You'd practically have to live under a rock to miss the fact that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. The pink products start taking over store shelves in September, and in past years the offerings ran the gamut from jewelry in the shape of a pink ribbon to vacuum cleaners and car tires. In the beauty category, especially, there are hundreds of offerings of special "pink" products, with portions of the sales of each item going to one of the non-profit organizations that are tied to Breast Cancer.
As honorable as most of these offerings are, there have been more concerns raised about "pink ribbon abuse" and "pink-washing," two terms that are most often used in regards to products that are donating to the cause while they may also be contributing to the illness. The most recent example is a fragrance that was commissioned by a large non-profit dedicated to finding a cure for breast cancer. Many people are concerned that two of the frangrance's ingredients have been linked to cancer.
At Alima Pure, we are well aware that not all claims that an ingredient is harmful are relevant to their use. You have to do your research. We hope that whenever you are faced with a "pink" product, or any other product, that you do your homework and check the ingredients to see if you are comfortable with their safety.
Breast Cancer is a cause that is close to our hearts for a number of reasons. But rather than create a special pink product for this month, we have decided that we simply would rather donate to the Breast Cancer Fund (BCF). At the end of October, we will be making a donation in the name of Alima Pure and our customers.
The BCF's mission is "In response to the public health crisis of breast cancer, the Breast Cancer Fund identifies — and advocates for elimination of — the environmental and other preventable causes of the disease." We think that sounds perfect. They are doing their research, and we encourage you to do yours. We think that when you do, you will be impressed with Alima Pure's dedication to safe ingredients. After all, we wear the products; as do our mothers, daughters, aunts, cousins and friends. We make the products, so we have employees who are exposed to the ingredients. We are concerned for their safety, and yours.
The sun may still be shining, but you know it is coming...winter weather and the dry skin that goes with it. If you haven't been wearing mineral makeup for long, you may wonder, how does this work when my skin gets drier? The answer? Very well!
It is a simple thing to make yourself a tinted moisturizer for days when your skin feels dry. When I do this, I moisturize as usual with a moisturizer that includes an SPF, and allow that to absorb. Then I take a lighter-weight lotion that does not have SPF (it just seems to mix easier, but you can experiment with anything you have on hand) and combine it in the palm of my hand with some of my foundation, mix and apply. If I want a little more coverage, I just apply a sheer layer of my foundation instead of a finishing powder, once the tinted moisturizer has dried down.
The same moisturizer can be mixed with blush or bronzer to give a dewy kiss of color to the cheeks. You can also mix it with our Luminous Shimmer Powder if you want a shimmering glow. Shimmer Powder or Bronzer can also mix with a body lotion to apply to legs or shoulders.
For the eyes, water is probably the best thing to mix with shadows and liners. It is certainly the most gentle, and it intensifies colors while keeping creasing to a minimum. To apply shadows or liners wet, you can transfer a bit of powder into a small bowl (or the jar lid) and add a couple of drops of water to get the consistency you want, then apply. If you don't want the liner or shadow to be completely liquid, you can pick up some color on your brush and work it into the bristles, but then before you apply the color to the eye, spritz the bristles of the brush with a little water.
And finally, you can take your favorite untinted lip balm or gloss and mix it with any of our blushes to create a custom tinted lip gloss or balm. The blush shades can change slightly when they are added to a liquid, so you may want to experiment first by mixing them with some water in your hand to see if the color is what you want. Then you can either mix enough for just one application, or mix a little more and put it in an empty jar so you can take it with you for later.
Playing with your makeup can be fun, and the results can definitely benefit dry winter skin. Please let us know if you stumble on any creations that work exceptionally well!
Were you surprised to find a picture of a person in our newsletter? It is something we've struggled with--putting a model on a page may alienate people who can't identify with that particular model. And the whole issue of Photoshop is problematic. If most cosmetics companies are using Photoshop to alter their advertising images, will we look bad next to them if we don't? We think smart women know that makeup doesn't make skin look flawless, Photoshop makes skin look flawless.
We started slowly, by experimenting with employees on our blog. Our real employees (and friends, sisters and daughters) volunteered to go in front of the camera to show how our makeup looks on real people. Not one reader complained that the women we featured were not gorgeous, 14-year-old models with perfect (or photoshopped perfect) skin, so we knew we were on the right track.
Welcome to the first installment of our Naturally Gorgeous campaign!
Our goal with this campaign is to showcase women. Women who have complex personalities and lives, diverse interests and concerns - and none of them need a trunk of products or a Photoshop expert to look Naturally Gorgeous. They are all gorgeous without a bit of makeup on their skin because of who they are and what they do, but we had fun enhancing their natural beauty with Alima Pure. We hope you enjoy meeting them!
Tara is a true northwest girl - born and raised in Washington state and a graduate from the University of Idaho. She lives in Portland where she works in advertising. Tara is an animal lover with an interesting approach – she recently adopted a cat to keep her dog company while she’s away at work. She’s been wearing Alima Pure for about 3 years.
AP: What surprises people about you?
TS: That I don’t really have a problem speaking my mind, or letting my personal views come out. People think I am quiet, but I say what I think.
AP: What inspires you?
TS: Making people proud of my accomplishments inspires me to do better in general.
AP: How do you define beauty?
TS: I think it comes more from confidence than physical beauty.
AP: Who would you invite to your fantasy dinner party?
TS: John Lennon, John F. Kennedy, George Harrison, Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe and myself.
AP: Wouldn’t you be a little concerned, having both JFK and Marilyn there?
TS: Not at all. You need some drama to have a good dinner party!
AP: What type of music are you loving lately?
TS: I’ve been listening to a lot of acoustic country.
AP: What is your biggest makeup challenge?
