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Naturally, it works perfectly under makeup.
Makeup and skin-care aficionados are no stranger to Ilia Beauty, a clean cosmetics brand known for its skin-care-powered makeup. Launched in 2011, the California-based company has set itself apart by creating multitasking formulas full of skin-loving ingredients. Its latest innovation? The newly launched Bright Start Activated Eye Cream ($46; sephora.com), A.K.A. the brand's first official strictly skin-care product.
Available now, the lightweight eye cream was formulated to brighten, hydrate, smooth, and de-puff the under-eye area while prepping skin for concealer. Its star ingredient is sea fennel extract, a plant-derived molecule that's been dubbed a gentler alternative to retinol for its ability to tighten skin. Other key ingredients include upcycled avocado extract and caffeine to reduce dark circles and puffiness.
True to the brand's multitasking style, the formula also contains light-reflecting pearls (i.e. mica) to illuminate your under-eyes. It won't add any coverage like a concealer, but it will amp up the brightness of your under-eyes (making it a great option for reviving tired eyes on no-makeup days).
The product has already garnered hundreds of five-star ratings. Shoppers praise how well it wears under makeup, which, unsurprisingly, was one of its intended benefits. Ilia Beauty founder Sasha Plavsic said she "found so many eye creams that didn't work with concealer," so the team formulated it to absorb into the skin quickly and create a smooth canvas for concealer.
Ilia Bright Start Activated Eye Cream is suitable for the morning and evening, though it's arguably best for the early hours. In addition to the light-reflecting pearls, it also features a cooling—and hygienic—ceramic applicator that doubles as a massage tool to de-puff your eyes when you wake up. The brand recommends moving it in "slow arcs from the outer corner of the eye in, and up along the brow bone" for best results.
This launch marks the brand's first time venturing into exclusively skin-care staples like eye cream. Its core collection includes hybrid products like setting spray that doubles as a blue-light protectant and skin-firming makeup primer.
The closest Ilia formerly came to launching a tried-and-true facial skin care in the past was its launch of Vitamin C Beyond Triple Serum in May, a sheer-tinted vitamin C serum that gives your skin an instant glow boost—not to mention long-term brightening benefits.
Like its predecessors, Bright Start follows the brand's philosophy of bridging makeup and skin care. Time will tell if the Ilia Beauty Bright Start Activated Eye Cream hits the brand's bestseller list, comprised of social media superstars such as the Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 ($48), the Multi-Stick ($34) and the Limitless Lash Mascara ($28).
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