅
After reading these reviews, I was very excited to try it: it took me back to the days of my first nail polish as a child, which was only available in one colour- pink!
The turquoise colour matched my gym kit and I loved that it was odourless and could be removed in seconds. I was impressed with the application as I was worried it would be too thick/streaky. However the lack of longevity was an issue for me 👎Having a dog, I wash my hands a lot and it started to peel at the edges of my thumbs within 24 hours. Little Ondine’s website advises that it should last 3-5 days but this will vary depending on how oily/dry nails are……maybe 3-5 days on my toes but definitely not on my fingers!
I was intrigued to learn that Little Ondine is actually made in China, so while visiting the website, I also had a look through the FAQ section and came across this:
Initially, I was impressed with how clear this section was, but then I read the article by Humane Society International (HSI)🐰🐶🐵
For me the key point of it is: yes, it is no longer mandatory for domestic products to be tested on animals, but ad-hoc post-market animal testing still exists, where ANY products on sale in China can be selected for additional testing, often involving animals and often without the manufacturer knowing about it.
Following the change in policy in 2014, Peter Li (HSI’s China Policy Advisor) stated: “China will almost certainly increase its post-market surveillance testing, so I’m afraid for the time being it is impossible for a cruelty-free company to manufacture and sell in China without the risk that its products will be dripped in a rabbit’s eyes or forced down a mouse’s throat.”
I emailed Little Ondine to ask for some clarity:
Hi Little Ondine,
I have been reviewing your nail polish for an article and I came across the FAQ section on your website.
The answer to ‘Do you test on animals when required by law? Do you or have plans to sell products in mainland China?’ has confused me a little and I was wondering if you could clarify.
You state that because you are classed as a domestic company in China, you are not required to test your products on animals. However the article you refer to on the Humane Society International website from 2014, states:
“China will almost certainly increase its post-market surveillance testing, so I’m afraid for the time being it is impossible for a cruelty-free company to manufacture and sell in China without the risk that its products will be dripped in a rabbit’s eyes or forced down a mouse’s throat.”
Have any changes been made to this process in the past 3 years? Or is there still the possibility that your products may be tested on animals for post-market surveillance testing purposes? If this is the case, do you think it is possible to sell in China and still be classed as ‘cruelty-free’?
Our company, our labs and our factories are cruelty free!
In addition, from the CFDA (China Food and Drug Administration), non-special cosmetics who could pass the ‘Risk assessment’ will not be forced to do the animal test. (published in 2013/12/16) http://www.sda.gov.cn/WS01/CL0087/
I attempted to read the link, but it’s in Chinese and even when translated, it’s not clear how it relates to my question.
So I did a little further research on the ‘risk assessment’ and found this article.
“In December 2013, the Chinese Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) published The Announcement on the Adjustment of Cosmetics Registration and Record-keeping Administration (CFDA  No. 10). According to the announcement, the toxicological tests for domestic non-special cosmetics may be waived on the condition that the risk assessment result is sufficient to verify the safety of products…..However, there is no official guidance for the safety evaluation of cosmetic products in China”.
I also recommend you read this by HSI if you’re interested in the difficulties associated with selling in China.
Again the key bit is: “in the meantime, there is simply too much conflicting information to offer consumers a guarantee that a cosmetic company can remain cruelty-free in China”.
So, is Little Ondine cruelty-free? I’m afraid, based on this information, I’m going to have to say no 👎
If you visit Little Ondine’s FAQ section now, you will find it has been updated. Whether this is at all related to my email enquiry, I can’t be sure!
Unfortunately, it still doesn’t cover the risk of post-market surveillance testing…….and to me, it doesn’t seem to be any more clear than their previous answer.
What are your thoughts? Do you think Little Ondine can call themselves ‘cruelty-free’ even though they manufacture and sell in China?
Thanks for reading!