Visible Difference Optimizing Skin Serum
Although Arden is launching this as a new serum, it is actually quite similar to one they had years ago, Skin Illuminating Complex. You get a mix of silicone with slip agents and some good skin-repairing ingredients and antioxidants, but not much else of benefit. Today's best serums provide what this does and more, all in an effort to help your skin look and act younger—which is what we assume you want if you're reading this review.
There's reason to praise this serum, but there also are reasons to think twice about purchasing it. As mentioned, despite some impressive ingredients, it's not in the same league as our top-rated serums (see our list of Best Sensitive Serums). This contains some fragrance ingredients known to cause irritation, which is another reason to consider it carefully, if at all.
Arden claims this is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin, but the fragrance issue precludes that recommendation. This is an OK option for normal to oily or combination skin.
One more comment: Arden's "retinyl complex" may be exclusive to them, but the retinol-like ingredient that's part of this complex (known as retinyl linoleate) is not exclusive to Arden, or to any cosmetics company; nor is it superior to pure retinol.
- Silky texture contains some beneficial anti-aging ingredients.
- Formula is dated and lacking compared with today's best serums.
- The inclusion of fragrance and fragrance ingredients makes this a no-go for sensitive skin.
- Arden's retinyl complex doesn't give this serum an anti-aging advantage over products that contain retinol.
This advanced treatment formula with our exclusive retinyl complex renews skins clarity and texture as it evens skin tone. Suitable for all skin types, even sensitive skin.
Elizabeth Arden At-A-Glance
Strengths: Some excellent serums and a few noteworthy moisturizers; praiseworthy concealers; a handful of well-formulated makeup products including foundation, blush, eyeshadow, and lipstick.
Weaknesses: No products for those battling blemishes; several products whose sunscreen lacks sufficient UVA protection; most of the foundations with sunscreen fail to provide sufficient UVA protection; lackluster eye and brow pencils; some problematic lip color products; jar packaging weakens some otherwise great formulas.
Former nurse Elizabeth Arden was a pioneer in the beauty industry. At the turn of the 20th century, Arden began her legacy when she opened her first salon, with the now-familiar red door. Over the next several years she introduced new products and services to women unaccustomed to such choices, and almost single-handedly made it acceptable for modern women to wear makeup. And while Arden understood and met these beauty needs, she was also adept at self-promotion and packaging, helping to solidify the idea that what holds the product should be as beautiful as the woman who uses it. She was the front-runner in the cosmetics industry for quite some time, until another young go-getter by the name of Estee Lauder began her own empireone that would eventually lead to the Elizabeth Arden line being almost an afterthought in the mind of many consumers.
Not only has Arden's image been diminished over the years due to odd distribution patterns (consumers were getting mixed messages as this prestige line began showing up in drug and discount chain stores), but also through their own formulary mistakes and seeming unwillingness to pay attention to current research. Given the history of this line and several outstanding products they've produced in the past, it's very frustrating that what's offered today is such a mishmash of good and bad, with a hefty dose of average. Arden still has several sunscreens that fall short by leaving out sufficient UVA protection. In contrast, Estee Lauder and the Lauder-owned lines have their sunscreen acts together and consistently impress by including other state-of-the-art goodies to amplify the environmental protection of their moisturizers.
Many of Arden's products also contain potentially problematic ingredients or are packaged in a way that puts the light- and air-sensitive ingredients at risk of breaking down shortly after the product is opened. Given Elizabeth Arden's (the woman) pioneering, innovative spirit,we can't imagine her being completely pleased with the state of her namesake skin-care line (Arden passed away in 1966). Having the gorgeous Catherine Zeta-Jones as a spokesmodel for most of theearly 2000smay have raised more interest in this brand than in years past, but a pretty face and eye-catching ads don't always translate to good skin care, as evidenced by the reviews on this site. There are some very impressive products in this line, but it's definitely one that demands careful attention to what you're buying lest you put your skin at risk.
For more information about Elizabeth Arden, call (800) 326-7337 or visit www.elizabetharden.com.
Elizabeth Arden Makeup
Cosmetics trailblazer Elizabeth Arden may have been single-handedly responsible for bringing modern makeup to American women (she opened the famous Red Door Salon in 1910 and formulated the first blush and tinted powders in 1912), but today's lineup of Arden makeup has far more disappointments than its pioneering namesake would have liked.Most of the Arden foundations with sunscreen either leave out the five prime UVA-screening active ingredients or because their SPF numbers are unnecessarily low. Either way,only oneof the foundations with sunscreens can be relied on as your sole source of facial sun protection.
In contrast to the mostlydisappointing foundations, you'll be pleased with what Arden offers for concealer, eyeshadow, lipstick, and mascara. Each of these categories has some brilliant products to consider, and they serve to prove, at least to a modest extent, that Elizabeth Arden makeup is not to be counted out just yet. The remaining products have little to extol, either because they are truly ineffective or because the competition has Arden beat by a mile.A continual bright spot for Arden is that their tester units are typically well organized and the colors are grouped so it's easy to zero in on what you like.
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.