We get this question from our customers a lot, and it's a little bit like asking a mom which of her children she loves the most. But, if pressed, we do have to answer with "probably the #39 brush." If you are looking for one eye brush that you can use to create a full eye look (excluding liner), the #39 can do it.
For all-over color, the #39 is perfect. Its broad-bristled end will pick up a good amount of color, and because the end is wide, it covers a larger area well and quickly. Then, if you want to do the crease or another smaller area, turn the brush on its side and use the narrower dimension to contour your crease or lid. To blend out the crease, flip it back to use the broader dimension. Add some liner and you are set to go!
Are you a younger sibling, or do you have a younger sibling who feels that they have grown up in the shadow of an older sibling, constantly compared and never quite measuring up? Then surely you can sympathize with our #15 Flat-Top Foundation Brush.
No doubt about it, the #25 Foundation Brush is a tool to be reckoned with. As Alima Pure's first foundation brush, it gives the most natural-looking mineral foundation application we've ever seen, and does it without leaving behind a trace of irritation. But little sister (the #15) has her own set of skills and talents, and it's time she was recognized for them!
The bristles of the #15 brush are densely packed and cropped completely flat across the top, so the texture of the brush is not unlike that of our flocked sponge. Like the flocked sponge, the #15 is perfect for delivering a heavier application of foundation. The #15 picks up and holds more product than the flocked sponge, making it faster and less messy to achieve that flawless, full-coverage finish. And with the smaller, compact bristles, the #15 makes it easy to get that full coverage around the eyes and nose.
But #15's talents aren't limited to foundation application. For those bothered by rosacea, the #15 is an angel, delivering the green-tinted Pistachio Color Balancing Powder with enough coverage to take down serious red. And, because the bristles are man-made and super gentle, they won't increase redness by irritating skin.
To use the #15 Flat-Top Foundation Brush, pick up some product on the bristles, and tap or swirl the brush to work the product into the bristles. Then gently stroke the foundation (or Color Balancing Powder) on with downward or circular strokes.
Did you stock up on foundation during our recent Foundation Sale? If so, you need a perfect new brush to apply it! Consider investing in the #15 Flat-Top Foundation Brush until Tuesday, February 21, while it is specially priced at only $12.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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?
This week Alima Pure has a special on three of our Luminous Shimmer Powders (your choice of Lumina, Sorbet or Dolce) and the amazing #21 Buff Brush for only $25. This great value makes a great gift and is also a fun way to treat yourself, but how exactly do you use a shimmer powder?
During the holidays, it is fun to add a bit of glam to your regular look with a touch of shimmer on the tops of the cheekbones or under the brow bone. If confined to these two areas, there is no reason you can't wear shimmer powder during the day.
At night, let your imagination run wild! In addition to the brow bone and cheekbones, you can dab a small amount of shimmer on the bridge of the nose and the chin, and run a bit across the forehead. Or if you are truly not shimmer-phobic, tap out some of your Satin Matte Foundation into a bowl or on a paper towel and mix a small amount of the shimmer powder in, to give you a subtle, but radiant glow. You can also apply the shimmer powder to the lips, either mixed with your favorite lip color, or dabbed on top (focus on the center of the lips, don't go clear out to the sides). If you apply a small amount to the center of your lower lip, you can create a pouty, fuller look.
If you are wearing something that is either low-cut or has a wide neckline, dust shimmer on exposed skin. If you're wearing bare shoulders, carry the shimmer across your shoulders, gradually blending it down the arms.
If you're wearing a skirt, pour some body lotion into your hand and then tap shimmer powder on top. Mix the two well and apply to your legs. Don't go overboard here, because you don't want it to rub off on everything you touch. Just a tiny bit will adhere nicely with the lotion and should wear for hours.