I've been using BE Warm Tan for years. I'm not in love with it but it is the only makeup that feels lightweight and does not break me out. Based on the great reviews here on MUA I went to the Alima site and ordered a gazillion samples in the 6-9 GOLDEN, NEUTRAL and WARM ranges to find my perfect shade. Kudos to them for offering inexpensive and generous samples, enough for you to discover whether or not its for you. Anyway, the Goldens are waaay yellow and the Neutals were chalky; it looks like Warm 9 is my shade. (if you're darker you may want to go with the Olives) The product applies smoothly and perfectly with my Stila #8 brush. It feels smooth and creamy and the semi-matte finish is FAB, much more natual that BM. The coverage is really nice.. . . my acne scars were nicely diffused. My only CON (so far) is that although this is really lightweight, the creamy texture unfortunately makes it "feel" a little heavy on my SUPER OILY skin. I felt like I'm wearing a liquid makeup, which makes me feel like my face is suffocating and my pores are being clogged. I got a couple zits the following day but I was also hormornal . . . so it really was not a good time to try something new. Anyway, I plan to finish the two samples (which should last a few weeks) and update.
UPDATE: While Alima makes a wonderful MMU foundation and I was really hoping that it would work for me, the breakouts continued even after my hormones had quit. I guess it is TOO finely milled for my acne prone skin. Very disappointing because from a color, consistency and application perspective it puts BM to shame BUT at least BM and Px do NOT break me out and that's critical. I still give it 3 lippies as I still would HIGHLY recommend this to anyone looking to try MMU or wanting to switch from liquid to MMU.
I've been trying several mineral makeup, and I believe that Alima has the best customer services.
I've e-mail them a Jane Iredale color that I was using, and they have promptly given me 3 or 4 recommendations, I've ordered all those in sample size, and got the perfect color on the first try.
My only complain is a break out after 2 days trial, I've waited for it to clear and try again, but it has started to break out again.
I guess that's a personal problem, but i don't think i'll be buying it again.
I bought a bunch of samples in the warm, olive and golden family - not a single match in the bunch. The powder left a clumpy dirty dry finish over my face. The colors were all darker than they should be. I think they leave out midrange colors ifthat makes sense. Huge difference compared to EDM where the first three colors I ordered: light olive, light golden, and golden medium were all close to my natural skin color and could be used alone or mixed depending on how much I used and left my skin looking great...still havent figured out good application in general though....disappointed by alima - plus their samples are way more expensive then EDM and the samples are less generous. Tood bad. I wanted to like them but not a good color or finish match.
I really am just apparently not made for mineral makeup, as this is about the hundredth that I've tried and disliked. Alima's colors are actually really good, and finding a match was no problem. And the sample sizes were certainly cheap and adequate for me to form an opinion before a major purchase. Which won't be happening. I found this to be just another shiny, fast-fading mediocre mineral foundation which covered few flaws and highlighted any large pores. And after all these attempts at mineral makeup, I still find application a total pain - and incredibly messy. I swear off mineral foundation after every try, but then a good review of something new lures me and I make the circle again.
I've tried four MMU (BE, EDM, Aromaleigh and Alima) and Alima is by far the best product and best experience.
First off, excellent, excellent customer service. I had questions about which undertone to sample, and so I e-mailed under their "Ask an Artist" link. I received a lovely, thoughtful personal response within a couple of hours. My husband doesn't answer my e-mails that quickly! And the advice was spot-on. On my pale, neutral skin (lighter than MAC -- I wear LORAC Breakthrough in Porcelain), N1 was just about perfect and absolutely perfect with a touch of N2 mixed in. The items, even samples, are packaged in a lovely way and arrive lightning fast. It's truly a pleasure to do business with them.
As for the product itself, the foundation is the most finely, evenly milled of all the MMU I've tried. Feels like silk on the face -- I can't get over how smooth and even my skin texture becomes with it.
All in all, a winner. I'm a liquid foundation girl, so MMU is a sometime/summer product for me, but I'm so glad to have found an excellent match and an excellent company in Alima.
I have very sensitive skin, and I react to every liquid foundation I've used (including those oil-free ones). Alima is the first and the only one mineral makeup I've ever used, and I love it! I don't like heavy makeup (who does nowadays?) Every day after my skincare routine, I sqeeze some sunscreen on my palm and pour a little bit Alima foundation (or just the primer) and mix them up. I've found it easier to apply the powder this way and it also stays longer. Then, just set the foundation with the finishing powder. And really, it gives me a sheer to moderate coverage, and it controls oil very well. Best of all it doesn't cause any redness, itchness, and bumps on my face. I definitely will continue using Alima for the rest of my life.
