After 20 years of wearing makeup and searching for the right products, 5+ years of confusion in a sea of mineral makeup, I stumbled upon Alima Pure, ordered some samples, and have never looked back, almost 2 years later.
(I have dealt with blackheads and cystic acne for most of my teenage AND adult years. I use Retin A and take spironolactone for that, and it's under control, but this makeup does absolutely NOT aggravate my skin or clog pores. No negative reaction whatsoever. I have even slept with it on (although not advised!) with zero consequences.
I am called Chapstickaddict for a reason – I am not only a lip product junkie, but a product junkie of the worst kind. The "try it once and throw it in a drawer" kind. I have hundreds of unused cosmetic items, at least 25 used-once or twice foundations.
THIS. IS. IT.
I will never stray from Alima. I have never gotten so many compliments on my complexion as I have since using their Satin Matte Mineral Foundation. Even at the funeral of a friend's father, his mother told me that my complexion was stunning, and I had never met the grieving widow before in my life!
I apply Cerave PM moisturizer (1 pump AM, 2 pumps PM) and my ROC eye products, let them sink in for a few minutes. I apply one of my many collection of concealers, let that sink in, apply a highlighting lotion (like Benefit High Beam or similar) to my occipital area, tops of cheekbones, and areas that get shadowy.
I apply my Alima Pure eyeshadows (love knowing they are no danger to my eyes!) before the foundation, as they recommend, in case of mistakes.
I apply a cream blush and blend it in well.
Then I apply the Alima powder with their Foundation brush (it works better than any other brushes I have owned). I tap the container upside down on the counter top 3 times, which releases enough product to do my face. I brush it on the way they recommend on their site, and I use a shade that is one shade darker at the sided of my face and in the hollows of my cheeks (or where hollows SHOULD be...).
I apply Alima's satin matte blush on the apples of my cheeks, then sweep on their lightest bronzer if I feel like I am having a washed out kind of morning. (sometimes I use the primer powder, if I feel like it might be an oily day for me.)
THEN I brush on a dusting of Alima's finishing powder in Keiko, which goes well with my foundation in Neutral 3 and 3.5.
THEN, final step before grooming brows, applying eyeliner, curling lashes and applying mascara:
I have a tiny travel spray bottle I fill with 25 drops of pure glycerine and the rest water. Shake it up, mist on face 5-6 times, and blend it all in with their flocked sponge.
FLAWLESS, NATURAL, EVEN coverage, that is dewy and luminous but not at all shiny or greasy. PERFECT.
I have very oily T-Zone and normal in other spots. This stays put all day, and only if I am going out after work do I need to swipe the brush over my nose once.
I cannot say enough good things about this, or ANY of Alima's, products.
The only reason I gave the price a 4 instead of a 5 is because some people may not be used to paying more than drugstore prices, but this is by far the best value of any other minerals, with quantity, quality, the whole shebang. One jar lasts me over 6 months, so daily cost per use is mere pennies.
I will be a customer as long as they keep making products, and I am going to go through ALL of my other products this weekend and list them here for swap :)
UPDATE: 4/14/2012: I am still loving this! I have forsaken ALL of my other makeup (except lip products and mascara) for Alima. I bought two of those little Sterilite plastic drawer things, stacked them up in my bathroom, and organized all of my Alima products in them. I now have like 15 full size eye shadows, two different shades of foundation, the finishing powder, blushes, bronzers, lip junk, and quite a few brushes. My 36-year old skin looks PERFECT every day. I am officially obsessed with Alima's products. I only wish a store near where I live sold them, because waiting for them to come in the mail is like torture!
This gave great coverage and did not clog my pores!
