Is the Estee Lauder Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator ideal for you? We find out!

by Paris B on · 35 comments

in Product Reviews,Serum,Treatment

Quite a few months ago, I got my hands on the then newly launched Estee Lauder Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator serum. Before I got it, I’d purchased a bottle for a friend for her birthday and within a week received a glowing report of how wonderful it was for her. Said friend swore that it actually did help even out her skintone, reduce redness and blotchiness and left her skin looking wonderfully radiant overall. Goodness! I had to give it a go myself!

esteelauder idealist even3 Is the Estee Lauder Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator ideal for you? We find out!

It is a point to note that this product is an add-on to the Estee Lauder Idealist range, and not a replacement. So it is by all accounts, a brand new product. It comes in the signature Idealist turquoise bottle which has a slight iridescence to it, to simulate the illuminating effects, I would guess.

What this product claims to do is to reduce redness, blotchiness, discolourations, spots and lift dull skin so you get a more even toned, radiant visage. Results are claimed to be seen in 14 days and my friend testified to it in 7! How did it fare for me then?

Well, to a large degree, I will have to agree that this serum does do what it says on the box.

esteelauder idealist even Is the Estee Lauder Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator ideal for you? We find out!

After about a week or two, I definitely noticed an improvement in my skintone. Any redness was reduced and it was, in general very much more even. This is noticeable most when I apply my foundation, because I find I need less to create an even base.

The serum pumps out a creamy lotion with iridescent sparkles in it. Yes, that’s skincare not makeup you’re using. To a large degree, I think whatever illumination is partly due to the presence of these sparkles. Very very fine, but there. Squint at this dollop on my hand and see if you see it.

esteelauder idealist even2 Is the Estee Lauder Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator ideal for you? We find out!

When you spread it around, the sparkles sort of blend into your skin but I strongly believe that any instant illuminating effects are due to these, which was a bit of a disappointment for me, because I felt it was more cosmetic than treatment as I had expected from a skincare serum.

Like the Idealist serum, this one’s chock-a-block with silicones too so those who are sensitive to silicones will do well to stay away. However, what I realized after about a month’s use was that my skin was getting very dry. I have a combination skin type tending to the dry so I will notice when my skin feels drier and tighter than it normally does. I was slapping on the face oils and creams and not finding much relief.

I casually mentioned this phenomenon in a Tweet and to my surprise, found out that I wasn’t alone. Lyn told me she felt that it was drying for her as well. However, Tine and Nadia love theirs and I believe that both of them have oilier skin types than Lyn and I, so I personally believe this is a case of “your experience may vary according to your skin type”.

As for me, I’m sticking to the old stalwart ANR – now that one doesn’t fail me one bit!

In a nutshell

A lightweight serum that claims to lift dull skin and make it look more radiant, while reducing spots, blotchiness and redness on the skin to deliver a more even skin tone. The serum is lightweight but full of silicones so those who have acne prone skin may want to be a bit careful. There is shimmer in the serum which may contribute to the illuminated look of the skin upon immediate use. I personally find that although my skintone looks more even and brighter, my skin also felt dry with prolonged use. Those who have oilier skin types may find they like this better than I did.

Pros: With prolonged use, it does give a more even toned visage, Skin looks more radiant and even toned, Discolorations and redness are reduced

Cons: Dry skin types may find it a bit drying, Not sure about the presence of shimmer in a skincare product, Pricey

Have you tried the new Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator? Do you like it? Or perhaps you are a user of the regular Idealist serum? I had very good results with the regular Idealist serum back when they first launched it. I have read that the newest formulation is much better than the original formula so I’m quite keen to try that one, simply because it used to work for me icon smile Is the Estee Lauder Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator ideal for you? We find out!

Paris B

Estee Lauder Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator Price: RM240/30ml and RM350/50ml Availability: All Estee Lauder counters

Ingredients: Water, Dimethicone, Isododecane, Cyclopentasiloxane, Polysilicone-11, Butylene Glycol, Ascorbyl Glucose, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Gentiana Lutea (Gentian) Root Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, Hydrolyzed Rice Bran Extract, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Extract, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Extract, Cucumis Sativus (cucumber) ruit extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Morus Bombycus (Mulberry) root extract, Travistes Versicolor Extract, Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) Extract, Salicylic Acid, Caffeine, Cholesterol, Acetyl Glucosamine, Squalene, Yeat Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seedcake, Isohexadecane, PEG-6, Dimethoxytolyl Propylresorcinol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Propylene Glycol Dicaprate, Polysorbate 20, Glycyrrhetinic Acid, Polysorbate 80, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Sulfite, Sodium Metabisulfite, Acryl-Amide/Sodium Acrylolyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Capryl Glycol, Hyxylene Glycol, Potassium Sorbate, Di-C12-18 AL-Kyl dimonum Chloride, Fragrance, Tromethamine, Tin Oxide, Sodium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, BHT-Phenoxyethanol, Linalool, Limonene, Mica, Titanium Dioxide (Cl 77891), Bismuth Oxychloride (Cl 77163), Carmine (Cl 75470)

Disclosure: Featured product was provided by PR for consideration. For posting guidelines please read my disclaimer.

