ILIA Beauty Lip Colors

L to R: Desert Angel, These Days, Dress You Up, Come Undone, Inkpot, Femme Fatale

I love the Ilia illuminators, as you can read in this review.  But, I was nervous about the lip products, which contain small amounts of synthetic colors (like Red 7, a.k.a. CI 15850).  Years of horrendous pre-clean lip color experiences make me extremely cautious about what I put on my lips, which seem to be the most sensitive of all my sensitive skin.

The reviews out there looked great, and the color spectrum was so tempting – but should I chance it?  I noticed Ilia incorporates some lovely oils into their formulas, like jojoba, sunflower seed, and rosehip.   Thus, my mind was soothed, and, as it turns out, so were my lips.  I am fully obsessed with Ilia.

First, Ilia packaging is sensational.  It’s beautiful and functional.  I always think of beauty as a multi-sensory experience, and packaging that looks and feels stylish makes a difference in my mood as I go about my beauty routine.  Second, the texture and finish are spot on.  All the lip products I’ve tried are creamy and matte-ish rather than shiny.  Perfect.  After all, you can always apply a gloss on top if you like shine.  Third, they stay on.  At the end of one day, I was all, “what the heck is this color on my toothbrush handle?”  It was the lip conditioner I’d put on many hours earlier and totally forgotten about.  And finally, the taste is quite neutral, just the slightest hint of vanilla in the conditioners.

Lip Conditioners: When I try lip products, I line them up on the counter and gently take each one off with coconut oil before I try the next one.  No matter how careful I am, my skin is so sensitive to the friction that if I try even a few colors my lips end up irritated.  I usually have to put on a fancy oil afterward and leave my lips alone for a while.  When I first tried Ilia, I ended with a lip conditioner, and decided to just leave it on.  Shortly thereafter I noticed I had no irritation at all.  That’s when I became a true believer.  The lip conditioners are supposed to be more sheer than the lipsticks, but my faves are highly pigmented.  Desert Angel is nude-ish with a bit of lilac, kicking the butt of anything in the pink-nude realm.  These Days is described as a nude with a hint of bronze.  I love it, and the description and the pic on the site don’t do it justice.  Both Desert Angel and These Days are balmy, have a slight (and I mean slight) bit of shimmer, and are subtle on my pale olive skin.  They are limited edition and I love them so much, I bought an extra tube of each!

Lipstick: Described on the site as violent violet, Inkpot is unique in the natural lipcolor world.  If you have any sort of green in your eyes, you need to try something a little purple on your lips.  My eyes are hazel, and look light brown in indoor light, but a pop of Inkpot makes the green stand out.  My preferred way to wear it is applied in a couple layers, blot, and put a balm over it.  It makes a gorgeous stain that stays pretty even after it fades in a few hours.  It’s quite moisturizing on its own, but a balm over or under is a good thing if you have drier lips.  Femme Fatale is a deep blend of berry and burgundy, also with great performance.   I’m going to be wearing the heck out of this one come fall.

Lipstick Crayons: These have really cool packaging, like a very thick twist-up lip liner.  It has some of the precision of a liner, but with more moisture.  It draws a thick line so it’s easy to use as a full lip color too (use over a balm for this purpose).  Come Undone is a great nude, and Dress You Up is a beautiful mauve.  I’m having fun experimenting, using them as bases and liners for the other products.  There’s really not a bad combo, but I especially like Come Undone with These Days.

This brand has been featured many times on NMDL, and has appeared in scads of morning routines.  Now I know why!  Have you tried Ilia yet?  C’mon, all the kids are doing it.

29 Responses to “ILIA Beauty Lip Colors”
  1. Awesome review Rebecca. You know Ilia is my makeup crush ;) My go-to is Nobody’s Baby, which is made with 100% dye, so it’s perfect for my quick everyday makeup routine. However, I just keep buying more shades and loving them all! Bang Bang is my latest discovery. It’s a sheer red, and it’s so beautiful! Now I must get some lip glosses.. I am totally obsessed with Ilia too!

