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.
2012 is here, and with it the annual dilemma...shall I make any New Year's Resolutions? Resolutions seem doomed to fail, even according to most experts. We have all heard the great advice...set small, attainable goals, reward yourself, and so-on, but year after year, a huge portion of resolutions are history by Valentine's Day.
Still, hope springs eternal. I am making a few resolutions but with a slight twist. Rather than "go to the gym everyday," sort of resolution, I am sticking more to the "be more patient," and "spend more time enjoying the company of those I love" type of resolutions. I don't know if this approach will be any more successful, but it's worth a try. And just to be sure that I do have some success, I (who have never, ever touched tobacco) have also resolved to give up smoking. Now that is a resolution I know I can keep!
All of us at Alima Pure wish you a wonderful 2012, filled with joy, love and good fortune!
Resolve to add some color to your life by broadening your eyeshadow collection! Select eyeshadows and liners are on sale now through January 5, 2 for $12. (Regularly priced at $11 each.)
This year's sale includes Satin Matte Eyeshadows in Aloe, Chamomile, Dove, Rain, Bayou, Chestnut, Sand and Wedgwood. Pearlusters at the special price are Sky, Platinum, Cimarron, Viola and Toffee; Luminous Shimmer Eyeliners included in the sale are Maya and Koan. If shimmer is more your thing, choose from Aria, Dream, Gold Dust, Hyacinth, Mirage, Moss, Ombra, Pyrite, Sienna and Navy.
Want to bring out your baby-blues? Try Satin Matte Chamomile as your base shade with Luminous Shimmer Gold Dust or Satin Matte Sand on your lid. Emphasize your crease with Luminous Shimmer Pyrite and line with Koan. For a more subtle look, use Sand as your base, Pearluster Toffee on your lid and line with Satin Matte shadow in Chestnut.
To bring out the green in your eyes, use Luminous Shimmer Hyacinth as your base, Pearluster Viola on the lid and a touch of Luminous Shimmer Ombra or Aria at the outer corner of the eye. Line with Koan or your outer corner color. For an alternate look, try Satin Matte Aloe as a base, Luminous Shimmer in Moss or Satin Matte Bayou in the crease and line with Maya.
And if you are a brown-eyed girl, use Luminous Shimmer Dream as a highlight shade under your brow, and put Satin Matte Wedgwood or Pearluster Sky on your lid. Smudge Luminous Shimmer Navy into your crease and use it damp as your liner. For a more every-day brown-eyed look, use Dream as a base on the entire lid, use Luminous Shimmer Sienna or Pearluster Cimarron on the outer 1/3 of the lid and blended into the crease and line with more Sienna.
Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or Winter Solstice, we wish you a beautiful holiday, filled with joy and love.
Alima Pure will be closing at noon (PST) on Friday, December 23 and remain closed until Tuesday morning, December 27 so that our staff may spend time with their families. If you need to contact us, please send an email. We try to answer email in the order in which we receive them, so be patient, but we will get back to you!
The holidays are the perfect time to think about giving, and the New Year is the time when thoughts naturally turn to self-improvement. If you want a little inspiration to help kick-start you on both, I highly recommend reading Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie, the creator and “Chief Shoe Giver” of TOMS shoes.
Mycoskie, who had no background in footwear or even retail, started TOMS as a way to help provide shoes for children in developing countries. Inspired by a trip to Argentina, he was able to donate 10,000 pairs of shoes to Argentine children within a year. With his “One for One” model, the company has become one of the fastest-growing footwear companies in the world, and is a for-profit company that has built giving into its DNA.
The book is filled with stories, not only about TOMS, but about other companies who are doing things “that matter.” Through their inspiring stories, you learn the importance of having your own story, facing your fears and being resourceful without resources. No one can deny that TOMS shoes has been successful, both as a for-profit company, and as one doing good in the world, so their story is one that many will be inspired to try to duplicate. The book offers a blueprint for channeling enthusiasm and limited resources to create something that can grow.
An inspirational and quick read, this book should be required reading for anyone wants to make a difference in the world. Would you like to win a copy of Start Something That Matters? Visit us on facebook and tell us your story of giving (whether done by you or for you). We will share some of the stories and our facebook fans will vote on which story is the most inspirational. The winner will receive their own copy of Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie.
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?
You've probably whittled down your holiday shopping by this point, and maybe you're stuck where many of us at Alima Pure are...the teachers, the co-workers, the cousins, the "I should have something handy in case so-and-so forgot were weren't going to exchange gifts this year." We think we have the perfect solution--our Under the Mistletoe Collection!
This handy set of three of our Organic Nourishing Lipbalms comes packaged in our signature Alima Pure bag, all you really need to add is a ribbon and gift tag. And the shades cover a wide range, so they will work for most everyone!
Acai is our palest, shimmery pink - perfect for when you just want a hint of color, but a lot of moisture.
Rhubarb is a medium pink with no shimmer - on fair skins it really shows up, on medium and deeper skin tones, it provides a subtle, warm pink.
Fig is a deeper, bronzed plum shimmer - in all honesty, we have never found anyone that can't wear it.
This perfect little set is available now through late December for only $16, and is a $28 value.