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ILIA Makeup Review – what I like and what I don’t

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I’m VERY picky about what I choose to put on my face and clean beauty is something that I’m passionate about. I’m always on the lookout for my new favorite product (I consider myself a pretty big skincare and makeup junkie – see my full makeup routine here), and ILIA has so many options to choose from. Today I’m sharing my ILIA Beauty review and my honest opinions on what’s worth picking up for yourself.

You’ll see a short description of each product and my take on each one. Lots of winners but a few I don’t love.

Right now is a great time to shop ILIA because it’s available at Nordstrom (and the Anniversary Sale is upon us). While ILIA won’t be discounted during the sale, you will get free shipping and returns AND you may as well add a few other finds to your cart while you’re shopping. These are my favorite finds from the Nordstrom Anniversary sale this year.

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ILIA Makeup Review

ILIA Beauty is different from most makeup brands since they also incorporate active skincare ingredients to protect skin during the day from environmental stressors and sun damage. (I try to be extra productive wherever I can, so multitasking formulas get bonus points in my book.)

Sasha Plavsic launched this beauty brand in 2011 in Vancouver, using her background in homeopathic health and wellness to develop a safe makeup line that is still high-performing. Their clean approach to makeup prioritizes healthy ingredients, sustainable packaging, and skincare-led formulas to protect and improve skin texture over time.

I love this approach to makeup. More and more brands are starting to include skincare ingredients in their makeup, but that was part of ILIA’s mission from the beginning. Their makeup uses ingredients that renew your skin’s moisture barrier, which is especially great for dry, aging skin like mine.

I reach for their makeup when I’m going for a no-makeup makeup look and just want a subtle wash of color. It leaves such a glowy and fresh finish. Some of my very favorite influencers (like April Lockhart) wear almost exclusively ILIA and have such gorgeous makeup, which inspires me to try more ILIA products.

Is ILIA Beauty Clean?

Yes! ILIA Beauty is always made without gluten, parabens, phthalates, petroleum, mineral oil, talc, BHA/BHT, propylene glycol, PEG, cyclomethicones, or chemical screens. Their formulas are created using natural, non-irritating ingredients that are suitable for all skin types. I feel comfortable using their products knowing how much research and intentionality goes into picking their ingredients.

Is ILIA Beauty Cruelty Free?

ILIA Beauty is certified by Leaping Bunny and never tests on animals. Their brand focuses on sustainable practices through their packaging as well, using recycled aluminum, glass components, and responsibly sourced paper.

Is ILIA Beauty Vegan?

The only non-vegan ingredient used in ILIA Beauty is beeswax. Synthetic beeswax uses mineral oil, so Ilia uses ethically sourced natural beeswax to get around that. (Mineral oil is a byproduct of gasoline and clogs pores.) All Ilia Beauty products are vegan except the below. These do include beeswax:

My Favorite ILIA Makeup Products

ILIA Makeup Review

Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40

The Super Serum Skin Tint is a personal favorite of mine. The water-based consistency is similar to a tinted moisturizer and includes non-nano zinc oxide to protect skin from sun damage, blue light (love this!), and pollution.

It uses hyaluronic acid, plant-based squalane, and niacinamide to improve skin texture and hydration after a few uses. The lightweight finish stays intact all day and is so hydrating and natural looking.

My take: I go for this product on days when I don’t want to look like I’m wearing makeup, but still want to even out my skin and add a little extra glow. I do have to note, however, that it has a subtle smell when you first apply it…sort of like dog food. Gross, I know. The smell dissipates after a few minutes, but just a heads up if you experience the same thing. It looks and feels so good on my skin that it’s worth it for me.

This is far and away the best tinted moisturizer with SPF that I’ve tried. (I used Beautycounter’s Dew Skin for years but found it was too drying as I got closer to 40, so I now go for this Ilia skin tint instead.) I wear shade ORA ST6. Also, I wrote a full review of the Super Serum Skin Tint that you can read here.

True Skin Serum Foundation

ILIA True Skin Serum Foundation is a medium-coverage foundation. The formula is non-comedogenic, fragrance-free, and safe for any skin type. Niacinamide, allantoin, and aloe help minimize pores, fine lines, redness, and uneven tones and the active skincare ingredients work even after you take off your makeup to improve your skin texture and dullness.

