Natural Brightening Eye Primer – Ilia Beauty

There are some products which no matter how hard I try, I don’t seem to be able to find an green version of; a case in point is eye Primer. Despite being a product I don’t use a lot of, eye primer is one of those things always worth having in your kit as it makes a big differnce to longevity of wear – especially to those with particularly oily lids.

I was always a big fan of the cult classic Primer Potion from Urban Decay however when they were aquired by L’Oreal in 2012, I chose to not longer purchase their products. More recently I’ve been using the Jane Iredale Lid Primer but I’ve never fallen in love with it.

A visit to Natural beauty and Wellbeing store Content for a kit restock lead to my first encounter with Natural Brightening Eye Primer from Ilia Beauty (£22.00), a creamy liquid formulation which is designed to be applied to the lids prior to eyeshadow, illuminating the eye area.

Formulated to create a smooth, even base for eyeshadow, the primer intensifies the colour of shadow, increases longevity of wear and helps to reduce excess oil on the lids which helps to prevent creasing. It can be used beneath pretty much any formulation of shadow – or even eyeliner. I’ve used the primer under a variety of products and it certainly seems to keep them staying out for longer and intensify the colour (as you can see from the image below).

The primer is bright white shot through with a slight iridescent shimmer in the form of mineral pigments which gives an eye brightening effect. The fluid dries matte however the shimmer does stay visible, although it doesn’t greatly effect the the finished look of the eyeshadow.

The primer contains some beneficial ingredients including aloe leaf extract which is deeply hydrating and (along with chamomile) healing and rose hip oil which aids cell regeneration. The inclusion of arnica gives the primer de-puffing (is that a word?) properties and there is also a small quantity of vanilla which is believed to have some anti-inflammatory benefits. This I believe is also at the root of the slightly odd scent the primer has; which to  me seems almost like old school baby powder.

As with most things there has to be a negative and the elephant in the room with this one is the inclusion of Dimethicone in the ingredients list. For those of you not in the know Dimethicone is a silicone that is widely used in cosmetics and hair are products. Silicones are used in make-up products to aid application (providing the product with slip ) and also to fill fine lines and pores (which is why it’s often used in primers). Dimethicone is rated 3 in the EWG Database and is considered to be low toxicity and is included in treatments for many skin compaints (such as acne) however it can cause slight irritation to some individuals. Ultimately the jury appears to be out on whether it is appositive or negative ingredients but it certainly isn’t a natural one.

I know this is going to be a contentious issue and I’m sure many will avoid this Primer on this basis – I actually purchased it without reading the ingredients list as it was from a known company (I assumed it would be fine *rolls eyes*). Dimethicone (like other silicones) is on my list of ingredients I prefer to avoid. If I was using the products myself then I would avoid entirely however, as I’m sure any Make-up Artist reading this would agree, your work has to come first and it is vital products perform so there has to be a sliding scale of acceptability when working professionally.

I contacted Ilia Beauty to find out more about their use of Dimethicone and they have come back to me with a response:

“It’s unfortunate that all silicones are seen as dirty as there are a few including Dimethicone that carry very low toxicity and are completely safe to use. In our eyes, much safer than coconut oil which can be very comedogenic to skin, or octyldodecanol which is a skin irritant for the eyes. As for a barrier, silica is a natural derivative and shifts very easily on the skin, it also clogs the pores. Because these are the eyelids and there is constant motion and usually higher oil production, the skin must have a light barrier and the only thing that can create that safely is low amount of safe silicone. We always start with a base of natural and organic, and then add safe synthetics to reach a level of performance that goes beyond the expectations of green beauty. It’s about the type of ingredients used (silicone has about 100 types) and the percentages that are used.

We look forward to educating further on this topic as we really believe there are some big misconceptions.”

– Sasha, Founder

So there you have it. A fair response from Sasha I think. I appreciate that the eyes are a particularly oily area and so something else is needed to help product stay put. According to Ruth Winters, author of A Consumer’s Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients, Dimethicone is considered to be low toxicity, so I am inclined to go with it.

This is the most effective Natural/organic eye Primer I’ve used and I will carry on using it in my kit.

Have you tried this yet? How do you feel about the use of Dimethicone and other silicones?


Images: (1, 2) LJS – OMUA

(*denotes certified organic ingredient)
Water, Glycerin*, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice*, Polyglyceryl-2 Oleate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Polyglyceryl-2 Stearate, Coco-caprylate, Jojoba Esters, Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Seed Oil*, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil*, Dimethicone, Mica, Vanilla Planifolia (Vanilla) Bean*, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf*, Arnica Montana*, Matricaria Chamomilla (Chamomile) Flowers*, Phenethyl alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tocopherol
gluten free

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