Alima Pure Mineral Makeup

Using 4 or fewer ingredients for most of their formulations, Alima Pure is an incredibly clean mineral makeup.  (Check out their safety scores from CosmeticsDatabase.com) I was so enchanted by their equally clean website that I scooped up a ton of $1.50 sample jars. I love when companies sample, it just says to me that they’re confident in their products and know you’ll come back for more. And I will…

Foundations etc: They offer dozens of colors to ensure a perfect match. It’s not a heavy formula but it’s certainly buildable, especially when you use it with their Primer Powder (great to block shine), and buff a Finishing Powder over top. I’ve also been using the Lavender Color Balancing Powder on my forehead and upper cheek area for some added brightness. It sounds like a lot to put on, but it really works together and never gets heavy or cakey. I like to spray a little Avene Thermal Spring Water over top and press it into the skin with a Beauty Blender for a natural, undetectable finish in any light.

Balancing Primer Powder in Light, Concealer in Beige, Satin Matte Foundation in Beige2, Color Balancing Powder in Buttercup, Color Balancing Powder in Lavender

Cheeks: I’m in love with their Bronzer, it isn’t the slightest bit shimmery and it’s a perfect warm shade. I wanted more from the Luminous Shimmer Powder though, it’s just okay – the shimmer isn’t special enough to move me to a purchase because it’s so slight and flakes away.

Satin Matte Blush in Bisque, Luminous Shimmer Powder in Luna, Bronzer in Mauna Loa

Eyeliner: You can’t see it well from my photo, but the black is deep. Use it wet for a liner, or dry to smoke out any look. Illusion is a pretty shade, I like it best for a shadow. If you like a rich, pigment-dense look from your shadows, use a liner as a shadow or choose colors slightly deeper than you normally would.

Satin Matte Eyeliner in Black, Luminous Shimmer Eyeliner in Illusion

Eyeshadows: I found the finish of the Pearluster and Shimmer shadows to be almost identical, and using them wet gives a more intense metallic gleam. Stick with their matte formula if you have more mature lids, it isn’t totally flat and its lack of sheen won’t settle into lines or extenuate dryness. As with any shadow, I’d recommend using a primer first so the powders have something to cling to. I liked their color selection and formula. I wish I’d chosen some brighter shades though, why do I always do neutrals?

Satin Matte Eyeshadow Chocolat, Luminous Shimmer Eyeshadow Tigereye, Pearluster Eyeshadow Taupe, Pearluster Eyeshadow Grace

Eyeshadow Swatches: Same order as above. Matte, Shimmer, Pearluster, Pearluster.

Satin Matte Eyeshadow Chocolat, Luminous Shimmer Eyeshadow Tigereye, Pearluster Eyeshadow Taupe, Pearluster Eyeshadow Grace

Sample Jar Sizing: You could get a few months out of the sample jars since just a small amount does the trick.

If you’re looking for a reasonably priced color line with safe ingredients, Alima is as pure as it gets. Check out their site and wrangle up a few samples of whatever strikes your fancy, $1.50 is a heck of a deal.

Alima Pure

The Legendary 88 Palette

Leave it to an 18 year old to school me on makeup. I could give lectures on just about everything you see at Sephora but when it comes to the well kept secrets lurking online, I’m clueless. My girl Jacqueline is a young makeup diva who knows well the ins and outs of cheap makeup that’s fun and stays put, so I asked her about the legendary 88 palette I’ve come across a few times. If you Google it you’ll see that many companies carry it and offer it up and varying prices. THIS one is being offered on Amazon for $22, BH Cosmetics sells these 88′s for around $16, but Costal Scents is where I bought this original 88 palette for $19. She told me to get it there in spite of the awful site which looks like the first website ever constructed. She assured me it was fine so I went for it and Costal Scents delivered my palette in 3 days, no problems. I’d order from them again.

I didn’t expect much from the palette honestly, I thought I’d use the brighter shades for an occasional pop of color but not much more. I used them on myself first on their own with no other powder shadows and always using a primer first (of course). Their color payoff is rich, laydown easy, and blending seamless. They aren’t chalky or heavy looking because you don’t need to use a lot to get the look you want. The color stayed strong all day without fading or creasing – I’m impressed. I trusted them enough to use them for 2 photo shoots this past week and found that they didn’t budge after many hours of hot lighting. They’re that good.

If you want some new, fun colors on the cheap, or if you’re a Makeup Artist who needs some variety without breaking the bank, this palette is your new BFF.

click to enlarge

Sunscreen Plus… SPF’s With a Kick

I’m going to assume that you’re wearing some sort of sun protection daily, no matter what. We all know that even the smallest doses of daily sun can bring on spotting, wrinkling, and a loss of firmness.

