Tuesday, September 20, 2016

ILIA Fall 2016 Lipsticks* Review: The Brides, Madam Mina and Lucy's Party

I posted an Instagram sneak peak of these gorgeous lipsticks from Ilia Beauty's Fall 2016 Collection a while back and I know some of you have been impatiently waiting for the full review; I just wanted to, you know, have some alone time with them before sharing with the world wide web ;) But now that we're all more into the autumnal frame of mind, allow me to introduce the three beautiful sisters: The Brides*, Madam Mina* and Lucy's Party* ($26 for 0.14 oz/ 4g each, currently available at iliabeauty.com).
Ilia's Lipsticks come packaged in their signature eggplant-colored carboard packaging, with the shade name indicated both on the outer box and the bottom label of the lipstick. I'm not a 100% sure on this, but I believe lipsticks from the same collection all share the same color of the bottom label - or at least these Fall 2016 ones have different color labels than the two other Ilia lipsticks I own from the permanent line. The bullet themselves are housed in simple but elegant aluminum cases with a lid that clicks on securely. These lipsticks are not scented, but to my nose smell similar to the brand's Multi-Sticks (here's my review of the shade A Fine Romance) or Illuminators (Polka Dots & Moonbeams reviewed here); meaning there's a subtle nutty rose fragrance there that doesn't linger or overpower.
Ilia Beauty describes their Lipsticks as having a 'creamy semi-matte finish' and feature a blend of organic ingredients such as castor, sesame and sunflower oils, beeswax, cocoa butter, rosehip oil and Vitamin E. Since I haven't talked about Ilia's Lipstick formula previously on the blog, let me touch on that first and then I'll show you the three shades in more detail.
L-R: Ilia Fall 2016 Lipsticks in The Brides, Madam Mina and Lucy's Party
Ilia Lipsticks have a thin, smooth consistency that reminds me the most of another natural lipstick I've reviewed recently, the Pacifica Devocean (here) - or something like the old elf Mineral Lipsticks. They're less creamy/ soft than most lipstick ranges on the market; to give you an idea, they are very different from buttery, high slip lipsticks such as Revlon Superlustrous range, NARS Audacious, YSL Rouge Pur Coutures or BITE High Pigment Lip Pencils. Ilia's Lipsticks are a lot more firm in the bullet and have a bit more tug on the lips when applied; nothing unpleasant but if you love a ton of pigment at the lightest swipe, these may not be for you. Personally, I find this type of thinner, more lightweight and somewhat less opaque lipstick formula a lot easier to wear and touch up throughout the day, and these Ilia lipsticks are also longer wearing and kinder on my vertical lip lines than those super creamy textures.
I also haven't noticed them drying out my lips, although the slight moisture they add right after application will absorb within a couple hours - so if you like the feel of a some kind of product on your lips at all times, top up with a lip balm or add another layer of the lipstick. I would describe all three of these lipsticks as having medium pigmentation and a natural satin finish, no shimmer whatsoever. Overall, I really enjoy this lipstick formula, and it's made its way to the front of my make-up drawer.
The three shades in the Fall 2016 line-up were all inspired by the various characters in the Francis Ford Coppola's movie 'Dracula'. To be completely honest, the first time I saw the name 'Madam Mina', I immediately thought of the Leslie Nielsen spoof movie 'Dracula: Dead and Loving It' and the hilarious hypnosis scene. Oh well - me and my pedestrian references ;) The lightest of the three shades, The Brides, is described as a 'pink tan', but I also saw on the brand's Instagram that it was being called a 'warm peachy nude'. What is it then - a pink, a peach, a pinky peach?
I guess that would depend mostly on your skintone; to my eye in the bullet, it's more of a warm peach, and on my lips it looks like a tan nude with a hint of peach. In case you're curious how it looks like on a completely different skintone than mine, check out Larie's review with swatches here. In terms of depth, this is somewhere between a wearable, darker nude and a My Lip But Better shade on my fair skintone.

