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.