I am thrilled to find a mineral foundation that matches my skin tone perfectly. For years I kept buying different shades of Bare Minerals, and kept being disappointed with the terrible color mismatch and maskiness of the BE makeup. I looked like a floured biscuit when I wore BE, and it didn't look natural or flattering. I have very fair olive skin, and BE doesn't make anything for me, and all their colors either looked too pink or too yellow on my skin. I stuck with BE since I can't wear liquid foundation, which makes me break out in a bumpy rash.
I looked at the color chart and Alima has a huge range of colors. They have a very helpful tutorial on skin undertones and since I am part Sicilian, I figured a light Olive shade would be my best match. I paid $20 for the Alima foundation sampler kit (note: this was in 2012) and it was the best money I've spent. You get a cute mini kabuki brush and a makeup pouch, plus 4 foundation samples and a sample of coordinating blush and finishing powder. PLUS you get $10 off the purchase of the Basic Face Kit. My foundation samples included Olive 0, Olive 1, Olive 1.5, and Beige 3. The accompanying instructions tell you that if a foundation looks too chalky, you may need a darker shade; if a foundation looks too orange, you may need either a more neutral shade or a lighter shade. If your pores or fine lines look obvious, you may have applied too much at once. For me, Olive 1 was perfect for winter. In summer, I wear Olive 1.5.
The trick is to moisturize your face and let it absorb totally (hopefully with sunscreen unless you want to look like an old boot in 20 years). At this point I apply my Paula's Choice Shine Stopper to my T-zone and let it dry for a few seconds. Then I apply the Alima foundation in an extremely sheer layer, gradually adding more sheer layers until satisfied with the coverage. This may sound daunting, but it only takes about 90 seconds to apply this foundation in the morning. Then I go over it with a makeup sponge to lightly blend and touch up any areas that need it, and you can hardly tell I am wearing foundation, it just looks like I have a perfect complexion.
My shade is Olive 1 in winter, Olive 1.5 in summer. Thanks for catering to the olive-toned people, Alima.
I've been procrastinating writing a review for Alima because I honestly fear my endorsement simply won't do it justice. Instead, I'll tell you a short, Alima related story...
The other day I was walking through the beauty section of Neiman Marcus (out of boredom really, not b/c I was intending to purchase anything). A sales associate from the Sisley brand offered to give me a free facial at the counter, so I went ahead and sat down at the counter.
As the SA was applying a cleanser, she suddenly gasped, took a step back, and in sheer awe said...."You were wearing makeup?!" I was slightly embarrassed because clearly she was referring to the sprinkle of acne on my forehead revealed by the removal of my foundation. I told her that yes I was wearing makeup. She replied, "Your skin looked absolutely flawless, but I had no idea you were wearing foundation! That's the best color match I've ever seen. I've never seen foundation look that undetectable before". This is all coming from a sales associate at the beauty counter at NEIMAN MARCUS!!
That's Alima in a nutshell: lightweight, traceless, natural, perfect coverage, long-lasting, the absolutely perfect color match, build-able coverage...I could go on and on! Plus their customer service is unparalleled. Never in a million years would I ever expect to wear powder foundation, but it's my HG product and I cannot recommend it enough.
I'm 21, Finnish, have a combination skin, fair-light with strong yellow/golden undertones.
This mineral foundation has been my go-to for two, three years now :) I wear Warm 1 (Warm 2 in summer). I don't use traditional foundations that much as I often have trouble finding a shade that is both light and yellow enough, and I remember how surprised I was when Alima's Golden turned to be TOO yellow for me! Warm is softer, it's perfect for me.
I'm giving Alima foundation four lippies out of five. It's great, gives my skin this healthy glow and the coverage is decent. Oil control could be better, though, and I'm really sorry that I can't wear this in winter, that's when I get very dry and this foundation starts caking up on me. Other than that, it's the best mineral foundation I've every used. And the jar is so so beautiful!
This is the best acne treatment and makeup I have ever used. My case of cystic acne only responds to minerals - mineral makeup and sulfur. I also have sensitive skin and this does not irritate. I LOVE Alima Pure's mineral makeup best. It washes clear with my normal cleanser and does not clog pores -- no special removal technique needed. And it absolutely kills cystic acne before it even starts. Sigh. That is the absolute best; anybody who's battled cystic acne knows what I'm talking about.