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[ 35 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

LeGeeque December 22, 2011 at 8:38 am

I was a huge fan of the old Idealist but I strayed :( The glowing reviews from your friend made me want to get it but thankfully you mentioned it’s not ideal (hur hur hur, pun unintended) for dry skin. You’ve just saved me a prettypenny!

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Paris B December 23, 2011 at 10:56 am

I’m the same as you! I actually went from Idealist to Olay Regenerist serum (highly touted as a “dupe” at the time) and broke out to bad it wasn’t funny. I’ve heard the new Idealist formula is really nice so I’m itching to try it again. This one just doesn’t do it for us dry skinned folk sadly.

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Jess December 22, 2011 at 9:02 am

Thanks for your review, Paris! Quite a few Estee Lauder SA haven been trying to get me getting this serum, but I stayed immune, haha…

Reason for my resistance is 1.) I hated the old version, and 2.) I totally felt the heavy silicone consistency when I tried it out on the back of my hands, and I know that heavy silicone based skincare products don’t fail to make my skin feel like suffocating and make it break out easily.

I think your review kinda confirmed all the skepticism that I had. Hey, loving the Advanced Night Repair (which I’ve been using for about 2 weeks now) too! :)

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Paris B December 23, 2011 at 10:57 am

Glad to help Jess! And yes, Idealist does have a very high silicone content which makes it a great but very expensive primer :P If they had a texture like ANR I think it would be better overall!

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lyn December 22, 2011 at 9:03 am

I find both Idealist and Perfectionist to be rather drying on me. It was fine at the beginning but my skin started to get tight, uncomfortable and flaky after a while :-( However they both do very well to fill in facial pores and smoothen out fine lines, probably due to the high silicone content.

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Paris B December 23, 2011 at 10:58 am

I never tried Perfectionist (because I refused to believe I’d fall into that age group haah! :D ) but after hearing your experience, I don’t think I will. They make a good primer but its just way too pricey for that purpose :P

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peach_ December 22, 2011 at 9:28 am

I have combination/oily skin and this clogged my pores. I really wanted it to work for me, but I didn’t notice ANY results, even after the 2 week mark, except that my skin was getting rough and bumpy. It stopped as soon as I stopped using Idealist, so I know that was it.

But OH. EM. GEE. I must say, I’d forgotten how good the trusty Advanced Night Repair is! I’ve been using the sample vial you gave me for the past 2+ weeks and it has literally transformed my skin. It’s so soft and supple, like it has never experienced dry, winter air. THANK YOU Paris!

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Paris B December 23, 2011 at 10:59 am

Hurray! I’m glad to hear that the ANR works well for you too :D I really like it and I go back to it every now and again. Works well in our hot weather too and I’m glad to hear its working well for you in winter :D

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Jasmine December 22, 2011 at 10:18 am

Reminds me of the Lancome UV Neurowhite line! Same glowy particles in that champagne fluid, same silicone feel … I didn’t look brighter (after removing everything at the end of the day), and if I looked more even I also looked more sallow. :(

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Paris B December 23, 2011 at 10:59 am

Oh boo to shimmer in skincare! Seriously, if it works, it works. No need for all that shimmer boosting yes? :)

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Sheila December 22, 2011 at 11:02 am

The shimmery bits and silicone is what made me stay away from it and most of EL’s serums. The silicone acts like a barrier that actually prevents anything you apply on top from absorbing, which kind of defeats the purpose, especially if you were using a good cream. The shimmery bits deter me as well because like you said, it seems more makeup than skincare. I’m scared the pigment from the shimmer will sink into my skin over the long term and actually create more hyperpigmentation o___0

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Paris B December 23, 2011 at 11:01 am

I honestly don’t know if the shimmer can cause pigmentation, but as far as I’m concerned, shimmer has no place in skincare because whatever effect we see will be strictly cosmetic only. I don’t like that :( I do like the EL ANR serum – it might contain silicones too but markedly less than other serums they have. Also, no shimmer! yay! :)

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Jesz December 22, 2011 at 11:18 am

I was advised by the SA to use together with ANR (or rather on top of ANR) when I bought this. I have oily combination and sensitive skin and have been using ANR for over a year. Give it a try for few months now, but does not seem to see any effect on my skin, thank goodnest too it does not break me out. ANR have been working well on me all these while…guess will not repurchase Idealist Illuminator, will just stick to my ANR.

