18 November 2010

Gabriel Cosmetics offer nature-lovin' girls a beautiful, chemical-free alternative

Chowing down on wholesome ingredients certainly has its benefits. In addition to tantalizing the taste buds and putting a pep in one’s step, a diet rich in plant-based food bestows the diner with an unmistakable radiance that projects outward. There are even some long-term vegetarians who attribute their dietary commitment to enhanced skin quality and a reduced reliance on cosmetics.

For all of the effort and dedication that embracing a meat-free lifestyle entails, it makes little sense to continue using mainstream beauty products, especially when you really take time to understand how they’re made. Chemicals, as it turns out, don’t discriminate – they’re just as happy to wreak havoc on the body of a vegetarian as they are on that of a meat-eater.

In the last several weeks, This Dish Is Veg has covered several notable eco and chemical-free alternatives offered by the likes of Alima Pure, Harraw!, Juice Beauty and Essential Formulas...and today, the theme continues with Gabriel Cosmetics, a company that integrates ocean-based botanicals into their formulas.

First, a bit of background. Their product line – incorporating everything from eye, lip and facial cosmetics to adult and child skin care/bath/body products – is vegan and cruelty-free, made from 100% natural ingredients. In some cases, they also add organic elements to their formulations, upping the active properties for increased facial benefits. In addition to steering clear of all synthetic chemicals and animal by-products, Gabriel Cosmetics tests the safety of their formulations on a panel of human volunteers rather than animals. It’s also worth noting that their two beauty lines – Gabriel Color and ZuZu Luxe -- are both free of lead, parabens and gluten.

I was officially initiated into natural mascara territory with their black Gabriel Color lash enhancing product, made with a relatively small list of ingredients including water, carnuba wax, panthenol, stearic acid, natural pigments, cellulose gum and grapeseed extract. With decades of mainstream mascara experience under my belt, I was taken aback by the fact that a natural product could duplicate the coverage and intensity of its chemical-laden brethren. Even after two weeks of use, clumps were present on the wand just like conventional brands but the application was still as smooth as silk, prompting me to ask why on earth I would ever use a brand pumped up with synthetic ingredients ever again.

My experience with their Marine Lip Treatment was equally as enjoyable, again because in addition to recognizing all of the ingredients on the tube (such as extracts of cactus flower, sea fennel, aloe, and oils derived from sweet almond, sweet orange seed, avocado, apricot kernel, safflower, evening primrose, olive and soybean), the consistency of the product was smooth rather than tacky. Instead of creating a slick surface as so many lip products do, it actually seemed to penetrate beneath the epidermis and offer a truly rejuvenating effect that lasted well beyond a day.

Gabriel Cosmetics can be purchased via their website but if you’re the type of consumer who likes testing products before you buy them, chances are pretty good that your local natural grocery will carry their main line as well as ZuZu Luxe. For even more motivation, they’re offering $2.50 off any of their color cosmetics and skincare products with a mail in rebate form – just bear in mind that both deals expire at the end of the year. Anyone up for an early Christmas present?

Elizah Leigh | @elizahleigh
Elizah Leigh's master's degree in education combined with her passion for the written word and deep-seated interest in environmental issues has proven to be the ideal trifecta for her present status as a green journalist. Currently commissioned to write a reference book on vegetarianism, Elizah hopes to inspire people through her words. Follow Elizah on Facebook.

Photo credit: Gabriel Cosmetics