When ILIA reached out and offered to send some products over, I nearly fell off my chair.
ILIA Beauty are a clean beauty brand that infuses their makeup with skincare and (unlike some other clean beauty brands) recognises that not every natural ingredient is good for the skin, likewise not all synthetic ones are bad. Their founder, Sasha, wasn’t content with the clean makeup she found on the market as it didn’t perform well. She set out to create her own line that had roots in natural ingredients, be safe to use, look good and perform exceptionally. I personally think she has nailed each one of these with ILIA – I have never found a clean makeup line like it!
I was completely bowled over by the generosity of the brand when they sent over basically a full face of makeup, so here are my thoughts on what was sent over:
True Skin Radiant Priming Serum
I personally love a primer, so I was really excited to get to try out a new one. This one comes in a tall bottle with a dropper and (as the name suggests) is a lovely, fresh serum. The primer has an amazing shimmer to it (as you can definitely see in the image below) to give a beautiful radiance to the skin, but not a noticeable glimmer once it’s applied. The primer contains hibiscus extract to protect against free radical damage, while beta-glucan helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and Mastic (a resin from a tree from the Greek island of Chios) works to mattify and refine the skin throughout the day. It is silicone, fragrance and gluten free. Some people have said that it helps to balance out skin tone but I can’t say I’ve noticed that as I don’t have a lot of time in the mornings and move straight on to foundation. It definitely preps the skin well for makeup and leaves the skin feeling really hydrated for makeup application. When it dries down, there is a slight tackiness but not in a bothersome sense at all. I haven’t really tried a serum primer before – usually the primers I use feel a bit silicone-y or they are a gel, but this one is unlike any other.
True Skin Serum Foundation
This is a really lovely medium coverage foundation that can be built up to for a more full coverage look or sheered out to a lighter coverage. For a serum foundation, it is not as liquidy as you would expect but feels fabulously light on the skin. It contains a blend of botanical actives (including aloe leaf, jojoba, marula and rosehip oils) that help to plump the skin, soothe irritations and reduce redness all while ensuring that the product melts effortlessly into the skin for a more even, luminous base. Pores are minimised and imperfections are blurred to give the ‘your skin but better’ effect. This foundation is cruelty free, gluten free, vegan and non-comedogenic.
This has become my everyday foundation because it holds up so well. My average day of makeup wearing is 12+ hours, with 2 sweaty commutes and an hour long walk in between. While this will still break down in certain areas (between the nose and mouth particularly), it is never noticeable. By the end of the day, my base still looks really beautiful and skin like. I have only ever found that my Clinique Fit foundation lasts as well as this (and this is made to hold up well with sweat). I don’t think it is advertised as a long lasting product, but it really is! I usually wear this as a light-medium foundation, but I do find when I build this up a little more that some of my lines are a bit more visible (smile lines around my mouth). I don’t see this as an issue with the foundation, but rather that I went too heavy handed with it – but just be aware that that can happen!
There are 18 shades in total at the moment, and 2/3 of them sit within the light/medium category. This is a decent start but I think ILIA can do better. I would want to see a shade extension to give a much wider variety of shades for those with darker skin, adding an entirely new category to expand on ‘deep’. I’m hopeful that with the recent shift towards inclusion in beauty that this will happen pretty imminently.
True Skin Serum Concealer
I was very impressed with this concealer. After trying the foundation, which was quite liquidy and light coverage, this had a lot more coverage than I was expecting! It contains stabilised vitamin C, mastic and albizia julibrissin bark extract to protect from environmental aggressors and mattify the area all while firming, soothing and nourishing the skin’s surface. While it says that mastic helps to mattify, it does not have a matte finish, nor does it make any area look dry. Upon application, this immediately fixes any dark circles or darkness under the eyes and makes the area look flawless. It can be used to add additional coverage for other areas of the face and has a really beautiful finish.
When I set this with my Hourglass Ambient Lighting powders, it basically wiped the concealer off and made me look as though I had some sort of skin condition? It was very strange. Once I re-applied it and didn’t set it, it was totally fine but also didn’t crease at all. I usually set my under eyes so that my lower lash mascara doesn’t transfer, so I was extra impressed that there was no transfer or creasing. This is definitely a concealer that does not require powder and sets and lasts beautifully on its own.
Clear Line Liquid Liner in Midnight Express
Thought I’m not an eyeliner expert, I do wear it pretty much every day. This is easily one of the best liquid liners I’ve tried because the felt tip applicator comes to a really small point and is nice and wet. The colour is a really dark matte black that doesn’t smudge at all and stays in place all day. It makes eyeliner application really quick and easy, which I love!