Madam Mina, described as a blush mauve, is a little darker and more cool-toned than The Brides. It definitely veers more into the My Lips But Better territory, but again, on my cool undertone complexion, it doesn't really look very mauve or blush and instead pulls more of a warm browny rose.
It's lighter and less pink than something like BITE Rhubarb or the YSL Rose Stiletto, reviewed here.  I don't think it's too warm on me, but be aware that if you have a light skintone with cool undertones, it probably won't be a mauve shade on you - which for me is actually the case with very many 'mauve' lipsticks.
Lastly, the vampy gloriousness of Lucy's Party, described as 'a deep, oxblood red' or 'bold pinot noir' shade. Now in her review, Larie said this was a neutral red shade on her; on me, as you can hopefully see in the face shot, it's a darker red that pulls just a bit cool, especially when blottted down or worn in a thinner layer. I think oxblood is a pretty good description; and would you know that my husband actually called this shade 'vampiric' when I put it on (uhm, excuse me, like that's a bad thing?). I think this just proves Ilia knew what they were doing when they formulated this shade :) Despite the boldness of Lucy's Party, I actually found this shade quite easy to wear - there was no bleeding or feathering and the lipstick faded evenly after eating, leaving behind a pretty red stain.
Here are all the three shades swatched next to each other so that you can see the shade difference between The Brides and Madam Mina more clearly. To be honest, if I were deliberating which shades to get from the Ilia Fall 2016 collection, I would pick up either The Brides or Madam Mina but not both - for whatever reason, on my lips they end up looking not too dissimilar. Also, in case you were wondering, there's no discernible difference in the performance or formula of these lipsticks across the three shades, which is sometimes the case with other brands. All three are the same level of lovely.
L-R: Ilia Lipsticks in The Brides, Madam Mina and Lucy's Party
In their Fall 2016 collection, Ilia also released a few new vegan make-up brushes, out of which I have the Defining Lip Brush* ($28 each, available here) to show you. It's a synthetic Taklon pencil shape brush with a cap that can be attached to the bottom of the brush to prolong the handle for ease of application on the go.
To be perfectly honest, I rarely reach for lip brushes and I certainly don't think you need one for Ilia's Lipstick formula (even for the face shot wearing the vampy Lucy's Party I just applied straight from the bullet). I was a little surprised by the shape of Ilia's brush - the ferrule is round and not pinched/ flat like for other lip brushes I've seen, but the pointy tip allows for a lot of precision in application and the bristles are soft and comfortable even on my dry and sensitive lips. I also really like this brush for highlighting the inner corners of my eyes with powder or cream shadow - obviously not right after I used it to apply my lipstick ;)

Whew, now that was a bit of a lengthy read, wasn't it? Hopefully this post satisfies your curiosity about Ilia's Fall 2016 shade line-up and their Lipstick formula in general. I have also received one of the brand's cult Tinted Lip Conditioners to review, so keep your eyes peeled for that in a couple weeks. Which shade speaks to you the most out of Ilia's Fall Collection?

Disclaimer:  Products featured in this post are press samples I received from the brand's PR for review consideration. All links are non-affiliate. All opinions are 100% honest and unbiased, no matter if the product featured was purchased with my own money or provided free of charge. Thank you for reading!


  1. Lucy's Party is gorgeous on you! Just perfect with your coloring. As pretty as these lipsticks are, though, I've never seen a color from Ilia that struck me as truly unique. I might have gotten into Ilia if I'd discovered it early in my makeup journey, but right now I'm pretty sure I have a dupe for every one of their shades...

  2. Lucy's Party IS so gorgeous on you!! It has a nice level of a bit of warmth that makes a beautiful contrast with your skin. I like their formula. It is classic, creamy and the pigmentation is wonderful.

  3. Thanks for the link love, Monika! THEY DO LOOK SO DIFFERENT. I tried Lucy's Party again the other day, for like the fifth time, and I don't think it ever really looks the same, depending on what other makeup I'm wearing. A bit of a chameleon. It looks gorgeous on you, though! I love it!

  4. They do look very different! (compared to Larie's) Either way, both of you look gorgeous in all of them. Makes me want to buy one, but it's more expensive than high end brands here. So that makes it a niche luxury brand. Hahahaha! I hope they'll adjust the price, but it's Sephora we're talking about. Doubt that will happen ;-)

  5. I would wear all three lipsticks. Great colours!

  6. Thanks for the lovely review; now I want all three! Would you mind telling us what foundation or tinted moisturizer you're wearing? Your skin looks amazing!

    1. They really are beautiful shades for fall! Thank you for the kind words :) I'm wearing Bourjois 123 CC Cream - I have a review for it as well here: