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.
Alima and Lucy mineral powders are my two favorite brands. Lucy seems to have slightly better coverage but Alima has a better color selection. I am an NC15 and Alima's Golden 1 is just right for me. It does not oxidize and is buildable. I have used both the shades Cream and Light in Lucy Minerals. Probably, I should try mixing them as the Cream is a bit too dark but the Light is a touch too light. Of course, mineral powders mix easily. Neither brand has that shiny, line-and-pore accentuating finish and both contain minimal chemicals.
I like it better than bare minerals for sure. It looks more silky and natural. I have very sensitive and acne prone and my skin has been doing OK with this foundation. Will now try the Laura Mercier one.
Alright first the negatives, the staying power of this stuff is not too great :p Then again i've got pretty oily skin, but it still sucks. Maybe stays on in full for about 3 hours? After that i start seeing the redness of my cheeks pulling through xD However since I usually use this foundation on lazy days where I don't have to look my absolute best, this doesn't bother me too much. Oil control on this stuff is also not too great which is odd considering it's a powder. Also the packaging -from the outside I love it- it's adorable! But on the inside product is flying around everywhere since there's no cover for those little holes :p Bummer.
Now the positives! The coverage on this stuff is nice, it's on the heavier side of light, but definitely not medium. The powder has a nice creamy texture that helps even out all my light imperfections. You'll definitely need a concealer but it evens out your skin tone nicely. Also the shade range -AWESOME. Of course, the natural ingredients, this stuff has never messed with my skin. And finally the finish on this stuff, its not matte but more of a satiny look, and it looks lovely!
Over all i'd recommend for ladies who dont need much coverage and don't have oily skin. But for me it's a big no.
I currently use another mineral foundation called 'afterglow' which i love, but find after midday i start to get a tad shiny. I like trying different products, so I came across this brand and the 'matte' caught my eye as i get a oily t-zone during the day. I am a nc35 in MAC tinted moisturiser, a golden glow in Jane Iredale, and a beige in Afterglow. At the moment I have tried the testers from Alima Pure, and I got back very helpful advice in what colour would suit me. usually i think i would be under golden shades. however i found this is better if your completely on the yellow toned side, such as chinese complexions and some asian complexions. the colour that suited me most was 'WARM 4' its a peachy yellow colour, a more subtle yellow then the 'GOLDEN 4'. Im on the fair browny golden side of skin tones so this is perfect for me. As for my oily t-zone, by the end of the day im not an oil slick!!!!!! it's matte in the morning, and by mid- end day i have a nice sheen 'glow', and when i mean glow i mean a nice glow and not an oily one!!!!! the coverage is really good, you can build it up, it gave me a flawless finish like liquid foundations do, so was pleased about that. blends into skin well as it has small particles. gives a nice fresh matte glow finish to skin. so will defo order this again!!!! only negative point is im in the UK so have to pay mega shipping amount but worth it as i dont turn into an oil slick like most minerals i've used. p.s. i dont look orange end of day, it stays the colour that it was!
Oh, Alima. I so want to love you, but you just don't love me back. I've tried Alima's foundation on several separate occasions. Each time, it did not work out for me, so I'm not sure why I keep trying.
First off, the pros. 1. Alima has amazing customer service. I love the company as a whole, so I wish I could buy more of their products. 2. The shade range is AMAZING. This is the first line where I've actually found shades of foundation that were too light for me. The range in undertones is fabulous. 3. The amount of product you get in a full-size jar is good for the price.
Alas, this does not work on my oily, imperfect skin. No matter how I apply (flat top brush, flocked sponge, kabuki brush, dry, damp, whatever), it simply does not cover. I have to pile on half a dozen layers or so to get even medium coverage. This might be okay for someone who only needs minor evening out or just a "polished" look. But if you have anything more than the most minor of redness or discoloration, this won't cover it at all.
The lasting power is my other gripe. The colors never oxidized on my skin (good), but the foundation didn't last more than about 3 hours (bad). My skin is very oily, but I usually have pretty good luck with mineral makeup staying put on me, and I always use a setting/finishing powder over my foundation (and often use a primer underneath, too). After a few hours, this foundation would be okay in some areas, sliding completely off in others, and clumping together in creases (i.e. nose). It looked patchy, oily, and an overall mess.
I did, on one occasion, mix Alima's foundation together with some leftover mineral makeup from a few other brands, making a "franken-foundation." This worked beautifully, and if I could remember the components of the random combination I threw together, I'd repurchase this for that purpose. However, as a stand-alone foundation, this just does not work on me, and I won't be repurchasing it again.
I would highly recommend that anyone interested in this foundation take advantage of Alima's inexpensive and well-sized samples before committing to a full size.