As a life-long envier of those with naturally long lashes, I had all but given up on my search to find the best product. After years of friends telling me that roughly taking off my mascara with a makeup remover pad was breaking my lashes, I surrendered to the inevitable side effect: having short, stubby lashes that I covered with coats and coats of synthetic mascara. Of course, the more layers I added, the harder I needed to scrub to remove it. 

As my natural-beauty awakening took hold, I started switching to products with cleaner ingredients, but I was reluctant to restart my mascara quest. On a whim, I purchased Ilia’s Limitless Lash Lengthening Mascara after feeling disappointed in the other natural options I had tried. This was a game-changer.I noticed how smoothly the product went on and how different my lashes looked—long, plump, but also, incredibly natural. They weren’t clumped or stick-straight; they looked like my lashes, only longer and fanned out. 

I have always used a primer when I apply mascara to make sure that my lashes are protected, but Ilia’s made me feel like it might be unnecessary. Since the formula also works as a conditioner, the product actually moisturizes your lashes as you wear it.

Furthermore, they don’t feel brittle or dry when I have the mascara on either, unlike most products that make you feel like a quick movement could harm your lash coatings. The dual-sided brush also offers a variety of application methods, but I honestly can’t tell too much of a difference. My lashes come out the same, naturally-lengthened way each time. 

But, perhaps the most interesting experience during my first foray with Ilia’s product was my shock after looking at my bare lashes a few weeks later. For the first time since I started wearing makeup over a decade ago, my natural eyelashes were curled, and you could see their definition when I wasn’t wearing mascara. 

Combined with the heavily nutrient-dense formula, the mascara’s ability to simply wash off in the shower had negated my need to scrub with eye makeup remover each night. With no breakage, my lashes could grow with ease while the ingredients nourished my lashes from the outside-in. After years of searching, the journey was finally over—I am now a life-long Ilia mascara wearer.

It’s not a joke—all you do is wash it off with water. Seriously, I just go in my shower and come out with no runs on my face. I thought it was a myth at first too, and went at my eyes with my old remover, only to see nothing on the pad. On top of the nutrient-rich formula and its conditioner, the removal process has saved my lashes from years of pulling. 

I bought my tube from Credo Beauty, but you can get it from Ilia’s website or various department stores and natural beauty outlets. If you’re not ready to commit, you can buy the travel size and see the difference for yourself. As far as application, I still use my primer underneath because I feel that it offers an extra layer of protection, but it doesn’t feel as vital as before when I used drying formulas. I recommend trying the product the first time without eyeliner on so you can see the difference in how long your lashes look—I was shocked when I looked in the mirror. 

If your makeup bag is packed with synthetic products, a cleaner mascara alternative may offer the same benefits along with the added advantage of hydrating your natural hairs. I wish I could give my 16-year-old self this mascara and save myself hundreds of healthy lashes!

About Paige Pichler

Paige Pichler is a writer, speaker, Project HEAL National Ambassador and yoga instructor. She writes about wellness, higher consciousness and health trends for a better life.

View all posts by Paige Pichler

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