Des and Zal started their business in 2015, offering vegan and cruelty-free matte lipsticks.

Por Alma Sacasa
Marzo 16, 2021
Des & Zal by @jo.cosme
Credit: Jo Cosme and Juliana Morales Medina

Necromancy Cosmetica, created by Puerto Rican couple Des (Desiree Rodríguez) and Zal (Salvador Pérez) in 2015, began as a line of vegan, cruelty-free matte lipsticks with names likes Witches Brew and Martyr's Blood. Though they're based in sunny Puerto Rico, the pair are interested in darker, more gothic vibes. "We saw a need for a brand that represented us, that was accessible for us here in Puerto Rico," Des tells People CHICA. "That's basically what moved me to create a brand that represented me as a person, as well as my partner. Represented our morals and our aesthetic and the things we love." 

The name itself — Necromancy Cosmetica — might seem dark, too, but the inspiration behind it is actually about the positive feelings a new makeup look can bring you. "We wanted to make sure that our customers felt like they were being basically brought back to life, or feel alive whenever they use our products," Des explains. "Looking for a name that was fun and represented what we like, we came up with Necromancy. We want to make you feel alive and beautiful."

(Zal & Des at the store front by @jo.cosme
Credit: Jo Cosme and Juliana Morales Medina

Since expanding the brand into a physical store (located in the Río Piedras neighborhood of San Juan), the co-founders haven't had a lot of time for anything but Necromancy. "Honestly, we basically have no life for now," Des says. "My partner is also my business partner, so we are really into everything. Our life is like 95 percent the business and 5 percent the rest. With the years and experience, maybe we will get to lay back a little bit, but for now, it's just us two that do literally everything."

The newest fruit of their labor is an eyeshadow palette called Gothic Romance, which features eight shades in suitably glamorous packaging. Des plans to keep expanding Necromancy's product range in the future, but for now is focused on helping other small businesses that are still recovering from the aftermath of Hurricane María.

"We are honestly very focused on the local economy, so right now we are doing our best to really focus our business here on the island," Des says. "We're trying to buy a building here so that we can help other businesses as well. Apart from that, I would love to see Necromancy have a very vast range of products in five years ... a great range that will cater to our amazing followers and customers. That will keep catering to the vegan community, and all the makeup artists that love cruelty-free, high-quality products."

For more with Val and Des, look for the April issue of People en Español, on stands this Friday.