If you live in Portland and listen to 97.1 Charlie FM in the mornings, you probably already feel like you know our latest Naturally Gorgeous Model Nicolle Camarata, as she is the host of "Mornings with Nicolle Camarata from 6-9am." That’s one of the beautiful things about Nicolle… her bubbly personality (which we think comes across on the radio and in a photo almost as well as it does in person) makes everyone feel like a BFF.
AP: What is your favorite part of your job?
NC: Making new friends! People come up to me all the time and say how something I did made them laugh, or gave them good advice, and you feel like you just made a new friend. Mornings have always been my favorite day-part because you have a chance to cheer people on at the start of their day.
AP: We also know you have another job, and that it is related to something you care very much about. Would you like to explain that?
NC: I am the director of Nicolle Shops Portland, a popular shopping website that promotes Portland and encourages people to buy locally. I really care about this city—its economic growth, its advancements in green technology, its national appeal for tourism, and all of the people and places that make it so special. I started Nicolle Shops Portland ten years ago to promote the Rose City and it is still exciting to cover my first true love, Portland, Oregon. I have been all over the world and I can honestly say that this is heaven on earth to me.
AP: Do you have children or pets?
NC: Oh yes! We have a busy household full of fun and laughter. I got married last summer and now in addition to my daughter Kaden, I have my husband Cory and his two kids, Justice and Lanie; two energetic dogs, Mojo and Rosie (named after the Rose City); and Lola and Billy Idol, our two cats. Our house is a constant whirlwind of activity!
AP: What do you do for fun?
NC: Playing by the water is my idea of fun. It is so soothing and I’m not even picky--rivers, lakes or beaches; boating, sun-bathing or swimming...if it's in the sun, I’m having fun. We moved over the holidays and are now two miles from the shore line and I am really excited about this summer!
AP: What inspires you?
NC: I’m inspired by possibility, the ever-evolving nature and limitlessness of our potential.
AP: What scares you?
NC: That something will happen to our precious children. Their safety and well-being is our top priority but as any parent knows, only in our control to a degree. Being a protective parent of kids who are getting older is always scary!
AP: How do you define beauty?
NC: Beauty comes from the inside and makes you shine on the outside. It’s a glimpse of someone’s genuine and loving spirit combined with their strong sense of self and purpose that makes them beautiful.
AP: What’s always in your handbag?
NC: My camera! I use it daily to remember and record what is important to me. Just yesterday I took pictures of my children all eating ice cream out of the carton, the dogs snuggling in front of the fire, and several store fronts and shop owners on NW 23rd for work.
AP: What surprises people about you?
NC: I’m not sure. Most of my life has been an open book since I grew up here and I’ve been doing radio and television for so long. People usually feel like they know me way before we’ve even met. But, I think it surprises some people that I like to sew, scrapbook, garden and bake. I am going to be really good at being a little old lady!
AP: What book have you read lately that you really enjoyed?
NC: I got The Official Dictionary of Sarcasm for Christmas, and have really enjoyed reading it. It is written by James Napoli, the executive vice president of the National Sarcasm Society) and he has a ridiculously unapologetic sense of humor that is hysterical.
AP: Who would you invite to your fantasy dinner party? (Living or deceased, from different eras—no rules!)
NC: I would invite my dad, Babe Camarata. He passed away suddenly when my mom was pregnant with me and naturally I would like to meet him. It broke my mom’s heart and she never remarried. She was going to name me after him, but she jokes that I was too ugly of a newborn to be named Babe! But I kept my maiden name to honor his memory and I inherited his eyebrows.
AP: Is there anything else you want people to know about you?
NC: Don’t let the small stature and big smile fool you. I am older and smarter than I look!
One of Nicolle’s favorite Alima Pure products is our Pistachio Color Balancing Powder. We applied some Pistachio with a #15 brush to her cheeks and nose area to tone down a little redness. Then we applied her Warm 2 Satin Matte Foundation with a #25 Foundation Brush and added a bit of Mimosa Satin Matte Blush to the apples of her cheeks with a #17 brush. Because Nicolle was wearing a turtleneck for some of the shoot, we contoured along her jaw-line with a bit of Mauna Loa Bronzer and the #17 brush.
