In a previous post, titled The Nude Eye, I began a search for the perfect naked-but-better eyeshadow pair: the base shade and the contour. Many colors were tested beyond those listed in the post, and most were rejected.
The winners came as an almost reluctant surprise because I do not care for loose powder in any form; I use it, and I own the odd translucent face powder or MAC pigment, but I almost never reach for them. Too messy. That is, until I discovered and fell in love with Alima Pure mineral products (reviewed here).
I was unable to resist the fact that every single item Alima sells is available in a sample, which they sell for $1 in a screw-top pot that contins at least 1/4 tsp of pigment, which is more than enough to test an eyeshadow or blush. (Note: Their foundation samples come in slightly larger test pots.)
I spent more than a month testing various eyeshadow combinations for the nude eye look, including all of the Alima samples. Two of Alima's Satin Matte Eyeshadows ($14) stood out above the others.
Alima calls their Satin Matte formulas the "little black dress," and they are, indeed, versatile and appropriate for any occasion. Here's what they say:
A style essential, Alima's Satin Matte Eyeshadow sets off your grey flannel suit by day and enhances that slinky black number at night. Simply put, "you look fabulous."
Dawn is a light, heathered pink.
"Heathered" means it contains beige and grey so it is both natural and cool (slightly ashy) on my NW15 skin. In fact, it is very close the Jane Iredale PurePressed base in that I wear in Light Beige (reviewed here), but it is more brightening. Worn alone, Dawn looks gorgeous. It is THE perfect nude to even out the skin on my eyelids, which have both red and blue and even some darkish beige.
Bramble is light taupe with a hint of plum, which the Alima writeup says "comes straight from the palette of a period movie set in Edwardian England."
While most film and TV makeup artists seem to use a red-based brown for eyeshadow on just about everyone, Bramble would be the one I would wear. It provides an almost no-makeup contour to my creases that is neither overtly beige not grey nor purple. It matches my natural shadows.
Here are Bramble and Dawn together in sunlight:
|Alima Satin Matte Eyeshadow in Bramble and Dawn|
Because so little pigment comes out, it was surprisingly easy to use, not much different than swiping a brush across a pressed eyeshadow pan, really. I do press the color into my lids before sweeping, and I still put a hand towel in my lap if I am already dressed for work, but I haven't had any messy accidents. If eyeshadow pigment lands where it should not, it is too easy to sweep it away with a fan brush.
Here are some skin swatches in indirect sunlight and natural light. I swatched them heavily, or they would have barely shown up for the pictures
The finish is a beautiful satin. Matte enough for conservative jobs and natural-looking crease work, but there is a very subtle sheen to the finish that keeps it from looking dusty.
I suspect Dawn and Bramble would most flatter fair to medium skins, though Dawn might make a pretty highlighter on darker skins, maybe even on cheeks.
Bottom line: The perfect pair to grab when I want to look great but don't want to think about "color."
(1) alimapure.com. The rest mine.