I'm on my second jar of this mineral foundation and I'm pretty satisfied. I think I will stick with this foundation and brand in general for quite a while.
Before Alima I was just using concealer on my face and nothing else. I haven't used a liquid or cream foundation in a long time because I don't want to be putting too much on my acne-prone face. I finally decided I wanted more than concealer so I went and researched all of the mineral makeup brands. Since most of the actual mineral foundations are the same basic ingredients, I just wanted to see which brand sounded like one I'd like to support.
I love the fact that they send me 5 different free samples every time I order!! Who doesn't like samples? Not only that, but they encourage recycling (after you send in 5 empty full-size jars you get a coupon for a free eyeshadow.) Last but not least, they make me feel dorky and special each time I see "Thanks, Tiffany! =)" handwritten in pink gel ink on my packing slip. Hahaha.
As for the actual foundation, while this is the first and only mineral foundation I've used, I don't expect miracles or full coverage from any sort of powdery natural makeup, but it definitely makes me look a lot better than just using concealer alone. What's more important to me is using something vegan, cruelty-free and natural on my unfortunately acne-prone skin.
Anyway, like I said, most mineral brands generally have the same basic ingredients so you're really just shopping around for a brand that cares about their customers. You should definitely consider Alima.
I've used Everyday Minerals for a long time(over 6 mos,so for me a long time :P) and have been pretty satified.I got some Alima samples in a swap and I love it-the N-1,surprisingly is a perfect match for my NC20 skin.I have been using Golden Fair and Fawn from EM and I noticed to my horror the other day how yellow my face looked in natural light.It was on the verge of jaundice,seriously.I have found N1 and Warm Almond(?) W-1,for reference-to be a better color match,though I do love EM for their prices and cs,I may be ordering from Alima instead.Staying power is a bit better than EM and Jane Iredale imo as well,which is a plus in the August heat.
UPDATE: I just bought the full size W1,perfect shade match,and fast,fast shipping.I also find this to be a better value for the $ in regards to the amt of product for the price.
I was lucky to find a good match on my second sample order (Blossom). It stayed on throughout the day, even through a considerable amout of perspiring, which was impressive to me. However, my skin must be much more sensitive than I thought, because this MMU did itch my forehead and the top of my cheeks like crazy. Actually, more of an irritation than an itch. A shame, I really liked the finish. I will use up my sample with a small brush and use it as a concealer, which it does very well, and the sample will last forever used for this purpose. I haven't tried any other MMU, and Alima is supposed to be the one that doesn't itch, so I won't venture into other MMU options for a while now.
I had high hopes. I thought this would be my HG. All these colors to choose from, surely there would be one for me? Nope. I bought 10 samples and even though Alima has covered almost every skin tone, I found myself struggling to find a match. I am a cool/neutral and the Cool range was way too pink. The Neutral range (N3 and N4) was better, but a little orangey. I tried O-2 after being recommended it by Customer Service, and that was too pale, so I tried O-3 which was too yellow and dark. I gave up. The coverage isn't what I thought it would be, I applied a lot of foundation but it was still rather sheer looking but strangely cakey around my nose and chin. It also didn't last as long as I expected, it was gone from my face within 4 hours, and that was when I was in an air-conditioned office sat down all day (no sweating, or strenuous activity that can make foundation fade). The worst thing though, was the way it made my entire face flaky and dry. Other mineral foundations don't make my skin as dry as Alima did. I felt like all the moisture was being sucked out of my skin. At least I didn't buy a full-sized foundation, even though the simplicity of the packaging is very appealing to me. Alima's Customer Service is excellent, and their shipping is very fast. The Alima website makes me want to purchase all the products, especially the brushes, but I am resisting! I will not be buying any more Alima, although I will make an exception for the lip balms.
So far this is the only mineral makeup that has that closest shade matching my skin. EM made me look so pale, and I couldn't get a great color match for the life of me. As far as Alima, I think it has better coverage than the others so I will definitely re-purchase, I even got my mom to want to order their foundation and she used Bare Escentuals for years. There customer service is also great! I had a mix up with the shipping address, emailed them that night and got a response that same evening!!!