On her eyes, we applied Luminous Shimmer Eyeshadow in Venus with a slightly damp #37 brush from her lashes to her brows. Her crease was contoured with Satin Matte Eyeshadow in Raven on a #36 Crease brush. We swirled a little more Raven at the outer corner of the eye for a little added drama. Luminous Shimmer Eyeliner in Paparazzi was applied along the upper lash line with a damp #33 brush. To finish the look, we slipped on a bit of Organic Nourishing Lipbalm in Sugar Plum!
To get Nicolle's complete look or to shop Alima Pure collections, click here.
Designed for concealing larger areas (rather than tiny blemishes), the Alima Pure #3 Concealer brush is shaped much like a brush that you would use to apply liquid foundation, but it is about 1/2 the size of those brushes. This style of brush distributes a heavier layer of foundation than our #25 Foundation Brush, so if you just need extra coverage, you can use your regular foundation with this brush. It also works with our Concealer if you need very opaque coverage.
The tapered bristles and compact size make this brush perfect for the areas where we generally need a little more help; the inner corners of the eyes, under eyes, around the nose and the edges of the lips. Just a dip in the foundation jar and the difference in coverage in these areas can be amazing!
If you wear the Color Balancing Powder, particularly in Pistachio, the #3 Brush can also give a more opaque layer of this to tone down redness under your foundation. And if you like to wear foundation or just a matte base shadow on your lids before you do your eyes, the brush is perfect for eyes as well. Once you own it, you'll wonder how you got along without this multi-tasking tool!
The #3 Concealer Brush is specially priced until January 16 at only $10, marked down from the regular price of $16. If you haven't yet invested in this handy brush, you will definitely want to take advantage of this special price!
If you are a fan of Oregon Ballet Theatre (and who isn’t?), Candace may look familiar to you. After starting as an apprentice with OBT in 2003, Candace joined the company in 2004 and has been a soloist since 2008. Her grace and passion are two of the qualities that make her Naturally Gorgeous, but her slightly mischievous dimples and long legs certainly don’t hurt!
AP: How did you decide to become a dancer?
CB: I always knew from the time I was very small, that I wanted to dance. Once I knew that this could be a profession, I was all in. Something in me needs to tell the world something, and dancing seems like the best way for me to accomplish that.
AP: What do you like to do for fun?
CB: I love reading, and spending time alone in the incredible forests of the Northwest. I also have a real affection for just being out with good food, good drinks and good conversation. Apparently I’m the instigator of many a too-late weeknight bar crawl with my friends. I didn’t think I was so boisterous, but they keep blaming me, so I guess it’s true!
AP: What is always in your handbag?
CB: A book! It’s my security blanket.
AP: What inspires you?
CB: Expansive nature, unexpected moments, reminders of that which is greater than myself.
AP: What scares you?
CB: People that think they have everything figured out. Losing connection with a sense of community in our culture.
AP: How do you define beauty?
CB: Fullness of life…crafting a positive being out of whatever combination of “good” and “bad” we’ve experienced.
AP: What makes you feel beautiful?
CB: Connecting deeply with another person. Sharing all the wonder I feel for the world around me.
AP: What surprises people about you?
CB: That I think of myself as shy. I guess I’m not, anymore, but I always imagine that it will creep back in when I least expect it, and I won’t be able to force a word out of my mouth when I’m meeting someone fascinating and new, or speaking in front of a group.
AP: Is there anything that you would really like to tell people about yourself, or something that you really care about that you’d like to share?
CB: I think those have the same answer. I have this side project called Uprising. The goal is to bring dance together with other forms of art so we can inspire each other, and then to bring that work to people in unconventional spaces. We’ve done shows with Horse Feathers, Weinland and Laura Gibson; created our own costumes and worn designs made for us by Emily Katz; and performed at Mississippi Studios, Wonder Ballroom and the Aladdin Theatre, plus some benefit shows for local non-profits here and there. I’m pretty excited about it! I wish we had a show coming up that I could plug here!
