Ilia Beauty Fall 2019 Reviews and Swatches

Disclaimer: The products in this post were gifted by the brand. However,  I was not obligated to post about them, and my opinions are always formed with a critical eye.

Ilia Beauty was one of the first “clean” beauty brands that really caught my eye as having products that went beyond that uber natural minimalist look, and veered more into makeup I could wear all day and rely on to wear well. 

“Clean” beauty has come a long way. When I was first aware of it 15 or so years ago, the formulas and shades did not last for me at all. They all veered way too much into the natural minimalist look, which works for most people, but is not how I approach makeup. Plus, since most products were loaded with oils to “nourish” the skin, they never lasted on my oily skin. 

However, I’m sure you’ve all noticed the clean beauty renaissance we seem to be in, brought on by a consciousness about sustainability, ingredients, and also fear – fear of “chemicals,” fear of ever growing laundry list of ingredients deemed harmful to the skin (by the way, ANY ingredient “natural” or not, can be harmful for your skin. Everyone’s skin is different – that’s why makeup and skincare is so subjective for everyone). But nonetheless – whether an increasing awareness of the importance of ethical sourcing and sustainability, fear, or just plain marketing, clean beauty is having a moment right now. 

As I’ve talked about before, I’m very skeptical of most clean beauty claims. I try to take all of the claims with a grain of salt, partly because hype means very little to me (hence my name), my skin does not react to many ingredients, and I also just love all beauty products. When I like a product, it’s not because of its claims, it’s because I like how it wears and how it looks on me. 

So back to Ilia – the brand has been hitting it hard with new beauty releases over the past couple years, and they are one of a few clean beauty brands that keeps up with beauty trends and with products that perform well. Kosas Cosmetics, Kjaer Weis, and Rituel de Fille are other brands that I feel strike this balance really well, but few clean beauty brands have really consistently worked for me. 

For the fall, they are back with a whole new set of releases, and they kindly sent me their new collection, along with some of their new releases from the spring, to try and review. 

Today I’ll be talking about the:

  • The Necessary Eyeshadow Palettes (new)
  • Clean Line Gel Eyeliner (new)
  • Clean Line Liquid Eyeliner (new)
  •  Liquid Light
  • Color Haze

Note I was also sent the brow gel and mascara, but I try to not have a bunch of open brown products and mascaras, so I’ve stowed them away for now to test at a later date.

The two Necessary Eyeshadow Palettes ($38 for .05oz/1.5g) I received are brand new releases, and I received a Cool Nude palette and a Warm Nude palette. They both have 6 eyeshadows with a range of mattes and shimmers. The Cool Nude palette has a mixture of mauves and champagnes, which reminds me a lot of the Anastasia Beverley Hills Modern Renaissance color scheme, while the Warm Nude palette has orangey reddish tones, which reminds me very much of Urban Decay Naked Heat. They are both absolutely stunning, and I use both color schemes pretty frequently, so I can see myself getting a ton of use out of these palettes. 

The quality of the shadows also really impressed me. I can’t tell the difference between the formula of these eyeshadows compared with the formulas of more conventional eyeshadows. They are smooth and pigmented, and adhere well to the skin. With many clean beauty brands I tried in the past, eyeshadows would be too sheer and powdery or just too “natural” for my taste, but these definitely deliver a punch of color while still being easy to blend. They also don’t crease or fade throughout the day, although I wear eye primer underneath my shadows every single day. 

Cool Nude on the left, Warm Nude on the right

Next up are the Clean Line Gel Eyeliners ($26 for .01oz/.4g). I was a little nervous about these because I haven’t had much luck with eyeliners from clean brands in the past, but these really surprised me. While the “Midnight Express” black isn’t the uber jet black I normally wear, it’s also not quite a soft black either. It has a pretty decent strong pigmentation that still very obviously looks black. The “Twilight” brown was also creamy and pigmented with a rich dark brown shade. I’m happy to report that these eyeliners last pretty well on my super oily eyelids. There is some slight smudging, but it is much better than about 75% of the eyeliners I’ve tried, and it is very very subtle. While they also aren’t waterproof, I find them to be pretty water resistant. Count me very impressed by these eyeliners, and it may just be enough to get me to switch over to this eyeliner for good (maybe). 

