• Jessica Pecush

The Make-Up Shopping Struggle is Real


With the great efforts I make to consume a whole foods diet and cook from scratch as often as possible, so as to know exactly what is in my food, the same efforts become a whole lot more difficult when it comes to which personal care products to invest in.

An item that gets put on your skin may be absorbed far more quickly into the bloodstream than the time it takes for a food item to be digested by the digestive tract. In an effort to changeover as many personal care products as possible to more "clean" labels with more identifiable ingredient lists, this has meant doing without some products completely. Cue Home Beauty Care as well!

The skin is our LARGEST organ. It performs many vital functions, including that of absorption (i.e. production of Vitamin D from the sun), protection (i.e. from harmful UV light), excretion (i.e. waste products and toxins), secretion (i.e. sweat), temperature regulation and allowing us to experience sensation. In order to perform its day-to-day functions, it has to be able to BREATHE! Therefore, clogging our pores with junk just doesn’t allow that to happen.

Conventional make-up ingredient lists are a disaster; the type of ingredient list you'd just rather not see. Conventional make-up products are loaded with unfortunate levels of junk, including endocrine-disrupting ingredients and heavy metals that gradually accumulate within the body. So, in an effort to rid myself of the junk, I had to think, which make-up items are most critical, and which can go?

The result? Sticking with a a pressed powder, blush, mascara and lip gloss, and occasional use of eye shadow for more special occasions! ;) While I love a professional-looking make-up job that accentuates my features and provides that exciting transformation, I'll save that for photo shoots or a future television appearance! Instead, on a daily basis, I want my face to feel CLEAN and LIGHT, despite having a bit of make-up on.

So, while the quest to find a product for each of the above-noted make-up items continues, I will share with you a few of the items I am presently using, products of which are vegan and gluten-free.

I have scoured the company website and entered the two products on the Environmental Working Group’sSkin Deep® Cosmetics Database", to come across mainly low scores (mostly 1s and 2s, given the data in some categories is limited at this time, with a 3 as well) and have also read the customer reviews on the company website. While there are inevitably some ingredient names I have heard of before and continue to need to research and understand the purpose they serve in the product, I continue to see a lot of overlap in the scientific ingredients chosen in various vegan, gluten-free and organic brands.

Unless one is going make-up free, it feels virtually impossible to dodge a few ingredients that could pose some degree of harm in some way, knowing that such a type of product is going to require scientific ingredients to be generate in the first place. For me, I now see everything on a continuum of “Good”, “Better”, and “Best”, maintaining awareness of how often and how much I’m using. Knowing that I’m choosing the best I can for what I know, sits fine with me!

With regards to price point, I'm finding that I'm willing to pay more for a "better" product. Knowing the price point I have paid, I then find I use the product, whether it be a personal care product or superfood powder(!), more sparingly and with care, so as to have it last longer!

The company? Gabriel Cosmetics Inc. (an American company), also behind the lines Zuzu Luxe and Clean Kids Naturally.

Gabriel Dual Powder Foundation

According to the Gabriel Cosmetics website, this mineral-based powder is “formulated to help minimize shine and absorb excess oil without clogging pores or drying out the skin”. It is a “velvety plant-based formula” that “performs both as a foundation and powder for a smooth, matte finish”.

This is exactly what I have experienced in using this product. While I have always used a loose or pressed powder foundation (reserving the liquid foundation for photo shoots, etc.), you can’t help but notice how smoothly and evenly this powder distributes onto the skin. While I used to use a make-up primer with other pressed powders, I find that this dual powder foundation naturally eliminates the need for one.

This powder comes in 6 shades, as described on the website, which also provides color swatches:

  • Extra Light Beige – Pale to Ivory Skin/Cool Neutral Undertones

  • Light Beige – Light to Medium Skin/Cool

  • Bamboo – Light to Medium Skin/Neutral

  • Medium Beige – Medium to Tan Skin/Warm

  • Tan Beige – Tan to Dark Skin/Cool Beige Undertones

  • Deep Beige – Dark Skin/Warm

*Each Dual Powder Foundations is 9 g/32 US oz.

*Note the price points online are in USD. At one of my local health food stores, where I purchased this product (Community Natural Foods in Calgary, AB, Canada), the retail price point was $43.99 CAD.

Ingredient List:

  • Mica

  • Cetyl Palmitate

  • Octyl Palmitate

  • Silica

  • Kaolin

  • Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Fruit Extract

  • Zinc Stearate

  • Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil

  • Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride

  • Lecithin

  • Crithmum Maritumum (Sea Fennel) Extract

  • Tocopheryl Acetate

  • Iron Oxides

  • Titanium Dioxide

Gabriel Blush

According to the Gabriel Cosmetics website, this “matte mineral blush” provides a “subtle flush of color for a flawless, natural glow”. I’m really enjoying it, as much as the Dual Powder Foundation. It also feels smooth and clean and is long-lasting.

This blush comes in 6 shades, as described on the website, which also provides color swatches:

  • Apricot – Peachy Pink/Warm

  • Contour – Warm Sienna/Warm

  • Petal – Pale Pink Nectar/Warm

  • Rose – Medium Muted Pink/Cool

  • Vibrant Pink – Bright Pink/Cool

  • Willow – Soft Pink/Cool

*Each Blush is 3 g/1 US oz.

*Again, please note that the price points online are in USD. At one of my local health food stores, where I purchased this product (Community Natural Foods in Calgary, AB, Canada), the retail price point was $23.99 CAD.

Ingredient List:

  • Mica

  • Cetyl Palmitate

  • Silica

  • Kaolin

  • Zinc Stearate

  • Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil

  • Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride

  • Lecithin

  • Crithmum Maritimum (Sea Fennel) Extract

  • Tocopheryl Acetate

  • Iron Oxides

  • Titanium Dioxide

*You may access the Gabriel Cosmetics Inc. website here. The company carries a wide variety of make-up products, and, according to their website, is "Cruelty Free", "Certified Gluten-Free", "Natural Products Association Certified" and "100% Vegan".

There you have it! I’d LOVE for you to connect with me and share with me any particular brands/products that you have been personally really pleased with! While I have a list of the more reputable brands that have helped narrow my searches, I love direct feedback from those who have used the products, keeping in mind that everyone is unique and the same product doesn’t necessarily look and feel the same for everyone.

#vegan #bodycare

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