Excellent product! Natural look, so settling into pores and lines, didn't make me greasy, transfer-resistant and long-wearing. I have very sensitive, acne-prone, combination very pale yellow skin. Olive 1 is a perfect match, although I ordered Olive 0 in case I get even paler through the winter. It's generally very difficult to find shades pale enough and without pink. It reminds me of my beloved Dior Extreme powder that was recently discontinued. The lippy off is for the annoyance of lugging loose powder around and the lengthier application process of applying loose mineral foundation when I'm used to a few swipes of a sponge. I'll gladly do it, though, for such a nice product. Bismuth oxychloride breaks me out and this doesn't have it. BE and Everyday Minerals didn't last as long and the shades weren't great- the wear wasn't as natural. This doesn't rub off on my scarves or kleenex when I blow my nose- impressive. Haven't tested it in hot summer weather, though! I use the balancing powder underneath, then a bit on top. No special routine needed. Price is very reasonable. I'd repurchase!
I used to purchase Everyday Minerals' foundation until they changed their formula (irritated my skin). I was on the search for a good foundation and finally stumbled upon Alima. I ordered a few samples from them, and I can easily say it has become one of my favorites! In fact, I went ahead and purchased the full-sized product as soon as I found it on sale.
The foundation goes on very smoothly, does not get cakey, and is buildable. The coverage is around light-to-medium, which works well with me. It gives a nice matte finish and does not make my face oily. I have not gotten any irritation, breakouts, or other bad reactions from it. It seems to stay relatively in place even after a relatively intense workout, if that's any incentive!
I narrowed my shade down to a blend of Beige 3 and Neutral 3.5. The Neutral shades are more of a neutral-cool, while Beige is warmer. If you find yourself more of a true neutral, I recommend opting for a combination of the two.
The cons of the product are pretty minor, at least for me. The foundation can get a bit messy to apply if you aren't careful (especially the samples, since they don't even have sifters). For the full-size product, it's a bit tricky to get the foundation out of the sifter. Besides that, I can't think of many bad things about the product.
Overall, I would at least give this foundation a try. The samples are pretty affordable. With the vast shade selection, you are more likely than not to find a perfect match (though definitely be open-minded about custom blending). Alima has pretty good customer service and even offers help with picking the right shade too.
I've been a Meow fan for awhile but they just can't seem to get their customer service to a satisfying point. If you own a small business (as my family has for more than 20 years), you can't take two weeks off for Christmas. Sorry. You work for yourself, you work harder.
Back to Alima: I've only been using the samples for about a week so I can only comment on the color match and finish. I am NW50ish and found a good match in Alima's Cool 8. It's not cakey and is definitely buildable. I find it works best dusted over my MUFE HD primer in Caramel. Most mineral foundations go grayish on my DDD skin but with a dusting of bronzer, this still looked good at the end of the day. I've got combo skin that leans toward oily but I only needed to blot once in say, a six-hour period. Compared to Meow, I actually prefer the look of Alima. It's just a bit more finely milled than Meow.
Overall, I'm happy with this product (and their shipping was fast!). I'll definitely purchase a full-size once I'm done with my samples.
I'm surprised the rating on this isn't higher here on MUA. I remember when the craze over Everyday Minerals began here on MUA a few years ago. I ordered many samples, and eventually a full size foundation from them, but I could never get it to work. The formulations made my skin itchy, and I couldn't ever achieve a nice-looking face. Dry patches would show, the colors looked wrong, the coverage was uneven...the problems were endless after trying many different formulas and types of application. Alima, on the other hand, covers very evenly and does not make my face itch. It isn't perfect, but for someone who likes minerals, or has sensitivity issues like eczema/dermatitis like I do, it's a nice option. I apply to a clean face (I wash with Paula's Choice Skin Recovery cleanser) after using sunscreen and/or moisturizer. I use the E.L.F. studio flat top brush to first apply the balancing primer powder, then I use the E.L.F. studio concealer brush to dot on the Alima concealer where needed. Then I use the flat top brush to apply the mineral foundation, followed by the finishing powder. I used to wear Bobbi Brown foundations in Alabaster, and I've been using Neutral 1 in Alima (though it is winter and I think I need to revisit the Cool 1 and Neutral 0 shades). One video that really helped with application tips was the mineral makeup video on You Tube by meepocow.
Okay, so I wrote a ridiculously long review before, probably after too much coffee, so now I'm cutting it down.. a bit..