(AP note: When Uprising has a show coming up, we will definitely let everyone know!)
AP: What roles do you have coming up at OBT?
CB: We have just finished The Nutcracker and A Holiday Revue. The next ballet we’re working on is Giselle, which opens in February, but I don’t know for sure what my roles will be yet.
We started with a bit of Color Balancing Powder in Pistachio on Candace’s cheeks and then applied her Beige 3 Satin Matte Foundation with the #25 Foundation Brush. We added a touch more foundation with the #3 Concealer Brush around her eyes and nose. Then we applied Satin Matte Blush in Raspberry to the apples of her cheeks with the #17 Blush Brush.
To enhance the green in Candace’s eyes, we used Nymph Luminous Shimmer Eyeshadow with a #37 brush from her lashes to brows. Then we added Grace Pearluster Eyeshadow to her crease and outer corner with the #36 brush. A damp #33 brush was used to apply Luminous Shimmer Eyeliner in Carnevale, and a dry #33 brush filled in her brows with a touch of Raven Satin Matte Shadow. As a finishing touch, we slicked on some Organic Nourishing Lipbalm in Rhubarb.
Maybe it isn't quite worthy of making a resolution, but the beginning of the year is a great time to think about how you clean and care for your makeup brushes. Start now with a good cleaning program, and with luck it will become a great new habit that will give your brushes a longer life span and boost the purity of the colors you apply.
The most common question about cleaning brushes is "how often?" That will depend a bit on what you're using them for and how many different shades you use. Most people use their foundation brush for only one shade, so that one is easiest, let's start there.
Foundation Brush - our #25 and #15 foundation brushes are made of taklon fiber, and when perfectly clean and dry, they are impossibly soft. As oils and foundation build up in the brush, it loses that wonderful pampering feel, so that is usually all the indication that I need that it's time to give the brush a good bath. Just an estimate, I probably wash my personal foundation brush every two to three weeks. I like to use a gentle bar soap for this one, so that the ferrule and handle stay as dry as possible, but you can also use a mild liquid soap in the palm of your hand. First, get the brush wet. Then either swirl the bristles on the bar soap or in the liquid soap in the palm of your hand. (Once you have gotten the bristles soapy on the bar soap, move to the palm of your hand.) Swirl the bristles until the foam coming out seems mostly clear. Then rinse. I usually hold the brush right in the stream from the faucet and rotate it, while combing through the bristles with my fingers. When the water seems to be running clear, squeeze the bristles gently in your hand. If a bit of white soap residue comes from the center of the brush, resume the rinsing. If foundation-colored residue comes out, return to the soap and repeat the sudsing. Because these two brushes have very dense bristles, it is common to need to soap up the bristles twice, or even three times. It is very important to get everything out of your brush. If you don't, it might feel (once it is dry) as if the center of the brush, near the base of the bristles has developed a hard area, and lost it's ability to be fluffy. This is just because residue is binding those center bristles together, and it needs to be rewashed and rinsed well. Once the bristles give up only clear water when squeezed, continue to squeeze until you can't get any more water out. Then squeeze them again with a towel over your hand. (If your brush is new, use an old one, the bristles can sometimes bleed a bit of black for the first few washings.) When you have squeezed as much as possible from the brushes, lay them to dry with the bristles extending over the edge of a countertop. My window-sill works perfectly for this! If you wash your brush immediately after you apply your foundation in the morning, it should be dry and ready to go the next morning. It is especially helpful if you fluff the bristles once or twice during the drying process.
