03 November 2010

Alima Pure: mineral makeup with a green conscience

Hello there, and welcome back! It’s so nice of you to check in with us once again following yesterday’s mineral makeup primer. For those of you seeking safer, eco-friendly alternatives for your cosmetic bag, you’ve come to the right place. As promised, today we’re going to focus on the mineral-based cosmetics offered by Alima Pure, a company that offers green glamour that’s as good for your body as it is for your heart and eco-soul through transparency and full disclosure.

Featuring a vast color palette of natural-looking foundation powders, concealers and blushes as well as eyeliners, eye shadows and lip balms that range in tone from subdued all the way to party time, Alima Pure’s cosmetic line embraces mineral pigments in all of their natural glory. In fact, the majority of their products contain an average of just two to four simple ingredients mined right from the earth, such as mica (from a family of glittering silicate minerals), iron oxides (derived from purified oxidized iron) and titanium dioxide (a highly refractive white pigment).

Countless companies have jumped on the mineral makeup bandwagon in recent years, but what makes Alima Pure particularly notable is the certification they’ve received from the Federation of German Industries and Trading Firms (BDIH). The European organization only awards their seal of approval to a select list of companies that fulfill exacting natural cosmetics standards including the fulfillment of various eco-friendly guidelines. Alima Pure also happens to be a PETA member and they practice what they preach not only by never testing their cosmetics on animals but also by selling applicator brushes made with hypoallergenic Taklon fiber (rather than animal fur).

But you want to know how their cosmetics work, don’t you? Alrighty then, let’s cut to the chase. In addition to providing us several different color samples of their micronized Satin Matte Foundation, Alima Pure also furnished us with their limited edition eye shadow/eyeliner/blush holiday color collections, including “Happily Ever After” and “Once Upon A Time”.

Old school foundation fans are probably accustomed to continually dabbing creamy flesh-toned product onto their skin with a foam wedge until all signs of their freckles and other slight imperfections are entirely erased. While powdered foundation still enables users to achieve an eye-catching supermodel look, their natural attributes are still able to shine through (which is a huge plus for nature-lovin’ girls). Dipping a wide fluffy brush into a bit of Alima Pure’s finely milled silky powder is all you really need for a light but effective priming effect that removes excess complexion shine while bestowing the skin with a nice smooth finish. A little bit goes a long way, which is also great from a wallet and planetary perspective.

Their “Happily Ever After” collection, containing a golden eye shadow in “Magic Wand”, a sparklingly-smoky powder eyeliner in “The End” and a rose-tinged blush in “Poison Apple”, offers a complementary range of tones that perfectly encapsulate the jeweled splendor of the holiday season. Similarly, their “Once Upon A Time” collection of eye shadows – including gold-tinged “Spun Gold” and “Glass Slipper” tones as well as their sultry purple “Fairy Godmother” and burnished bronze “Enchanted Forest” varieties enable wearers to shine brightly without looking like a kitschy holiday ornament.

In all cases, each product went on smoothly and managed to go the distance until it was washed off with simple soap and water. One caveat to bear in mind – since the pigments are milled so finely and poured loosely into plastic containers rather than compressed into conventional-style ‘cakes’, you need to exercise a little finesse to ensure that the majority of the product ends up on your face rather than around your bathroom counter. When applying eye colors in particular, placing a tissue over each cheek might (and directly under the eye you’re working on) might help prevent mineral fall-out, making you look less like a Vincent Van Gogh creation and more like the glammed-up gal that you really are.

Depending on the amount of product you choose to load onto your brush, you can easily transition from a day to nighttime look with minimal time and effort. For mineral makeup novices (and even old pros), it’s definitely worth reviewing Alima Pure’s cosmetic application tips which run the gamut from precisely how to use each of their products and how to select the best foundation for your skin tone to how you can best incorporate mineral makeup into your repertoire, even if your skin is on the dry side. Those who align themselves with conscientious corporations might also be pleased to learn that Alima Pure is a member of 1 Percent For The Planet, meaning that they donate 1% of their gross revenue to a network of 2,271 global eco-organizations working on behalf of the our environment.

Furthermore, they carefully assess the eco-impact of their manufacturing/daily business waste and incorporate greener staples along the way such as washable cleaning cloths and reusable pens. In addition to repurposing raw material packaging within their facility, they mail products out to customers in simple eco-friendly glassine envelopes cushioned with minimal tissue paper, all of which is wrapped in a surprisingly protective (and highly recyclable) outer single sheet of waffle-cut brown kraft paper.

Recycling is certainly high on their list of priorities. Like other notable cosmetics recycling programs, Alima Pure rewards those who return five of their full-sized ‘empties’ with a free eye shadow of their choice (a $9 value), plus they happily accept sample size returns (which cost just $1 each to purchase). If that’s not enough to whet your appetite, their Pure Points program offers the proverbial cherry on the top with 1 point/$1.00 off a future purchase for each $10 in Alima Products you buy, proving that all that glimmers really is eco-gold. Maybelline who?

Elizah Leigh | @elizahleigh
A dedicated green journalist and currently commissioned to write a comprehensive reference book on vegetarianism, Elizah Leigh hopes to inspire people through her words. Follow Elizah on Facebook.

Photo credit: Alima Pure