Tis the season! Sephora is currently offering four holiday sample collections free with a $25+ purchase. I snapped up one of the Flawless Foundation sets (now sadly out of stock) and am impressed with the quantity and quality of the products included. I'll review all of them in the next couple of days, but will start today with two of the "brightening" formulas--Lancôme Éclat Miracle and Color FX BritePrep FX Brightening Foundation Primer.
Lancôme Éclat Miracle is billed as a straight-up illuminator, and certainly does the job well. Observe:
I dabbed a pea-sized amount of the serum onto my hand, and rubbed it in for around 15 seconds. The result is quite bright--I'm not sure I'd apply this much to my face--and leaves a very pleasant powdery matte finish. It doesn't feel at all heavy, but also doesn't moisturize even a little bit. It doesn't feel like it would clog my pores, so I'll definitely be giving it a trial run on my face soon.
The Color FX BritePrep Primer Boasts an impressive SPF 50, and the product description lists it as a combination primer/illuminator/sunscreen. Not too shabby, especially for those like me who hate wearing sunscreen in addition to makeup when out in the sun. That said, this primer feels too sunscreen-like for me to want to give it more than a cursory trial run. Observe:
The illuminating qualities of the Color FX aren't nearly as bright as the Lancôme, and instead of a matte finish it stays shiny even after 15 seconds of trying to get it to absorb. This is a big no-no for someone with my oily skin--who wants to start the day looking greasy? I could see this product being appealing for someone with very dry skin or skin that isn't terribly sensitive, but for myself I'll keep it in reserve until I plan to spend some serious time outdoors for the SPF alone.
You can still find holiday prep kits in Smokey Eye, Beautiful Skin, and Fragrance Sampler at Sephora.com using the code PREPKIT.