Blush, Kitten and Buff Brushes - these three brushes are a bit easier to wash than the foundation brushes because the bristles are not as densely packed. The fluffier nature of them speeds up the lathering and rinsing process. I usually wash the three of them together, in nearly the same fashion as the foundation brushes...lather all three, then rinse all three, then squeeze and dry all three. If you change your blush color often, you might want to wash your blush brush more often, but you can also use an old hand-towel to do a quick intermediate cleanse between colors. To do this, either lightly dampen an area of the towel (a microfiber cloth also works nicely) and swirl the bristles on the damp area. Then swirl them on a dry area until the bristles feel dry. This will allow you to change colors without muddying the shades. If you use the same blush color most of the time, you can probably get away with cleaning your brush somewhere between every two and four weeks.
Eyeshadow Brushes - much like the Blush Brush, these brushes do well with a quick towel-cleanse if you change colors a lot. But because they also dry quickly, if you are making dramatic color changes, it is just as easy to wash them quickly after using a particularly vivid shade. To do a quick wash, I usually squirt a bit of handsoap in my palm and do a mini-version of the foundation brush cleanse. Because they dry so quickly, there should be no problem with them being ready to go the next morning. If you wear mostly the same types of shades, you can probably go two or three weeks between washes for shadow brushes. If you have more than two or three, I find it easiest to take a glass and pour a little liquid soap in, then add some warm water. (1 to 2" depth is plenty.) Take each brush and dip, swirl and pump until it seems clean. Put it aside, and when all brushes have been washed, rinse them one at a time, then squeeze to dry.
Eyeliner Brushes - in my bathroom, this brush is washed nearly every day. I generally apply my eyeliner with a damp brush, and if I don't clean it between, the bristles are hard and caked with color the next day--not an ideal way to start a beautiful liner look! Once I apply my eyeliner in the morning, I just rinse it off, swirl it on the bar of handsoap or in a touch of my facial cleanser in my palm. A quick rinse and pinch of the brushes between a towel, and it's pretty much ready to go again, even later the same day.
A word of caution on your brushes...never apply heat to them to speed the drying process. The taklon doesn't do well with heat, and using a hair-dryer will almost certainly ruin your brushes.
You have probably been told that when you apply your makeup, you need to pick either warm or cool colors and stick to them for your entire face. While that isn't bad advice, there are exceptions to the rule, and conveniently, our Cold Outside and Warm Inside collections contain some of the very best shades with which to break the rules!
Justine is wearing shades from both Cold Outside and Warm Inside. We started with her Beige 4 foundation. We brushed Rosy Cheeks form the Cold Outside collection on the apples of her cheeks.
On her eyes, we applied Candlelight from the Warm Inside Collection from lashes to brows. On her lids, we applied Mulled Cider, also from Warm Inside. Then we used a damp #33 Angle Liner Brush to line her upper lid with Jack Frost from Cold Outside, winging the liner at the outer corner just a bit. When you are thinking of mixing warms and cools, remember that golden shades look especially beautiful with blues and purples.
We finished the look with a light dusting of shimmer powder Fire Light from Warm Inside on the tops of her cheekbones, and shined her lips with Organic Nourishing Lipbalm in Mango. Who knew breaking rules could be so pretty?
Sometimes we all need a little inspiration, especially when it comes to crossing names off of our gift list. In hopes of making your gift-giving a bit easier, we asked some of our favorite makeup artists for some advice on what gifts they would give from Alima Pure.
With a budget of just $25, and shopping for hostess gifts, office gifts or nieces, the makeup artists recommend:
Jessa Blades: Pearluster Eyeshadow in Quartz ($11) with a #35 Eye Detail Brush ($12). “Everyone needs a go-to perfect smoky-eye color. It can be worn layered for a bold look for special events and worn lightly for everyday. This is a great gift to give anyone who is trying to find an easy way to define their eyes and bring a bit of “fancy” into their makeup routine.”
Jessica Belknap: Luminous Shimmer Blush in Freja or Satin Matte Blush in Mimosa ($17 each) and an Organic Tinted Lipbalm in Mango ($7 each). Freja would be the choice for someone who likes shimmer; Mimosa would be a more matte selection.
