Okay, I admit, as much as I love makeup, I’m really not that skilled at applying eyeshadows! So when I discovered liquid eyeshadows that you can simply apply with some gentle taps of your finger, I was intrigued! It’s basically eyeshadow for dummies. There are two, in particular, that are taking the clean beauty world by storm: Ilia Liquid Powder Chromatic Eye Tints and Kosas 10-Second Eyeshadows. So let’s compare the two side-by-side and see which one is best!
This post contains affiliate links but reflects my honest thoughts about the products, as always!
Kosas 10-Second Gel Watercolor Eyeshadows vs. Ilia Liquid Powder Chromatic Eye Tints
Price & Quantity:
Ilia’s tube is $28 for 0.12 fl oz (3.5 mL) and Kosas is $15 for 0.06 fl oz (2 mL). So *technically* Kosas is cheaper per milliliter.
Both have a 6-month recommended expiration after opening.
Like I mentioned above, these are both pretty much eyeshadow for dummies and super easy to swipe on and apply. Each should be applied one eye at a time because they dry quickly (within a few seconds) so you really need to be ready to go as soon as you swipe it on. They start out as a liquid and dry to a powdery finish and have doe-foot applicators. I just use my ring finger to gently tap it around my eyelid until it’s blended and dry. You could also use a stiffer brush to buff it out, but I don’t find that necessary.
Kosas, however, seems more forgiving and I can be more careless with my application. It’s a little more viscous and easy to move around; while Ilia leans towards creamy and can look blotchy if you use too much or don’t blend it in right away. Ilia is not as easy to correct, either.
Both are buildable so you can either go light for a subtle look, or a heavier application for something bolder. I do find that Ilia applies more heavily than Kosas.
Overall, Kosas is easier to use, especially if you’re not that great at applying eyeshadow in general (like me!). It spreads around way better than Ilia while maintaining its full color!
Texture & Finish:
So here’s where they are quite different! Kosas is a little thinner and more of a gel, and it’s definitely way more metallic and shimmery ✨ Ilia is a thicker cream that has a slight shimmer to it but leans towards matte.
Performance & Durability:
I have hooded oily eyelids so I almost always need an eye primer before applying eyeshadows because most crease on me. With these, however, I don’t even need a primer which is awesome! They wear really well throughout the day; I can usually apply in the morning and still have a decent amount of pigment 8-10 hours later.
If I *really* want to get nitpicky here, then I think Ilia is slightly more crease-proof and the color stays longer. With Kosas, I see a faint crease line towards the end of the day. Sometimes I just do a few more taps along the crease to blend it in and then I’m good. Overall though, I’m super impressed with how these perform 👍
Ilia takes the cake with 8 shades and more color variety. There are lots of subtle but earthy tones. Kosas recently reformulated and scaled down their shade range to now have 6 neutrals.
I have Ilia’s shade Dim, a gray lavender with pink and purple pearl. And Kosas’ shades Blaze (neutral bronze) and Heat (rose gold).
Listen, I know a LOT when it comes to natural ingredients and what to look out for. But I’m certainly no formulator or chemist and won’t even pretend to be an expert about it.
But…here’s what I DO know:
- Both are vegan, gluten free, and water-based formulas
- Ilia’s is synthetic dye-free and their mica is ethically-sourced from France
- Kosas uses child-labor-free mica
- I have super high standards for ingredients and I consider both of these to be “clean”
Full ingredient lists for each:
KOSAS: Aqua/Water, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Fruit Extract/Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Mica, Alcohol, Silica, Propanediol, Glycerin, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter/Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil/Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Galactoarabinan, Pentylene Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Cellulose Gum, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Honokiol, Potassium Sorbate, Tin Oxide, (+/-): CI 77891/Titanium Dioxide, CI 77491/Iron Oxides, CI 77499/Iron Oxides
ILIA: Aqua/Water/Eau, Mica, Silica, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Acacia Senegal Gum, Glyceryl Caprylate, Fructose, Aesculus Hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut) Extract*, Honokiol, Tin Oxide, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid. May Contain/Peut Contenir (±): CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 (Iron Oxides).
And the Winner Is…
Drumroll, please! 🥁 Of the two, I prefer the Kosas 10-Second Gel Watercolor Eyeshadow! Not only is it cheaper, but it’s just easier to apply and more foolproof. Plus, I love the shimmer and slight sparkle.
Ilia is still a wonderful option, in my opinion, so you might totally prefer that one yourself.
Now, Where Can I Buy Them!?
There are some clean beauty retailers I trust that carry these products! Shop them here:
Thanks for reading, friends! I hope this was an insightful side-by-side comparison. Are there any other similar products out there that you’d love to see compared? Let me know in the comments and I’ll see what I can do for ya!