Our Summer Fling look, created with The Hamptons collection, is easy to apply, but because it uses the beautiful, ocean-blue Southampton eyeshadow, the look is more playful and bright than the more neutral Summer Romance look.
Our first 3 for $30 eyeshadow sets were such a big hit that we decided to go a little bit wild with the newer ones. So when we first asked Urmila to model our Vivid! for Brown Eyes eyeshadow set, she was agreeable. Then we told her the colors in the set. "Aegean??? I don't think I can wear blue eyeshadow," she said. Of course we told her she definitely could, and we would prove it. The results are here for the world to see!
We started out with Urmila's Satin Matte Foundation, Beige 4, and applied it with our #25 Foundation Brush. With the #3 Concealer Brush, we also brushed a bit of foundation onto her eyelids to give a nice neutral base. Then we added a bit of Satin Matte Blush in Melon to the apples of her cheeks with our #21 Buff Brush.
Since Urmila was a little "blue-shy," we wanted to keep her look simple and office (if your office isn't a cosmetics company) appropriate. We brushed Leone Luminous Shimmer Eyeshadow over her entire eye area using the #37 Eye Blending Brush. Then with the number #36 Pointed Crease Brush, we added the slightest touch of Aegean Luminous Shimmer Eyeshadow to Urmila's crease and blended it well. Then we mixed some Aegean with water and applied it as a thick liner with the #33 Angle Liner Brush, winging the outer corners up and out. To add definition to Urmila's lash line, we used Black Satin Matte Eyeliner, just smudged into the roots of her lashes. To finish the look, we slicked on some Organic Nourishing Lipbalm in Holly Berry.
If you are a bit more "blue-venturous," try using Aegean on your entire lid, either wet (for the very bold) or dry (for the more subdued). But we rest our case...see Urmila, you CAN wear blue shadow!
Our makeup artists often receive questions about selecting the right eyeshadows for various eye colors. We have written several blog posts about great shades for different eye colors, which you can find here, here and here. But we know that people love to buy our Limited Edition collections. Combining that knowledge with the questions, we came up with the idea of 3 for $30 eyeshadow sets.
To make things very simple, our first three are designed to be perfect for blue eyes, brown eyes and green eyes. These 3 for $30 collections will be changing every six to eight weeks, and won’t always be based on eye color, but sometimes on things like pastels, brights or the perfect smoky eye. For the remainder of 2012, and beyond if our customers like them, we will have several of these sets available at any time. We hope they make your shopping easier!
The Brilliant for Brown Eyes collection features Luminous Shimmer Eyehadow in Opal, Satin Matte Eyeshadow in Putty and Luminous Shimmer Eyeliner in Nuit. These soft neutrals work for any eye color, but are especially beautiful on brown eyes, as you can see on our employee Devries. We applied Opal all over her eye area from lashes to brow, then applied Putty on the lid and in the crease. We lined with Nuit on a damp #33 Angle Liner Brush, and swirled the tiniest bit of Nuit at the outer corner of her eye and slightly into the crease. This simple look is great for every day, and we finished the look with Satin Matte Blush in Pink and Organic Nourishing Lipbalm in Sweet Pea. To take the eyeshadows in a more dramatic direction, apply the Opal with a damp brush, use Putty to only contour the crease, and use more liner, winging the ends up and out.
If you live in Portland and listen to 97.1 Charlie FM in the mornings, you probably already feel like you know our latest Naturally Gorgeous Model Nicolle Camarata, as she is the host of "Mornings with Nicolle Camarata from 6-9am." That’s one of the beautiful things about Nicolle… her bubbly personality (which we think comes across on the radio and in a photo almost as well as it does in person) makes everyone feel like a BFF.
AP: What is your favorite part of your job?
NC: Making new friends! People come up to me all the time and say how something I did made them laugh, or gave them good advice, and you feel like you just made a new friend. Mornings have always been my favorite day-part because you have a chance to cheer people on at the start of their day.
AP: We also know you have another job, and that it is related to something you care very much about. Would you like to explain that?
NC: I am the director of Nicolle Shops Portland, a popular shopping website that promotes Portland and encourages people to buy locally. I really care about this city—its economic growth, its advancements in green technology, its national appeal for tourism, and all of the people and places that make it so special. I started Nicolle Shops Portland ten years ago to promote the Rose City and it is still exciting to cover my first true love, Portland, Oregon. I have been all over the world and I can honestly say that this is heaven on earth to me.
AP: Do you have children or pets?
NC: Oh yes! We have a busy household full of fun and laughter. I got married last summer and now in addition to my daughter Kaden, I have my husband Cory and his two kids, Justice and Lanie; two energetic dogs, Mojo and Rosie (named after the Rose City); and Lola and Billy Idol, our two cats. Our house is a constant whirlwind of activity!
AP: What do you do for fun?
NC: Playing by the water is my idea of fun. It is so soothing and I’m not even picky--rivers, lakes or beaches; boating, sun-bathing or swimming...if it's in the sun, I’m having fun. We moved over the holidays and are now two miles from the shore line and I am really excited about this summer!
AP: What inspires you?
NC: I’m inspired by possibility, the ever-evolving nature and limitlessness of our potential.
AP: What scares you?
