I've been wearing BE for about 2 years. I live in Houston so it is constantly hot and 80%+ humidity, and with my oily skin keeping shine down a minimum is very important.
I use to wear Medium in BE, and after buying $20 worth of Alima's samples, I found that Neutral 4 to be the best match for me. I felt that Alima covered alot better than BE, my skin looked alot healthier, and it reduced the shine immediately, and kept the shine away for hours on end... (8 hrs on avg. with just a little tissue blot around the T-Zone mid-day..no extra make up needed!!) < I usually get shinny with BE within the first hour!!!!!!!!!! and lose all coverage by the end of the day!!!
However, I like to wear my everyday make up as light as possible. I felt that Alima provided for coverage than what I would prefer. But asking several friends for their opinion, they still said I looked like I wasn't wearing any make up at all!!
So I've ordered a large container of Satin Matte for my "important days"... (formal events, job interviews, ....) While, also ordering the samples at Alima, I also ordered samples from Everyday Minerals. I really like EM Medium Matte foundation. So I now combine my Alima Primer and Alima Finishing powder with the EM foundation. EM provided the light effective coverage I was looking for. (Way more coverage than BE, slightly less coverage than Alima) EM & Alima both helped reduce shine and keep it away!! I highly highly recommend Alima's Finishing powder, its the "key" to keeping the oily shine away!!!!
I absolutely love this foundation and the company in general. I used to use Bare Escentuals, but stopped because it didn't give enough coverage. This foundation gives great coverage (but not too heavy), stays on all day, and looks great with minimal effort. I apply it with the BE kabuki brush. Another reason I love Alima is that you can order samples to make sure what shade you are before you order the full size, AND they send great samples of colors they think you'd like with your order. EDIT: This foundation made my face itch and burn, so unfortunately I had to discontinue use. Too bad.
I tried really hard to find my color match, but haven't found yet. In EM I got it from the first time, plus I like the coverage and finish much more (Alima is too matte for me), so I guess I'll stick with it instead of wasting my time and money.
I really, really wanted to like this! I'm a recovering BE user and waited a few weeks until my skin calmed down before trying something else. Got my samples in the mail about 2 weeks ago and at first, all seemed OK, at least as far as skin sensitivity. The color (cool 3) was a good match. Alima does have a good color selection. But it looks Kabuki-like (not a good look) and seems to settle into lines and enlarged pores, making me look 10 years older. DEFINITELY not the look I want. I tried using a sponge, I tried the spritz of water on the brush, I tried adding it to moisturizer. They were just variations on bad. The coverage with BE was much better and not so fussy to apply. But I was willing to accept a learning curve---figured I just hadn't gotten the knack of applying it. Then a few days ago, I noticed that the skin on my face felt as if I'd gotten a mild sunburn right after I applied Alima. After about an hour, it felt puckery and hypersensitive. Tried again today, just to see if it was a fluke. Same results. Very disappointing. I guess I'll move on to Everyday Minerals.
*EDIT* here is something interesting i found on mineral makeup in an online article. maybe i'll give it another shot knowing what i know now.
The drying effect of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
Another trait of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide is their drying capacity. Experiments with zinc oxide presented in Skin Research and Technology demonstrated that this mineral has a drying and peeling effect on the skin. Similarly, acne drugs like isotretinoin (also trademarked as Accutane) exhibit a drying and peeling effect on the skin that ultimately helps reduce a patientís acne lesion count and the visibility of acne scarring.
In short, one can attribute much of the potential acne controlling traits of mineral make-up to the properties of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Zinc oxide can reduce inflammation-causing bacteria and encourage increased peeling or exfoliation of the skin.
Heightened exfoliation can counteract deficiencies in skin shedding that lead to clogged pores and more pimples. Finally, the combination of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are drying agents that can absorb excess facial oil secretions. This drying action can further reduce the chances of rancid, hardened oils and clumped dead skin cells blocking the pores and evolving into acne lesions. Based on these facts, testing out mineral make-up to combat acne makes sense.