The product I was the MOST worried about trying was the Clean Line Liquid Eyeliner ($28 for .55ml/.01oz), by far. I have very picky eyelids, and I usually use absolutely budge-proof and waterproof liquid eyeliners by Japanese brands – the kind that even a bi-phase eye makeup remover has to work hard at taking off. In addition to having oily eyelids, I wear contacts and also have watery eyes, so I need my eyeliner to last through essentially everything. I was nervous that these weren’t marketed as waterproof…but I risked my eye makeup for a couple days to try these out.

…and they are almost everything I want in a liquid liner. It’s a felt tip eyeliner – and I usually prefer brush tip liners, but felt tip is usually fine. It’s a pigmented matte black that again, isn’t the blackest black I’ve ever tried, but is still pigmented and rich enough that I don’t really notice that much of a difference. And miraculously, they don’t smudge or run that easily, even through a hot and humid day. I do notice a bit of smudging and transfer to my lower lash line (I only wear black liner on my upper lashline, but because of my eye shape and how they crinkle when I squint or smile, my liner often smudges to my lower lashline), but it’s very faint and easy to smudge away. And although it’s fairly durable, it still comes off easily with eye makeup remover.

Count me impressed. If my ultra durable Japanese liquid liners are a 100/100, these would be like an 85/100, which outdos most conventional liquid liners still, and far outshines any “clean” liquid liner I’ve ever come across. If you are the type of person looking to swap your conventional makeup for clean makeup, and you’ve had a hard time with liquid liner, this is one to check out. I will note that there is not a lot of product in this liner though. Most liquid liners I have are at least 1ml, so you’re getting less than half of what most liquid liners have. I’ll be testing this to see how long a tube of this lasts.

The Liquid Light ($42 for 1oz/30ml) are liquid illuminators that were released over the spring. They have a liquid gel formula that set within a minute or so and then last all. Day. I used to shy away from liquid highlighters, but over the past year or so, I’ve come to really enjoy them whether I mix them into a foundation, or apply a more concentrated dot right on top of my cheekbones. These are definitely not the natural highlighters to get if you want a barely there glow. Unless you mix it with your foundation, these offer a serious metallic glow that is similar to a Becca liquid highlighter or the Marc Jacobs ones. The gel formula works well for my oily skin, and helps it last throughout the day for an impressively long time. It’s been pretty hot and humid recently, and these last through a whole work day easily with minimal fading. The shade I have is Nova, which is a pearly champagne color that works well for more of a classic highlighter sheen. 

The Color Haze Pigments ($32 for .23oz/6.5ml)  were probably the item I was most excited to try. They are a multi-use cheek and lip product that are incredibly pigmented and settle into a matte almost stain finish. They blend really easily and it is possible to apply a sheer wash, and then build it into a more full coverage pigment.I’ve heard these are similar to the Glossier Cloud Paints, but I don’t have those so I can’t compare. 

These Color Hazes last quite well on my cheeks – probably 6 or so hours before I notice fading (but I have really oily cheeks), and about 3-4 hours on my lips before they’re gone. I have the shade Sing, which is a mauve-berry shade. I normally wouldn’t reach for this shade, but I was shocked at how much I actually liked it applied on both my lips and cheeks. 

Gel Liner in Midnight Express and Twilight, Clean Line liquid liner (thick line and thin line), Color Haze in Sing, Liquid Light in Nova

Here is a look that I created with all of the products:

This collection was really a winner for me, and sets another bar for how well clean beauty can really wear. The eyeshadow palettes, liquid eyeliner, the Liquid Light, and the color haze pigments are all really impressive. While I like the Gel Eyeliner for a clean beauty product, the softer pigment of the black would still make me turn toward conventional eyeliners first, although the brown is a great alternative for those days I just gravitate towards a brown look.

If you’ve been unimpressed with many clean beauty brands, I’d definitely point towards Ilia Beauty for a look. They are constantly coming out with new products and improving the quality and wear, and I am very excited to see what else they release in the next year or so. 

I’d be curious what your experience with clean beauty, and Ilia Beauty, are. Let me know below! 

As always, thanks for reading. 

2 thoughts on “Ilia Beauty Fall 2019 Reviews and Swatches

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