Notable for her starring role in the 2013 Pakistani film Zinda Bhaag, Ilyas received an ARY Film Award Best Actress nomination for her portrayal of Rafina. She also appeared in the 2011 movie Good Morning Karachi.
Before launching her acting career, she was a successful fashion model, receiving LUX Style Award nominations in both 2011 and 2012.
In 2014, she judged a reality television modeling competition called Veet Miss Super Model.
A member of an Islamic family, she was raised in Karachi, Pakistan. Her sister, Uzma, is a successful model.
She is a contemporary of the popular Pakistani television actress Mawra Hocane.