Review: Almay Pure Blends

Friday, February 27, 2009




Almay is the latest in drugstore brands to embrace the natural and eco-conscious trend in cosmetics.

They recently launched a new branch of the line called Pure Blends, which features liquid foundation, loose powder, blush, lip gloss, mineral makeup, and eyeshadows.

I have tried each item in the line and have been testing them out now for several weeks.

My Take:


Pure Blends is not nearly as good as Organic Wear by Physicians Formula. Organic Wear outshines Pure Blends almost every step of the way, even though much of the Organic Wear line could use improvements in terms of the quality and convenience of packaging.

This is not to say that Pure Blends is bad. It isn't. It just feels like the company was in a hurry to compete in this ever-growing market and quickly threw together this new range. The products I enjoyed are STELLAR. The products I didn't like at all were bad. Really bad. 

There is no middle ground. I felt 2 products were fabulous and will definitely be purchased again, while 3 were just terrible.



Eyeshadow:

The Eyeshadow is a dream. I lightly dusted my lids with a mineral finishing powder to hold the shadows longer. The formula applies with ease. The texture is just divine--very soft and silky without being shiny. The colors are true and this lasted all day. The part part? The price! These were just over $7 each at Ulta. However, I bought them when they were Buy 1, Get 1 Free and then used a $3.50 coupon. I ended up with 4 eyeshadows for $11.50!

Seriously, if you are looking for an eyeshadow that applies and blends with ease, provides true colors and lasts all day, run over to the store and buy these! I would avoid the colors with reddish/deeper hues (such as the cinnamon shade). The ingredients lists says "...may contain carmine" and carmine is crushed female insects. You can always call customer service (as I often do) to find out specifically which shades contain carmine. I wish companies would stop saying "may contain" and label each specific color to take the guesswork out of it for the consumer. 

I purchased: Stone, Oatmeal, Steel, Ivory

Ingredients: Mica, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Lipids, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Zinc Stearate, Squalane, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Kaolin, Lecithin, Phospholipids, Euterpe Oleracea (Acai) Fruit Extract, Citrus Junos (Yuzu) Peel Extract, Nelumbo Nucifera (Lotus) Flower Extract, Cymbidium Grandiflorum (Orchid) Flower Extract, Viola Tricolor (Wild Pansy) Extract, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Sorbic Acid. May Contain: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, 77492, 77499), Chromium Oxide Greens (CI 77288), Ultramarines (CI 77007), Carmine (CI 75470).



Blush:

Again, another fantastic product in this line. I prefer the convenience of a round pot, other than these old Cover Girl-style compacts from the late 80s. That being said, I am very picky about quality and ease of packaging, so do not let my own complaint about this deter you. 

The actual product itself is wonderful. My most favorite blush, for reference, is Lancome Blush Subtil. I try not to use this favorite of mine (since the 90s) because the ingredients aren't that great, but if you have used this you will know the texture I prefer in my blushes.

I apply this Pure Blends blush in Orchid with one of two brushes--either the slanted brush for blush from Everyday Minerals, or else my Eco Tools brush. The color, again, is true. Texture is soft and luxurious for a low cost blush. This is far better than the Organic Wear blush, which yields a choppy look.

This is one of the best "green" blushes on the market in any price range. Again, please take notice of the carmine as a possible ingredient if this is an issue for you.

Ingredients: Mica, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Kaolin, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Lipids, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Squalane, Zinc Stearate, Euterpe Oleracea (Acai) Fruit Extract, Citrus Junos (Yuzu) Peel Extract, Nelumbo Nucifera (Lotus) Flower Extract, Cymbidium Grandiflorum (Orchid) Flower Extract, Viola Tricolor (Wild Pansy) Extract, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Phospholipids, Lecithin, Sorbic Acid. May Contain: Iron Oxides (CI 77491, 77492, 77499), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77981), Carmine (CI 75470), Ultramarines (CI 77007).


Lip Gloss:

I would like to find something positive to say. I cannot, unless I tell you that Fig looked great in the tube on the shelf. That is it.

This was very, very disappointing. The texture is horrible. It was thick and sticky, while being drippy and greasy at the same time. It had a strong, plastic type taste as well. The color did not look like the color in the tube at all. I found that it went on with almost a greenish tint (in a pinkish-brown). It almost looked as if I applied a soft olive green on top of a nude raisin. Not flattering. Nothing about this worked for me.

Ingredients: Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Punica Granatum Sterols, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Euterpe Oleracea (Acai) Fruit Extract, Citrus Junos (Yuzu) Peel Extract, Nelumbo Nucifera (Lotus) Flower Extract, Cymbidium Grandiflorum (Orchid) Flower Extract, Viola Tricolor (Wild Pansy) Extract, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit, Litsea Cubeba Fruit Oil, Sorbic Acid. May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, 77492, 77499), Yellow 6 (CI 15985), Red 6 (CI 15850), Red 7 (CI 15850), Carmine (CI 75470).

Loose Finishing Powder:

Another dud. This was highly scented, first of all. While it may be fragrance free, it has a strong scent. I also do not like the fact that silica is in this in such high concentrations. I applied this over the liquid makeup which I will review below. It was very chalky and gave me a caked on look, even though I applied it very lightly with a kabuki brush. I wouldn't recommend or repurchase this one either. I chose this in Translucent Matte.

Ingredients: Mica, Lauroyl Lysine, Silica, Lecithin, Euterpe Oleracea (Acai) Fruit Extract, Citrus Junos (Yuzu) Peel Extract, Nelumbo Nucifera (Lotus) Flower Extract, Cymbidium Grandiflorum (Orchid) Flower Extract, Viola Tricolor (Wild Pansy) Extract, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Sorbic Acid, Iron Oxides (CI 77491, 77492, 77499), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77981).

Liquid Makeup:

This was by far the worst of the bunch. It was absolutely horrible. This has a light coverage, which is fine. I adore tinted moisturizers and a light coverage. This wasn't easily blendable and I have spent lots of time over the years blending makeup on others and myself.

As with the powder, this was very fragrant. All of the floral extracts make this very strongly scented and it was extremely irritating to my skin. After one day of use, I had two whiteheads on my nose and itchy redness on my cheeks. A glutton for punishment, I applied this a second day. My face felt very warm and became red again, with visibly clogged pores by that night. This product also contains Borax, which I wouldn't want to put on my face.

You all know I am very good at taking care of my skin, and this was clearly the trigger for me.

The color (Naked) looked fine when first applied and then oxidized within an hour. This was just a bad, bad foundation all around.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Squalane, Glycerin, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Euterpe Oleracea (Acai) Sterols, Sucrose Laurate, Cetyl Alcohol, Cellulose, Stearic Acid, Euterpe Oleracea (Acai) Fruit Extract, Citrus Junos (Yuzu) Peel Extract, Nelumbo Nucifera (Lotus) Flower Extract, Cymbidium Grandiflorum (Orchid) Flower Extract, Viola Tricolor (Wild Pansy) Extract, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Phospholipids, Aniba Rosaeodora (Rosewood) Wood Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil, Xanthan Gum, Glyceryl Stearate, Alcohol, Silica, Sodium Borate, Caprylyl Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol. May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, 77492, 77499).


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