Illuminator is supposed to be an all-in-one product: reducing redness, evening skin tone (reducing acne marks/sun spots) and giving a radiant glow. I have been using as part of my daily skin routine and I have been pleased with the results. I'm not sure if this product delivers 100% on all that is promised but I definitely feel like my skin has a bit more of a smooth appearance and more evened out tone. It's unfortunate that some people have had break-outs post usage but Clinique also has Even Better Clinical which is similar.
I purchased the Illuminating serum when it first came out a few months ago..I have been using it religiously since then and love it! I have fairly good skin, but tend to scar when I get the occasional breakout, and also have the usual amount of redness around nose and chin for being fair (Mac NW15) This serum has definitely clarified and lightened old acne scars, and I found that it is a great primer under foundation. Since using it, I rarely wear foundation, just a little concealer and MAC Careblend powder over top...I get complements all the time saying my skin looks natural and radiant..I just love it!!
I just got a refund on mine today after using it for 3 weeks.
I am 36 with fair combination/dry skin with some redness and a little acne scarring. I have a tendency to break out so I use Proactiv cleanser and toner to combat this and it has worked for twelve months.....twelve whole months without one pimple, no matter what I ate or drunk or if I drank enough water or washed my makeup off properly at night.
And now it is all ruined. 3 weeks into using Idealist I had large active pimples on my chin and around nose, and spots on my cheeks and forehead. Absolutely no change in redness, no change to scarring, dry flakes on my T zone, and a high level of disappointment. Overall my usually fairly nice skin is now....bad. I like some of EL's cosmetics, I love the Advanced Night Repair....but gosh, they've got this one wrong. And also, on general principle I don't dig illuminating sparkles in skincare. It smacks of desperation to me; as if they know they've got a dud formula so they dump some illuminator into it in some vain hope they'll confuse at least a little of their market into thinking it works.
Don't buy it. I'm sure there are other better skintone balancing products out there.
I must admit this product resulted in some breakouts at the beginning. I even got acne spots on my cheeks after a few uses (weird because I usually never ever get acne spots on my cheeks). I carried on using this product hoping it wouldn't turn out that bad afterall. At some point (approx 2 weeks later) it stopped breaking me out, and soothed alot of vicious acne marks. This product also beautifies my make-up so I will not stop using it. I say skin needs time to adapt to the product, as it may be a tad bit harsh at first.
My first 1 star Estee Lauder product. I am shocked as you probably are, given I am such a big EL fan. I hardly ever breakout thanks to good skincare routine + Clarisonic. Within 1 day of using this, I started to break out and the more days I used, the worst it got. I counted over 24 breakouts on my forehead after just 5 days, the stress of it probably brought out more breakouts. Before someone tell me I need to moisturize - yes I do, ANR and all... I stopped using the product and within 1 day, the break out calmed down. Within a week, it's almost cleared. Stupid me, started to use this again, and boy another round of 2 dozen breakouts within a week. Just like ppl said, I am aways in a oil slick when I have this one, I have no idea why.
I noticed that it did very slightly improve some spots I have. However, just like another reviewer said, this product creates a lot of breakouts, so it can then improve it?!?!?!
Also, while on this product, I've noticed a ton of clogged pores and explosive increase in blackheads.. This product does creates a smooth surface on your skin like every othe silicone oil based product but this one clogs pore more than anything I have used.
I got a free 10 day sample of this product from The Bay and it is absolutely worth every penny. I went out and bought one right when my sample was empty.
I suffer from some red spots from old acne, and when they are irritated, they get more visible. Because of this, I wear foundation every day (SKINN Cosmetics Extreme Perfect Foundation, now THAT'S a good foundation if you're looking for full coverage that isn't cakey).
Anyways, I have been using this for less than a month, and I haven't worn foundation this entire weekend, there is just no need. I usually won't write reviews unless something is out-of-this-world good, and this, is definitely the miracle I've been looking for. I absolutely cannot believe how good this works.
At around $75 for the 1 oz bottle and $100 for the larger size (Canadian $$), it is a little pricey but if it works on everyone like it's been working on me, its definitely worth it!
I absolutely love this product! First off let me just point out that a few reviewers here are perhaps using the product incorrectly. As explained to me by the Counter manger who also had her EL rep by her side (I guess she was there for a visit) that you use this serum at night after ANR (if you use it) and before moisturizer which mines happens to be Daywear. In the morning you skip the ANR step. After 12 weeks (the initial boost) you will only use this serum in the day time and not at night.
As for my results, I saw great results in one week my skin was definitely more radiant and now after 3 weeks my freckles are lighten pass acne marks are almost gone and my forehead and cheek now match! Amazing product and totally change my skin for the better!
Went to the EL counter to get Advanced Night Repair but was talked into this by the saleswoman. I have extremely sensitive skin with rosacea which I explained to her. I liked the texture and scent, but after a week of using it, my pores began to get clogged and my rosacea bumps started appearing. I had to return it and exchanged it for ANR.
I tried this with some reluctance...but all I can say is wonderful. It is the heat of summer here, with high humidity, and yet this serum sinks right in to my combination skin, and within 10 days I have seen a big difference. The sun spots have lightened only a bit, but the redness and some of the old acne scars have diminished considerably. In addition, my skin is smooth and some of my finer wrinkles have become less obvious. Pleasantly surprised, and I will certainly continue to use this>
This is actually a great serum. This serum is not to slather over the face. use it in moderation. every other day or even once a week! less is more with this product. use it over your troubled areas.