This is the only foundation I will use as of now. The jar lasted me a little over a year, (I bought my first jar in august or september of last year and bought a new one in November of this year.) It soothes my skin, looks soo natural, and doesn't cause me to breakout at all.
It can be tricky to find the right shade, but luckily, they give you the opportunity to buy inexpensive samples.
Also, you must use a moisturizer with mineral makeup!
Bottom line, a fabulous mineral makeup.
I've got mixed feelings about this product. What I like is the fact that it's 100% natural and got safe ingredients (especially a safe sunscreen).
Sadly, I've got a few problems with this product also. First... although the color range is huge I seem to hve difficulties finding the right match. I feel that this MM leaves a slight white cast on my skin (might be too light then) but when I go darker on the color range it seems right at first but I feel (and I think noone mentioned that before, so is it only me?!!) but I feel it oxidizes slightly during the first hour of wearing and suddenly it seems too dark. Weird.
Also I have a tendency to look a little chalky. I could use less product to avoid that but then the coverage is not enough for me.
So: It's a product I wanna like because it's natural (and I gotta say it is the best natural MM I've ever tried) and still... I gotta be honest and say that with most liquid foundations I get a better result. Can't deny that fact.
Still using it at the moment though, coz I'm fed up with putting chemicals on my face.
Oh and: no breakouts or reactions with this what-so-ever... so that is pretty good.
I have been using Alima for about two years now which is long enough for me to feel like I can give a good review on it.
-It can be messy to apply, it's definitely not something I would apply on the run.
-It does not cover my dark under-eye circles. But I guess that's what concealer is for. I'll have to get right on that. :0)
-If I don't wash my face consistently I have more blackheads on my nose, but that isn't the fault of the make-up.
-I love that my natural skin shows through--it looks like I'm not wearing make-up, just naturally smooth and fresh. If you have redness that needs to be covered, stipple a little foundation with a small brush just in the area you need it.
-Alima does not market this as a sunscreen, but I wear Cool 4 and Hanae finishing powder and after spending a sunny day outside, my exposed shoulders burned and blistered and my face (which only had my make-up no sunscreen or lotion) was not even pink. Safe, natural sunscreen--that is enough of a reason to love this stuff, in my opinion!
-My skin has fewer acne eruptions since I have been wearing this make-up. I have very sensitive skin and when I first started wearing this I got some tiny white pimples on my forehead (I had never had anything like these before) but they cleared up and since then my skin has been clearer than ever. I do still get hormonal breakouts, but apart from getting rid of the hormones, I don't think anything is going to fix that!
-Alima has excellent customer service, fantastic color choices, quick shipping, is environmentally aware and provides an excellent product on top of all that.
Bottom Line: As long as Alima keeps making this make-up, I'll keep buying it. This is my HG make-up.
I found Alima via MUA and have been using it for years but realize I never wrote a review so here it is:
I love Alima!
If you want more details on the foundation here ya go:
-A ton of colors to help you find your perfect shade. After years of not having quite the right foundation I found my HG in Warm 4 and have been wearing it wear around for several years. Samples are $1.50 so you can get several and try them out.
-Easy to apply, just make sure you use a good brush. I can't speak highly enough of the Alima foundation brush. You are taking the time to order the foundation, take the time to get the brush. If you hate the foundation you'll still have a great brush to use with other product in your drawer.
-Easy to build up. Remember building up is easier than having to buff in and remove.
-Speaking of which try brushing the foundation on in a downward stroke rather than buffing like the 'other' mineral foundation preaches. I admit I do circles as well but give it a try.
-Like all mineral foundation, this stuff lasts forever. I buy 2 at a time usually: one for the bathroom and the other for my travel kit.
I also love their blushes (Honey Rose and Pink are my favorites but I use others especially the samples I've accumulated). Their eye shadows are nice (I love Tiger Eye) but I admit I am not much of a mineral e/s lover; too messy for easy and quick application which is my mantra all days of the week and all occasions. But if you like mineral e/s try a few samples and I'm sure you'll like the colors and quality.