*Affiliate Disclosure: I do have affiliate links in this blog post. If you purchase something from my link, I will receive a small commission from the sale. This comes at no cost to you, but is paid by the company. I do not take becoming an affiliate with any company lightly. If I am, it’s because I believe in the company and their product.
All About Ilia Beauty
Ilia Beauty was founded by Sasha Plavsic after her mother encouraged her to read the ingredient list on her favorite lip balm. She realized that many of the ingredients she was applying to her lips – and on a daily basis- were actually unsafe.
Check out Indie Makeup Brands Worth Supporting where I featured Ilia Beauty!
Sasha grew up living a more natural lifestyle. Her mother co-created a co-op when organic foods weren’t even available in the stores to make healthy foods more available. Her mother also sought out more alternative health options to help heal her brother’s acute asthma and allergies. This included homeopathics and healing through diet. This was so successful in healing him that, although he was told by his doctors that he would never play sports, he actually competed in 2 Olympic Games in sailing!
So, with her background from her childhood she set out to recreate her lip balm with ingredients that would be safe, effective and with ingredients that were natural. And from this, Ilia Beauty was born.
Since the start of Ilia Beauty in 2011, the brand has continued to push the boundaries which has resulted in some amazing clean beauty products. From Ilia’s website:
We challenge the conventions of clean beauty to create something radically new—through safe, potent formulas that protect and revive your skin.
Is Ilia Beauty a true clean beauty brand?
Ilia Beauty has done an amazing job of creating beauty formulations with ingredients that are next level. They create their products without the use of the following:
- mineral oil
- propylene glycol
- chemical screens
Ilia Beauty was featured in my Top 10 Credo Clean Beauty Brands.
That being said, there are a few ingredients that Ilia Beauty chooses to use in their formulations that I want to touch on.
This is a preservative and isn’t necessarily bad in small amounts but it’s all in how it’s sourced and the strength in which it is used. I have used several clean beauty products with this ingredient in it but I know the sourcing and percentages. However, the big question would be if it’s a clean form of phenoxyethanol as phenoxyethanol can contain 1,4 dioxane which is carcinogenic because it is ethoxylated. When I say a clean source, I am referring to a process that companies can do to ensure they are using a clean form of phenoxyethanol. The process involves vacuum stripping to reduce levels of phenoxyethanol in products. Unfortunately, not all companies take that step. Ilia has not responded when asked if they use a clean source of phenoxyethanol.
However, Ilia uses phenoxyethanol as a preservative in just 2 of their products (Balmy Gloss Tinted Lip Oil and Clean Line Liquid Liner). These aren’t favorites of mine when it comes to their products overall. However, if they were I still wouldn’t be overly concerned. It’s all about the dose. As the saying goes, the dose makes the poison. If you’re using this day in and day out, then I might be more concerned. However, even then if you’re ok with it, then do you. Is it better overall then other products, absolutely!
From Ilia’s FAQ’s:
“We use FDA-approved food-grade dyes. Food-grade dye is a synthetic form of color. This was preferred over the use of Carmine (crushed beetle skin) when formulating certain shades in order to obtain a stronger hue. The majority of the products are made up of natural mineral dyes, yet some do contain low percentages (2% or less) of food-grade.”
While I don’t love seeing artificial colors or dyes in products, often it’s hard for companies to be able to create a product without them. They need them in order to get a really beautiful bold red. Also, artificial dyes are often a very small percentage of the actual ingredients overall in the product. Do I still wear lipsticks with artificial dyes in them- absolutely! Is it all the time- no. This is where you really have to make an informed decision for yourself and at the end of the day do what’s best for you.
Ilia does not test for heavy metals. I wish they did, but at this time they don’t. This is something that can be pretty common in makeup with all the minerals. If you’re looking for a company that does test for heavy metals, check out Beautycounter.
Gurl Gone Green’s Ilia Beauty Review
Ilia Beauty has so much to offer. Check out what sticks out to me as the pros and cons to this clean beauty brand.
Ilia Beauty Pros
- Their products rival the look and feel of conventional cosmetics.
- They use a variety of ages to showcase their products.
