Monday, September 26, 2011

Alima Pure Minerals Eyeshadows in Bramble and Dawn

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
I included the photo from Alima's web site at the top of this post to assure you that this is not how the eyeshadows arrive. The 2.5 grams of pigment is protected by a plastic sifter top, which requires some effort to dispense (e.g., I thump the closed lid 3-4 times upside down on my palm) to get enough product out. This extra effort is worth it. I don't want a bunch of loose eyeshadow in the lid. Just like with any mineral skin foundation, it is so much better to start light and layer, to avoid looking dry and dusty.

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

Indirect sunlight
Natural light
Once these eyeshadows are on, they stay on all day. They do not flake, crease, collect in fine lines, make my lids look dry, chalky, or crepey, or get into my eyes and irritate them. If I want the colors to stand out more, I apply over Paula Dorf Eye Prime in Light, but I like the fact that I can sweep Alima eyeshadows over bare skin and have them stay put.

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) The rest mine.


  1. Those are just my sort of colours! I'll have to check if we can get that brand over here :)

  2. I haven't tried this brand before (I know my friend Ammie likes this line). I will have a peek as like Replica- I really like these colors. Thanks for the review.

  3. Congratulations! Don't you love it when hard work and research finally pay off??

  4. They look perfect! :) It's great when we find exacly what we need.

  5. Oh, I love Bramble...I always think of mauve/purple shades as beautiful neutrals with a pop. Another brand to try!

  6. I've tried these in the past and had a similar experience...a perfect nude eye. As a matter of fact, I'm going to have to try to hunt them down in my "don't use these days" bags and try them again, as you have me remembering just how amazing they are. Plus, customer service is wonderful at Alima (and their brushes are great, as well).

  7. The brushes are amazing! And I have since discovered the pearluster formulation, which is quite beautiful and forgiving on aging eyelid skin. The shimmer formulation wasn't as big a hit for me, though their shimmer eyeliner is gorgeous.


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