Welcome to Skimm Tested, where we put products to the test and then give them a report card. (Check out all of our tried-and-tested faves here.)
To see if Ilia Beauty products actually combine skincare and makeup into one. Are the products gentle enough for sensitive skin? Did our group of testers love the look and feel of the makeup?
Ali: Combo skin (oily around T-zone); light-medium skin tone with cool undertones
Alessandra: Oily skin; light-medium skin tone with neutral undertones
Allison: Dry, sensitive skin; extra-light skin tone with cool undertones
What we tested…
Bright Star Activated Eye Cream: A cream that can refresh tired eyes while lessening the appearance of dark circles and puffiness over time; ($46)
True Skin Radiant Serum Primer: A silicone-free primer that’ll prep the face for makeup, but doubles as skincare thanks to its hydrating and firming properties; ($52)
True Skin Serum Concealer: A lightweight concealer that’ll cover dark circles and blemishes; ($32)
In Full Micro-Tip Brow Pencil: A brow pencil that’ll blend into eyebrows to create a fuller look; ($24)
Balmy Tint Hydrating Lip Balm: A tinted lip balm that provides moisture and a pop of color at the same time; ($28)
Straight A’s in…
Look and feel. Ilia Beauty products are the real deal. They go on smoothly, last for an extended amount of time, and feel pretty light on your skin. Our testers agreed that they didn’t experience that icky, heavy feeling by the time they washed their faces at the end of the day. After applying the products in the morning, Ali felt like her makeup appeared smooth and balanced, with no major caking.
Results. The concealer blends easily, and can cover up pretty much anything (something that Alessandra noted). Allison really loved the serum primer since it smells similar to aloe, dries quickly, and tightens your pores before application, helping to improve the appearance of foundation. Ali couldn’t stop talking about the tinted lip balm and how hydrating it felt on. Since it’s an actual balm, it doesn’t dry out your lips or feel thick and pasty (like some traditional lipsticks do). Overall, all three testers highly rated the brow pencil. Each loved the dual ends (one being a comb). Since the color tip is pretty fine, you can really get in between brow hairs to provide coverage. Ali confirmed that the color didn’t fade over the course of the day.
Design. Each product is compact and looks sleek. Everything fit really well into Ali’s makeup bag, which makes travel a lot easier. Nothing is bulky to store (especially the brow pencil).
Ingredients. Ilia Beauty is mindful of what’s in its products, and uses a retinol-alternative in the eye cream (which can work better for sensitive skin). The serum primer and tinted lip balm double as skincare since the former has hibiscus extract, aloe, and beta-glucan to hydrate and firm, while the latter is made with salicornia, rosehip seed oil, and shea butter to keep lips plump and soft.
Shade range. The concealer, brow pencil, and tinted lip balm all come in a variety of shades, which serve a range of skin colors. The brow pencil and tinted lip balm even have a “compare all shades” option on the site so you can see things side by side to better inform your decision. Our testers found the images on the website to be very helpful, since buying a concealer online can get challenging when you can’t see the shade directly on your hand.
Room for growth…
Price. Ilia Beauty products are priced a bit higher than some other well-known brands on the market, and paying $40 and above for a single product is not cheap. When you consider everything one person keeps in their makeup bag, that can rack up pretty quickly.
Long-term results. While our testers loved the immediate effects of the eye cream (there’s no smell, it doesn’t irritate sensitive skin, and it can prevent concealer from creasing), they didn’t report a significant decrease in under-eye circles.
Plays well with…
Someone who needs to revamp their makeup collection and wants to upgrade from drugstore beauty.
Anyone who cares about ingredients and needs their makeup to be gentle on their skin.
Someone who wants their makeup and skincare to come from the same brand.
Gets extra credit for…
Product presentation. Ilia Beauty is transparent and lists ingredients, how to use each product, and more. For example — the eye cream states the clinical trial results and provides step-by-step directions on how to apply.
Environmental work. One percent of sales from the Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 (we didn’t test this product) goes toward reforestation efforts. Ilia Beauty is working with One Tree Planted to plant 1 million trees by the end of this year.
How we did our homework…
We had three testers try Ilia Beauty products over the course of two months. Each wore the makeup when going to work, while out with friends, etc. They wanted to see how long the makeup would last, and what it would look like at the end of a long day of commuting. PS: They tested the makeup over the summer months in New York City, so happy to report that the products definitely held up to city heat.
Testers used the serum primer before putting on makeup to see how it enhanced foundation and concealer. Did it smooth everything and prevent other products from creasing and caking? Testers also used the eye cream before putting on makeup and at night before bed.
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