My favorite foundation is organic: a Gabriel Cosmetics review

My CoverGirl foundation finally sputtered out of its pump one last time. I liked it well enough; then I read about all the foolishness the big brands put in their foundations and I was sufficiently weirded out.

A little at a time, I want to clean up my makeup bag.

To start, I’ve chosen an organic liquid foundation by Gabriel Cosmetics.

Great range of colors, but few colors overall.

When I researched safer cosmetics, I found that a few organic brands could be found at Whole Foods, which is awesome because there’s a location in my town. Then I thought about it again. Wait… Whole Foods… might not have my shade.

With dark brown skin, I am accustomed to color choices bottoming out before they get to my skin tone. Not usually in larger stores and makeup counters, but in a drugstore or supermarket, you never know.

I was pleased to find a great shade (Tan), and there were still two shades darker than mine. I probably would have gone a shade darker if I had chosen online, so make sure you sample in person to get your shade right!

Gabriel foundations come in 14 shades, which is on the low side. That means that, while I’m glad my shade made the cut, you might have a problem matching your undertone. I hear that some customers have to mix shades to get the right blend. Again, the best way to find out is to visit a store and sample.

The texture felt a little off, at first.

All of my past foundations have been thick and smooth, like a heavy lotion. This one, I suspect because of the simple ingredient list (more on that below), has a not-so-smooth consistency. You know how “natural” products look a little less perfect than the regular ones?

If you look in the bottle – also on your hand or makeup sponge – this foundation clumps a bit. It’s sort of fluffy – thick but airy.

It feels very light and looks natural on my skin.

Applied to my face, I found that this foundation blends very well. It’s a medium coverage foundation that evens my skin tone without looking too “extra”. You can use more to get fuller coverage.

Since I prefer a matte look, I top the foundation with a translucent finishing powder.

You’ll love the ingredient list.

On the website you’ll find a list of ingredients that you can (mostly) pronounce. Big points here. You’ll see in the ingredients and description that there’s light (SPF 18) sun protection.

The cost is higher than drugstore brands, but about the same as a makeup counter.

If you already buy foundation at Sephora, Ulta, or any mall makeup counter, you probably pay $20-45 per bottle. Gabriel’s liquid foundation was about $30, but I happened to be shopping at Whole Foods during a cosmetics sale. After the discount, I paid $22.50!

The other products (liners, eye shadow, etc.) have a similar price point – sometimes higher than the drug store, but about the same as you’ll find in the mall.

Downside: the packaging.

The opening is far too small for a foundation so thick. It takes a few shakes to get anything out of the bottle. I can manage it now because the bottle is full, but I wonder how I’ll manage when it’s close to empty. I’ll update when I get there!

Next…

It’s too much to overhaul a makeup collection all at once – I couldn’t imagine the cost! – but I hope to add cleaner cosmetics over time.

 

Here are more resources to help you build a safer makeup collection:

 

Plus, sample these brands at Whole Foods!

 

Dayna is the Founder & Creative Director of Middle Rose Exchange. She loves photography, web design, sewing, and most things artsy. Dayna lives with her husband Shah and two sons in New Jersey.

Follow Dayna on Instagram @msDaynaM