Now about its performance as makeup. For me -- Coverage is light to medium, but as the day wears on ... the makeup wears out. LOL BUT somehow the evenness of my skin is maintained. Let me say it like this ... My acne scars are visible through the makeup and as the say wears you can still see them (maybe even see them a little more clearly). BUT the unevenness of my skin is not apparent -- I mean the changes in lightness/darkness of the unblemished skin. I kind of like that because as the day wears on my makeup looks more like my skin -- only better. For me this is perfect because I don't like the makeup look.
I could kiss them for all the color choices and accessory items they've created to go with the foundation. And a genius decided to sell samples to figure out the right colors and combinations. My color is so odd and coupled with living in a humid area ... it was an adventure to find the right colors for primer, foundation and finishing powders. I'm so happy with my choices. They have a customer for life in me.
Note: I was not happy with the effect when I first used their products because as the day wore on the colors turned muddy gray. I realized it was the primer powder. I read someone's review on here that said just stick with it and things will improve. I changed the color I was using, which helped a bit. I figured it wasn't breaking me out so I'd wait and see. And eventually my skin meshed with the primer and by end of day the color change looked like my skin but better. I'd the height of Summer, so I blot once or twice a day. But it's not that incredible oil slick that it was and the color is still true.
Finally resorted to trying non-bareminerals mineral makeup again and had high hopes for this because my skin is ridulously sensitive/allergic. However, not only are the colors off for this makeup, but the finish is slightly sparkly, the foundation makes my face ridiculously oily by the end of the day, and worst of all it itched/broke it out a bit! I almost gave up on mineral makeup after this but went on to try lucy and MAD minerals as well and lucy broke me out as well, but MAD minerals has been amazing so far! It's soothing on my face, has amazing coverage, amazing colors, blends like my skin, gets a dewy finish throughout the day, and best of all doesn't seem to be causing any itch/reaction issues!
Firstly, I don't hate this product. As an oily acne prone gal I've had a long and disappointing affair with mmu , starting with Bare Minerals (I can't believe they are still making it...) and Philosophy soon after. After those two flops, I moved on to "regular" powder foundations, again never finding anything that I loved (except Paul & Joe, which was quickly discontinued...). Back to mmu I went, trying at lease 10 e-tailer variations and then once some of the major makeup lines starting coming out with mineral based formulas, I snatched up every one. MAC, Laura Mercier, Dior, Amazing Cosmetics, Urban Decay, Hourglass, etc. Each time, I thought I had found the one, and each time I found some fault with each (for the record, the three best overall for me were Diorskin Nude, LM, and MAC in that order).
So, I had been using the Diorskin Nude and got the "go natural" urge that I seem to experience every couple of years, started reading No More Dirty Looks and practically bathing in argan oil. They highly recommend Alima, so of course I bought some samples, found my color, and started using it immediately.
Although prepared to love it, unfortunately it's a bit heavy/thick and very hard to "buff", but it did not break me out like MAC so I continued to try to make it work. I even bought new expensive brushes and tried mixing it with the Dior and a few other loose powders, but it's just not good. It oxidizes and settles into pores terribly on my skin.
The company is great - wonderful customer service and the sample program is just the best. The packaging is adorable, price is great, the coverage is good (too good) and it did not cause breakouts. I wish this worked for me, and I'm jealous of those that have an easier time with it. I've moved on again to Chanel powder foundation...
Colour: Alima has a fantastic range of colours. This is probably the first time I've used a foundation, of any kind, that really matches me. I use Neutral 1. I'm always the palest shade in the range, and they're always either too yellow or too pink, but this is just perfect. Huge thanks to Alima for their selection.
Texture: Very silky, it creates almost as fine a finish as MUFE HD Finishing powder. Very nice. Despite being powder, it definitely doesn't make any flaky or dry areas more noticeable.
Coverage: I was pleased with the coverage. My skin tends to be quite uneven/ruddy, and this smoothed out the tone very well, hiding minor blemishes. Major blemishes do require some concealer ( I use a liquid for this ).
