Thank you to all the users on the makeup board who have posted about Alima foundation -- it's a hassle for me to obtain and I wouldn't have bothered without these positive comments. I'm so glad I took the trouble, because it's fantastic.
First of all, the match between Neutral 0 and my winter skin is spot on. I might buy Neutral 1 for the summer. It is a thrill to be considering a shade up from the lightest! Foundation is a real struggle for me, since so many excellent formulas simply don't make a shade anywhere close to my skintone.
It's also longlasting and a lovely finish on my annoying combo skin. I recently tested all my foundations (about seven on the go) and Alima was easily the winner on all counts but coverage. It's fast and easy to apply (I use it with a kabuki, over moisturizer with SPF and concealer for dark areas like under eyes), goes on smoothly and is buildable. It lasts longer than anything else I use without needing touching up with powder -- that includes other mineral foundations, MAC Studio Fix, Revlon Colorstay, MUFE Mat Velvet+. When it does get a little shiny, it doesn't look greasy, just dewy (but I hate dewy, so I use a touch-up powder). It doesn't settle into lines much and doesn't look dry, OR overly shiny, the way some mineral brands can. And for the first time ever, I'm not using a setting powder. It looks fine -- really "satin matte" -- and lasts the same number of hours without. Skipping step is wonderful on rushed days.
I do find the coverage to be about medium with my kabuki, not truly full, though varying the application could change that. I've used it with a concealer brush on spots and it does get closer to full coverage that way. A paddle foundation brush also gives slightly more, but I like the finish and speed of the kabuki much better.
One thing that makes me angry about mineral makeup is the mess but eventually, the good ones like this brand, make a great difference. Having said that and in comparison with the other mineral foundations, I love this product. Make sure you get some samples before ordering. Golden shades were too yellow for me although I am NC30 according to MAC. One huge advantage to this brand is the color range. I found my match to be Olive 3. Who would have known? The point is that while other brands try to put it in a category of either pink or yellow and then by force, you need to stick with the shade, this brand makes more sense. RIP Prescriptive Custom Liquid Foundation was the same but it got discontinued. The other big advantage to this brand is that the minerals do not sit in one area and they spread pretty well. The final look is great and polished and completely natural. Also, the mineral particles are soft and meltable upon application. Overall, this is a great foundation that meets my high standards.
NC25 Chinese yellow toned, acne discoloration to cover!
To be fair, I am not the target market for mineral makeup.. large pores, uneven texture, and discoloration to cover. Doesn't cover at all for me, just looks like powder(ery mess when I try to apply more and more)... would be great for more even skin textures, probably the same people who wear tinted moisturizers and look fab in it. :)
For reference, Golden 3 was too yellow or dark for my NC25 skin.. if I had liked the product enough to figure it out, I would order samples in Warm 2 & 3, Golden 2 & 3 and mix and match from there. continued >>
About me: NW13 (neutral-cool toned, very fair), blue eyes, Color season is True Summer, Baumann Skin Type is OSPW.
Alima is very dry in terms of formula. Better for oily skin / summer. Hard to not look cakey. Cool 1 is a good color match for me. I prefer Meow Cosmetics (Absynnian) or Everyday Minerals (Sandy Fair).
I had high hopes for this foundation/powder, but.....it pains me to say this because I respect Alima's philosophy and their customer service is good....I hated this product. I did my due diligence and ordered many tiny samples before choosing the exact perfect color. I'm a fair beige (can't remember the exact number right now) and the color itself is perfect. However, the finish is so cakey and blah. They tell you to use the teeniest-tiniest amount, which I did. And I applied in light downward strokes, just like they instruct you to do. Still, it just sat on my face, no "melting" whatsoever like others have mentioned. I think that might happen if you have oily or super-moisturized skin, but for regular skin, it was like a layer of flour on my face. And the worst part, it broke me out slightly and absolutely nothing breaks me out. I guess that's just my skin's reaction to this particular product and not a reflection of the makeup itself (hopefully), but I can't give a product any more than 2 stars if 1) it looked terrible on my face, 2) broke me out, and 3) I wouldn't purchase it again. By the way, this stuff isn't cheap. But they give you samples (usually of eyeshadows) with any order, and that's nice. The shadows have the same texture as the foundation, so they make your eyes look crepe-y and blah too. What a shame, because the color palette is lovely. Sorry Alima, this one's a no for me.
