Il Makiage Foundation Review: Is it Toxic?

Il Makiage Foundation Review: Is it Toxic?

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Il Makiage’s foundation, called Woke Up Like This, is one of the most popular foundation products on the market. It comes in 50 shades that can match any skin tone, and the brand claims that their foundation has an “advanced, innovative formula for a flawless, uniform natural matte finish.”

But does Il Makiage foundation contain research-backed ingredients or are these just marketing claims? Does the product contain any unhealthy additive ingredients? And how do real users rate it and describe its effects?

In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we analyze the ingredients in Il Makiage foundation based on medical studies to give our take on whether it’s an effective and safe formulation.

We’ll highlight several questionable additive ingredients and feature customer reviews.

Ingredient Analysis

Il Makiage Foundation ingredients

The ingredients in Il Makiage are shown above.

The good news is that this foundation contains iron oxides as natural colorants. Not only are iron oxides safe and non-toxic, they were shown in a review published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology to protect the skin from UV damage.

Both iron oxides and titanium dioxide (another ingredient in this foundation) are frequently used in natural sunscreen because they’re physical UV blockers.

Sodium hyaluronate is another effective ingredient. It was shown in a 2011 clinical trial to significantly reduce wrinkle depth, and it one of the anti-aging ingredients with the most research backing.

While Il Makiage Foundation has some safe and effective active ingredients, it also contains a wide range of additive ingredients that we consider questionable from a health perspective.

Octocrylene is shown in clinical research to break down into a carcinogenic (cancer-causing) compound called benzophenone.

Talc is contaminated with the carcinogen asbestos more than 10% of the time according to a clinical trial published in the Environmental Health Insights journal.

Fragrance was studied in a medical review published in the Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health journal, and the study authors concluded that fragranced consumer products can "impose serious risks to human health."

Phenoxyethanol is a synthetic preservative shown to be toxic to human cells in a clinical trial, as we documented in our review of another cosmetic brand containing this ingredient called Laura Geller makeup. Benzyl alcohol is another preservative ingredient.

Real People Try Il Makiage Foundation

A YouTube creator named “STEPHANIE TOMS” has a review of Il Makiage foundation that includes a live product demonstration. She gives her take on whether the foundation blends well:

Another YouTube influencer named Nikkia Joy reviewed the foundation and shared her thoughts on whether it reduces the appearance of pores. Her video includes a 12-hour wear test:

Is Makeup Toxic?

An Al Jazeera exposé on the toxicity of some makeup products is only three minutes long and has a lot of interesting information:

Real Customers Review Il Makiage Foundation

Il Makiage has been reviewed over 7,000 times on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website and has an impressive average review rating of 4.63 out of 5 stars.

A BBB user named “karen c” claims that the online quiz is helpful:

“Love the foundation and concealer. Highly recommend to everyone. The online quiz found my perfect colour match and it looks so natural. Wouldn't go anywhere else for these products now!”

However, while reviews of the product are fairly positive, there are many complaints about the brand on the BBB site.

A customer named “Audrey W” claims that the company charged more than was authorized:

“I signed up for the try before you buy promotion and authorized a $6.32 shipping fee for what I thought was a sample of the product. I then got an email saying there would be charged a ‘temporary pre-authorization fee’ of $48.15 that I did not authorize.”

There are actually so many complaints about billing that BBB has a “Current Alert” for Il Makiage on their website stating the following: 

“BBB files indicate a Pattern of Complaints regarding the billing policies, technical issues and customer service practices of Il Makiage. Beginning in Jan. 2019, BBB a marked a notable increase in consumer disputes against this firm. Consumers are telling BBB a host of issues they experience after participating in the company's trial offer called Try Before You Buy.”

We’ve never seen such an alert on the BBB website and consider this a red flag about the brand. That being said, the brand does appear to respond to the majority of user complaints to resolve the issue which is a good thing.

Our Clean Foundation Pick

Ilia True Skin Serum Foundation is our top clean foundation brand.

Ilia’s makeup has natural ingredients beneficial for skin health like aloe vera juice, coconut and jojoba seed oil.

Ilia’s makeup is fragrance-free, free of phenoxyethanol and is also free of synthetic dyes.

While it does contain two preservatives (ethylhexylglycerin and sodium benzoate), we consider these to be less harsh options than the inactive ingrdients in Il Makiage.

We would prefer to recommend a preservative-free makeup product but have not come across one. If we do, we will update this section of the article with that recommendation.

Pros and Cons of Il Makiage Foundation

Here are the pros and cons of Il Makiage foundation in our opinion:


  • Extremely popular
  • Many shades to fit any skin tone
  • Mostly positive customer reviews
  • Contains an anti-aging ingredient
  • Contains natural sunscreen ingredients


  • Contains fragrance
  • Contains synthetic preservatives
  • Contains talc
  • Contains other questionable additives
  • Expensive
  • Brand receives many customer complaints over billing issues
Stay up-to-date on our research reviews


We do not currently recommend Il Makiage Foundation. While the product does seem like a good choice from an aesthetic and functional standpoint, it contains a wide range of questionable additive ingredients that health-conscious consumers may wish to avoid.

Not only does this foundation contain fragrance but it also contains synthetic preservatives and an ingredient clinically shown to be broken down by the body into a carcinogen.

Many makeup brands contain questionable chemicals and we recommend that consumers be wary and read the ingredient label to choose a non-toxic option.

So many consumers have complained about Il Makiage’s billing practices on the BBB website that the company has actually issued a public warning, which we’ve never seen before in any of our hundreds of Illuminate Health reviews.

Most user reviews of this product claim that it blends well and has a good texture.