Ilia True Serum Foundation and Primer Review
Recently, I was sent over the new and improved Ilia Beauty Complexion Collection. This includes the True Serum Foundation, Radiant Priming Serum, and the True Skin Concealer (not included in this post). I was more than excited to review the products as I found there were little in-depth reviews online. As always, I like it when things are explained with details. Yes, it can nourish my skin with "A …a powerful blend of botanical actives for a flawless complexion,” but I want to know the how behind it. Welcome to my new way of reviewing products, this is THE DEEP DIVE.
Up first is the most important product in this collection, the Ilia True Serum Foundation. Pictured and swatched below are the shades 0.5 Sable and 1.5 Mallorca. Both shades are meant for individuals with more neutral toned skin, such as myself, but the first is said to gear more to those on the warmer side. I found the swatches and application to be a little off when it came to the shade descriptions. In truth, Mallorca (1.5) leans more on the warm side whereas Sable (0.5) stays true to the neutral toned description. For reference purposes, I am a Sephora Color IQ of 3Y03. This means I am a light skin tone with neutral-warm undertones.
These shades did oxidize on me. Not dramatically, but enough that I was able to notice a difference. If anything I would claim that it went about a half of a shade darker than what it first applied as. I would say to still get the shade that matches you on the first swatch as this oxidization provides a little bit of a sun kissed glow to the skin. Even the fairest of fair tones would not be able to notice a distinct contrast between the face and the neck.
In terms of the formula and product application, this foundation claims to be a “buildable, light-to-medium coverage,” foundation that is “weightless,” and leaves a “velvety finish.” I agree that this foundation is buildable and will leave skin with a finish that is not overly dewy and is, well, skin like. To be fair though, the claim of weightless is a bit off. This foundation does not set onto the skin completely so you will feel it, especially if you build up the coverage. Two layers of the product will definitely provide you with medium coverage, but there is a bit of transfer should you forgo a setting powder and/or spray. I highly recommend using either in the case of this foundation. The site says it is best applied with fingertips, but as you can see in my First Impression Video below, both fingers and a brush do not give a dramatic difference. I would not try using this with a beauty sponge as I feel it will soak up way too much product, even if you do wet it prior.
Note: I do not blend my foundation down my neck. To me, if you are able to find a good enough match, you should not need to apply it lower than a bit below the jawline. If colors are off, my preferred blending method is with a bronzer.
This is a great foundation for normal to dry skin types. The Aloe Leaf Juice (skin conditioner), Glycerin (solvent & skin conditioner), and Tocopherol (Vitamin E) are amazing for surface hydration in cosmetic products. The inclusion of Gluconolactone (Humectant), and the Tocopherol (Vitamin E) are anti-agers, a phrase I HATE by the way.
The formula is also can be comedogenic to some, especially fungal acne sufferers. The Coconut Alkanes (which is an emollient) is not good for oily skin. Similarly, Polyglyceryl-6 Polyricinoleate (emollient & surfactant), Rosehip Seed Oil (skin conditioner), and Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil are all fungal acne triggers. The inclusion of Dimethicone (a form of silicone), Squalane (a fatty oil), and Tocopherol (Vitamin E) are on the lower half of the comedogenic scale. This means you run the risk for clogged pores.
I got a wear time of about 4.5 hours before I noticed that it had left my nose completely (which, despite having dry skin, is where I get oiliest). I did not set this product during my wear test and I did use it in conjunction with the primer and concealer.
I have mixed opinions about the primer as I feel like I did not receive any skincare benefits from it as claimed. The website states that the primer is meant to “bridge the gap” between skincare and makeup application to provide a “firm and smooth” base. I did not notice any true radiance despite the micro gold particles within the primer, however, I did feel as if my skin was smoothed out after application. Interesting considering there is no silicone in this primer, right? Well, that is thanks to ingredients like Maltose (humectant & moisturizer), Glycerin (solvent & humectant), and Beta-Glucan (skin conditioning & bulking agent). They will help condition yet refine the skin throughout the day, much like a silicone agent. You also have a few different flower extracts, like Hibiscus, that are meant to soften and nourish the skin while protecting against free radicals.
Keep in mind that this primer has ingredients like Benzyl Alcohol (a known allergen and preservative), Citric Acid (PH adjuster), and Benzoic Acid (Ph adjuster & preservative). These are not BAD ingredients, just ones that can be irritating for sensitive skin. Remember that cosmetics and skincare products need preservatives in order to make them last.
When using this primer in conjunction with the foundation, I found them to cause pilling on the skin. This only happened to the side where I used my fingers to blend the foundation. The occurrence has happened the seven times I have tested the two together since filming this First Impressions Video. I believe the cause is the natural oils on my hands not mixing well with the formulation of the two. I have no problem using them individually with my fingers, but together causes problems. In this case, I tend to use a brush for application when pairing the two products.
You can pick up the Ilia Beauty products from places like Beautylish, Credo Beauty, The Detox Market, Sephora, and most clean beauty retailers.
The Foundation is $54 for 1.0 oz. of product.
The Primer is $52 for 1.0 oz. of product.
* The Foundation, Concealer, and Primer were gifted by Ilia. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not always will be. My content reflects my personal values of transparency and authenticity. *
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