Do you carry both lip balm and lipstick in your purse — because lipstick alone's too drying? I do, too — lipstick on chapped lips looks strange. But last week, I found a new eco-friendly lip color that's letting me leave my organic lip balm at home: Ilia Lip Conditioner.
A product called "lip conditioner" makes me just think of lip balm, but Ilia Lip Conditioner's actually more like a balm and lipstick in one. Put Ilia on, and you'll get a smooth coat of color — that's less opaque than a lipstick but more intense and matte than a tinted gloss, Plus, Ilia's got organic moisturizing power — and a sleek, chic recycled aluminum case to hold it all together.
I discovered Ilia at Beverly Hills eco-boutique Evolue's party for Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep cosmetic safety database — so unsurprisingly, this lip color scores a relatively safe 3 on Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep cosmetic safety database. Made with 85 percent organic ingredients, Ilia's full of moisturizing ingredients found in many organic lip balms — like jojoba oil, cocoa butter and beeswax — as well as botanicals like pomegranate and grape seed extract. My favorite part? The comforting, mellow smell of cocoa butter, vanilla and other delicious ingredients combine to give Ilia a delicious caramel-like scent.
Ilia offers six shades — from the pale pink Nobody's Baby to the bright red Bang Bang. I got the darkest of the lot — Arabian Knights — though the hue isn't quite as dramatically dark as it looks on Ilia's website. The stick itself is a fairly deep violet-burgundy — but the color goes on light, thanks to the balm-meets-lipstick formula. Arabian Knights is now my go-to lip color.
I like how a light swipe gives me just enough color — no mixing or blending with other lipsticks and balms required — while keeping my lips moisturized under the summer sun. The box warns that the lip conditioner could melt when exposed to heat — but so far my Ilia has held up just fine in sunny L.A. weather.
Want some summer color of your own? Find your best shade of Ilia at Evolue — or shop on Ilia's web store. A tube costs $24.95.