If I think about it, I’ve been wearing makeup of one kind or another for nearly 40 years. I remember teenaged experiments with a brand called “Love” (thank you, Donovan, and what was that bottle supposed to resemble?) and years of wearing old-fashioned cake mascara as some kind of statement. But my (recent) stand-bys have been traditional, better department-store brands, and I never really thought about what was in them. Nor was I aware of mineral makeup until I started hearing about it on TIA. So I jumped at the chance to review a couple of eyeshadow offerings from Alima Pure (maker of a full line of mineral cosmetics) when TIA suggested it.

As I’ve gotten older I’ve actually learned to use a lighter hand with makeup, for all the obvious reasons – though I have yet to part with my red lipstick. So my eye makeup approach over the last number of years is distinctly low-key and neutral: a light-colored shadow over the upper lid and brow area, and a darker tone worked into the crease and out, followed with a soft brown liner pencil and (ample) mascara. Thus from the shades TIA had on offer, I selected Alima’s Pearluster Eyeshadow in “Ballerina” (a pink-y beige) and the Satin Matte Eyeshadow in “Dove” (a very soft taupe/gray/brown) based on what I could glean from the company’s website (which does a good job of describing the products and the shades available). While Alima also offers some lovely brights and more intense tones, these looked to be squarely in my comfort zone.

When the little pots arrived, both were consistent with what I had hoped for in color and luminosity. My first concern was whether I could apply them to good effect: I’m used to pressed eyeshadow compacts, I’m not artistic, and I wasn’t sure I could handle these ethereal loose powders well. I needn’t have worried. Even for someone as inept as I am, they cling nicely to the brush and go on easily and smoothly. In fact, one advantage of the format, I think, is that you can more easily control the amount and depth of each application, whether very sheer, or more intense. (I also experimented with using a wet brush, which can provide greater coverage and depth of color.)

The colors went on (and stayed) well, and performed as well as any eyeshadow I’ve used. The Pearluster Shadow does have some iridescence but it is not excessive, just a nice luminosity. The Satin Matte is indeed just that. Alima offers a third shadow family: the Luminous Shimmer Eyeshadow looks to be more dramatic than those I tried. (There are also two eyeliner products, Luminous Shimmer and Satin Matte.) The range of colors is impressive. There are 20 shades of Pearluster, 31 in Satin Matte, and 49 shown for Luminous Shimmer. They look great. (And all of them are $11 for the .08 oz standard size.)

Alima’s site has commentary on ingredients – both those found in traditional cosmetics and those used in Alima’s products. The overall claim is that the brand’s products contain “nothing but the finest minerals, specially processed to be light, silky and stay on your skin. Some minerals provide the color, others provide the opacity and - in shimmery products - the sparkle. Some minerals naturally protect skin from the sun and environment and happily, these are minerals common to almost every product we make.” You can find the ingredient glossary under the Tips & Advice tab Mineral Makeup 101.

In an appropriate coincidence, Kristen’s recent, interesting article on picking eyeshadow colors was posted on the day I started writing this review. While I think I will stick with neutrals, Alima offers a wide and appealing choice. I am very pleased with these two – I certainly don’t feel I’ve given up anything at all in going with mineral eyeshadow – and in fact will gladly buy them myself when the testers run out.

Ingredients in Pearluster Eyeshadow: Mica (CI 77019). May contain: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499)

Ingredients in Satin Matte Eyeshadow: Mica (CI 77019). May contain: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Ultramarines (CI 77007)