I Finally Found My Holy-Grail Mascara—And It’s Clean

woman in before and after picture of lash product

Rebecca Dancer

Ever since my favorite mascara, Bobbi Brown Lash Glamour Extreme Lengthening Mascara, was discontinued, I've invested time, effort, and money into the pursuit of finding a new favorite. I’d been out of the mascara game for so long that I didn’t even know where to start, so I tried all of them. Literally, dozens of them— lengthening, volumizing, buildable, primer-inclusive, waterproof, washable, new launches, old favorites, you name it. Some of them were instantly clumpy and goopy, others gave me raccoon eyes by midday, and most of them cost upwards of $25 per tube.

When it comes to daily mascara, what I want is a naturally-defined look and zero clumping or flakes—just thick, healthy-looking lashes. 

After settling for a rotation of so-so mascaras, I came across a rave review of Ilia’s Limitless Lash Mascara online. Reviews aside, I knew as soon as I saw the photo of the brush—one side of which resembled the brush from my BB mascara—that this could be a real contender for my next favorite. Not only did they seemingly nail the brush shape and size, but, in line with Ilia’s brand ethos, it was also a clean formula—and who isn’t in favor of applying fewer chemicals near their eyeballs?

I was so excited that I went to two different Sephora stores in Manhattan and Brooklyn, but it was sold out at both of them. Sold out! At both of them! This only got me more excited, of course, so I ordered it online and anxiously awaited its arrival.

Pros + Cons

Pros:

  • Clean, cruelty-free
  • Conditions lashes
  • Lifts, lengthens, and separates

Cons:

  • Only one shade of black
  • Not for a dramatic look
  • Pricier than similar products

Bottom Line: Naturally flawless lashes

Ilia Limitless Lash Mascara lifts and separates lashes for a natural, yet full lash look. It's priced on the high side, but contains keratin, shea butter, and beeswax to strengthen and condition lashes.

Ilia’s Limitless Lash Mascara

Best for: Natural-looking lash length and separation

Star Rating: 4.5/5

Active ingredients: Arginine, shea butter, beeswax, and more

Clean?: Yes

Potential allergens: Yes—benzoic acid

Price: $28

What's Included: Dual-sided brush

About the brand: Ilia Beauty is a clean, vegan beauty brand based in Los Angeles. Its products, which include lip, eye, face, and skincare, are touted as being effective without including toxic ingredients.

Ilia Limitless Lash
Ilia Limitless Lash Mascara $28
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About My Hunt for the Perfect Mascara

It’s a beautiful moment when you find a holy-grail product—when, after inevitably trying out at least half a dozen different products in one category, you finally find your perfect match. And once you’ve found it, there’s no longer a need to invest your hopes and dreams (and money) into any other product, even one of the latest launches, because you’ve already found the best one for you. It’s the type of product you automatically add to your Sephora cart without thought, month over month, because why mess with a good thing?  

This was my ongoing relationship with Bobbi Brown’s Lash Glamour Extreme Lengthening Mascara. For me, it was the perfect formula, the perfect size and shape brush, and it never failed to provoke compliments from strangers. I loved it so much that I don’t think I tried another mascara for years on end—like I said, I didn’t need to.

Until, I did. At some point, I went to place my usual mascara order, but was informed it was out of stock. After a few weeks passed and it was still not available, an email to the Bobbi Brown PR team confirmed my worst fear: It had been discontinued. If you’ve ever had a favorite beauty product get discontinued on you, then you know the ensuing struggle.

If you’ve ever had a favorite beauty product get discontinued on you, then you know the ensuing struggle.

It meant that now, I’d have to invest time and effort and money into the pursuit of finding a new favorite mascara.

How to Apply

Since Limitless Lash comes with a dual-sided brush, you'll want to apply in two steps. The side with the shorter bristles is meant to curl and lift, while the longer bristles lengthen lashes.

Apply one coat for a natural look, or two to build it up.

The Results: Long, Defined Lashes

Ilia Limitless Lash Review
Rebecca Dancer

I am happy to report that I was not disappointed. After using it just once, I knew I had found my new Holy Grail mascara. Do I have a tendency to be a bit dramatic? Sure, but this stuff definitely lives up to the hype.

Here are the details: Ilia’s Limitless Lash Mascara, which is also 99 percent natural and cruelty-free, features a dual-sided brush—one side for building, and the other for separating lashes for a smooth, clump-free finish. This is my favorite feature, because if there’s one thing I hate, it’s clumpy, stuck-together eyelashes.

The pitch-black formula (called “After Midnight”) is super lightweight, but still provides just the right amount of volume and lift, sans any smudging. While it’s not waterproof, I actually prefer it this way (I find that waterproof mascara takes too much of a toll on my lashes over time). To get into the nitty gritty, the formula itself is made up of a blend of organic bee and carnauba waxes, according to the brand’s website, which simultaneously work to lift and condition lashes. It also contains organic shea butter to condition and keratin, which supposedly helps to strengthen and fortify. 

The Value: Worth It

While $28 is on the higher end of what I’d ideally like to spend on my bimonthly tube of mascara, to me—and my lashes—it’s totally worth it.

Similar Products: You Have Options

Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara: For $24, this vegan tubing mascara builds eyebrow-grazing length for a lower price. But it doesn't wash off quite so easily like Ilia's. You might need to use makeup remover to loosen up the lengthening fibers.

Glossier Lash Slick: Beloved for its anti-clumping capabilities, this cruelty-free mascara is a steal for $16—it creates a natural look like Ilia Limitless Lash Mascara and conditions lashes.

Our Verdict: Pure, Clean, and Luxe

If you're looking for a clean mascara that washes off easily, Ilia's Limitless Lash Mascara is worth the hype. The dual-sided brush makes it easy to achieve length, lift, and separation.

 

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