I'm NC 10/15 and found a perfect match in Olive 0, and I wanted to love it BUT no matter what techinique or amount I used, it always appeared cakey on me..especially on my chin and forehead which happens to be where I'm oily(even though my face is mostly dry) even tried using my Fyrinnae Rice powder as a primer and it was still cakey and unnatural..Not impressed
I bought Alima G5, W4 and Afterglow MMU (caramel) to test which was better. Both do not use bismuth oxychloride, paraben preservatives or synthetic dyes. Both are all natural, but Afterglow includes other organic, natural antiaging, moisturizing etc. ingredients.
My test. First let me say I have sensitive, combination, acne prone skin. I moisturized my face then I mixed the Alima to match the Afterglow (a perfect match to my skintone). I put Alima on half my face and Afterglow on the other half. I set the mineral foundations with Makeup Forever Mist & Fix. I checked the mirror. Both looked very smooth and felt weightless. They had equal coverage, hiding most (90%) of my blemishes. The Alima was more matte. Afterglow had a soft radiance, but not dewy or shiny. I asked my husband which side he liked best (of course not telling him which was which) and he flipped over the Afterglow side. Then I went out all day (I live in hot Southern California). During the day... the Alima side did itch only very slightly, the Afterglow side did not. The Alima side did seem to fade by the end of the day even with the Mist & Fix(showing more of my blemishes). The Afterglow was still going strong with a nice soft glowing finish (like young teenage skin).
Alima has a wider variety of color but Afterglow is not bad with 20 different shades. Alima is cheaper. Both are really nice MMU but I prefer Afterglow. I think I will use Afterglow and add a little of the $2 Alima samples to warm up the color as summer tan season comes along. (They seem to mix nicely with no adverse effects). www.afterglowcosmetics.com
I have tried a few different kinds of MU and this is by far my favorite. It is very finely milled (i.e. I don't get random streaks of red on my face from their powder). I have to mix N0 and N1 to get the right shade, so I just order both and mix them myself, although you can also pay a bit more to get one already mixed. Alima has great customer service too. I will definitely keep buying from them.
EDIT: Had to remove two lippies. The description below was fine when my face was in only "red stage" rosacea. When it later broke out in to the "P&P" stage, this makeup really made it much worse--after researching it, I discovered it's the mica. Mica is pulverized rock and can have sharp edges. On intact skin, it was fine. On P&P skin, it's already abraded and the mice really tore it up.
Love it! Highly recommend this powder:
(1) I have sensitive skin—it reacts to everything—and this powder is great for NOT irritating my skin, even after wearing it all day. The ingredients are very few, thus decreasing the chances of a reaction. From their website: “Contains:
Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Zinc Oxide (CI 77947) Mica (CI 77019). May contain [+/-]: Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499”
(2) Zinc oxide has a calming effect on my rosacea-prone skin
(3) Since zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are used for physical sun screens, the powder probably helps provide some sun protection (although I didn’t see it advertised as such)
(4) Many, many color choices—I called and talked with a rep who made recommendations on what samples to choose. They have a pink group, a yellow group, etc.
(5) Samples are only $1.50 each plus a small shipping charge. I ordered multiple samples on the same order and the shipping charge remained the same.
(6) Samples are a good size, allowing for multiple wear days to determine the best color
(7) Powder is finely milled, goes on wonderfully and stays on.
(8) I use the green concealer powder under the foundation powder to conceal rosacea—it doesn’t totally abolish the red (which is strong) but greatly diminishes it.
(9) Customer service is great. Orders arrive swiftly.
Only Con—For People With Dry Skin
(1) While zinc is calming, it also tends to be drying. Not only is my skin very dry but I have dermatitis too. The first time I put the powder on, I went light on moisturizer and quickly saw flaky skin. However, the second time—after carefully applying more moisturizer—all was fine.
Suggestions if you try this foundation:
(1) The colors at the light end tend to be very light. While I usually wear the “palest of the pale,” in Alima’s line I’m a 2 (numbers go 0, 1, 2, etc.)
(2) I use a small eyeliner brush to apply the foundation powder in areas I need some extra concealment before I apply the powder across my face—it works well and doesn’t look powdery.