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.
That is the question. And the answer is not as simple as it may seem at first blush.
Ads from Lancome and Maybelline featuring Julia Roberts and Christy Turlington were recently banned in the UK for extensive Photoshopping. This is a timely discussion for Alima Pure, as we have recently begun to use images of women on our blog and are gearing up to do more with photos of faces. We have struggled a bit with the question of image manipulation.
We always knew we did not want the highly Photoshopped images you find in glossy magazine ads. We understand the role those kinds of images play in the beauty industry and we would like to play a very different role.
We choose to use real women rather than professional models because in our experience, women want to know how makeup might look on them. But whether we use professional or non-professional models, it often happens that the model will have a blemish that cropped up overnight, or a bra-strap will suddenly peek providing a distraction in an otherwise beautiful shot. In our blog, we have used our co-workers, as well as some friends and family members. We want them to feel comfortable sitting down to be photographed, knowing that we won't publish a photo of them with a brand new pimple or spinach in their teeth.
But there are things we won't change with Photoshop. One is the overall texture of a woman's skin. As one of our Facebook fans said, she likes pores! We like pores as well. And we like freckles, and even smile lines. We like the lopsided grins and the imperfect lashes that make every woman unique and interesting. We especially like the stories that each woman has, the seeming contradictions in her personality that make her a wonderful friend, business leader, mother or sister. In the future, we hope to talk more about those things, but that's a blog post for a different day.
For now, you have our word that while we will use photoshop to change small things, we will not use it to change the way our makeup looks on our models. We won't be removing lines, freckles or pores; we won't be changing the colors; and we absolutely will never change the shape of a model's face, body or features. We believe women are naturally gorgeous, and so that's how we will present them. Natural AND gorgeous.
Capture the excitement of the backstage area of a runway show with Alima Pure's new Fall Runway Collection. In six easy steps, you can create a photo-perfect look!
Apply Backstage Satin Matte Eyeshadow from lashes to brow. This soft, pale pink is like silk lingerie for your lids.
Sweep Front Row Luminous Shimmer Eyeshadow on your lids, from lashes to crease. Smudge a little under the lower lashes for added drama and sparkle. This shimmering, pale gold is the perfect accessory to any look.
Brush Press Pass Luminous Shimmer Eyeshadow into the crease and concentrate at the outer corner of the eye. This deep taupe is as versatile as your best cashmere sweater.
With a damp brush, line your upper lash line with Catwalk Luminous Shimmer Eyeliner. Just as you slip on your serious footwear to complete your outfit, Catwalk finishes your eye look with flair.
Swirl Soft Plum Satin Matte Blush onto the apples of the cheeks, blending up along the cheekbones and back towards the hairline.
Apply Holly Berry Organic Nourishing Lip Balm for a soft red pout that is never over the top.
The Fall Runway Collection of four full-sized eyeshadows is available for $30 for a limited time only from www.alimapure.com. $2 from each sale is donated to The Global Fund for Women. Azalea Satin Matte Blush and Holly Berry Organic Nourishing Lip Balm are sold separately.
Here is Ellen, wearing the Fall Runway Collection, Soft Plum and Holly Berry!