My skin: acne-prone, very sensitive, enlarged pores and hyperpigmentation. Problems with redness.
I'm a NC/NW 15, in EMD I've used Linen and Fairly Light neutral. In Alima the closest shades were Neutral 2 and neutral 3 - but compared to the EMD ones, these ones turn out quite pinkish anyway.
Now I've used EDM matte foundation for many years, but as I heard of their use of laurol lysine, I felt a little scared that it'd affect my acne... (Even if it haven't so far, as much as I can notice..) So I tried the Alima again.
NOTE that Alima and EDM both are mineral makeup brands, but contain completely different ingredients. Alima contains titanium dioxide and zink oxide, while EDM matte contains mica and laurol lysine. I've read that actually almost all those ingredients could be problematic for acne prone skins (all three, except the zink). Titanium dioxide is less tolerated among acne prone people than zink. My dermatologist also told me that actually both Zink oxide and titanium dioxide can be occlusive on acne skin. Still I can tolerate Zink oxide in my Elta MD clear cream, and it contains Zink oxide.... Mica also has a bad reputation when it comes to that, and laurol lysine is a kind of coconut oil derivate.
Anyway! This makes it hard to compare those two brands. They contain completely different ingredients, that give different looks and different results.
The Alima gives a nice look in the start, but looks horrible after a few hours. The skin looks "thick", lines and pores are more visible in the end of the day. Awful! It's also much more matte and DRY looking and feeling than EDM. It irritated my skin when I wore it these days...it became red...
Maybe cause titanium dioxide is much more DRY than mica or laurol lysine...??? It also has a too poor coverage. I have a lot of red areas.that I need to cover....
I give it 1 lippie for a logical and good shade range with numbers, which makes it easier to choose. And 1 more lippie for a good costumer service.
I wanted an alternative to the EDM, but I this just doesn't work for me.... Are all titanium dioxide based mmu like this???
Update 11th February 2013:
Now I've compared this to some other mmu I had at home. I've realized that the "messy" look with enlarged pores and the makeup looking "thick" on the skin must be a cause of titanium dioxide. Cause when I use mmu's that don't contain it ( for example EDM, lily Lolo) it does not look as "messy" after a while. So its not Alima, but the ingredient that becomes like this on my extremely oily uneven skin. I guess that's the downside of ordinary mmu, and that is hard to develop mmu without this ingredient.... (Seems like, cause.99% of all mmu:s contain it)
I have been wearing Alima SMF for about 3 years now. After trying many other brands of mineral makeup, Alima impressed me with its quality, color selection, and business ethics. It appears to "melt" into my skin better than other powder foundations, and looks very natural. When I wear it, I get so many compliments on my "perfect" skin; I never get these compliments when wearing liquid or cream foundations.
This is the only product that I have been able to find a perfect match in, as my skin tone is not the typical cool porcelain. (I am very pale, but with peachy-golden undertones. I wear Beige 1)
I wore Alima all through my pregnancy, and felt good knowing that I was not putting questionable ingredients on my face, which would be absorbed into my body.
What a lifesaver! Almost every foundation breaks me out, including mineral powders. BE and Pur contain bismuth oxychloride, which causes me cysts on my cheeks. Even talc is enough to cause a full-scale breakout! To make matters trickier, I'm extremely pale yellow- we're talking ghost-white with yellow undertones. The majority of companies do not make foundations pale or yellowy enough (even the new Double Wear shades). Along comes Alima mineral powder in Warm 0- amazing match! It somehow matches perfectly without washing me out or oxidizing. It lasts ALL day, including on my nose during a cold and hot weather. No to minimal transfer, no separating or fading. I also use the primer underneath, which keeps my oily tzone at bay all day, no blotting needed. Best of all, no breakouts or itchiness. My skin feels bare and comfortable all day. It does look bad on very dry skin, so be sure to moisturize. Sure, the containers and loose powder can be annoying, but I'd gladly deal with it for such quality foundation. Give this a try if you're hard-to-match, have trouble with lasting power or oil-control and/or have very sensitive skin. So glad I found this!
