Monday, September 12, 2011

Alima Pure Minerals

I have never been tempted by loose pigment, including all the loose mineral powders. Jane Iredale, a mineral brand I have used for more than a decade (reviewed here), sells most of its products (foundation, eyeshadow, blush, etc.) in pressed form. Then someone told me about Alima Pure.

It all started with a search for eyeshadows that would give me the perfect "no makeup" nude eye. I ended up on the Alima Pure web site and was delighted that I could try every single item they sell in a tiny sample-sized pot. I wasn't in love with the idea of using loose powder, but they had a couple eyeshadows I wanted to test.

I loved Alima's Satin Matte eyeshadow samples in Dawn and Bramble so much, I bought the full size, and since they have arrived, I use them several times a week, even over my beloved Chantecaille, Chanel singles, and even more than my new Guerlain Les Fumes palette, which has sort of left me speechless.

Dawn and Bramble deserve their own separate review, and I will write one soon, with my own photos and swatches.

It's messy, I wont lie. But it's not that bad, especially if I use a stiff brush, preferably synthetic. And Alima makes some great ones.

Since I had access to so many samples, I decided to try Alima's concealer. Powder concealer? Under aging eyes? At $1.50 per generously-sized sample, I had nothing to lose, so with a healthy dose of skepticism and doubt, I ordered the two that were recommended for my skin tone, Porcelain and Linen.

Porcelain was the tiniest bit too light, and Linen is slightly too dark, but a blend of the two makes a good match. But did it conceal? Yes. It completely concealed the weird cluster of spots I woke up with this morning (bug bites or pimples, I am not sure--I rarely break out), but no one was more surprised than I when it erased the purple shadows under my eyes and brightened the inner and outer corners. Powder did this. Without looking powdery.

And since I am occasionally bothered by mild pinkness from trigger-induced rosacea (heat, spicy foods, red wine, exercise), I decided to give Alima's Color Balancing Powder a try in Pistachio.  Yes, I put green powder on my face.

I've gone the green-tinted route before, starting with Elizabeth Arden (or maybe it was Ultima) and then PurMinerals and Make Up For Ever. Instead of looking red, I appeared greenish red--a look I like only around Christmas, and preferably not on me.

What was so surprising and so cool about Alima Pistachio was that when I dabbed it on only the areas that needed it, using the Alima concealer brush, I could actually have stopped there and skipped the foundation part.

Even though I am happy with my current foundation, I decided to experiment with Alima's Satin Matte Foundation. Cool 1 was too light and and Neutral 1 was too yellow.

Actually,  Cool 1 perfectly blended into skin that has not seen the sun in the last 10+ years (breast, belly, bum), but the sun-damaged parts of my face will never completely fade back to my natural palest color again. So Cool 2 is the current winner.

If you are interested in looking into Alima for your foundation, you WILL find a color match here, even if you need to blend two. There are sixty base colors from which to choose, grouped into the following categories:
  • Cool 0-9
  • Neutral 0-9
  • Beige 0-9
  • Warm 0-9
  • Golden 0-9
  • Olive 0-9


And for all of Alima's products I tested, here's what I found:
  • No chalkiness (unless I go too light in color)
  • No caking
  • No creasing
  • No settling into pores
  • No fading
  • No smudging onto clothes
  • No breakouts
  • Skin still looks like skin--after an hour or so, the powder settles into a luminous finish
A final happy surprise is Alima mineral powders appear to be water resistant. If I sweat or get wet (Mr. EDB sprayed me with the hose yesterday when we were planting trees), all I need do is gently blot with a paper towel, and everything remains intact.

The packaging is solid and quite pretty, with a clear (hard) plastic pot and grey screw lid with a dove embossed on top. All the powders have the shaker inert. The sifters seem designed to not waste product, and less powder means less mess.

Finally, Alima Pure products are an incredible value. The texture of the powder is as silky and pigmented and luxe as any high-end powder I own and the price is right (e.g., about half the price of Jane Iredale.

I will review each of the products I purchased individually, but I am so excited about this brand. I have been testing the various products for the last few weeks, and I am beyond surprised and thrilled.