If you’re looking for more than just a sunscreen, here are a few skin protectors that offer more than SPF alone.

Sunscreen Plus… A Sheer Skin Perfecter:

Sheer Tint Release is Esteé Lauder’s latest addition to their best-selling DayWear collection, it has all the benefits of the original moisturizer (antioxidants, SPF 15, quick absorption) but with an added skin-perfecting tint that blends perfectly into most skin tones. It’s a subtle hint of color that gives skin an even, more polished look that’s totally undetectable.

Sunscreen Plus… Age Prevention:

Of course the best age prevention for your skin is the sunscreen itself, but Daily Defense SPF 30 from Priori’s Advanced AHA line offers a blend of Lactic Acid to increase moisture and encourage skin cell renewal.

Sunscreen Plus… Primer:

Even the most sensitive skin can rock Coola’s FACE Mineral Sunblock as a tinted primer because it’s a gentle chemical-free SPF 20. Just because it’s mineral based (Titanium and Zinc), don’t expect the old school chalky finish, this light lotion gives a gorgeous glow you’d expect from a serious makeup line.

Sula Beauty Paint & Peel Polish

Can’t wait to try Paint & Peel from Sula Beauty, the non-toxic nail polish that stays on beautifully until you peel it away. It’s formaldehyde free and touted ‘green’ because you use fewer chemicals since you don’t need remover to take it off.

Sula Paint & Peel $9

TSA Approved Beauty Essentials

Happy New Year!

They say some 35% of people intend on traveling from now until the end of February to catch some post-holiday sun and relaxation. If you’re lucky enough to get away this winter, here are a few TSA-friendly finds that will hopefully make packing the least stressful part of your trip.

Evolution of Smooth, or eos as it’s known, is the most fun you’ll ever have using a lip balm. It’s a 95% certified organic paraben free formula with an application like no other. It’s a dome of balm that I twist onto my puckered lips and wiggle back and forth a bit until I can feel it’s worked in. Their twist apart design ensures that you don’t have to come close to touching anything inside (yuk airport germs), and since the entire balm is exposed it’s a snap to sanitize.

I’ve been carrying around a space-saving (about 2 inches in diameter) shea butter based Coola Hand Lotion Bar in my bag recently. Solid lotion bars are so concentrated that just a few swipes will do, without a hint of greasiness left behind.

I’ve had to check a bag because of my skin care, you might be able to relate? Murad has the cutest travel sized skin care in their new Sun Undone kit. You’ll get a Cleanser, Active Radiance Serum, SPF 30 Moisturizer, and Spot Lightening Gel with Vitamin C and Hydraquinone to lighten and brighten sun spotting and acne scaring so you can treat and repair your skin on the road.

It makes no sense to take along your regular sized shampoo and conditioner, but buying a small Pert Plus at the drugstore isn’t all that appealing either. Caviar by Alterna is one of the most popular hair collections of all time, known as the first anti-aging hair care. This Caviar travel kit is a popular pick complete with the iconic shampoo and conditioner, a mini hairspray and their new Overnight Rescue Treatment to renew and de-stress overworked hair while you sleep.

Airports = germs. I am obsessed with the new Anti-Bacterial Moisturizing Hand Cream from Clean. It’s an instant hand sanitizer disguised as a hand cream with 4 hours of germ defense. It leaves skin feeling neutral, not overly moisturized with no scent whatsoever.

Osmotics anti-Wrinkle Vitamin C Patches

Nothing like a straight shot of Vitamin C to get your skin livened up. I’ve been using these Anti-Wrinkle Vitamin C Patches from Osmotics, their answer to lifeless, lined skin. In the kit you’ll find 12 sets of 2 patches infused with straight Sodium Ascorbate and Ascorbic Acid that adhere to the skin overnight delivering a big dose of C into targeted areas where you’d like to see fewer wrinkles.

I’ve been using them around my eyes to lessen my crow’s feet which are more pronounced these days since I’m off Botox again**.  They are a short-term solution, but a good one nonetheless. I can see a softening of lines and improvement in clarity in the morning after I wear them especially after a couple of wears a week. If you’re looking to stave off Botox (or make the most of Botox injections), or to target-treat facial wrinkling for special occasions, this is a pretty solid solution for a reasonable price ($48).

** This update is subject to change depending on how wrinkly I can tolerate seeing myself.

Osmotics Anti-Wrinkle Vitamin C Patches