- They offer a recycle program where you can mail 10 empty beauty products a month- their brand or another and Pact Collective will break it down so it doesn’t end up in a landfill.
- Offer refunds on gently used products within 60 days- pretty amazing.
- They offer 7 certified gluten free products and the rest don’t contain gluten but they can’t say that because of the nature of the manufacturing process, there may be trace amounts in them. Read up on the 7 that are certified gluten free here.
- Leaping Bunny Certified, which means none of their products are tested on animals.
Ilia Beauty Cons
- They don’t test for heavy metals.
- They do use some questionable ingredients like artificial dyes, phenoxyethanol
Top 5 Ilia Beauty Makeup Products
After testing out nearly all of Ilia’s Beauty’s products over the years, these are my picks for their top 5:
It is a liquid but then it sets after a while and you get a great long wearing foundation. It really feels and acts like your skin, yet I still feel like it gives my skin great coverage. This is definitely one of my favorites in my organic beauty foundation guide.
Ohh this mascara is good! They created a patented brush. One side is for curling and the other side is for lengthening. It really does give my lashes a curl boost and makes adding length to them even easier. The formula is a little on the wet side, but not too wet that it smudges all over. I’m really able to build length with this mascara too. They also have a smaller travel size too! I love this option. You can easily try it out without breaking the bank. I featured this mascara in my Best Natural Mascara post.
These came out in the fall of 2020 and let’s just say we quickly became besties. It was love at first swipe! If you’ve been in natural beauty for a minute then you know it’s hard to find a liquid eye shadow that lasts and doesn’t fade. I hadn’t found one until these showed up. They come in a tube that looks like lip gloss but there’s no gloss inside, instead there’s a creamy consistency that swipes on the eye effortlessly. I apply the product right on my eye and then use my finger to blend in. They blend in so easy! The best part? They stay put the WHOLE day. Yes, not like typical liquid shadow these stand the test of time. I love applying them underneath powdered shadows too. It really helps the color to pop even more and gives the powdered shadow something to adhere too. They are a great eyeshadow primer! I have four colors, Glean, Mythic, Sheen and Fresco- all gorgeous and layer so well on top of each other. I’ve even used the lightest shade Glean as a highlighter!
I love this option for a foundation that has an SPF. It is a thicker consistency and gives a really great coverage. Helps polish off my look more than most tinted moisturizers. I like it for everyday use and with the higher SPF, I even use it on days when I am needing extra protection from strong sun rays.
This is such an easy to use highlighter for all over the face! I love applying it after I apply my foundation. It really helps to perk up my whole look and give my skin a dewy finish. It comes in a variety of colors. You can even mix it into your foundation for an all over glow!
*While these didn’t make my top 5 these are other products I love from Ilia:
Nightlife Bronzing Powder- This powder wears well and comes in a good amount of colors for a bronzer. I love that it’s not orange and looks more taupe and natural on the skin. It’s also matte, so no shimmer bits in it which makes it great for even mature skin. Really great for contouring! Check them out here.
True Skin Radiant Priming Serum- This serum really elevates your skin so it’s primed and ready for foundation. It gives your skin the moisture it needs, but doesn’t look or feel greasy. I love that it soaks right into the skin. You’ll notice a tightening effect which helps to diminish the look of pores and fine lines. It helps to create a perfect canvas so your foundation goes on effortlessly. Check it out here.
True Skin Serum Concealer- This is one of my favorite concealers in clean beauty. It really is such a multi-purpose concealer. It works great for under eyes, but also for helping to cover redness or blemishes. It comes in 20 colors so you have some options. The longevity on it is great as well, really lasting throughout the day. I wear the color Kava SC3. Check it out here.
Lip Wrap Reviving Balm- This is a newer product of theirs that I’ve tried this last year and really loved. It’s such a nourishing balm for the lips. Helps to keep them hydrated and moisturized for long periods of time. I love applying a little before lipsticks too to help give my lips a bit of hydration and prevent them from looking crepey with the lipstick. Check it out here.
Shop all of Ilia Beauty here!
Share your favorite Ilia products below!