Overall, I really like this MMU, and have purchased the fullsize after using up some samples. Bonus: All orders, even just samples come with TWO additional free samples, usually eye shadow or blush.
Recommendations: DO get multiple shades to sample first. I tend to look kind of pinkish and assumed I would be Cool1 so got that as a sample, but got a Neutral1 sample as well just to be sure, and found the Neutral turned out to be perfect. Once you decide which is your best shade and want to buy a fullsize, you might also want to get a couple of samples in the next deeper colour i.e. for me, Neutral2 to use as a mixer for summer when your colour deepens a little (or in the lighter colour for the reverse, if you buy it in summer).
It gives me good coverage for my acne scars. This doesn't emphasize dry spots as much as other mineral foundations have done for me. Fantastic finish! I don't look overly matte. It's very natural and flawless.
I'd been using Everyday Minerals for the past 6 years but decided to give Alima a try. I'll never go back to EDM!
I ordered several sample sizes to determine my shade. It was close between golden 4 and warm 4. Despite the description, for warm 4 which is described that I can burn, (never in my life I am brown, almost with a Hawaiian or native American skin tone) and yellow undertones -and that warm will have some peach undertones (I have none) it works great. As a matter of fact I took my passport photo today wearing it and it is very photogenic as well. AND I was wearing eucerin facial sunblock underneath. lasted most of a day running errands. it's 12 am and I still have it on. I top it off with pop beauty pressed powder shade 3 for reference I am laura M. vanilla beige or MUFE 140. In Mac in between NC 40-42. I hope this helps. I know people were complaining about the price, but Bare Minerals is more expensive and the shade range is no where as close. As a women of color, for me shade match is the first and top priority. second is formula since I have combo skin that is not sensitive I am willing to experiment with mineral foundation, but it covered my little issues. Like it. will probably order a full size soon. 3 for packaging because all minerals powder are a bit messy
I'm having to update my review for Alima's foundation as finally, FINALLY I figured out how to work it and it's now my HG. If you read my previous review, I wanted to completely convert from Meow to Alima since Alima's foundation has a MUCH nicer/softer/natural finish, and is incredibly hypoallergenic so my sensitive skin doesn't freak at all with it (which it occasionally did with Meow no matter the formula). The only thing that kept me completely converting was difficulty in finding a color match. After some trial and tribulation I figured out the problem--I was using *too much*. The key to Alima's foundation--I'd say their products in general--is that less is more. You need *very* little to get effective coverage, and while it doesn't cover everything that's not what this foundation's meant to do IMHO. It's meant to even out and meld into what you have, so if you're trying to cover up heavily you should look elsewhere.
Also, whatever shade you think you are, try a sample lighter--the powder colors are misleading on the site and in the jar, and I found myself surprised that I had to go lighter than I usually would think. I ended up being a W5 (the darker end of medium warm) when I thought I'd be in the medium-deep W6-7 range, though I'll probably be a W6 with more sun exposure. For you warm-toned ladies, there's Beige, Warm, and Golden. Golden is VERY yellow, Beige is more red with slight yellow tones, and Warm has more yellow than Beige but less than Golden. At first application the foundation can be light-looking, but give it about 15 minutes or so to meld with your skin. Once it's on it's on a good chunk of the day, and I only need to touch up if I'm going out after work. I've had *zero* reactions, and coworkers couldn't even tell I was wearing foundation. The packaging is cute and clean with the bird motif and the twist-sifters the jars have are genius--no more spillage when traveling!
Other things: Alima's website is clean, modern, and easy to navigate--as a tech geek I love this, and there's nothing more unattractive than a site that looks like a geocities page from 1996 (*cough* Meow *cough*). Their customer service is probably the best I've experienced in a makeup company, and they actually know what they're talking about when it comes to deeper skin tones. Also since they're based out of Portland I get my packages within two days since I'm in northern California. As for price, yes Alima tends to be more expensive than the competition and doesn't have sales often, but the service, experience, and quality blows away most of their competition. As afraid of commitment as I am with my makeup brands I think Alima is finally *the one* I can settle down with.