ILIA Limitless Lash Mascara: Natural-Looking to Bold Lashes

A review of ILIA Beauty’s Limitless Lash mascara, including sustainability, claims and effectiveness

The Limitless Lash Mascara ($28.00) is a mascara by ILIA Beauty. It comes in one shade, “After Midnight” black. Cause, do you really need more than just black? ILIA claims “Buildable and flake-free, our award-winning ILIA Limitless Lash Mascara lifts, curls, lengthens and adds just the right amount of volume.”

ILIA Beauty considers itself “clean” and is free of most things that “clean beauty” shuns. US consumers can purchase ILIA Limitless Lash mascara from most retailers that stock clean beauty, including the Detox Market and Amazon.

To get started, let’s take a look at the wand. It comes with a dual-sided brush. Short bristles on one side add volume. Longer bristles on the other define and separate. (Or did I get that reversed?)

ILIA mascara Wand
ILIA mascara wand


ILIA makes 3 claims regarding the ingredients in its mascara. I was not able to find evidence to support their claims regarding lashes. Regarding hair in general, all 3 claims are well backed by science.

“Arginine: Fortifies lashes”

Arginine promotes circulation to the hair root, which supports hair growth. A 2003 study in the Journal of Cosmetic Science found that replacing some ammonia with arginine in hair bleach protected hair from damage in the bleaching process. Furthermore, a 2018 study in the journal Cosmetics showed a reduction of loss in hair treated with inositol and arginine.

“Organic shea butter: Weightlessly conditions lashes”

With production as far back as A.D. 100, shea butter has a long history of use in cosmetic products. Due to its high fatty acid content, shea butter is an excellent moisturizer for hair and skin. I am not sure it is proven to be “weightless,” but it does condition.

“Beeswax: Nourishes lashes”

This is the hardest claim to prove. The closest scientific evidence I found were articles, including this 2016 article from Advanced Biomedical Research, demonstrating that propolis, a mixture of beeswax and bee saliva, promotes hair growth.

Open ILia mascara
I purchased this mascara late last year, before the new packaging was released.


Better than most, still needs improvement

ILIA Beauty is Leaping Bunny (cruelty-free) certified and uses up to 85% USDA certified organic ingredients.

ILIA excels at sustainable packaging. Some plastic is used. For example, the Limitless Lash Mascara includes a plastic insert. However, ILIA primarily uses recycled aluminum, glass, and “responsibly sourced paper” for packaging. This mascara comes in a recycled aluminum tube.

In addition, ILIA Beauty promotes recycling by partnering with TerraCycle. Complete this form for a free postage-paid shipping label. They even accept packaging from other brands. (But don’t forget to send your wand to Wands for Wildlife to help the Appalachian Wildlife Refuge care for animals.)

Beyond packaging and the certifications mentioned above, I wasn’t able to find much else. I contacted ILIA but they only said, “Many of our manufacturers are either working towards or using renewable energy.”

ILIA Limitless Lash mascara's new packaging
The new packaging from


Rating: 4 out of 5.

It’s a great mascara. Unfortunately, I saw no benefit in lift or curl. I have very straight lashes and have this issue with most mascaras. Not even 30 minutes after using an eyelash curler and Limitless Lash mascara, my lashes returned to sticking straight out.

Would I Buy Again?

While my search for a sustainable mascara that holds a curl continues, I would buy ILIA’s Limitless Lash mascara again. I like the subtle emphasis it adds to my lashes. It is the mascara I reach for on days I want a natural look, which is most days. If you want a bolder look, just add another layer or two.

What Do You Think?

Love, hate, or is Limitless Lash Mascara so-so? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

And be sure to check out our other reviews before leaving.

Updated October 10, 2020

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