I really like a brand that makes products for the entire face, and now I am curious about Alima's powder highlighter, primer, and blush.

Bottom line: Highly recommended. You can't go wrong by testing with the samples, and it's such a great value for the full-sized items, too.

Are there any other Alima Pure fans out there?

All photos of Alima product from the Alima Pure web site.


  1. You know I am a fan! Not only are their products fabulous, but the company has great customer service and they are socially conscious. It's a great combination. (I know I sound like I'm shilling for them, but of course I'm not! I've been wearing their foundation for at least 4 years now.)

    I tried the eye shadows when I was testing out samples of the foundation way back when, and couldn't deal with the loose powder. But if Dawn and Bramble are beating out Les Fumés, I'll have to take another look! That's high praise.

  2. Veuve, Dawn and Bramble truly are gorgeous! I also adore Fleur (a cool-neutral nude eyeshadow), but I am not convinced I can't get the same look using Cool 2 over my lids. I have to experiment a bit more.

    The eyeshadows in Alima's full-size packaging are much easier to use than the sample pots. I'll review the eyeshadows before anything else from this line.

    I took advantage of a sunny day on Friday and snapped some pictures of swatches on my hand, but I just don't think I'll be able to post an EoTD that adds value. The colors are subtle, and they don't show up when I take pictures. I have no idea how talented bloggers like Modesty Brown, Perilously Pale, the Pink Sith, and Makeup Merriment and get their eyeshadow looks to appear so great on camera. Even Sabrina, the queen of incredible pictures, doesn't do her eyes in posts.

  3. I love Alima! Aaaand, you knooooow, you could always press the eyeshadows. Just sayin'.

  4. Heh, I do have empty pans and a press kit. I very well could do!

  5. I love alima but stupidly ordered NO which was too light. How the heck was I to know that it was actually possible for a company to make a foundation shade too light for me! I've never bothered to try again. I should order some more samples and you've inspired me to dig out my concealer and pistachio samples! I've never dabbled in their eye shadows though...hmmm

  6. Peeps, I know! I ordered Cool 0--which made me look like Casper the Friendly Ghost. Even Cool 1 was still too light. Cool 2, as it turns out, is for NW15 skin, which is what I am. So all of those women wearing the 00 and 01 ... I feel bad knowing what an impossible time they have had trying to find a match with the major brands or even drugstore brands. I also like that Alima makes lots of darker foundatins for women of color--another group often neglected. It seems most brands stop in the NC45 range.

  7. Oh my. Bookmarking this one for future experimentation!

  8. These look very interesting. I do have a question, on many sites I have seen the blogger refer to a skin color as NW15 or NC25. I don't know what these mean, could you describe this to me. Thanks.

  9. Hi cza, NW/NC are MAC's system for identifying the skin's undertones.

    NW = not warm. Skin is cool, usually with blue or pink undertones.
    NC = not cool. Skin usually has yellow undertones, sometimes olive.
    The numbers (15, 20, 45, etc.) signify fair to dark, where the lowest number is the most fair--I believe it goes as low as 05.

    Any MAC counter can type you, and it will always be the same, unless you tan. So I might be NW15 in winter and NW30 in the summer if I spend the whole three months at the beach. What never changes is your warm or cool status because our undertones are our undertones. Skin does change slightly as we get older. Accumulated sun damage can make cool people look more beige, and we all get a bit more cool as pigment fades from our face and our hair gets grey.

    I think MAC's system it confusing because they does it opposite of everyone else who's ever done it. They base their theory on the artist's color wheel, where orange is the opposite of blue. I still think it's needlessly confusing. Why, for example is someone NW (NOT warm) instead of just calling them C (cool). Given the huge popularity of MAC, their system is so widely used, I use it myself because it gives people a frame of reference when they see color swatched on my skin. If I am NW15 and a reader is NC45, she might think twice about buying a product I review, even if it flatters my skin tone. So I include my skin type in my posts as a bit of a warning/disclaimer. ;)

    I hope that helps.


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