Limitless Lash Mascara
I’m always quite skeptical about trying new mascaras because I have my holy grail mascara that I haven’t strayed away from for 4 years (Benefit Roller Lash). However, I’ve been SO impressed with this one. The lightweight formula contains a blend of bee and carnauba waxes to condition the lashes while keeping them lifted. Because it contains bees wax, this one isn’t vegan but it is still cruelty free and gluten free.
This brush is really unique – on one side, the bristles go straight across, like the teeth on a comb and are spaced out evenly to separate the lashes. On the flip side, the bristles look softer and are on a curve to hug the lashes and give them some serious volume. I like to start with the curved softer side to lift the lashes and get a good coating on them before using the straight side to separate them out. The formula was good from the start – often mascaras are too wet when you first open them and it’s quite hard to get the effect that you’re after.
Colour Haze Multi-Matte Pigment in Waking Up
This is a multi use product for the cheeks and lips is really beautiful but I personally find it really hard to use. I just don’t think liquid blushes are for me. This contains jojoba oil and coconut oil to condition the lips and skin. It comes in a tube with a metal tipped applicator, much like a lip gloss or a high-end eye cream. I’m not sure how useful this is as a blush applicator really, because you wouldn’t tend to apply blush in this way. The blush itself is REALLY pigmented so the tiniest bit goes a really long way. I don’t find this the easiest to blend out because I apply so little (to avoid MASSIVE amounts of pigment on my cheeks) and when there is very little it dries quite quickly and is difficult to spread it out.
I can’t say I’ve tried it as a lip product yet, though the shade would make a lovely lip colour.
I find liquid blush really fiddly to use so it wouldn’t be my go-to blush. I’ve had to reapply my foundation over this a few times because it was far too pigmented and made me look like a doll with VERY rosy cheeks. I’m much more of a cream/powder blush kind of girl, but I know that this would be right up some people’s street.
Illuminator in Stella by Starlight
This is a really gorgeous shade when you look at it in the packaging… but unfortunately it doesn’t really translate onto the face. The product swatches really well on your hand but I found that it didn’t perform the same way on the face. I find the formula to be quite dry and hard, so you have to use quite a lot of pressure if applying from the stick or swirl your fingers quite a number of times to get a very limited colour pay off. You can use it directly out of the stick, though it disturbs the base and I’m suddenly very aware of how much I’m pulling at my skin to get the pay off. It’s much more effective to use your fingers to apply as it actually shows up and leaves the base intact. This is definitely a product for those looking for a more natural glow than anything particularly noticeable. I am someone that prefers a more noticeable highlight (though not a blinding one) and I would prefer a product that has a bit more pay off. This is probably the product I’ve used least from the brand just because the stick is so weirdly solid? I don’t really like to use products that are finickity and require a lot of time to perfect because it’s not time I have in the mornings. If the formula was a bit smoother and softer, this would be a lot better for me.
Colour Block High Impact Lipstick in Amberlight
I received the shade Amberlight and as soon as I took the top off, I gasped. I actually gasped. Me and my sister both agreed that this is the PERFECT nude shade for light skin. On my skin, this is the perfect pinky-nude, but on darker skin this would probably read a lot more pink. The finish is certainly not matte, but isn’t super glossy either. It goes perfectly with every eye look and just looks absolutely stunning. There is a slight brown-nude tone to it that goes really beautifully with autumn makeup looks now the weather is getting colder. I’ve been reaching for this non-stop and will definitely continue to do so!
Overall, I’ve never been so impressed by a brand, EVER. I posted on my Instagram stories that the shades of foundation and concealer the brand sent over to me were too dark and they reached out straight away and offered to send over a different shade. I was so impressed with that response and even more stunned when two new shades of both the foundation and the concealer arrived at my door. I have never experienced such excellent customer service from a brand. Although two of the products weren’t my cup of tea, I can still appreciate the quality and I don’t doubt that they will be for someone.
This is probably my first time dabbling in proper clean makeup and it has been an absolute pleasure. I would definitely put ILIA up there with my favourite makeup brands now and I have my eye on more of their products (namely their eyeshadow palettes and lip glosses… and maybe more of their lipsticks too!).
If you would like to try out any products from ILIA, I do have an affiliate link down below if you’d like to use it.
****All products were gifted by the brand with no obligation to review. I have fallen in love and all expressions of love are my own****
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