The Illuminator Radiant Perfecting Primer + Finisher
Lauder's The Illuminator Radiant Perfecting Primer + Finisher is a very good, but not quite excellent primer that can be used by all skin types—though if you have dry skin, the formula isn't hydrating enough to replace your moisturizer.
Housed in an opaque squeeze tube topped with a gold cap, the lightweight cream dispenses white, applies smoothly, and sets to a non-greasy finish that lends a soft, pale pink glow to skin. We love how this illuminates without feeling slick; indeed, it's soft matte (in feel) finish works well to enhance makeup application, extending wear time and ensuring more even results.
Many primers are ho-hum formulas that don't supply skin with much in the way of beneficial ingredients. Although The Illuminator doesn't go overboard with such ingredients, it's nice to see it includes some respectable antioxidants like shea butter and vitamin E. Hydrating ingredients are included, too, but the amount of film-forming agent this primer contains lends a subtle feeling of tightness rather than the supple, hydrated feel you might be expecting.
The Illuminator Radiant Perfecting Primer + Finisher is one of the better primers out there, but despite some strong positives, it doesn't quite equate with the top options in this category. See our list of Best Foundation Primers for those that made the cut.
- Lightweight, silky texture glides over skin.
- Illuminates skin without feeling slick or greasy.
- Contains some great antioxidants.
- Fragrance free.
- Doesn't provide enough hydration for dry skin, so you'll still need your serum or moisturizer.
Estee Lauder At-A-Glance
The history of Estee Lauder goes back to 1946, when the woman who created the brand (and for whom it is named) began selling creams and lotions made by her chemist uncle. From its humble beginnings, Estee Lauder has grown to become a multibillion-dollar company whose products are sold all over the world and advertised in just about every fashion and women's lifestyle magazine available.
The biggest compliment we can pay to the venerable Estee Lauder line is that their moisturizers and serums can largely be described as state-of-the-art. Though fragrance is often intrusive, but when it comes to formulary excellence culminating in products that give skin what it needs to function optimally, they are tough to beat.
When it comes to makeup, by and large the brand also exceeds expectations. Though there are some under-performing products (you can read more about them in our individual reviews), Lauder has a number of excellent options, most notably its lip colors.
For more information about Estee Lauder, call (877) 311-3883 or visit www.esteelauder.com.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.