  2. Pepper says:

    Bang Bang is freaking perfection. I am so in love with it! When it comes to lippies I have a problem & I want them all! I have so much Ilia lip color on my wish list, I love hearing what colors other ladies are digging!

  3. Ellis says:

    What’s the tattoo? It’s very cute

  4. Annette says:

    I have at least four Ilia colors (lost count to tell the truth) and have repurchased Arabian Nights. Desert Angel is my next love, I can tell. We need a Friday deal, ladies!!

  5. I bought Bang Bang a few weeks ago. I agree with Pepper—it IS perfection! It’s great for day or night. It looks awesome with an otherwise muted color palette, like nude eyeshadow with black mascara and barely there cheeks. It leaves a beautiful lasting stain on the lips, too. I really really want to try Shell Shock and Arabian Nights next. I also have Blossom Lady. It’s comfortable to wear and the shade is pretty universal. However, the color is kind of boring overall.

  6. Eve says:

    Agreed! I’m all about Bang Bang. It gives you that statement of red but in a wearable way. I’m dying to try the crayons though because I do miss the precision edge with the lip conditioners.

    And Rebecca you have me sold on inkpot. as a fellow hazel eyed girl I can’t wait to try it :) although I am very fair with pinky undertones, will it be too dark? Maybe I’ll order a sample first…

    I must say Rebecca I was a little trepidatious when you came on the scene as a contributor, but I am so pleasantly surprised. Your posts never fail to be well researched, informative, and fun to read. Thanks!!

  7. Mavs says:

    This review is superb! Thank you! I have been dancing around whether or not to buy Ilia lip products for aaaaages, they always pop up in my wishlist but I never ever really go for it. With this indepth review and swatches of the different types of lip colours available I will definitely now be going online and purchasing some for myself!
    Mavs xxx

  8. Rebecca Bailey says:

    Glad y’all are enjoying the review – it’s been brewing a long time! I ordered a new color to try today, another limited ed lipstick, Voila, which is an interesting orangey shade.

    @Eve, the swatch of Inkpot is a few swipes layered, there’s really quite a bit of control and buildability with that shade. A light swipe over a bit of balm will give you something more subtle than the swatch. I think you’ll love it. I’m going to experiment with a new lip brush I just got too. And thanks for the compliments!

    @Ellis, thanks – it says namaste in Sanskrit.

  9. Mercedes says:

    I have two of the lip conditioners, in Blossom Lady and Bang Bang. These are both soooo perfect for everyday wear.

    Obsessed. Ink Pot is going to be my next purchase, for sure <3

  10. Nicolle says:

    I LOVE their lip crayons! I’ve been swiping on “Call Me” all summer. Super moisturizing and long-lasting. Didn’t think that was possible in a lip color!

  11. nan says:

    Love Illia! I have Bang Bang, Arabian Nights and Blossom Lady and love them equally. They fall into the *great buy / will definitely repurchase*category (as opposed to Red Apple lipstick that went straight to the *major regret* category). Illia is everything you said and more! Great review , as usual.

    I second Annette.. a Friday Deal sometime soon would be super!

  12. Audreiana says:

    I own way too many ILIA lipsticks much like a shoe addict owns waaay too many shoes. I own Bang Bang (my subtle intro to a red lip), Desert Angel (my favorite nude), Pink Kashmir, Humble Me, Ink Pot (looks absolutely gorgeous on deeper skin tones), Call Me, and I’m probably missing some lol. Happy to see that others love them too :) Xo, Audreiana from True Beauty By Nature

  13. I agree with Annette, we need a Friday deal ;)

  14. Caroline says:

    I just got Arabian Nights a few weeks ago and I love it. I layer it with a berry lip stain and there are no worries about fading! I want to try Ink Pot.

  15. Rebecca Bailey says:

    @nan, bummer Red Apple didn’t work for you. I have a few from them I really like. I do think Ilia is superior though, generally speaking.

