If you frequent our Alima Pure facebook page, you probably noticed that we added some "behind-the-scenes" photos last week. These were taken at a photo shoot we did at the studio of the amazing Joni Kabana, a renowned photographer who lives here in Portland (when she isn't off to Ethiopia or a rodeo). If you mouse over the images in the portfolios at jonikabana.com, you can identify some of our past, present and future Alima Pure Naturally Gorgeous models.
Shoots at Joni's studio are always a fantastic experience. Joni's spirit puts even the most camera-shy at ease, and she is able to bring out the sparkle in each subject. We want our Naturally Gorgeous models to look like the real women that they are, and to still capture what it is that makes them "naturally gorgeous." Joni does that with expertise that almost makes it look easy, instead of the complicated and personal process that it is. Since we have vowed that we will not retouch our models, what you see when you look at the photos is a combination of their natural beauty, Alima Pure cosmetics and Joni's artistry.
The shoot we did last week was definitely one of our most successful. We squeezed in six women, each of them the very definition of Naturally Gorgeous. They represent quite a range of ages and interests. With the music pumping, we created and applied a makeup look for each model, then sent her off for her time in front of Joni's lens. We'll be unveiling the final images over the next several months, but here are a few sneak peeks, taken on a mobile phone (so please excuse the quality).
Just in time for February 14, our new Sweet Lips Organic Nourishing Lipbalm Collection is here! Only $18 for three Valentine-perfect, natural tints for your lips. The set includes deep red Cranberry, perfect for your Valentine’s date; wearable pink Rhubarb that is perfect for every day; and bright coral Mango to infuse a hint of spring into your makeup routine.
Alima Pure's lipbalms are gluten-free and made with all organic ingredients (except the pure mineral pigments, of course) and lightly scented with peppermint.
The Sweet Lips Collection is only $18 (a $28 value) and is available for a limited time only!
January and February--the time of year when most of us (in the northern hemisphere, anyway) are at our palest and looking in the mirror can be a bit of a shock. To brighten up your look and give your cheeks that rosy, just-in-from-the-cold look, consider using a more intense blush shade.
If you are fair and currently lean towards shades like Apple Blossom and Lotus, consider bumping up your pink to Satin Matte Blush in Raspberry, or Luminous Shimmer Blush in Leigh. If Mimosa and Freja are more to your liking, you might enjoy Satin Matte Blush in Carnation.
If your skin is light, but not fair, and your favorite blushes are already shades like Pink, Raspberry or Leigh, you might want to try slightly more intense Satin Matte Blush in Antique Rose or Luminous Shimmer Blush in Cerise. If you prefer warmer shades like Bisque or Carnation, try Satin Matte Blush in Honey Rose.
For medium skinned beauties who like blush shades line Antique Rose or Desert Rose, a more intense shade would be Satin Matte Blush in Azalea. If you already prefer Melon or Honey Rose, step up to the brighter tones of Satin Matte Apricot.
And if you have a deep skin tone and appreciate shades like Bordeaux or Soft Plum, consider making the jump to Satin Matte Geranium or Luminous Shimmer Garnet. If warm tones like Apricot and Nutmeg already look great on you, be bold with Satin Matte Ginger or Luminous Shimmer Sospiro.
Just adding a touch more color to your cheeks can make all the difference, but to help avoid going overboard, consider applying the more intense blush with the #23 Kitten Brush. This duo-fiber brush will give a lighter, more sheer application, but blend it like a pro. The combination of the brighter blush and the expert blending will keep you looking fresh and healthy through the winter doldrums!
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!
The response to our 2 for $12 on select eyeshadow shades has been so overwhelming that we decided to extend it through the weekend. A couple of shades have sold out, so we have replaced them with two different shades.
The sale now includes Satin Matte Eyeshadows in Fawn, Chamomile, Dove, Rain, Bayou, Chestnut, Sand and Juniper. Pearlusters in the sale are Sky, Platinum, Cimarron, Viola and Toffee; and Luminous Shimmer Eyeshadows in Aria, Dream, Gold Dust, Hyacinth, Mirage, Moss, Ombra, Pyrite, Sienna and Navy. Finish your look with a Luminous Shimmer Eyeliner in Koan or Maya.
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!