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.
I love this foundation! I have been using BE for years and loved that but recently started getting itchy around my chin. I read on the boards this was because of the bismuth stuff in the BE. So I needed to try something new. EM broke me out something horrible! I was hesitant to try Alima because of my EM experience but the samples are inexpensive and thought why not.
I ordered Beige 3, Neutral 2, and Neutral 3 along with a sifter jar. I mixed them all together in the sifter jar and came out with a perfect color! For reference I am an NC20/NC25. When I purchase a full size product I will probably go with Neutral 3.
I would highly recommend this product to anyone who loves mmu or wants to try mmu for the first time.
P.S. I use the Alima Balancing Powder Primer before applying foundation and it really helps keep the foundation in place all day and the oilies away.
We've been on a bumpy road, Alima and I. I'm almost afraid to write this review in case I'll jinx myself by doing it. But okay, here we go... I started using Alima's foundation a year ago. It was the first foundation ever that matched me perfectly, Olive-0. Pale enough, yellow enough, never turned into an orange or pink mess. Then after maybe 4 months I started breaking out terribly and my pores began to look like craters. I went back to my tried and true EM and my skin improved practically overnight. But I missed the incredible staying power and color consistency of Alima, so I tried it again... A month later I was back with huge cysts all over my face, dry patches, flakes, ruddiness... I tried different application methods, different cleansing methods, no improvement. Went back to EM, cleared up, missed Alima... Well, you get it. But since I found Decléor's cleansing cream and their moisturizer for dry skin, I finally seem to have cracked the code. Alima goes on smoothly and stays on all day, doesn't change color, doesn't make me dry and irritated, hasn't caused any breakouts at all. I really, really hope this will continue to work for me. Nothing beats Alima's staying power and creamy smoothness. A note about color: the foundation selection is very impressive. I can actually wear several different shades: Olive 0 and 1 (best undertone match), Beige 1 and 2 (credible on me but a tiny bit too "blueish"), Warm 1 and 2 (also credible but can sometimes turn a bit orange). Some experience no coverage, no staying power, powderiness. I do too – when I wear the wrong shade! I've tried both the Neutrals and the Cools, and they look horrible with apparently no coverage at all, yet powdery at the same time. The right shade makes all the difference. :)
ETA 2009/05/21: I've finally found the best way of applying this foundation without ever looking powdery or made up. I splash my face with lukewarm water in the morning, apply a thin layer of almond oil to damp skin, and then I apply the foundation (nowadays a 50/50 mix of Warm/Beige 1 and 2) and blush (my favorite is Carnation). Then I spritz lightly with lavender water and let air dry. This last step makes all the difference! I've tried spritzing to set before, but I always used a sponge to pat the foundation in, creating a cakey mess. When I let my face air dry like this, the foundation becomes creamy with a beautiful dewiness that lasts all day. This is my HG of all mineral brands!
I recently ordered samples online after reading some reviews. I ordered the Beige 3; I have pale skin, but I tan. This color is perfect for me. I like this product much better than BE. I have moderate acne with scars, discloration, and medium-sized pores. When I use BE, I have to use so much to get even coverage and it looks like pancake. I don't have to use very much of Alima and it doesn't look cakey. I must admit that even under fluorescent lights, my skin looked good. Don't be turned off by the texture right after you put it on, if you wait about a half an hour, the foundation will mix with your natural oils and it will become more even.
The packaging was definitely too cheap. The color matched beautifully, and I am pleased to finally see a makeup company that caters to the tons and tons of different shades of skin that everyone has. Too bad the texture and wear didn't measure up to the fantastic color selection. Upon applying Alima, I was delighted! Like I said, the color matched perfectly, and the coverage was very nice (better than BE, which not only turned orange on me, but couldn't cover a pimple/under-eye circle on my face to save its life). However, hours later, I noticed that the foundation had sort of slid off my pimples and gotten flaky/patchy right on the borders of it. It was nasty-looking. I never use primer, although I do own some. I'm not sure if it would fix this problem. I would appreciate anyone's feedback on this. Also, on the second or third day of test-driving this stuff, when I applied it to my under-eye circles, it immediately went on flaky and patchy, which it hadn't done the first time. It looked horrible! I moisturized the area, thinking it was just my skin. I reapplied it later, after it was moisturized, and it still did the same thing! I'm definitely not repurchasing. This ultimately made the bad parts of my skin look worse.
I purchased some samples and got the right colors for my skintone, but I have several problems with this mineral foundation:
First, the coverage is not as even as my liquid/cream foundations. I had some noticeable patches of powder left in some parts of my face that didn't blend into the rest of the color of my face. It also wasn't matte or pigmented enough to lighten my under-eyes to be the same shade as the rest of my face. Lastly, I got little bumps around my nose after using this for a week, which was really too bad. I was quite happy with the satin finish and the fact that I'd gotten the color right. But because of the bumps, I won't be purchasing this again.