NC: That something will happen to our precious children. Their safety and well-being is our top priority but as any parent knows, only in our control to a degree. Being a protective parent of kids who are getting older is always scary!
AP: How do you define beauty?
NC: Beauty comes from the inside and makes you shine on the outside. It’s a glimpse of someone’s genuine and loving spirit combined with their strong sense of self and purpose that makes them beautiful.
AP: What’s always in your handbag?
NC: My camera! I use it daily to remember and record what is important to me. Just yesterday I took pictures of my children all eating ice cream out of the carton, the dogs snuggling in front of the fire, and several store fronts and shop owners on NW 23rd for work.
AP: What surprises people about you?
NC: I’m not sure. Most of my life has been an open book since I grew up here and I’ve been doing radio and television for so long. People usually feel like they know me way before we’ve even met. But, I think it surprises some people that I like to sew, scrapbook, garden and bake. I am going to be really good at being a little old lady!
AP: What book have you read lately that you really enjoyed?
NC: I got The Official Dictionary of Sarcasm for Christmas, and have really enjoyed reading it. It is written by James Napoli, the executive vice president of the National Sarcasm Society) and he has a ridiculously unapologetic sense of humor that is hysterical.
AP: Who would you invite to your fantasy dinner party? (Living or deceased, from different eras—no rules!)
NC: I would invite my dad, Babe Camarata. He passed away suddenly when my mom was pregnant with me and naturally I would like to meet him. It broke my mom’s heart and she never remarried. She was going to name me after him, but she jokes that I was too ugly of a newborn to be named Babe! But I kept my maiden name to honor his memory and I inherited his eyebrows.
AP: Is there anything else you want people to know about you?
NC: Don’t let the small stature and big smile fool you. I am older and smarter than I look!
One of Nicolle’s favorite Alima Pure products is our Pistachio Color Balancing Powder. We applied some Pistachio with a #15 brush to her cheeks and nose area to tone down a little redness. Then we applied her Warm 2 Satin Matte Foundation with a #25 Foundation Brush and added a bit of Mimosa Satin Matte Blush to the apples of her cheeks with a #17 brush. Because Nicolle was wearing a turtleneck for some of the shoot, we contoured along her jaw-line with a bit of Mauna Loa Bronzer and the #17 brush.
On her eyes, we applied Luminous Shimmer Eyeshadow in Venus with a slightly damp #37 brush from her lashes to her brows. Her crease was contoured with Satin Matte Eyeshadow in Raven on a #36 Crease brush. We swirled a little more Raven at the outer corner of the eye for a little added drama. Luminous Shimmer Eyeliner in Paparazzi was applied along the upper lash line with a damp #33 brush. To finish the look, we slipped on a bit of Organic Nourishing Lipbalm in Sugar Plum!
To get Nicolle's complete look or to shop Alima Pure collections, click here.
With our semi-annual Foundation Sale going on, it seems like a good time to answer some of the questions we hear most often here at Alima! Here are answers to some frequently asked foundation questions.
Q: Does your foundation contain sunscreen?
A: Two of the main ingredients in our foundation are physical sun blocks, but we have not had our foundation evaluated by the FDA to be able to claim a specific SPF. In our experience, the foundation provides sufficient sun protection for incidental sun exposure, but we recommend sunscreen for outdoor activities or prolonged exposure.
Q: Do your products contain nanoparticles or nanospheres?
A: They do not, and you have our word that they never will.
Q: Are your foundations organic?
A: “Organic” is shorthand for "organically grown.” Because minerals are mined and not grown, they cannot be classified as “organic” or “organically grown.” Minerals are, in fact, considered inorganic, since they do not contain organic matter. In spite of being “inorganic,” the ingredients are as pure and natural as ingredients can be.
Q: I have dry skin, can I still wear your foundation?
A: Absolutely! Many of our happiest clients have dry skin. You will just want to take care to moisturize your skin well before you apply your foundation. If you are switching from a liquid foundation, you may need to consider a more intense moisturizer to make up for the lack of liquid.
Q: I love the idea of mineral foundation, but I’m just not sure I can get used to using a powder foundation.
A: Most people find that it is easier than they expected to give up liquids, but if you struggle with it, remember that you can combine some of your foundation with a lightweight moisturizer and use that as a tinted moisturizer. Then for extra coverage, you can apply more foundation over the top.
Q: Will mineral foundation call attention to my pores or lines?
A: It shouldn’t! We don’t use the ingredient Bismuth Oxychloride, which can emphasize uneven texture. But if you do find that your imperfections seem more noticeable, you will want to try applying less foundation at a time. Applying in several sheer layers will give you a softer, more airbrushed look as well as make your foundation wear better!
Q: My foundation looks generally great, but I still have some redness around my nose. Do I need your concealer?
A: Maybe, but first try these two possible solutions. If redness is generally a concern for you, you may benefit from a bit of our Color Balancing Powder in Pistachio under your foundation. This will tone down redness so that you are applying your foundation to a more neutral “canvas.” Or you can try using a concealer brush (like our #3) , dipped in the foundation and applied to the areas where you need a little more coverage. The foundation can give excellent coverage applied this way, and most people find it works like a charm!
If we haven’t answered your question here, remember that you can send any questions about product use to email@example.com. The makeup artists get a little busy around big sales like the foundation sale, but they will get back to you just as quickly as they can!
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!
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.