ILIA Beauty Fullest Volume Mascara Review (Pros & Cons)

August 20, 2021 (updated October 7, 2021)

ILIA dropped their Fullest Volume Mascara and we couldn’t wait to get our hands on it. We tried it, we layered it, we slept in it, we mixed it with others….we ate it (just kidding). And we are here to report on all of it. Is ILIA’s Fullest Volume Mascara truly the best volumizing mascara? Here’s our take, plus a list of pros + cons.

Lisa holds an ILIA Beauty mascara tube while she applies it.

IN THIS POST:


woman looking in the mirror applying mascara

ILIA Beauty Fullest Volume Mascara review: best volumizing mascara?

When I read a review, I want DETAILS—especially when it comes to mascara. So, let’s break this ILIA Beauty Fullest Volume Mascara review down into specifics.

Ingredients

No red flags here. In fact, we actually see some ingredients that bring something to the table. For example, ILIA’s Fullest Volume Mascara contains provitamin B5 (listed as panthenol on the ingredient list). When it comes to hair, panthenol can deliver long-lasting moisturization, thicken, add shine and improve the condition of damaged hair. And when we are talking about lashes, who doesn’t want that?! 

ILIA is also adding in arginine which they say “supports stronger, healthier looking lashes.” 

I like seeing beneficial ingredients added to makeup. Like, panthenol to mascara?! Why not feed two birds with one scone?!

BUT, by far, the two most important things for me in a mascara is #1 performance—I want my mascara to actually work the way I want it to. And #2 I want the formula to be free from any harmful ingredients. And we are seeing that here, plus some! 

And although this is not a vegan mascara (it contains beeswax), it is cruelty free.

Texture/dry time

This is not a wet, liquidy formula. Nor is it a dry formula. On the wet-dry mascara spectrum, I would say it sits in the middle, leaning towards wet. The texture is thicker than their Limitless Lash Mascara (you can read my full review of that here) and it’s conducive to coating lashes evenly, transferring product to lashes and for layering. 

It also dries quickly. This is a benefit because you can build it up quickly with additional coats to get the look you want. And because it sets fast, it also reduces smudging, flaking and transfer. 

And speaking of transfer…depending on the type of lashes you have + a wet-ish formula + adding in a bigger, chunkier wand, be prepared for some necessary clean up after application. I usually get some initial transfer (while the product is still wet) where my lashes hit my brow bone. This is easy to remove with a wet cotton swab. 

RELATED: ILIA Beauty Review (with pros & cons).

Application

ILIA departed from their patented Limitless Lash Mascara (LLM) wand to transition to what they are calling a violin-shaped wand….or an hourglass-shaped wand. This synthetic-bristled wand has longer, thicker bristles than the LLM wand and is able to deliver a ton of product with each swipe. 

Lisa showing off the ILIA Beauty mascara wand.

First coat: I can apply one coat with no issues. I don’t need any additional tools to get the look I want and the volume is obvious. One coat actually wears smooth and a bit more natural and feathery looking and offers the most separation possible from this product.

A close up of eye makeup showing mascara that is adding volume, length and definition.
Wearing one coat of ILIA’s Fullest Volume Mascara.

Hot tip: I try to go in again real quick before the first coat dries to apply more product. Think Coat 1.5. This works really well to deliver more volume while still maintaining separation. 

Second coat: This is where it starts to get a little hairy. Double the product = double the volume here, so I say go for it and get ready to be wowed. But at the same time, be ready to work to avoid clumping and to achieve the separation you want. For me, sometimes this means grabbing a new wand (with no product on it) after the second coat is applied to run through my lashes. You may need to do the same or not…see what you think.

Lisa wearing two coats of ILIA's Fullest Volume Mascara.
Wearing two coats of ILIA’s Fullest Volume Mascara.

Third coat: I was so scared to go in for a third coat the first time I used this product because I was certain I was buying two tickets to spider city but then I did it and HOLY MOTHER OF PEARL did my lashes look huge and bold. I mean, do I go in for coat 4?! 

Lisa wearing three coats of ILIA's Fullest Volume Mascara.
Wearing three coats of ILIA’s Fullest Volume Mascara.

Three coats won’t be a look for everyone but I’ll totally be rocking it from time to time. 

The look 

This mascara pulls lashes together as part of its volumizing strategy. This means it’s going to give you a chunkier lash look as opposed to a feathery, natural, separated look. If you like lash separation and a natural look, this one is not for you. 