I am really pale and Alima was the first mineral makeup to have a shade light enough for me. (It was the lightest neutral shade they make) I started using it during the summer months, but as soon as the weather got colder and my skin started to get dry, I had to stop using it as a foundation because it emphasized the flakiness. I now use it as a loose powder on my t-zone since the color is a perfect match for my skin (something very hard to come by).
I ordered some Alima blushes and eyeshadows and was very happy with them so I decided to see if their foundation was any better than my favourite foundation by Everyday Minerals. I am about MAC NW25-30 normally, darker when I've been in the sun. N3 proved to be the closest match but as I was quite tanned at the time of sampling as I'd been on holidays, I did think it was a bit chalky at first but it settled and looked quite good. C3 was a bit pink and I didn't even try N2 or C2. I think in summer I could go up to N4. BTW I found the samples to be lighter in real life than they appear on my computer screen. Shipping was very fast (I live in Australia and it took a week!) and the samples were attractively packaged. As far as replacing EM goes, I'm not sure. I thought that the foundation tended to disappear somewhat over the course of the day, whether I used primer or not. Bear in mind it's the middle of winter here and my skin dries out in the cold too, so I don't know how it would hold up in summer, if indeed it would hold up at alll. I felt that it was extremely light on the face - I felt like I was not wearing anything, which was definitely a good thing. I did feel as though I had to use significantly more product than normal to get it to cover adequately, and I do not need a lot of coverage as my skin is normally quite good. So I'm not 100% sure I'd buy a full size but it's probably worth trying a sample. UPDATE: OK, so I've had a bit more of a play and I really really like it. I think I'll buy a full-sized jar. The colour match is better than EM's and I can't believe I'm saying this but I also think I like the finish better - when I compare it to EM, the EM foundations (both Intensive and O'Glo) feel so heavy. Foundation shade N3 works really well with Sand concealer and Rose Beige finishing powder, BTW.
UPDATE NOVEMBER 2007: I have since discovered that a mix of two-thirds N4 to roughly one-third N3 works very well with my skin tone. Still like it very much and it seems to work best under jojoba oil as a moisturiser and/or Clarins Beauty Flash Balm as a primer.
Hmm... I love Alima's blushes and eyeshadows but I'm so-so about the foundation. I'm 18, so I don't have any sort of wrinkles yet, but this foundation settles into lines in my forehead I didn't even know were there. A foundation shouldn't do that. I do like the coverage, which is light to medium, and the texture, but I've found better, like Lumiere. I'm surprised there aren't many reviews for that company. I think if anyone is unhappy with Alima, Lumiere is worth a try. I was content with Alima until I tried Lumiere's Flawless formula.
I've been using this for about a year and a half and I really love it. I previously used JI pure pressed but was just getting too oily and grimy by the end of the day. Alima covers well and while it doesn't control oil on its own, it doesn't seem to add to the problem. The hardest thing about Alima is finding a match -- they have so many color choices that it can be a little overwhelming. Everything ran much more golden/yellow than I was expecting, so I wasted a lot of $$$ on completely unsuitable samples. Glad I stuck with it, though, because 3 orders of multiple samples later, I found a good match for me and have not looked back since.
I spent about $20 on samples only to find they don't have any shade that matches my skintone at all. Neutrals were too pink. Warms too yellow. I am have golden peachy tan skin right now and none of the colors matched.
What's more, the coverage just didn't work for me. It was a bit more drier than what I am used to. I have acne scars and redness and I really had to use a lot to get any coverage, and it didn't seem to last too long either. I compared the level of coverage and creaminess on my hand just to test it against what I have been using (Everyday Minerals semi matte) and Alima was drier/chalkier, and it didn't cover as well either.
I will say that if you need light coverage and need something a bit drier (say for summer esp for oily skin) this would be a good option.