All about Lips with ILIA: Steps 1, 2 and 3

>> This post features products provided by Brand / PR without charge for consideration<<
I was recently given an opportunity to try out some products from ILIA.  This brand is well known among organic beauty lovers for its beautiful and edited collection of products.  I am happy to share three items and something I am enjoying greatly!

You don't normally see organic beauty products covered often here, because while its a nice attributes for a product, those attributes don't end up being huge motivators for purchase.  On the other hand, great products embodying such qualities are a perk.  With recycled boxes and aluminum cases, it is the epitome of responsible chic.

What I tried were lip products for conditioning and color.
  • Balmy Nights - a conditioning and exfoliating balm.  The exfoliating action is via teensy ground up bits of volcanic stone, suspended in an organic (mostly) base.
  • Balmy Rays - an SPF 15 lip balm
  • Lipstick in Strike it Up - a tradition cream finish lipstick in a GLORIOUS bright classic red

First up are the Balmy Nights and Balmy Rays.

Balmy Nights 
This is a bit of an indulgence for me having a stick exfoliator.  Normally, when I feel my lips are gross and flaky, I take a hot shower and use a Salux cloth and rub my lips gently.  I have to be careful not to over exfoliate because raw red lips are no fun and my skin is very sensitive to physical irritation.  Balmy Nights is in the same soothing formula as the Balmy Rays, but with the addition of finely ground volcanic stone which acts as the exfoliant.

I rub the tube back and forth a few times on my lips to deposit the product and then use my finger to loosen flakes and then wipe everything off with a tissue.  It's not nearly as effective as an exfoliating wash cloth like a Salux used on lips softened from a shower.  But the pro is that used on dry lips, Balmy Nights is gentle especially since its in a nice emollient base.  This is a wonderful little gentle daily addition.  I especially like it as a lip prep step before putting on very bright or pigmented lip color. Contrary to the "Nights" in the product name, I find it super useful as step #1 in my AM lip prep.

Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil*, Volcanic Stone (Pumice) Powder, Jojoba Seed Powder, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil*, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Beeswax (Cera Alba)*, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil*, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*, Tocopherol, Red Oxide CI77491. *Certified Organic Ingredients. Ingrédients Certifiés Biologiques.

Balmy Rays
I've been looking to incorporate some more sun protection for my lips since I spend a lot of time outdoors, especially in the warm weather months.  While SPF 15 is a little modest, the gentle physical block (Titanium Dioxide) is a nice addition to a great balm.

The balm itself is clear and has a slightly dense balm consistency with no greasy or runny feel when applied.  I like that the finish is fabulously natural (not too glossy or very matte) that it doesn't interfere with other lip products.  I don't find it intensely hydrating, but as a base for lipsticks and as a general comforting shot of some moisture, I find it to be a great balm. 

It's a fairly firm and solid formula and the way it looks is reminiscent of the Fresh balms.  But unlike the very soft texture of the Fresh, which I find very prone to melting, I've found Ilia a bit more resistant to turning into goo.  As a matter of fact, it did great staying firm (but a little softer) in 85 degree heat, but I don't recommend leaving it in a hot car!

Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil*, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil*, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Beeswax (Cera Alba)*, Candelilla (Euphorbia Cerifera) Wax, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil*, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Wax, Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) Oil, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Oil*, Tocopherol, Titanium Dioxide CI77891. *Certified Organic Ingredients. Ingrédients Certifiés Biologiques.
Balmy Nights in the foreground, Balmy Rays in the background

Speaking of pigmented and bright, let me introduce you to Strike It Up.  There are several lip color options from Ilia, ranging from crayons all the way to tinted lip balms, but I chose this classic lip formulation.  

I always struggle with pigmented lip color that don't dry, irritate and shrivel up my lips into attractive prunes.  Many lipsticks start out excellent, but the toughest ones end up making my lips sore by the end of the day and the kinder ones end up starting off fine but over consecutive days of wear end up at the same place.

You'll see a lot of light shades and sheerer pigment lipsticks featured on the blog mostly because of my need to keep my lips intact. :P  Sadly for my lips, I ADORE a good bright lipstick!  It takes work to make such colors work for me, so I do so with good prep (See above).

Strike It Up is described by the brand as a blue-toned red.  For me, it's more neutral and balanced than blue and therefore a bit easier to wear than very blue or very orange reds.

It is bright and deeply saturated with a red that screams CLASSIC!
In terms of texture and feel, it has a slightly creamy classic formula.  It's easy to apply from the tube, though with a shade so bright, it definitely benefits from a lip brush.  It's isn't very high slip, so the application is straightforward and easy and also LASTS!  While it was no match for greasy lunch, on a regular day, with some sipping and eating and drinking, lasted a good 5-6 hours.  In my book that's great.  While the creamy luster on the finish fades a little earlier, a very even red stain remains way longer.  

Apart from the wear, while not exactly hydrating on this lips, when layered over the lip balm Balmy Days, I was able to wear it very comfortably.  Organic or not, this is a lovely formula!

Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil*, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil*, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Beeswax (Cera Alba)*, Triisostearyl Citrate, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter*, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch*, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Flax Seed*, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil*, Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Seed Oil*, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf*, Tocopherol. May contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide CI77891, Black Oxide CI77499, Yellow Oxide CI77492, Red Oxide CI77491, Red 7 CI15850, Red 28 CI45410, Yellow 5 CI19140. *Certified Organic Ingredients. Ingrédients Certifiés Biologiques.

I'm really excited to have tried Ilia.  Are you familiar with this brand?  They've recently launched their stick highlighter at Sephora.  You can also find them on their own website (here) as well as on my favorite niche luxury beauty site Beautyhabit  (non-affiliate links, provided for your convenience).

Disclosure: this post features product that was sent free of charge by the brand/PR for consideration.  However, all my opinions are my own!  Yes indeed!  Please check out my full disclosure policy statement here.


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