Whenever I Use This Mascara, People Always Ask If I'm Wearing Lash Extensions

The only difference is I spent $28.

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Ilia Mascara Review
Photo: Courtesy/InStyle

Mascara this, mascara that! A seemingly simple tube of the black or blue or purple formula — have your pick — can truly make or break a makeup look. The wrong tube? It can end up flaking, irritating sensitive eyes, or looking straight up clumpy. The right tube of mascara? That can give you long, extension-line length without the burning, flaking, or raccoon eyes that can happen mid-day.

Guess what? I finally found the latter.

I've read, seen, and heard so much about Ilia's famous Limitless Lash Mascara. Fellow beauty editors had raved about it nonstop, and Instagram provided a very visual look into just how wonderfully it appeared to work. That length! That lift! That volume! As an added cherry on top, Melanie Simon, Jennifer Aniston's facialist and the founder of ZIIP, once said the Ilia mascara is '"almost as good as lash extensions," and truth be told, I didn't need to hear more.

When the .27-ounce tube arrived on my doorstep, I was immediately drawn to its sleek, simple packaging, and even more so to its sleek, simple brush. You know how some mascaras can have a really wonky brush shape because that's supposed to work better? I've tried my fair share and have concluded that a classic rectangular-shaped brush works the best. Ilia's has just that, but with a dual-sided design; the short bristles curl and add volume, while the longer ones lift, lengthen, and separate.

After a quick swish-swish with the wand my lashes are more lifted and curled. One coat is perfect for an easy, everyday look — and enough to make it give me extension-like length — while two to three give a more dramatic effect, perfect for a night out.

Brush shape and its overall effect on my lashes? I love it. Now, how about that formula? That earns five stars from me, too. My eyes tend to irritate easily, so I am very cautious about what I use on and around them. Other mascaras have caused my eyes to burn and water, but Ilia's almost feels like I'm not wearing anything on my lashes at all — and that's all because of its ultra gentle formula that's 99 percent naturally derived. It includes hero ingredients like organic bee and carnauba waxes to condition, as well as organic shea butter to help boost and enhance lashes.

Ilia Mascara Review

Available at Iliabeauty, Amazon, Sephora

The mascara is also extremely easy to wash off at the end of the day. Others smudge when wiped off with water, but Ilia's can actually be removed with just regular ol' H20. No makeup wipes needed, and I love that.

The Limitless Lash mascara averages a 4.6-star rating and has thousands of five-star reviews that tell a similar story as mine.

"Y'all I'm telling you this mascara has done wonders to my eyelashes. I am constantly being asked if my lashes are real or fake, and it's due to the unique design of the brush," wrote one shopper. "It gives you fullness but also helps smooth with the comb! 20/10 recommend!"

Finding the right tube of mascara can take a lot of trial and error. So save yourself some tears — literally — and scoop up this Ilia one instead.

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