Taking a Powder: Alima Pure Satin Matte Foundation

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Despite getting sucked in by infomercials for mineral foundation–all the swirling, tapping, buffing–I have never been tempted to buy any. Loose powder is messy. Liquid and cream foundations are just easier. Right? Except that I now use a loose powder mineral foundation. Yeah, no one is more surprised than me. It’s Alima Pure Satin Matte Foundation (not sold on tv, or at least I don’t think it is). If you are looking for a greener foundation, you sort of have to consider mineral foundations. Like our favorite movie stalker, they’re no gonna be ignored. Here is why I picked Alima:  their approach to ingredients, their certifications, use of the word “matte” in the product description, the nifty foundation finder tool on their site, and the very reasonably priced samples ($1.75 each).

I used the foundation finder tool and decided on 4 sample colors. They arrived in beautiful packaging with a tiny kabuki brush. I couldn’t wait to try it out…and when I did…I hated it. It looked patchy and didn’t cover well. I put the samples in a drawer that serves as my makeup purgatory. Then one lazy Sunday, I didn’t want to deal with foundation and finishing powder. I remembered the Alima samples. I skipped the brush and used a powder puff because I thought it would be faster. And it worked much better. I liked what I saw enough to use up the best color match of the samples over the course of a few days and then ordered a full size—on sale for $20/.23 oz. (It’s usually $25.) I also got myself a flocked sponge which works much better than the puff I had been using. An aside: flocked sponges, why am I just now learning of you? Of your awesomeness?

I am so glad I gave this another chance. It just turns out the brush isn’t for me. Instead it’s all about the flocked sponge and perfecting my own approach, which includes: making sure to moisturize first (and let it sink in), applying it in light layers, and setting it with my beloved Zen Society Hydrating Rosewater Mist whenever it looks a little dry. (Zen mist reviewed here).

It is very light, yet buildable to a medium coverage. It feels nonexistent on your skin–unless you put on too much! It’s totally gentle and non-irritating, or at least it is for me. Here’s what’s in it:

Mica (CI 77019), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Zinc Oxide (CI 77947), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499). Nothing more.

It comes in tons of shades and undertones. My first purchase was Beige 2. I later purchased it in Beige 3 so I can adjust the color as the seasons change. I do notice that as the day progresses, I get a little shiny in the t-zone. Funny thing is, it doesn’t bother me as much as it used to. It looks glowy. Some foundations look better after they’ve been on awhile and I think this is one of them. I may get their finishing powder for summer. We’ll see how much glow I can handle before needing to mattify. In the meantime, I am digging it. Good job, Alima.

Cheap Thrills: Dew Puff

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Dew Puff is one of the companies offering facial sponges made of konjac root.  Konjac sponges are getting a lot of attention in skincare circles at the mo. You can get a plain sponge or sponges infused with bamboo charcoal (the charcoal purifies oily or acne-prone skin) or Asian clay (the clay soothes and moisturizes). When dry, the sponge is lightweight and hard. Like pumice and Styrofoam had a baby. When you wet it, it becomes soft and has a slippery texture. Like a sea sponge and jell-o had a baby.  In other words, it is nothing like loofah or those scratchy buff puff things (do those still exist?). It glides over the skin and exfoliates so gently, I even use it around my eyes.  My skin feels clean and smooth after use—I use it once a day after I cleanse with an oil-based cleanser to remove makeup. You can add cleanser to it or not. I also like the tear drop shape of the sponge. It fits perfectly in your hand.

The Dew Puff has a little string on it so you can hang it to dry. I hang my on the medicine cabinet knob. I think it’ll last longer and remain more hygienic if you dry between uses. You can also boil or microwave it to clean it (check out the company site for tips on that). They recommend the sponge be replaced every 3 months or so.

I picked up the charcoal Dew Puff at a local store. You can find it on Dew Puff’s site for $7. I’ve also seen it at varying rates on amazon.com.

I like Dew Puff. I like it a lot.

The Good, the Bad and the Coffee: 100 Percent Pure Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream

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I am tired. I don’t get enough sleep well, because, life.  As a result, some mornings you can just tell that I came up short on beauty sleep because my eyes are puffy and circled. I keep promising myself that I will make a cool compress for my eyes with tea bags next time I do a facial mask. But it just never happens. So I decided to get some de-puffing in the form of cream by purchasing  100 Percent Pure Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream  ($21). Check out this page to read up on caffeine in beauty products.

This cream has a lot of fans. It has a nice list ingredients:

Organic Aloe Juice*, Organic Rose Hydrosol*, Organic Rosehip Oil*, Organic Green Coffee*, Vitamin E (tocopherol), Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbate), Extracts of: Coffee Cherry, Rosemary, Oregano, Thyme, Goldenseal, Vanilla Absolute, Candelilla Wax * Certified Organic

It is gentle, very moisturizing, and a little goes a long way so you can expect the tube to last awhile (seriously, you only need half a pump of cream for both eyes). It sinks in quickly too, making it a nice base for concealer. It’s also vegan and cruelty-free. So with all of these lovely qualities, why wouldn’t I repurchase? Well, they claim reduces puffiness, dark circles, and lessens lines and wrinkles. I bought it for just for its de-puffing qualities and I didn’t see immediate results. I don’t think reduction in puff is something you should have to wait for over time like wrinkle reduction. You should see some results on the baggage front right away. So back to making big plans for tea bag compresses for me (and looking into other options, so stay tuned on that front). However, if you are looking for a natural eye cream that delivers on moisture and is reasonably priced, this may be a good choice  for you. And if you’re a coffee and/or vanilla lover, you’ll enjoy the scent too.