While its flagship store is located in Redmond, Gabriel De Santino has big plans for his cosmetic line, Gabriel Cosmetics.
Those goals would build on the already impressive resume that De Santino has built up over the last 25 years of making skin care and makeup products, all of which are made with natural products.
“I pride myself on taking all the harsh chemicals-slash-allergens out,” he said.
His formulas are based on ones his grandmother used to make in Mexico, where she was a herbalist and used ingredients like seaweed.
De Santino said she tried to get to the root of what was ailing people instead of trying to mask it.
“So I grew up with the philosophy, more of a holistic approach to everything I do,” he said.
While working in a salon in Seattle, customers started asking about skin products, so De Santino started a line.
It was so popular that his customers suggested he should get ahold of local health food stores.
He approached PCC Natural Markets first, not knowing they were the largest co-op in the country and was picked up by them.
“They loved what I had,” he said.
His products are now carried in more than 1,000 retail locations and he employs more then 25 people in Redmond.
His products are natural, vegan, gluten-free and cruelty-free products, according to the company website.
Customers then started asking for makeup products, so he started two lines.
One is a more traditional makeup palate and the other he described as more artistic, with a plethora of bright colors dotting the display case.
De Santino said he does a lot of education, letting his customers know what’s in his products.
This is important because makeup and skin care products can be absorbed through the skin, and a woman can eat up to seven pounds of makeup in her life.
If those cosmetic products have allergens or toxins, it can be detrimental to the health of the wearer.
Gabriel Cosmetics recently opened a new storefront in the Redmond Town Center. Their old storefront in the same complex was around 200 square feet, which their new location quadruples.
It also features rooms where services like hand massages, nail treatment and makeup application are offered.
De Santino’s goal is to work out the kinks in his business and within two years start expanding to other major metropolitan areas. New York, Los Angeles and London are all possible contenders.
For now, though, he said he’s happy in Redmond.
“I just think the Pacific Northwest, it suits Gabriel Cosmetics really well, it’s the lifestyle,” he said.
Gabriel Cosmetics is located at 7430 164th Ave. N.E., Suite B-233 in the Redmond Town Center.