This post is sponsored by ILIA Beauty and ShopStyle.
One day I’m going to write about food again, I promise. In the meantime, though, I’ve been bitten by the beauty bug — and I’m kinda feeling it. Especially when I have the opportunity to try something new-to-me that turns out to be a total freaking home run. And the makeup haul that I just unboxed from ILIA Beauty is just that. We’re talking super highly-pigmented eye shadows, easily blendable all-over colors, highlighter that doesn’t make your face look like a unicorn’s bathmat. Even an everyday mascara that’s beautifully buildable.
Best yet. It’s clean, mostly vegan + cruelty-free.
I’ve talked before about how my beauty routine is probably 80% natural, so I’ve tried my fair share of clean + safe cosmetics, but still, there are a few items for which I’ve yet to find cleaner replacements that are still equally effective in terms of texture and color payout. So far, however, the ILIA Beauty line really impresses. We did this shoot at around 10:30am on a Sunday, and by the time we got home from a theater show that evening, everything looked more or less as it had 9 hours earlier. No creasing, crinkling, flaking or smudging. Even the blush and lip color, which I’ve been having a hard time replacing in my repertoire because I just haven’t found a cleaner alternative that I love, are earning themselves permanent spots in my makeup caddy. And the mascara, you guys. Well, I’ll share more details, below.
Here’s a rundown of the ILIA Beauty products I tried (and am pictured wearing in the photos, here), as well as my take on them.
Oh! And if you sign up for the ILIA Beauty newsletter using code HELLOTHERE, you can save 15% off your first order. Just visit ILIA Beauty and scroll all the way down to the footer to subscribe.
1. Limitless Lash Mascara (wearing After Midnight)
They Say: Our #1 best seller. Ninety-nine percent natural and 100% safe. It is the best and only clean mascara that works. It lifts, lengthens, and holds a curl like no other… all while being safe. Winner of Allure’s #1 Best Clean Mascara and the Glamour Beauty Award Winner. We cannot keep it in stock! Our fans, celebrities, and make-up artists swear by it.
My Take: I’ve got pretty short lashes, so this is the area of my face that’s most dramatically impacted by makeup — which is also to say, I tend to use a pretty heavy hand, and this product can handle it. I did one coat, then another, then a few little touch up strokes, then I feathered the edges out a bit, and never once was I punished for my tinkering. Builds up nicely without clumping, and the two-sided brush allows you to really layer on the product for volume and then comb it through for length.
2. Color Haze (wearing Before Today (dusty mauve); also tried Temptation (coral pink))
They Say: Designed for lip and cheek, this unique cream formula nourishes skin on contact and dries down to a soft wash of color with a modern matte finish, especially on the lips.
My Take: A little goes a long way here, but again the result is super buildable if you use a conservative hand to start. In the videos on the website, they show the model literally blending a smear of Color Haze directly into her cheek; however, I had better success putting a dab on the back of my hand and tapping it only my cheeks with a beauty blender. Totally smooth, not sticky. I tried both Before Today — a little cooler, perfect for the holidays — and Temptation, which is a bit more peachy-pink and will probably be my go-to color for every season except for this one.
3. The Necessary Eyeshadow Palette (wearing Teardrop and Just from the Cool Nude palette)
They Say: A clean, talc free formula that delivers bold, crease proof pigment with a buttery soft texture to take you from day to night.
My Take: True story: the first time I put this eyeshadow on, the brush picked up so much color on the first stroke that I practically gave myself a black eye and had to bust out the makeup remover and start over. (I know, I know. Just waiting for the day someone trusts me with my own YouTube channel.) That said! The color payoff in these little pans of shadow is crazy good — and something that’s been hard to find in my hunt for cleaner, more natural makeup. Staying power was great, and I love that you could build a pretty, subtle daytime look into a smokey eye with everything in this palette.
4. Essential Brow (wearing Medium Brown)
They Say: A clean brow gel that offers a soft tint without the shine. Never flaky or stiff, it will keep your brows looking tamed and naturally full – just like they should.
My Take: Love me a little brow gel — in fact, it’s one of the few things I’ll stroke on even if I’m going out “bare-faced” — and ILIA Beauty’s version is a good one. The brush has one side that’s chubbier and more bristled for depositing color, and then a longer side for giving brows that full, feathered look that everyone is after right now (myself included). If I were doing more formal or professional makeup, I might fill things in a little more with a pencil, but for an everyday look, this is literally perfect. (Especially loving that the Medium Brown isn’t too warm or auburn in color.)
5. Liquid Light (wearing Nova)
They Say: A clean gel-based, liquid illuminator that provides a dewy, luminous glow with skincare and anti-pollution benefits. It’s radiance in a bottle.
My Take: Real talk, highlighter in this format always intimidates me a little. As someone who doesn’t wear foundation, any face makeup that comes in a pump format just seems a little…overkill? But after a few applications, I totally got the hang of it. I pump a teensy little blob onto the back of my hand, and then use either a ring finger or a beauty blender to gently tap it across my cheekbones, down the bridge of my nose, and into my cupid’s bow. Any extra gets tapped into the inner corners of my eyes. And if I were doing more of an evening look, I’d hit up the brow bones, too. As advertised, it gives off a subtle, dewy glow that’s not nearly as shimmery as I was expecting, and now I’m totally hooked.
6. Tinted Lip Conditioner (wearing Arabian Nights)
They Say: The best of both worlds and our “cult classic” for a reason: think of our Tinted Lip Conditioner as one part beautifully lightweight lip color, and one part nourishing balm. This is the lip color that started it all.
My Take: ILIA Beauty’s founder, Sasha, was first inspired to create her own clean make-up brand when she took a second look at her lip balm, and this lip conditioner was more or less born as the result. It delivers soft, hydrating lip color that’s super buildable. A swipe or two is more than enough for me for daytime wear, but in the evening, you could totally have A Major Lip Moment, if you felt so inclined. (They also make a full on high pigment lipstick, too, that is rumored to be nearly as hydrating but with even greater color intensity.)
So far, I’m genuinely loving everything I’ve tried from ILIA Beauty — and I can’t wait to build all of the products I’ve used here into a clean beauty look that’s even more holiday-inspired for a few events we have coming up this season. Maybe a little cocoa smokey eye situation with a subtle berry lip? Sounds like NYE to me.
Thank you to ILIA Beauty and ShopStyle for sponsoring this post. I had a blast getting to play dress-up and ended up falling in love with quite a few new-to-me products that will now have a permanent place in my mostly-natural daily makeup kit. And thanks, of course, to you reader friends, for loving this platform as much as we do and supporting the content with bring to this space. We love sharing new finds with you!
Photography by Carolyn Stockman.
Guys! Follow me on Instagram for more peeks into our life on the Northern California coast. And if you feel so inclined, pop over to my personal food + lifestyle blog, The Pig & Quill, where I share salty scribblings from my kitchen and home life. Byeeeeee!
Emily, thanks for sharing more natural products! How would you say the mascara compares to the Pacifica Stellar Gaze?
Ah, good question! I use both, and both are really buildable from a more natural daytime look into a bolder look (I almost always just layer. it. on.). The biggest difference I would say is in the brush. I love a super fat brush, but the ILIA brush is arguably more user friendly and better for defining and lengthening.
Thanks! I will have to check out Ilia.