Recently I got the opportunity to try my very first Alima Pure items. Naturally, I'm very excited about this as I've hear nothing but good things about Alima. The colors I got to try are all from the brand new holiday collection- a fairy-tale themed set of ethereal, sparkling colors.
The Alima Fairy Tale collection consists of four eyeshadows plus three multi-purpose products
- Fairy Godmother is a medium purple with a generous serving of silver sparkle.
- Glass Slipper is a soft, silvery yellow.
- Spun Gold is a deeper golden shade (that may or may not match the princess’ golden locks).
- Enchanted Forest is a soft taupe sprinkled with gold and silver shimmer.
- Poison Apple is a rosy blush with a peachy shimmer.
- Magic Wand is a magical, do-anything nude shimmer with multi-toned sparkle that can be worn on the eyes, cheeks or décolleté.
- The End is the final touch, an almost-black eyeliner, sparked with diamond-like silver shimmer.
Indoors, in sunlight and blurred to show the pretty shimmer. Please do enlarge to view detail.
Left to right: Glass Slipper, Spun Gold, Enchanted Forest, Fairy Godmother, The End, Magic Wand, Poison Apple.
What I like most about these is the beautiful delicate shimmer in all the colors. It's not over the top or glittery, but it's enough to keep me interested. And if you look closely you'll see that the shimmer is iridescent and shifts colors slightly in the sunlight. Very magical.
I dig the color selection, too. Golds and bronzes are really easy for me to wear and don't leave me scrambling for ideas on how to use them. I like that there's a dark color good for lining and deepening a crease color and that there's a universal highlighting color that compliments the rest of the shades in the collection. Sometimes a palette or collection will have only a frosty white for higlighting- one of my pet peeves- but this has a soft, neutral, subtle highlight shade.
The owner of the company warned me ahead of time that these would be more of a light, sheer veil of color because they're loose minerals, and that's what they are. I know that a lot of people prefer a lighter, less-pigmented wash of color that can be worn subtle or built up for more impact, so if that's what you like, these would be perfect for you.
Me? I'm more of a bold, sparkly, super-pigmented eyeshadow fan, and to my delight, these can be that also. The trick? Use them wet. I'm in the habit of using loose or mineral shadows wet anyway, so this wasn't an issue for me. You can quickly transform a sheer, sparkly wash of neutral gold into a bold, shiny foil gold with the addition of a little water or mixing medium.
All the eyeshadow colors work very well on my dark brown eyes, but I think these are just universally flattering colors anyway. I haven't seen anyone look bad in soft neutral gold shadow.
The blush is super pretty but tends to look a little too warm on my fair/cool skintone. It makes a really pretty eyeshadow, though!
The highlighting powder- Magic Wand- might be my favorite thing in the collection. Like I mentioned above, it's not a bright white frosty color. It has a brightening effect but it doesn't draw attention to the fact that you're wearing it like a frost white highlighter tends to do. It's soft and natural and has just enough shimmer to give it a glowy, magical look. It's great high up on the cheekbones but it's excellent for blending shadow colors on my brow bone. It goes really well with my skin tone and doesn't look obvious. It's perfect.
The liner color- The End- is a very soft smoky black. It's more grey or charcoal than black. It's nice for making a subtle smoky eye and it's really nice on the lashline as a shadow liner. Use it wet for a more bold line and to deepen the color. I find it to be a little light for my eyelining tastes- I like my black to be extremely black- but the sparkle in the color makes it a great shadow color.
Since this is my first time using Alima, one of the things that formed my initial impression of the brand is the packaging. Shallow as it may be, first impressions do matter, so it's best to make a good one! Alima definitely did. My package arrived carefully and beautifully packed, wrapped in pretty tissue paper with stickers. The ingredients, business cards, press materials and brand info are all printed on beautiful and professional looking cards and envelopes. The jars are very nice, clean, attractive and professional looking. They have a little bird stamped on top! They're cute without being cutesy.
Packaging really does matter to me. Sometimes I feel uneasy about using indie brands. I wonder about the ingredients, how they're produced and in what type of conditions... Did someone make this in their kitchen next to a pile of dirty dishes with a cat walking across the kitchen counter? You never know. But, seeing a clean, well-designed and professional type of packaging makes me feel confident that a lot of care and attention went into the products. It also doesn't hurt that they look nice on your vanity. That's another one of my issues with home-made/etailer/indie type products (especially bath and body items)- I don't feel right giving them as gifts because the packaging looks so sloppy and careless. But, with packaging like this, you can be proud to present them to someone.
I know that the packaging doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things- it's the product inside that counts, but the outside appearance of a product does make quite a powerful impression on me.
The price of these products is quite reasonable- the set of 4 shadows or the set with the highlighter, blush and eyeliner are each $25, with $2 of the purchase price being donated to the Global Fund for Women. That's about $6.25 for a full sized shadow with good quality and classy packaging. That's a steal, in my opinion.
So, what can I say about my first experience with Alima minerals? It was definitely a good one. I liked the quality of the products and I loved the packaging. The shadows were smooth and silky and easy to apply. My interactions with the owner of the company made me feel confident about the quality of the product and the professionalism of the company. She was communicative, answered all of my questions, chatted with me about nail polish (!!!) and was generally kind, friendly and responsive.
Is there anything I didn't like? The only things I can think of are that there's aren't a lot of bright or bold colors in the line, but this doesn't really seem like a bright candy colors type of line. It seems to have mostly classic traditional colors with a few exciting ones thrown in. That, and that the website is a little hard to navigate. There are a lot of categories with little pop-out menus and it makes it sorta hard to find what I'm looking for. I also couldn't figure out a way to add more than one item at a time to my cart which makes for a slightly tedious shopping experience.
Overall, I really liked everything I tried from Alima and I'd definitely want to try more of their colors in the future. Oh, one more thing... my mom loves their stuff, too :)
This collection is limited edition for holiday 2010.
(These were sent to me for review.)