TS: Until I found Alima Pure, it was finding a foundation that didn’t feel heavy but still gave me great coverage.
To get Tara’s look:
We went with yellow and orange-based shades to emphasize Tara’s gorgeous blue eyes, as if they need any more emphasis! Buttercream Luminous Shimmer Shadow was applied with a #37 brush from her crease to her brows, and Leone Luminous Shimmer Shadow went from lashes to crease with the #39. Brown Sugar Luminous Shimmer Shadow went in the crease with the #36 brush. A damp #33 Angle Liner Brush dipped in Paparazzi Luminous Shimmer Eyeliner lined her upper lashes, and a bit more Leone smudged under her eyes with the #31 Fine Liner Brush.
Have you ever wondered what makes our #23 Kitten Brush so special? As I was explaining to it a customer yesterday, I realized that many people may never have stopped to think what it is about that brush that makes it possible to use just about any blush, bronzer or shimmer powder (no matter how intense the color or shimmer) and look as if it were the perfect choice for your skin!
The secret is in the bristles. In a traditional brush of this style, often called a "duo-fiber" or "dual-fiber" brush, the white bristles are synthetic and the black are animal hair. Of course, Alima Pure would not use animal hair in our brushes, so ours are all the highest quality synthetic. This means that all of our bristles are soft and gentle, not just the white ones. They will not irritate those who suffer from animal allergies.
The real key to a brush like this though, is that the white bristles are longer. Since only about half the bristles are white, there are roughly half as many bristles that pick up color as would do so with a regular blush or powder brush. Half as many bristles in the product means half as much color is picked up, which in turn means much less intensity. This is the brush for when you want a sheer application. The real beauty of the brush though, is when you apply it to your face, the white bristles and the black bristles will both touch your face. All of the bristles participate in blending the color, so the look is almost air-brushed, with no harsh lines.
So if you're thinking you might need a lighter bronzer for fall, or if your favorite new blush is looking a little bright as your tan fades, no worries--the #23 Kitten Brush is the right tool for the job.
Kara has worked for Alima Pure for three years and is a photography student at a local school. She has been doing the photography of our products, as well as employees for the blog. Of course, for this particular post, Sara had to step in to photograph Kara and she did an amazing job!
Kara has beautiful olive skin that tans if she even looks at the sun. At the point in the summer that we took this photo, Kara was wearing Satin Matte Foundation in Olive 1.5. On her cheeks, we added Satin Matte Blush in Bisque.
On Kara's eyes, we used Luminous Shimmer Eyeshadows in Venus from crease to brows and Truffle from lashes to crease. Tigereye went into the crease and concentrated at the outer corner of the eye. Paparazzi Luminous Shimmer Eyeliner was applied wet to the lash-line with our #33 Angle Liner Brush.
To finish, we applied our Holly Berry Organic Nourishing Lip Balm. We think Kara looks stunning!
For someone who normally finds inspiration in print media and from people I see in life, I was surprised to be inspired by a movie this summer. In "Midnight in Paris," french beauty Marion Cotillard is the love-interest of Picasso in 1920's Paris. I won't detail the plot here, because if you haven't seen the movie, you definitely should, it is like a mini vacation.
I went in expecting to be drooling over the shots of Paris and left inspired to experiment with a soft brown smoky eye look. Cotillard's look was pure 1920's flapper, with the softly wavy hair and long, straight dresses. But her makeup was smouldering!
Her skin was natural looking, apparently with sheer foundation, and her cheeks were lightly sculpted without looking harsh. But her eyes! And her lips! So gorgeous.
The lids were enhanced with a warm brown that was allowed to lightly crease, giving it an imperfect look that made it somehow more appealing. Her eyes were lined with a soft plum shade that blended right into the brown on the lids. A soft, neutral shimmer highlighted the area right below her perfectly groomed brows.
Lips were defined, but not visibly lined, and were a soft red. The lips didn't compete with the eyes, but rather balanced them.
I experimented off and on with this look through the summer and below are the products I found to work best on me, a Beige 2.
Just under the brow, I used a bit of Silk Pearluster Eye Shadow. On the lid, I used Truffle Luminous Shimmer Eye Shadow on the lid, but used it with a damp brush. I tried to open my eye quickly, before the shadow had completely dried down, to encourage a bit of that creased look. (And let me tell you that felt a little weird, since I answer a lot of emails from people who want to keep their shadows from creasing!) Then I lined with Carnevale, used dry, and then blended up into the brown. Instead of extending the lid color out past the outer edge of the lid, keep it right at the crease, no higher. You can go a bit higher than the crease from the middle of the eye, inwards.
For cheeks, I used Carnation Satin Matte Blush. On lips, I used our Organic Nourishing Lip Balm in Holly Berry. While it didn't make me look like Marion Cotillard, it was close enough to make me feel more glamorous than usual!
Kat is one of Alima Pure's newest employees and, with her gorgeous blue eyes, the makeup artist couldn't wait to get her hands on her! We used Kat's favorite shades to create this simple, polished look.
Fair even by Oregon standards, Kat wears Satin Matte Foundation in Cool 1. It isn't our lightest foundation, but it's close! We applied it with our #25 Foundatin brush. We added a little extra with the #31 Fine Liner/Concealer brush to cover any spots.
A bit of Apple Blossom Satin Matte Blush gives Kat's cheeks a nice, soft glow without overpowering her complexion.
On her eyes, we used Luminous Shimmer Shadow in Glow from the lashes to the brows. Next, Lilac Satin Matte Eyeshadow was blended into her lids. We lined with Luminous Shimmer Eyeliner in Black Cherry, using a damp brush.
To finish off the look, we slicked a bit of our Organic Nourishing Lip Balm in Fig on her lips.