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.
First off, let me say that I am pretty strict about what beauty products I use on myself. I like Alima because it has a straightforward ingredient list (no parabens, or bismuth oxychloride) but it does contain mica, which can irritate some people's skin or cause acne. So this is not totally pure in content, but it is one of the better comapnies out there (better than Bare Escentuals which contains both bismuth oxychloride and mica). I like the look of Alima because it gives a matte finish and therefore looks more polished than most other mineral foundations. It gives good coverage, although BE still seems to cover blemishes a bit better. By itself, this foundation did cake a bit on my skin. What I like to do with this foundation instead is to apply it over my Aubrey Organics Translucent Base so my skin looks more done-up but not fake or cakey. I apply both with the Alima foundation brush, which is pricey but totally worth it (and cruelty-free). A word of caution: I am super pale, I always end up using the lightest color foundation available. However, with Alima I instead ended up using the Cool-2 shade. So stock up on the samples ($1.50 each on the Alima website) to find your correct color before springing for a full size jar. The foundation colors are tricky to figure out without actually being able to see how it looks on your skin.
I switched to using mineral foundation after all my frustrations and woes from using cosmetic counter foundations that gives me tons of skin problems like clogged pores, breakouts and whiteheads etc. I do not have clear skin to begin with..(i have sensitive combi acne prone skin, fyi). the least i need was more breakout obviously, good coverage is definately something i looked for in my foundations. I started using the satin matte foundation in B2 about less than a year ago after my facialist recommended it to me. With the help of foundation brush #25, application is a breeze and for additional coverage i would slowly layer it on. Though oil control is almost non-existent, it does not cause my skin to breakout and gives me less whiteheads/clogged pores. I couldn't purchase B2 in my local store as the stock ran out, was recommended to use N2 instead. Its a tiny bit lighter from B2, but i could barely notice the difference. I'll continue using mineral foundation on top of my BB cream daily.
I have been using Alima's Satin Matte Foundation for about 2 weeks now, and the longer I wear it, the more I really love it. Alima offers a huge range of shades for all skin colorings--this is the first mmu I've found where I've been able to find an exact match to my skin (olive 1). In the past I tried Everyday Minerals olive shades as well, but found them much too green and drab for my skin. Alima's olives don't appear green at all, and seem to just brighten and smooth out my natural coloring. Another plus is that I no longer have any of the itching I experienced with BE, as Alima doesn't contain bismuth oxychloride. I have very oily skin and huge pores, and the matte finish of this foundation is great, as I don't need or want any extra shine. My pores and imperfections are hidden quite well under a light-moderate application of Alima. With my very oily skin, I do have to blot and apply more finishing powder throughout the day, but my face never turns into its usual oil slick, and the foundation seems to stay put even with minimal touch-ups (I have just ordered Alima's balancing primer powder to see if it will extend the time between blots/touchups). I recommend that anyone who is trying Alima read the application tips on their website, as their mmu doesn't need to be "buffed" into the skin like many other brands. All the Alima products I've tried so far have been lovely, as has the customer service. I'll continue to use Alima because it's an all around great product and company.
**EDIT: after using this product for 6 months, I decided to switch to another brand. While Alima went on beautifully, I found myself turning into an oil slick within an hour of application and needed to blot continuously all day. I also noticed that in pictures my skin appeared sallow and almost transparent, and this effect remained no matter what foundation shade I used. I suspect I need something that diffuses the light a bit more, as well as something that doesn't react as much with my oily skin.
I think that this foundation formula is hit or miss in terms of coverage and overall satisfaction. I do believe that it will NOT break you out so it definitely has that going for it. I tried it in several colors and couldn't find a match so my review is more formula based. It does seem like it kind of sits there and doesn't look totally natural but it will even out skin tone. I am newish to minerals so my technique is probably off. I like Alima as a company and want to give them the benefit of the doubt.
I think that the zinc oxide actually helped my skin a lot in the beginning then the weather changed and I started to get very dry (I live in Southern California). So I wholeheartedly recommend this to someone struggling with acne because it might help your skin while giving it a modicum of coverage. I am really wanting to love this foundation but the samples are kind of expensive 1.50 for a smaller amount than what EDM gives for free. And the double edged sword of having soo many colors to choose from does honestly make initial color selection a pain (plus the aforementioned expense). I've ordered from them twice and the shipping is exquisitely fast and things arrive beautifully packaged. My recommendation is that if you're feeling a little flush to first start with Alima and then move on to EDM once you are a little more broke.
I really wanted to like this product. It looked great for about 30 minutes, then, it looked like I had smeared some tan colored dirt (very) randomly on my face. I tried it with several different primers, but it reacted quite badly with my very oily skin.
First impression is that I don't like it as well as Everyday Minerals foundation. It seems to sit on top of my skin more, and looks more fake. Then kinda gets a greasy look to it after a little while, yet settling into lines in other places. Maybe I put a little too much? Either way, it seems good quality and they have good color selections. Their customer service is great. I currently prefer the Everyday Mineral Original Glo foundation, it's a bit more natural for me. I also prefer their selections of concealers and blushes, which I think are superior.
Alima has amazing customer service; I asked for some help on finding my shades through e-mail and an employee asked some questions from the colors and brands I've used and she gave me some colors to choose from. It took me many times to find the right shade from the 5 she told me but the product is incredible. My face has a flawless and matte finish! My face is very oily and acne prone. Although I used MAC Blot Powder for the finishing step and to blot.. I only had to apply that after i applied Alima and that was it. The whole day my face stayed matte! From 8Am to 1pm I still looked shineless :D
EDIT: I prefer using liquid foundation as it stays on longer and I find that mineral foundations tend to reveal fine lines and emphasize the pores...... D: