Move Over, Nars


“I now know that a natural cosmetic brand can be filled with organic goodness, packaged with class, and perform above the rest. I hope to inspire those who have been looking for something similar, and believe in the possibility of something better.” – Sasha Plavsik, Ilia Founder.

During WWII, women would forgo new clothes, new shoes, and obviously new jewelry.  What was the one product they continued to buy to make themselves feel pretty during hard times?  Lipstick.  It is THE ultimate desert-island, recession-proof cosmetic.

First the bad news.

Let’s take a look to see what kind of ingredients we can find in our cosmetic of choice: parabens, petro-chemicals, synthetic fragrance, phthalates, propylene glycol, and lead.  Yes, lead.  The neurotoxin.

There is a big controversy in the cosmetics world as to whether lead in lipstick is harmful or not.  This is my question to those who shrug it off: why is it in there at all?

The FDA does not set lead limits for cosmetics, but it does set them for candy. (Yes, candy.  Shouldn’t the limit be zero?)  In 2009, the FDA tested twenty different lipsticks.  All of them contained lead.  In fact, they contained ten times more lead than is allowed in candy.

Considering that lipstick sits on our skin and is absorbed into our bloodstream, and that the average woman “eats” about 4 pounds of lipstick over a lifetime, you should be really ticked off right now, especially if you wear lipstick on a daily basis.

Now, the good news.

Enter Ilia (pronounced IL-YA).  Founder Sasha Plavsik started switching over to Clean cosmetics a few years ago after reading her cosmetics’ ingredient labels and doing some research.  Eventually, she became frustrated that she could not find an effective Clean lipstick with on-trend colors and luxury packaging.  With a background in package design and major determination, she solved her own problem by creating Ilia Beauty.

Ilia lipsticks are 85% Organic, cruelty-free, and gluten-free.  They are truly moisturizing, don’t disappear as soon as you apply them, and come in really beautiful colors.

My favorites:


“Funnel of Love” – a peachy nude.


“In my Room” – a cross between rosy-pink and brown.  Great on all skin tones.


“Neon Angel” – a true magenta.  People always ask what I’m wearing when I have this on.

Cost: about $24 for .12 oz.  Purchase them all here.  Or, you can purchase samples at Spirit Beauty Lounge to make sure you like them!

Ingredients: Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil*, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil*, Jojoba (Simmondsia Chinensis) Seed Oil*, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Beeswax (Cera Alba)*, Triisostearyl Citrate, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter*, Manihot Esculenta (Tapioca) Starch *, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Rosa Canina (Rose Hip) Fruit Oil, Sage (Salvia Officinalis) Leaf Extract, Tocopherol. May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxide (CI 77499, CI 77492, CI 77491), Red 7 CI15850, Red 28 CI45410, Yellow 5 CI19140. Organic Ingredients. Ingrédients Certifiés Biologiques.

There.  Now you can rest easy and your lips can look glamourous.  All is right in the world.