Wednesday, March 16, 2016

A Workday Red: ILIA Beauty Lipstick Crayon in 99 Red Balloons

[Product was provided by PR for review. Opinions are my own. No affiliate links.]
Ilia Lipstick Crayon in 99 Red Balloons, $24 at Ilia.
Ilia Beauty is a brand with an "ethical-sustainable" emphasis that feature products with "at least 85% certified organic bioactive botanicals" (information from their site). I appreciate the nod toward sustainability and eco-friendly options, and that they include full ingredients lists for their products. I don't necessarily believe that organic/"green" products are better (especially because the definitions and even certifications can be loose), but I can agree that transparency, simplification, and the motivation for these brands is something to get behind. And who is going to argue with more fabulous lipstick options?
Wearing Ilia 99 Red Balloons.
This lipstick crayon is a pencil that twists up, which is ultra convenient (no wasteful sharpeners). It goes on smoothly, without tugging, is richly pigmented, and the finish is a subtle, natural satin - there is a sheen, but it's not screaming for attention like a gloss or matte formula. The shade is also similarly an "everyday" red - warmer with a hint of blue to keep it a "true red." It is not what I would wear for a smashing night out, but it is something I would wear to work (and have done - I'm wearing it today, actually). I think there's a place for this kind of finish + color combination. It doesn't bleed, isn't high maintenance, and is basically a workhorse red.

I don't find it moisturizing, but it's comfortable to wear, and though it contains oils, it isn't heavy. If you wear it over balm (photo below), it will be glossier and tends to slip, so I prefer wearing it on its own.
Over Nuxe balm. The many stages of a pixie!
Bottom line: it's advertised as a "straightforward classic," and I would have to agree. I imagine it being Parisian chic, complementing an everyday classic fashion aesthetic. The formula is good (there aren't enough of these lipsticks that have subtle finishes - not MAC Amplified style heavily opaque and creamy, not sheer or glossy, not starkly matte) and I would say it's worth looking into for a handbag staple.