Terri Lodge: A Luminous Shimmer Powder ($17) and Organic Nourishing Lipbalm in Natural ($7). “These shimmer powders are beautiful on the skin and come in a variety of colors/tones to match any skin tone perfectly.” Or Satin Matte Eyeshadows in Fleur and Raven ($11 each). “These are great neutrals and Raven can be used as a contour and an eyeliner.”
The artists came up with great gift selections for friends and family with a budget of $50:
Jessa Blades: Bronzer in Trinidad ($17), #23 Kitten Brush ($25) and Pearluster Eyeshadow in Champagne ($11). “A set perfect for winter, for all the holiday parties and for everyday, helping you glow and look healthy and luminous.”
Jessica Belknap: The Irresistible Brush Set ($55) and Organic Nourishing Lipbalm in Natural ($7). Okay, she went $12 over, but the brush set is such a great value, she couldn’t help herself!
Terri Lodge had a several suggestions at this price point:
-Either the Cold Outside Holiday Collection ($36) with Organic Nourishing Lipbalm in Holly Berry ($7) for a cool toned gift, or the Warm Inside Holiday Collection ($36) with Organic Nourishing Lipbalm in Mango ($7) for a warm toned gift.
When the budget increased to $100, the artists pulled out all the stops. These make great gifts for Mom, your sister or your BFF:
Jessa Blades: Alima Pure Brushes #17 Blush ($22), #33 Angle Liner ($14), #35 Eye Detail ($12) and #39 Large Shadow ($16) for a complete set of must-have brushes. “These are a great gift that people never buy for themselves but are a MUST HAVE for any makeup bag. And a lipbalm in Natural and a tint ($7 each) for some fun treats for the lips.”
Jessica Belknap: The perfect gift for Mom! #21 Buff Brush ($18), Pearluster Eyeshadow in Champagne ($11), Satin Matte Eyeshadow in Raven ($11), Luminous Shimmer Eyeliner in Illusion ($11), four samples of Satin Matte Foundation in shades close to hers ($1.50 each) and an “IOU” for her perfect match color ($22), Organic Nourishing Lipbalm in Holly Berry or Fig ($7) and Satin Matte Blush in Carnation or Desert Rose ($17).
Terri Lodge: The Irresistible Brush Set ($55), a Luminous Shimmer Blush ($17), a Pearluster and a Satin Matte Eyeshadow ($11 each) and an Organic Nourishing Lipbalm ($7). “The perfect face! A good rule to go by, the younger the person, the more you can use shimmer. More mature ladies can use pearls and mattes and can highlight with soft shimmers.”
We hope these suggestions give you the inspiration you need to wrap up your holiday shopping!
This week Alima Pure has a special on three of our Luminous Shimmer Powders (your choice of Lumina, Sorbet or Dolce) and the amazing #21 Buff Brush for only $25. This great value makes a great gift and is also a fun way to treat yourself, but how exactly do you use a shimmer powder?
During the holidays, it is fun to add a bit of glam to your regular look with a touch of shimmer on the tops of the cheekbones or under the brow bone. If confined to these two areas, there is no reason you can't wear shimmer powder during the day.
At night, let your imagination run wild! In addition to the brow bone and cheekbones, you can dab a small amount of shimmer on the bridge of the nose and the chin, and run a bit across the forehead. Or if you are truly not shimmer-phobic, tap out some of your Satin Matte Foundation into a bowl or on a paper towel and mix a small amount of the shimmer powder in, to give you a subtle, but radiant glow. You can also apply the shimmer powder to the lips, either mixed with your favorite lip color, or dabbed on top (focus on the center of the lips, don't go clear out to the sides). If you apply a small amount to the center of your lower lip, you can create a pouty, fuller look.
If you are wearing something that is either low-cut or has a wide neckline, dust shimmer on exposed skin. If you're wearing bare shoulders, carry the shimmer across your shoulders, gradually blending it down the arms.
If you're wearing a skirt, pour some body lotion into your hand and then tap shimmer powder on top. Mix the two well and apply to your legs. Don't go overboard here, because you don't want it to rub off on everything you touch. Just a tiny bit will adhere nicely with the lotion and should wear for hours.