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!
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.
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!