My take: This foundation is so breathable and natural looking, and it’s buildable so you can choose what coverage you’re looking for. And I also appreciate that the hydrating ingredients prevent it from becoming dry or cakey throughout the day. I love this one so much that I have a full review on this foundation which you can read here. And a round-up of all my favorite lightweight foundations here.)

Skin Rewind Complexion Stick

The Skin Rewind Complexion Stick is one of ILIA’s newest products. I was really excited to try it after loving Merit Beauty’s complexion stick, and while they’re similar, I prefer ILIA because the stick itself is bigger making it easier to apply. It also blends a little bit easier. It’s buildable for more coverage and look so natural! I wear Willow. It works well on my dry, mature skin but I do like a face oil underneath (I like this Merit Glow Serum). See how I compared it to Merit in this Instagram Reel.

True Skin Serum Concealer

The ILIA True Skin Serum Concealer pairs well with their Skin Serum Foundation, or on its own for natural-looking medium coverage. Vitamin C, mastic, and albizia julibrissin bark extract help improve skin’s appearance (particularly smoothness and dullness) while actively protecting your complexion from outside pollution. The crease-free formula is super creamy (like shockingly so) and blendable for easy application and a natural finish that lasts until I take it off at night.

My take: I really like this concealer for my cheeks, chin and forehead since it’s so easy to blend. I don’t like it as much for my undereye area since it’s not quite as full coverage as I’d like for that area. (For undereye, I prefer Tarte’s Shape Tape Radiant Medium Coverage Concealer.)

Balmy Gloss Tinted Lip Oil

The Balmy Gloss Tinted Lip Oil is super hydrating because it uses hyaluronic acid, meadowfoam seed oil, and salicornia herbacea extract. I hate when lip products leave a sticky finish, and the Balmy Gloss moisturizes your lips without stickiness.

The active skincare ingredients nourish your lips and don’t include phenol, menthol, and salicylic acid (which can make your lips feel more chapped), so I appreciate that this formula doesn’t include those.

My take: This is one product that I haven’t yet tried, but it’s sitting in my cart and I’m just waiting for a sale.

Balmy Tint Hydrating Lip Balm

Tinted lip balms provide the perfect flush of color without looking like true lipstick. This is creamy and buildable and it helps with dry or chapped lips, both when you apply and over time. Salicornia, rosehip seed oil, and shea butter provide hydration. This was actually the product that started Ilia Beauty and is now a cult classic. It gives the most gorgeous. natural-looking tint.

My take: This is hydrating and creamy but you have to use a really light touch when you apply (at least with the color I have). It’s much more pigmented than most balms I’m used to and the product can bleed easily.


The ILIA multi-stick makes makeup so easy. It’s great on days when I’m short on time because it doubles as lipstick and blush. It leaves the prettiest long-lasting color and adds just enough to make you look fresher and more awake. It uses shea butter, avocado oil, and orange peel wax to condition, soften, and protect the skin. The multi-tasking formula is buildable, so you can customize how intense you want the color to be.

My take: It’s a great option to use if you’re running out the door since it’s so easy to apply. The buttery texture is super blendable and not too pigmented. It find it a little dry so I have to press harder than I’d like to apply but that may be the nature of my dry skin. I also haven’t found a shade I think works well as eyeshadow, but it works well for cheeks and lips for sure.

NightLite Bronzing Powder

The ILIA Bronzer is a talc-free powder that gives a matte finish. While the formula is powder, it feels almost buttery and is super blendable. Unfortunately I think ILIA may be discontinuing it. I was able to find a few shades available on Amazon, so be sure to order quickly if you’re interested.

My take: This stuff is seriously pigmented and it’s easy to go overboard… but if you like a matte bronzer, you will probably love it. My employee uses it daily and says to make sure to use a large fluffy brush to diffuse the pigment. We both have the lighter shade Drawn In.

Color Block Lipstick

The Color Block Lipstick gives a smooth, bold color while also hydrating your lips all day. It’s very full-coverage and uses organic castor seed oil which helps with the intensity of the color. This is probably my longest lasting lip color, almost like it stains them (in a good way) so I only do light touch-ups after meals.

My take: The lipstick is hydrating and two two shades I have are both very pretty. (I have both Amberlight and Rococco… I’m wearing Amberlight (no filter) below). I do find that I have to be super precise when I apply because it’s a true lipstick and not a lipsheer or balm-type formula.