To jump start this review, here is the product description and ingredients list from Alima Pure:
Alima Pure Satin Matte Mineral Foundation is hypoallergenic -- it goes on easy and feels like nothing at all, naturally. It evens out your skin tone, enhances your complexion and reduces the appearance of fine lines and pores. And, with 61 shades, there's a match for just about everyone.
Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Zinc Oxide (CI 77947) Mica (CI 77019). May contain [+/-]: Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499). Nothing more.
Okay, with that out of the way, the selling point for me when I chose to try this foundation was the ingredients list - no bismuth oxychloride, which makes my face red and itchy, no lauroyl lysine or other coconut derivatives, which clog my pores and break me out like crazy and really nothing but minerals. Exactly what I was looking for. I am also really impressed by the color selection and how easy the Alima website makes it to find your match. You can start by selecting your shade: fair, light, medium, medium deep, or deep. Then your undertone: cool, neutral, beige, warm, golden or olive. Clicking on your selection narrows down their 61 colors to just those that fit what you're looking for. I ended up choosing Cool 2, but if you're not 100% certain of which color works for you, Alima offers a sample kit where you can choose 4 different shades to try and many of the other online retailers that sell Alima Pure products offer samples as well.
So, I applied my new foundation with my favorite flat-top kabuki brush. The first thing I noticed was that it was an absolutely perfect match for my skin which is a first for me. The container allows a lot of control over how much product you shake out of the sifter and the powder applies easily and blends well. On top of totally dry skin, I still got the powdery look most powder foundations give me, so I tried applying while my moisturizer hadn't quite finished soaking in and it was perfect - exactly what "satin matte" should be; not shiny, just a bit dewy. I found that with either application method I could layer anywhere from a light dusting to multiple coats and get exactly the coverage I wanted from ultra-light to completely full coverage.
As for staying power, this foundation has the best of any mineral foundation I've ever tried and even beats many liquid and cream foundations in the longevity arena. With no primer or setting powder, I didn't have to touch up until about 5 hours into my work shift, and even then it was just a couple spots where my skin is most prone to oiliness and redness that needed any help.With a primer underneath (I usually just use a bit of aloe but have also tried this foundation over samples of other primers) and setting powder on top (I use Silk Naturals Perfecting Powder or Ultimate Luxury Powder) and a quick spritz of hydrosol to finish the whole look, I didn't need to touch up at all. Seriously, not even once from application to removing my makeup before bed.
I imagine it goes without saying, but Alima Pure Satin Matte Foundation gets a full 5 lippies from me. I would recommend it to anyone and feel pretty certain you'll find a great color match and love this stuff as much as I do.
I've been using Alima Pure for about 2 years now and I have to say I'm very happy with the product. The company itself is great and I like buying from a socially conscious company but I understand that the products need to be great too.
The color range was and still is a HUGE plus. I don't understand how so many make up lines can still be neglecting a huge chunk of the market. I am very fair with olive (and maybe gold) undertones and had spent way too many years of my life oscillating between makeup that was fair with pink undertones or darker foundations with gold undertones. It sounds ridiculous but - for me - finding Alima Pure Olive 1.5 Foundation was revolutionary. I had thought I must be terrible at make up or that I could never look as good as the stereotypic 'girl next door' and I just wanted to shout 'yes, fair skin with olive undertones IS a thing and women like me exist!'
I haven't noticed any problems with fading or clumping. I like it much better than bare minerals which I had been using before despite having to go with mismatched foundation (although I've heard they've since introduced an olive line maybe). For me Alima Pure is much softer and smoother and has better coverage.
Another plus is I find the Alima Pure system for naming and organizing their foundations to be straight forward. I appreciate creativity but fun names like Tabby or Sunset mean nothing to me and I'm a busy girl without taking extra time to understand what each color is. You can buy samples of different colors for $1.50 before you buy. All in all I think it's a very user friendly operation:).