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.
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.