ILIA Beauty Illuminators | Review & Swatches

ILIA Beauty Illuminators review and swatches

A green beauty favorite of mine have to be ILIA Beauty’s Multi-Sticks (reviewed here).  They’ve earned a permanent spot in my everyday makeup bag, plus they’ve led me to explore even more from ILIA Beauty.  Most recently, I’ve been trying out their Illuminators (also in a handy cream-stick form).  Today I’m reviewing and swatching for you the shades Polka Dots & Moonbeams and Cosmic Dancer (and also comparing them next to RMS Beauty’s popular Luminizers).

ILIA Beauty Illuminators

IILA Beauty’s Illuminators offer versatile shimmer + subtle color in the form of a cream-stick.  You can apply them anywhere you want to add a little glow – from the cheeks, brow bones, eye lids and inner corners, nose, and lips for a dewy highlight.

The Illuminators are made of all natural ingredients, including 100% natural dyes and 72% organic ingredients.  At the very top of the ingredient list, there’s castor seed oil, sunflower seed oil, and cocoa seed butter which give the Illuminators their creamy texture, while also nourishing and hydrating the skin.  Here’s the full ingredient’s list (according to ILIA Beauty’s website, as of 2/25/2017):

Ingredients: Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil*, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter*, Beeswax (Cera Alba)*, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil*, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Wax, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch*, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Tocopherol. May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxide (CI77499, CI77492, CI77491), Red 7 CI15850, Red 28 CI45410, Yellow 5 CI19140. *Certified Organic Ingredients. Ingrédients Certifiés Biologiques.

*Certified Organic Ingredients. Ingrédients Certifiés Biologiques.

The IILA Beauty Illuminator are currently available in three shades: Polka Dots & Moonbeams and Cosmic Dancer (two brighter, highlight shades), and Sway, a warmer bronze-y shade. Here are swatches of the two highlight shades:

ILIA Beauty Illuminators Polka Dots & Moonbeams, Cosmic Dancer Review & Swatches

ILIA Beauty Illuminator swatches in natural light

ILIA Beauty Illuminators Polka Dots & Moonbeams, Cosmic Dancer Review & Swatches 8

ILIA Beauty Illuminator swatches in direct sunlight

As you can see, Polka Dots & Moonbeams (left) is a neutral-toned, creamy white highlighter.  Cosmic Dancer (right) is warmer with golden tones.

ILIA Beauty Illuminator Review

The ILIA Beauty Illuminators come in a stick form, which makes them super easy to apply – just do 1-2 quick swipes where you want color and then blend using your fingers.  Or, for smaller areas like your eyelids, rub your finger on the stick them pat into your skin.  It doesn’t get much easier than that!

The formula of both are just creamy enough to make them easy to blend into the skin, but not overly creamy to where they wear away over the course of just a few hours.

And finally, while not the most color-intense, the Illuminators give off a very natural, subtle glow that’s pretty much foolproof and never looks overdone.

Overall, between their compact size, makeup brush-free application, and natural lasting glow, I’m always popping these into my purse and travel bags!

ILIA Beauty Illuminators Polka Dots & Moonbeams Review & Swatches

ILIA Beauty Illuminator in Polka Dots & Moonbeams, applied on top of cheeks and brow bone using my fingers

ILIA Beauty Illuminators vs. RMS Living & Magic Luminizers

How do the ILIA Beauty Illuminators compare with the cult-favorite RMS Beauty Luminizers?

The RMS Luminizers and ILIA Illuminators all offer excellent pigmentation, delivered through creamy-smooth formulas.  The only difference texture-wise is that the RMS Luminizers feel slightly softer and oilier, whereas the ILIA Beauty Illuminators are firmer and just a tad drier.  They both offer similar degrees of intensity once on the skin, however the ILIA Beauty Illuminators seem to last a bit longer since they’re not quite as slippery.

ILIA Beauty Illuminators swatches compared to RMS Beauty Luminizers

Shade-wise, ILIA’s Polka Dots & Moonbeams is similar to RMS’s Living Luminizer in that both lean toward a true white highlight. Polka Dots & Moonbeams however is slightly darker and more neutral-toned, whereas the RMS Living Luminizer is quite cool and silvery.

RMS Magic Luminizer and Cosmic Dancer are similar in that they both add a little color into the mix.  Magic Luminizer however is more neutral toned (sort of a rose-champagne), while Cosmic Dancer is warmer and more yellow-based.

Overall, it’s hard to say which brand’s luminizer I prefer.  For me, the two ILIA Beauty shades fill in the gap of the shades missing from RMS Beauty’s collection, including a more neutral-toned off-white and a golden tone.  I can safely say I’ll be wearing all four this spring and summer!

Available at Sephora & The Detox Market

(Or try out some samples as part of The Detox Market’s sample sets!)


Have you tried the ILIA Beauty Illuminators? 


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