If you love that chunky lash look (like my friend who wears 10 layers of mascara #truestory) then boo, we just hooked you up. 

Again, you can also play with layers or no layers to expand and/or contract the way this mascara looks on you. Meaning wearing one coat will look WAY DIFFERENT than wearing three coats. I find ILIA’s Fullest Volumizing Mascara to be really versatile in this way. 

Wearability 

ILIA is marketing their new Fullest Volume Mascara as a “smudge free” and “flake free” formula.

Did it flake for me? No. 

Did it smudge for me? No. 

I have normal skin with an oily T-Zone and I’ve had mascara flake on me and smudge on me in the past. This one did not do either. It really dries down fairly quickly and stays put. 

It’s also lightweight and even with three coats, I don’t feel the weight of it throughout the day.  

Removability 

I use an oil to remove my makeup and this mascara comes off very easily with an oil. I always wash my face with oil twice. Once to remove makeup and a second time to cleanse. More here on my fave cleansing oils and how to double cleanse.

RELATED: My current anti-aging skincare routine

Final thoughts 

I think this could be a BEST FIT mascara for several people including: 

  • Someone who has long lashes to begin with and is looking to add more volume. 
  • Someone who likes a chunkier mascara look. 
  • Someone who believes there is no such thing as too many coats of mascara. 
  • Someone who wants to boost their look, but doesn’t like applying more than one coat. 
  • Someone who wants a mascara that has better ingredients but still performs like a conventional mascara.

For me, my lashes are not extraordinarily long or thick or defined, so I want a mascara that does it all. 

Bottom line? This formula overdelivers when it comes to volume, but falls a little short on separation and length. 

That being said, I haven’t stopped using it since I got it. I’ve honestly never seen volume like this before in better beauty and I’m hooked. 


woman applying mascara

What mascara is best for volume and length? 

Best lengthening mascara? ILIA Limitless Lash Mascara

Best volumizing mascara? ILIA’s Fullest Volume Mascara 

RELATED: Check out our recs for other categories like best vegan mascara, best budget mascara, best oil-free mascara and more here


ILIA Beauty Fullest Volume Mascara pros + cons:

Keep in mind these are my personal pros and cons…depending on what you are looking for in a mascara, some of my pros could be your cons and vice versa. 

Pros: 

  • Delivers major volume 
  • Better ingredients
  • No harsh scent (fragrance free) 
  • Delivers product quickly
  • Dries fast 
  • Didn’t sting my eyes
  • Lightweight
  • Doesn’t smudge (on me)
  • Doesn’t flake (on me) 
  • Cruelty free 

Cons: 

  • Can wear clumpy
  • Does not deliver separation 
  • Delivers *some* length but not a ton
  • Bigger brush that can be hard to manipulate 
  • Be prepared to do some cleanup after application
  • Pricey compared to drugstore mascara 
  • Not waterproof 

Have you tried the new volumizing mascara from ILIA Beauty? Did you like it?

TOG Team Note: This article contains affiliate links. TOG uses affiliate links as a source for revenue to fund operations of the business and to be less dependent on branded content. TOG stands behind all product recommendations. Still have questions about these links or our process? Feel free to email us.

ILIA Fullest Volumizing Mascara Review
  • Price
    (3.5)
  • Ingredients
    (5)
  • Effectiveness
    (4.5)

Summary

ILIA’s Fullest Volume Mascara -is a new, clean volumizing mascara that provides volume without flaking, smudging or irritating the eyes. The clean formula makes lashes healthy and fuller with every application.

Overall
4.3

Pros

  • Delivers major volume
  • Better ingredients
  • No harsh scent (fragrance free)
  • Delivers product quickly
  • Dries fast
  • Didn’t sting my eyes
  • Lightweight
  • Doesn’t smudge (on me)
  • Doesn’t flake (on me)
  • Cruelty free

Cons

  • Can wear clumpy
  • Does not deliver separation
  • Delivers *some* length but not a ton
  • Bigger brush that can be hard to manipulate
  • Be prepared to do some cleanup after application
  • Pricey compared to drugstore mascara
  • Not waterproof

By Lisa Fennessy

Lisa is the founder of This Organic Girl. Passionate about clean beauty, organic eats and nontoxic lifestyle, Lisa writes to create awareness. Conscious consumerism and informed decisions will impact the marketplace, our health and THE WORLD!

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