Satin Matte Foundation Troubleshooting Tips

Since our semi-annual Satin Matte Foundation sale is going on now, let's take a moment to talk about what to do if you think you have your foundation shade, but you're not quite sure.  Or maybe you have found the shade you love, but you notice that some days, the coverage isn't what you want.

Alima Pure Satin Matte Mineral Foundation

Shade Help

If finding the shade that's best for you is the issue, sampling is key.  If you're newer to the line, we hope you tried our Foundation Selector Tool and used it to narrow down some choices.  If none of these choices seemed quite right, the easiest thing to do is to email and explain (in as much detail as you can muster) what is "off" with each shade.   This is also a great option if you have been wearing the foundation for a while, but believe there is a closer match out there for you.  Just be sure to tell the artists what seems to be the problem with what you are currently using, things like "too pink," "too yellow," "too brown," "too light" and "too dark" really help them narrow down recommendations for you.

But if you just want to troubleshoot on your own, here are some things to keep in mind:

-Orange looking usually means too dark and/or too much of the wrong color.  So for instance, if you are trying a Warm foundation shade, and it isn't too dark, but looks orange on your skin, it has too much yellow and too little pink, so you would want to move to something slightly cooler in tone, maybe a Beige, Olive or Neutral.  Remember with the Olives that they do not run as light as the other shades.  Olive 0 is roughly equivalent to a 1 or 2 in the other shade ranges.

-If it looks too light or powdery when you first apply it, remember, sometimes you need to wait just a few minutes to judge the shade.  Because the foundation has no liquid ingredients, it goes on dry, which can look a bit light until it combines with the oils from your skin.  So give it a minute, then look again.  Still too light?  Try one or two shades deeper.

-If it looks too brown, it is probably the correct tone for your skin, but you may just need to go one or two shades lighter.  The exception is if you are trying an Olive shade.  Too brown in Olive could mean you need more yellow or pink, so try a Neutral or a Beige instead.

Application help

Sometimes you have the right shade, but either your skin is going through a stressful period, or you just haven't yet mastered the best application technique for you.  The technique can make all the difference in the way your foundation looks when you first apply it, and also as the day wears on!

-If you are sure you have the right foundation shade, but it starts to look a little powdery or light when you first apply, it could be that you have started picking up more color on your brush without even noticing it.  Remember that the key to a natural, seamless look is several sheer layers of foundation.  Try picking up even less on your brush (be sure to work it up into the bristles) and then apply.

-Have you tried those sheer layers, and still feel like you aren't building up the coverage that you want?  While sheer, natural coverage is beautiful, it isn't for everyone, so don't feel bad.  If you want more coverage and haven't yet invested in a foundation brush, try our #15 Flat Top Brush instead of our #25 Foundation Brush.  It is still gentle and kind to the skin, but gives heavier coverage in fewer steps.  Our Flocked Sponge is another alternative application tool that some people love.  Even sponges like the popular BeautyBlender can be used to give a heavier application.  But if you already have (and love) the #25 Foundation Brush, try spritzing the bristles with a bit of water after you have loaded the foundation onto the brush.

-Suddenly noticing dry, flaky patches?  That's not really a surprise, given the time of year, is it?  Indoor heating and outdoor cold sap the moisture from your skin, and those dry, dead skin cells may not be noticeable when your skin is bare or freshly moisturized, but apply some powder over the top and they pop right out!  Gently exfoliate your skin, and then remember to moisturize, moisturize, moisturize during the cold months!  It might take several exfoliations to get rid of the flakies, but be patient.  It's better to do a couple of gentle exfoliations rather than one more harsh one; you don't want to overdo it.

-Have you just switched from a liquid and noticed a dry feeling?  Sometimes this happens and people assume that the mineral foundation is drying them out.  This is not the case at all, it is just that you were applying a liquid to your face, and even though foundations are not moisturizers, any liquid will provide a small degree of moisture to the skin.  When you take away that moisture, your skin may want you to replace it!  This can be done by using a richer moisturizer, or by adding another layer of a lightweight moisturizer before your foundation.  Remember, Alima Pure Satin Matte Foundation will not dry out your skin, but taking away moisture from your skin may.  Replace the moisture for happy skin!

-If you are not normally dry, and have been wearing mineral foundation for some time, but have started noticing a dry feeling, it is probably the weather giving you trouble.  At this time of year, many of us like to apply our moisturizer as usual, then mix a little of our foundation with moisturizer and apply that as a liquid foundation.  For more coverage, just apply a light dusting of mineral foundation over the liquid that you created.  Some of us in the office have even been experimenting with mixing the foundation with different oils and applying.  While this wouldn't be a good idea if you have oily skin, it works beautifully for seasonal dryness.  Just don't go overboard with the oil, it only takes a few drops!  (And you'll need to clean your foundation brush very regularly.)

-Are you new to Alima Pure and experiencing mild itching after applying your foundation?  If so, we'll bet you tried another brand before you tried us, and decided that you were sensitive to their ingredient Bismuth Oxychloride.  While that may be the case, if you still experience itching with Alima, it probably wasn't the ingredients that were giving you problems, but the animal hair brushes that you probably purchased when you started out with that other line.  Our brushes are extremely soft and made of taklon, so those with sensitive skin or animal allergies will find that itching becomes a thing of the past when you switch from an animal hair brush.

-Do you need more help in some areas?  Our Concealer is great for spots, but if you don't always need the extra coverage, your foundation can be a great concealer.  Just use a brush like our #3 Concealer Brush or our #31 Fine Liner Brush.  The #3 is perfect for under eyes and larger areas, because this paint-style brush picks up and lays down heavier layers of foundation.  The #31 is ideal for tiny blemishes or other spots, because you can add the coverage only where you need it, not the area plus surrounding areas!

-Speaking of spots, are you suddenly experiencing a few breakouts?  Keep in mind that mineral foundation can be very stubborn about clinging to the skin.  If you are not careful to remove all of it, it will build up over time and can lead to mild breakouts.  Be sure that you are using a cleanser that removes all traces of your foundation.  Something with an oil-base works nicely, or something mildly exfoliating.  If you are nervous about oil, but feel your cleanser might not be up to par, try using an oil first (Olive or Coconut work beautifully) and then washing the oil off with your regular cleanser.  As an added benefit, your skin will feel amazing!

If we haven't addressed your particular issues in this blog post, feel free to email

Alyson Hancock


Alyson Hancock

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Alyson Hancock

What can be done to improve the wear of the foundation throughout the day? I notice by mid-day, the foundation has worn off certain parts of my skin, and has pooled in certain other areas (usually in lines and larger pores). I do use a finishing powder already, but it doesn’t seem to help much.

Is there anything that can be done to reduce transfer when something touches your skin, as well?

Alyson Hancock

Hi Kristen, we are sorry you are having difficulty! It sounds like it is possible that you moisturizer is a bit oily for the combination of your skin and our foundation. Or it could just be that you need to adjust your application method a bit. First, allow your moisturizer to absorb fully before you apply your foundation. I usually apply moisturizer right out of the shower, then go make coffee and feed the dog before I apply my foundation, so it is at least 15 minutes between. Then apply your foundation in several sheer layers. If you add three or more, you might want to mist your face with water at the end, which will help to set it. The sheer layers last much better than one, heavier layer. If you still have trouble, try a sample of Balancing Primer Powder under the foundation, to absorb any excess oil.

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