  16. Dylan says:

    I have so many ilia lipsticks! They are hands down the best natural (and unnatural) lipsticks ever from time ever ever

  17. Lauren S says:

    I love my Ilia lip colors! I am very pale, and my favorite (so far) from them is Femme Fatale. I also just got Violet, and it is way more wearable than I thought it would be– I was going for sort of a Girl with the Dragon Tattoo vibe, but it’s actually not that intense, and I wear it to work. I also have Bang Bang and Shell Shock. But I.Want.Them.All. And the crayons, especially in 99 Balloons! I can never seem to make nude colored lips work, but I’m willing to give it another shot with Desert Angel some day.

  18. Ever since sending the lipstick nasties packing I’ve found it near impossible to find matte lip colour…but now I know. Such a great review, very reassuring to know that even the most sensitive lips dig these!

    Mayah x

  19. mangomadness says:

    I haven’t tried Ilia yet. Ilia Lipstick in Neon Angel and Inkpot are def on my ‘wishlist’ though. The colors are sooo fierce.

  20. Emma B says:

    I love Ilia! It’s true that the packaging is gorgeous.
    I don’t wear a lot of bright lipstick, mostly because I’m quite red and I find it too time consuming to conceal it all. I’m more of a nude/coral kind of girl. I have the lip conditioner in Dizzy and the multi stick in I Put a Spell on You. I’ve got an eye on Funnel of Love, on their new gloss The Butterfly and I, and also on Voila (though I may not dare to wear it, haha).

  21. Sarah says:

    I was so so excited to try Ilia and bought a few that just came in the mail recently. They’re fun colors, but the three I bought (Voila, Shell Shock, and Karma Chameleon) all looked super neon and synthetic-y on me. I was incredibly bummed as it’s my first purchase of clean lipstick (besides Hemp Organics). On top of that I’d been hoping to wear one of their shades for my upcoming wedding and the colors made me think twice. Does anyone have advice on shades from Ilia that might be good for a wedding on someone with pale neutral skin, hazel eyes, and brown hair? I’d love to benefit from other people’s experiences without buying a dozen colors first and having them all be not right :(

  22. Rebecca Bailey says:

    @Sarah, you picked some massively bright shades. I think you’ll be much happier with the subtler colors. I’d choose Desert Angel for you. Subtle but noticeable and it’s one that has particularly good staying power for your wedding. You could line/layer it with Dress You Up if you want more punch. If you want something bright but sheer Arabian Knights may please. There are plenty of shades that were too pink for me, but if you like pinks that aren’t boring, In Paradise is good. You should be able to get samples of those through Spirit Beauty Lounge. Best of luck!

  23. Rebecca Bailey says:

    @Emma B, I wanted to love Dizzy – it’s SO beautiful – not quite the right shade for me but close. Given your other choices, I think you’ll like Funnel of Love. That was another close one for me.

  24. Lola says:

    I LOVE Ilia!! I wear In My Room every single day… Bang Bang is my other go to! If you haven’t tried any, you MUST… they’re the best of the best, natural or not.

  25. Bella says:

    Thanks a lot you all for the reviews :-)

    Need suggestions for fair with slightly olive skin tones! I keep buying lip colors from Nvey Eco (mostly when they are on sale) , but don’t end up liking any too much despite the colors being lovely :-(

  26. Rebecca Bailey says:

    @Bella, I’m pale olive (Olive 1 if you know Alima foundations at all) and I love all the shades I reviewed. If you are looking for a red, try brown-based reds. On me any other red looks pink, and not in a good way. I also like all the Red Apple shades I reviewed here:, and if you want a lovely terra cotta shade Inika makes Tuscan Tales, that and more reviewed here:, good luck I hope you find something you love!

  27. Gina says:

    Great lip colors.

    I noticed your Sanskrit tattoo (I have one as well), and I am wondering if you’ll share the meaning?

  28. Rebecca Bailey says:

    @Gina, it says namaste, what’s yours?

  29. Tara R. says:

    I want Desert Angel and Bang Bang! the 3 products I own from Ilia Beauty are shell shock, Karma Chameleon (LOVE), and Call me (LOVE). I am impressed with their formulas and their beautiful shade range! Ok, just added Dress You Up on my wish list too :)

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