Fans of natural beauty, I feel like we have reached a pivotal moment where natural makeup is finally, truly challenging those from the mainstream brands. I am so excited to bring you a review of a recently launched foundation from ILIA, a brand that has grown from strength to strength over the past few years.

Sasha Plavsic, ILIA’s founder, started the brand after turning 30 and feeling uncertain with her career path at the time. She moved back from California to her home in Vancouver, lived with her parents and worked on developing ILIA at night. It wasn’t an easy road. Back in 2010, labs were not interested in speaking with her and organic product design wasn’t where it is now. Sasha was extremely persistent and in 2011 she launched 6 lip conditioner colours. Now, ILIA’s repertoire includes the full spectrum of makeup and everything you would need to complete a look. Eyeliners, mascaras, lip balm, lip scrub, two foundations, a tinted moisturiser, concealer – the list goes on. Check out their products at Mecca Cosmetica if you’re located in Australia and want to have a play with the range in person.

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ILIA True Skin Serum Foundation (L) and ILIA Vivid Foundation (R)

In this blog post I want to focus on the True Skin Serum Foundation, but I can’t do this without mentioning ILIA’s first foundation release, the Vivid Foundation. Unfortunately, I didn’t get on with this one at all. The first shade I was matched with was ghostly, and the second one was too pink (Gobi F2) so I haven’t worn it much, but enough to know that it just wasn’t going to work. I found it too thick and it dried quickly, making it very difficult to blend. It seemed to separate and not really bind to my skin and all round it was a dud for me. I wanted to love it but it wasn’t to be. Despite the disappointment, I was so excited to hear that the words “True Skin Serum” were part of the next launch from ILIA and I secretly knew I would love it.

The True Skin Serum Foundation claims to be equal parts skincare and colour correction. It contains ingredients such as aloe leaf juice, baobab seed oil, marula seed oil, jojoba seed oil, squalene and vitamin E paired with high performance hydrators such as glycerin and triglycerides. Please note that this foundation contains Dimethicone (a silicone). I do wonder why they were not able to achieve a serum texture without this ingredient. The Gressa Minimalist Corrective Serum Foundation did so, and did it well. However, I believe ILIA is the superior of the two.

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ILIA True Skin Serum Foundation

Packaged in a glass bottle with a pump and lid, the ILIA True Skin Serum Foundation feels very nice to hold and much more luxurious than it’s predecessor, the Vivid Foundation. One pump dispenses the right amount to cover the face and it has a true serum feel with a high pigment content, so a little goes a long way. Being a serum, it is incredibly light, silky and easy to blend and it achieves a light to medium coverage which can be built up. For me, the best thing about the product is that it lives up to its name – it looks like skin and it doesn’t feel like you’re wearing foundation. It’s luminous but not overly dewy, so all skin types can appreciate its beautiful texture without getting a shiny head. I haven’t noticed any settling into lines or accentuation of dryness. Longevity is great, around 10-12 hours. To be honest, I can’t fault it and it ticks all of my boxes and then some!

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Swatch of ILIA Vivid Foundation in Gobi F2 (top) and ILIA True Skin Serum Foundation in Tavarua SF2 (bottom)

Unless using a powder, I always apply products with my fingers and the same goes for the ILIA True Skin Serum Foundation. I dot it around the face, blend with my finger tips and within a few seconds I’m done. It’s hard to mess it up and it fits into my makeup routine so well because it’s quick and flawless. I wear the shade Tavarua SF2 and I strongly suggest you get matched in store.

I hope you enjoyed my review of this standout foundation. I love that it’s easily accessible to us in Australia now! Let me know if you’ve tried ILIA products at Mecca Cosmetica via the comments below or you can email me and connect with me on Instagram and Facebook. To access the latest podcast, please visit iTunes.

Next week: Mists, toners and why you should be using them.

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