ORIGINAL REVIEW sadly i can't share the same joy many others have about this mineral makeup. i used it for about a month and my skin got drier and drier and after a while it just looked *bad*. at first it looked pretty good, and i was happy that i had found a good makeup in a color that matched my fair skin with yellow undertones (hard to do). my skin just had so many dry, flakey places that no amount of moisturizer worked. i mean i'm kind of dry anyway(especially now) but if i put too much cream on to combat the dryness, a few hours later my own oil would kick in and then my skin would start to look oily from all the cream and my own oils. so then the makeup would start to just disappear.oh and i did try this MMU wet and dry.....neither was really better than the other. and all the titanium dioxide, i think, was clogging some of my pores on my cheeks. not in big huge pimples, but in little small ones. i will say though the alima #25 brush is really great! i will continue to use it with other powders. it doesn't shed at all. very soft.
I really love the way this foundation looks on my skin! I have oily/breakout prone skin, and my acne seems to be calming down since I've been using this foundation. (I think I was having a bad reaction to MAC Select.) I think the keys with to making this foundation look good are being moisturized, using a good sponge and having a good color match (you may have to try several to get it right-I was NC25 on MAC and am using O-1 with Alima.) Since the samples are cheap, it's worth checking out.
***Update: After using this product for a month, I love it even more! My skin is getting clearer every day, and the amount of oil it produces has dropped. If you have oily skin, def try this. The first week or two you may seem oilier but it will pass soon and your skin will be better than ever!
I bought this product because I wanted to try another brand of mineral make up that had a wider selection of colours to better match my Asian skin but I think that my success with this product really stops at the great colour selections they have. Initially, the product created amazing coverage with such a natural look, I was seriously convinced that I was going to leave Bare Minerals and get on the Alima boat, but after using the product for a couple of days (I bought sample sizes of different colours to see which one I am) this product made my skin irritated and though the coverage was great initially, it wore of quickly. It made small bumps appear on my cheeks and I have very, very smooth and clear skin so this is BAD. What's also bad was the packaging, they really could have spent a little more effort into it's quality.
Just fyi, the colours on the website seem to be lighter than they really are.
This is my HG foundation. I have it in the Cool 2 and it is perfect on my neutral to cool, fair to medium complexion. The first time I tried this I loved the color, but thought it wore funny. I tried it again after switching sunscreens and it wore beautifully. It looks like I have naturally great skin. I do put a bit of powder on my nose before I put on the foundation and then powder over everything when I have my whole face on.
I got several samples to see what would work on my skin (Eurasian, NC30, golden undertones, BE Medium Beige). I'm now trying to decide between Beige 3 and Beige 4. They're both a bit too yellow on my skin, and Beige 4 is a bit dull on me. I had also gotten Warm 3 (way too yellow) and Olive 2 (too dark and drab). The concealers, Sand and Amber, which I ordered were way too light and looked awful. Just too much coverage as well.
I use this only as a concealer and have noticed it doesn't cover blemishes as well as BE. However, I really want to get away from the bismuth in BE because I think it is the main reason for my recent blepharitis flare-ups. I just think the delicate, sensitive skin around my eyes is rebelling against the bismuth. And I have noticed that my lids don't itch at all with the Alima.
I placed an order for Lumiere samples but I noticed there were more ingredients in that brand which really turns me off. I'll probably try EM once more (tried this a few years back, no match for my skin tone at that time) and then decide whether Alima or EM wins the prize for staple concealer in my MU stash...
UPDATE 1/21/08: For some reason, the EM sample in medium beige that I had kept from before is now a perfect match for my skin tone...totally weird, since it didn't look right before...So the winner is EM...even cheaper than Alima too! And the coverage is awesome...I don't know why Alima doesn't cover well. It doesn't have the buttery consistency of EM either. So it looks dry and powdery under my eyes, which basically translates to making me look older! Yikes! My final assessment of the Alima is more like 3.5 lippies. I think this would be good for someone who doesn't need much coverage.
I'll also try Meow since I'm curious...already ordered full size jars of EM...
UPDATE (1/28/08): I finally figured out that I just can't get a good color match with this line...EM is VASTLY better for me and I like the consistency of EM much better. Alima's just too chalky...
NC20/5 and I used W2. I began using this in the sping and love it. Purchased the fabled 25 brush...love it. Unfortunately, this winter I realized that over these past few months, my skin (which isn't historically bad) has clogged pores on my nose and forehead much worse than ever before. I stopped using the Alima and cleared my skin up w/ Neutrogena 3 in 1 treatment and my skin is better. I love the finish of this, especially misted w. MAC Fix+, but sadly, my skin reacted poorly.