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Gabriel and Zuzu Luxe cosmetics

I confess that, for all my talk about taking gradual steps, I’m not exactly a “gradual” kind of girl.  I woke up one morning with it in my head that I wanted to replace everything in my home with products that didn’t test on animals, and I hit the ground running.  Household products, leather products, and cosmetics — it was a whirlwind around my home in those days!  I was researching as much as possible as quickly as possible.  I realized many of the cosmetics I’d been using for years didn’t meet my new criterion, so I immediately headed to the Whole Foods Market to find some cruelty-free alternatives.  Thus began what continues to be an ongoing adventure in search of new and terrific make-up products.

During that first Whole Foods visit, I became acquainted with two cosmetics lines, Gabriel and Zuzu Luxe.  They got my attention simply because both had elaborate displays and “testers” in the cosmetics aisle.  Zuzu, as it turns out, is owned by Gabriel.  Since my first cruelty-free cosmetics shopping venture, I’ve learned about so many other brands that don’t test on animals and don’t use animal ingredients, but today I put Gabriel and Zuzu in the spotlight, as the ones who started me out. Although I’ve incorporated other make-up brands into my “pretty up” collection, some of their products remain true cruelty-free favorites:

  • Gabriel
    Lip Gloss:
    The “Mocha” and the “Venus” by Gabriel were the first lip glosses I bought.  They’re a little bit heavier than the lip balm or gloss I wear during the day, perfect for evening events. Not only are they cruelty-free, their also gluten and lead free.
  • Zuzu Luxe
    Natural mascaras are sometimes a little tricky… well, actually messy.  Many people I know complain that ones they’ve tried get flaky on them or smear easily.  I’ve also suffered the smudged-look as I’ve tried some other brands.  However, the Zuzu Luxe mascara in Onyx was the first cruelty-free mascara I bought, and I think I got pretty lucky that day.
  • Powder blush: I still use the same “Bella Donna” shade by Zuzu that I purchased during my first cruelty-free cosmetics outing.  It matches my natural complexion and works really well whenever I’m going with earthier, neutral shades on my face… or I’m wearing dark or neutral-colored clothes.
  • Lip Gloss/Lipstick: Lately, I’ve been using the “Crystal” (as in clear) lip gloss.  It’s lighter than the Gabriel glosses, perfect for everyday.  Another great option for the lips, for daytime or nighttime — I recently purchased a lipstick (“Obsession”) from Zuzu, also very light on the lips and moisturizing.

Bonus Tip!
If either of these product lines is new to you, try the “tester” at the market if one is available.  And buy one product item at a time.  My biggest mistake when I first started using cruelty-free products was buying everything new all at once: I spent the next couple of years (!) trying to figure out what I was allergic to that was making my face break out.  As a matter of fact, I haven’t quite ruled out the “Rose” powder blush by Gabriel, but I love it so much that I can’t quite bring myself to hand it over to my mom (inheritor of any products that my sensitive skin gets cranky about).

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Author: Sharon Discorfano

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  1. It might be the titanium dioxide in these products that’s making you break out. Unfortunately, that is a problem that I have as well…anything I’ve tried using that has more than a dusting of titanium dioxide in it makes me break out. Apparently, it can block pores in some people :(. It’s disappointing because natural sunscreens and makeups all seem to use this ingredient! If it’s not that, it could be essential oils…some essential oils are known skin irritants, such as any kind of mint, citrus, lavender…and they are also sensitizing…

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