TeriLyn Adams with Makeup on face

ILIA Color Haze

ILIA Color Haze is another multi-use product! It’s a cream blush and lip color in one, and I can’t get over how long it lasts on skin! The most interesting thing about this product is that it’s dewy when applied to your cheeks, but has a matte finish on your lips. Just a tiny bit will go a long way––it gives the prettiest soft wash of natural color.

My take: I love love love the Color Haze blush. It’s very pigmented but blends beautifully and is long lasting. Most liquid blushes dispense too much product, which leaves a mess to clean up but this deposits the perfect amount and gives the perfect “I just finished a good workout” flush. I find it a little too matte on my lips (just not my style) but I LOVE it for blush.

Clean Line Liquid Liner

The ILIA liquid eyeliner is highly pigmented without the use of Carbon Black. Carbon black is a commonly used ingredient in eye makeup but many people don’t know that it’s been proven to be a carcinogen. Ilia uses charcoal instead to produce a safer (but still effective) pigment. This water-resistant eyeliner stays put all day and the applicator makes it easy to apply, even if you struggle with liquid liners.

My take: The felt tip is flexible but firm enough to effortlessly create a smooth, clean line. It gives the perfect level of control. So many kinds of eye makeup smudge on me, but this one doesn’t. I don’t use liquid liner often but when I do, it’s this one.

In Frame Brow Gel

This In Frame Brow Gel is a very easy-to-use brow gel for everyday. Most days I go for The BrowGal Clear Eyebrow Gel with the Glo Brow Pencil since I get a fuller brow that way, but I use ILIA when I’m more rushed.

Limitless Lash Mascara

The ILIA Limitless Lash Mascara is made of bee and carnauba waxes to nourish each individual lash and keep them lifted. The gentle formula is flake-free and water-resistant, so it stays in place until the end of the day. This product is made with shea butter and keratin to enhance lashes without being irritating.

My take: I have sensitive eyes and not only does the ILIA Limitless Lash mascara not irritate, but warm water easily washes it away without having to pull too much at my skin. However, this mascara isn’t my top pick (I prefer Tarte’s Tubing mascara), but it’s a great clean option, especially if you like a VERY natural looking, lengthened lash. I just prefer more volume and I have issues with mascara smudging, unless it’s tubing mascara. (More on tubing mascaras here.) Since this isn’t tubing, I can’t use it without smudges!

Lip Wrap Overnight Treatment

The ILIA Lip Wrap is an overnight lip treatment to help hydrate dry or cracked lips. It contains papaya enzymes, salicornia (sea succulent) and hyaluronic acid (!!) which work together to buff the dry skin off your lips and then provide majorhydration. You can use this in the morning and evening, but I tend to use it mostly at night.

My take: ILIA Lip Wrap is awesome. It’s super hydrating and doesn’t have a weird smell or taste at all. I use it every night!

Lip Wrap Reviving Balm

The Lip Wrap Reviving Balm is basically the daytime counterpart to the overnight lip mask. It’s an everyday balm that includes active levels of hyaluronic acid and salicornia (just like the overnight treatment), but it does not include the papaya enzymes, since those are what help to exfoliate and buff the flakey skin off –– and no one wants that during the day.

My take: I keep this in my purse at all times. It’s not tinted, but it’s the perfect balm. Seriously hydrating and makes lips look fuller without any craxy ingredients. It is kind of hard to dispense after a while so just know you’ll have to squeeze a bit harder than you expect as it starts to get about halfway empty.

Is ILIA Beauty Legit?

I am a big fan of many ILIA Beauty. Their makeup (especially their foundation and skin serum) gives such a natural-looking finish and hydrates my skin. They’re not my go-to when I’m looking for a more glam or full coverage look, but for everyday wear I love their products. If you’re on the hunt for subtle-looking makeup with clean ingredients, I would 100% recommend giving ILIA a try.

Where is ILIA Beauty Sold?

You can buy ILIA Beauty directly from ILIA’s website, but they also sell their products at a few other retailers including Sephora, Nordstrom, Revolve, Kohl’s, and even Walmart!

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    3 responses to “ILIA Makeup Review – what I like and what I don’t”

    1. Thanks for the great info! What do you use for full coverage, clean make-up? I have neutral to cool undertones, have auburn hair and freckles, and have difficulty getting a good match in foundations. I’m 46 and have lines and dry skin :(…


    2. Is it organic and if not, why not and is it a safe product to use and clean

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