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Paris B December 23, 2011 at 11:02 am

I’d stick to just ANR too LOL! I didn’t think much of this serum sadly but there are lots of people who do like it so perhaps it may work for some, depending on skin type and concerns :)

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electronicfly December 22, 2011 at 11:31 am

I think I will quite like that it will dry up my oily skin, but I don’t like shimmer in my skincare =/

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Paris B December 23, 2011 at 11:03 am

I don’t see the point of shimmer in skincare to be honest. That’s a bit fakey :(

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Lisa December 24, 2011 at 12:07 pm

I’m very skeptical about the shimmery bits too and that’s what putting me off trying it out. I think Estée Lauder serums mostly contains silicone. So far so good though on my skin.

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Paris B December 26, 2011 at 5:23 pm

I personally have no problems with using silicone on my skin either. Those with very sensitive skin may have problems but I think for the majority, its not much of an issue. I think they could have done better without the shimmery bits.

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Jamilla December 22, 2011 at 1:29 pm

It’s not the silicones, but the exfoliating effect starts working RIGHT AWAY making it impossible for me to wear under makeup. I wear this on it’s own occasionally.

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Paris B December 23, 2011 at 11:05 am

Guess this doesn’t work for everyone then! I wasn’t aware of the exfoliating effects but now you mention it, I do remember it containing salicylic acid

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gin December 22, 2011 at 3:32 pm

totally unrelated but i like your nails Paris!!!!!!!!!!! Finally some colours eh? XD

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Paris B December 23, 2011 at 11:05 am

Haha! This was actually an old picture from when I had the Dior Apparat on :P But thank you, I’ll try to have more colours on in future :D

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melchewvin December 22, 2011 at 4:50 pm

i dont mine the shimmer in the morning as it give my skin a natural glow but at night when i use i feel like i need to use a make up remover in the morning as it makes me feel like i have make up on my face.

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Paris B December 23, 2011 at 11:06 am

Yes that makes sense – are we supposed to use makeup remover in the mornings because of the shimmer? Urgh! I wish EL thought of that :P

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melchewvin December 23, 2011 at 5:05 pm

I asked and they say that the shimmer is different from the ones in cosmetics so we dont need to use a make up remover but it just make me feel i need too!

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rudi December 22, 2011 at 5:28 pm

not a fan of the brand

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Coraline December 22, 2011 at 6:19 pm

I was so tempted when this serum was introduced since a few months back. According to the website, it should be used on the morning routine (and night routine with ANR for the first 12 weeks). Since it’s a serum and we need to apply moisturizer and sunscreen (and make-up if applicable…) after, I wouldn’t mind if it’s a bit drying when goes on its own. The thing is, I can’t decide which day-time serum I need: this one or the purple Perfectionist. Any recommendation would be gladly appreciated :p

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Paris B December 23, 2011 at 11:10 am

I haven’t tried Perfectionist so sorry, I’m not much help :) I am given to understand that Perfectionist is more of a wrinkle filler/anti wrinkle serum while Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator serves to brighten and illuminate the skin. I do use it with a whole bunch of other products as I do all the time in my regular skincare routine. I even added on hydrating serums but it still dried my skin out. That said, it could very well be that it isn’t suitable for my skin because some oilier skinned girls did report better results.

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Coraline December 23, 2011 at 3:25 pm

It was a few months back when I heard about this serum. At that time I did some researches on the Internet about it. I had to read them back again to explain your case hehe :) According to Paula Begoun (beautypedia.com) this serum is almost identical to Clinique’s Derma White Clinical Brightening Essence with added shimmer and scent. It contains silicons, vitamin C, antioxidants, salicylic acid and a pH of 4.4. It has exfoliating, anti-bacteria and pore tightening properties. I think the salicylic acid and the pH are the factors that make your skin drying. It’s definitely more suitable for people with oily, acne prone skin type.
I have combination skin in summer and dry skin in winter. I would suggest you use this serum occasionally (like when you recover from a break-out), as makeup or save it for next summer.
Maybe you should try the Perfectionist :) It’s definitely not drying like this one since it targets wrinkles and mature skin :D

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Roshan December 23, 2011 at 3:50 am

I have tried it and liked it, but I really prefer the Perricone brand over anything else.

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Paris B December 23, 2011 at 11:13 am

I’ve heard some very good things about Perricone but I haven’t tried anything from the skincare range as yet. I did try the Cold Plasma eye cream once but the smell was quite off putting, even if it was effective :P

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Sharonngo December 23, 2011 at 12:58 pm

Totally agree with your “I felt it was more cosmetic than treatment…”. I have oily or combination skin type, but after trying the sample, my skin didn’t have much improvement as claimed. I can’t say for others, “your experience may vary according to your skin type”, just like how you say it. Luckily I didn’t buy full-sized bottle to try, or it will be a waste of money.

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Paris B December 26, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Ah so it didn’t work for your skintype too. Pity really. It sounds so promising!

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Shay December 25, 2011 at 7:16 am

This clogged my pores. Not good for me. :(

Btw, have a blessed Christmas!! :)

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Paris B December 26, 2011 at 5:28 pm

Oh darn – but then you probably aren’t missing anything ;) Merry Christmas Shay

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