Thursday, June 23, 2011

UPDATED with new photos: Alima Pure Blush Review and Swatches

Over the past few months, I've accumulated quite the collection of Alima blushes.  There are, however, still a ton of colors I want to try, because their blush selection is really, really big.  The online color swatches are not always the most accurate (Freja, for example, looks nothing like its swatch), but the color descriptions are pretty accurate, so I would suggest relying on those rather than the images.
I've used up or given away a few of the shades I had, so I sadly cannot provide swatches of them, but here are my thoughts on them.

Tulip: The very first Alima blush I got, this was a free sample baggie sent with my order.  It is a very pale, very cool matte blush ("cool pale pink") that is actually impossible to overdo.  If you are pale and cool or neutral, I would give Tulip a shot.  I think it could make anyone darker than, say, medium (or even light-medium) look ashy and washed-out, but it's a fool-proof cool lilac blush for the lighter folk!  I also found that, because it's so pale, the coolness was wearable on me, unlike…

Lotus: This is, in my mind, the more pigmented, shimmery counterpart to Tulip ("pure, cool pink").  On the plus side, you don't have to use very much at all to get a nice flush, though you should definitely blend heartily to minimize the shimmer and look glowy, not disco-bally.  On the downside, the added pigment makes it very clear that it is a cool blush, and therefore suited best for Cools and Neutrals.  It was just a smidge too cool for me, but I gave it to one of my cooler-toned friends, and I hope it works on her (Z, if you see this, let me know what you think of it)!

Geranium: This was another free sample baggie, and on the opposite side of the pigmentation spectrum from Tulip.  This stuff is super pigmented (it is, quite aptly, described as a "deep neutral rose-pink").  I found I could make it work if I blended it with other, lighter blushes, but using it on its own resulted in blotchy clown cheeks on me.  On my Indian friend, however, it was gorgeous--it added a lovely red flush to her cheeks without looking garish.  This is definitely a blush best suited for the darker-complected (and probably warmer ones, at that).

The rest of the blushes are still extant in my collection, so I have included swatches (heavily applied with a q-tip).  In no particular order:

Mimosa in sunlight
Mimosa: This is a lovely, muted matte peachy-pink ("pale apricot pink").  I find it to be similar to Tulip in its ease of application and impossible-to-overdoability, but it's a better shade for my complexion.  It can be built up more than Tulip, though it's still very subtle.

Apple Blossom in sunlight
Apple Blossom: Similar to Tulip, but darker and not quite as lilac, this is a soft, pale, cool-neutral matte pink ("soft pale pink").  This is really light and airy, making it more suited for lighter folks.  Apple Blossom is quite cool and pink compared to Mimosa's peachiness.  I find both Mimosa and Apple Blossom to be very subtle shades, which makes them easy to apply, but they're definitely best for a natural look for palies.

Freja in sunlight
Freja: Like Mimosa, Freja is a peachy-pink ("light-to-medium warm pink with very subtle shimmer"), but it's more pigmented and shimmery.  This was a free sample, and I am so, so glad Alima chose it to send to me, because I never would have picked it based on the swatch picture.  This is probably my favorite blush of the bunch, because it's bright enough to only need a little bit, but not so bright that I have to be super-careful about my application.  I also find the shimmer to be easily blended into a nice glow (I'm oily enough as it is, I don't need anything emphasizing my pores even more!), and the resulting blush flush is natural but bright enough to perk up my face.  One thing I've noticed is that cool-toned blushes often make me look like I'm sick, so peachy-pinks tend to be better for a healthy glow.  Fun fact: in the Victorian era, sickly women were often found more desirable than healthy, because it was thought to reflect their inner lassitude and intellectual barrenness.  Lotus would have then been an ideal choice for me!

Dahlia in sunlight, out of focus to show shimmer

Dahlia in sunlight
Dahlia: This was one of the colors that got great reviews on MUA, so I finally caved and ordered it.  While the color ("medium neutral rose") is, indeed, lovely, I just don't quite like it on me.  It's a little too bronzey for my taste, and it has a LOT of sparkle, more so than Freja.  On someone darker and/or warmer, I think it could make a great blush-bronzer-highlighter combo.

Here are all the blushes lined up:
In sunlight, top to bottom: Dahlia, Freja, Mimosa, Apple Blossom

The blushes are all lovely in their own right, but some of them are too pale, while others are too pigmented, so I definitely recommend reading the descriptions before buying anything.  Those shades deemed "pale" or "soft" are generally best for those who wear foundation in the 0-1 range, since they barely show up on me, and "deep" and "rich" are aimed towards those with darker skin.  "Medium" would probably work well on most skin depths, since it can be sheered out or built up equally well.  I also think Alima blushes are great for those just getting started with MMU, because they are immensely forgiving of mistakes, especially if you stick with the lighter shades.

Quality: 8.5 (blendable, soft, smooth, but the variation in pigmentation and fading over the course of the day knocks this score down a bit)
Effectiveness: 4.25
Ease of Use: 4.5
Senses: 5
Pigmentation: 4
Duration: 4
Consistency: 5
Price: 4.25 (samples are $1.50 for a jar that, with the more intensely pigmented shades, will last several weeks (at least a couple of weeks for the lighter shades, too), but full-price is $17, which is a wee bit painful)
Value: 4.75 (the pigmented shades would get a 10, because you need so little product for each application, while the lighter shades would get an 8)
Packaging: -0.25 (the jars don't come with sifters, so there is a considerable risk of dumping out far more product than is needed--this has happened to me many times, and is always irritating)
Grade: B+

What about you?  Have you used any Alima blushes?  What did you think?  Any of these shades catch your eye?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...