Brightening Advanced Serum (Discontinued)

by Bobbi Brown  Brightening
$105 - 1.6 fl. oz.
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Skin Care > Serums > Serums
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This serum contains some beneficial antioxidants all skin types need to look and act younger, but it's not worth the investment. Bobbi Brown is owned by Estee Lauder, and Lauder's namesake line as well as sister company Clinique offer similar yet better serums for less money.

This is a blend of plant extracts, which have limited research pertaining to their ability to brighten skin (which many will interpret as "lighten"; even though Brown isn't claiming this serum helps with discolorations). This serum contains a form of vitamin C (ascorbyl glucoside) that has limited research on its ability to improve skin discolorations, but it is a good ingredient nonetheless.

At best, this is a good, but overpriced, serum that's suitable for normal to slightly dry or oily skin. It contains a tiny amount of fragrance chemicals known to cause irritation, which isn't what you should be getting from any anti-aging product you're considering.

  • Contains a good mix of vitamin- and plant-based antioxidants.
  • Leaves skin feeling silky-smooth.
  • Packaged to ensure the antioxidants remain stable during use.
  • Expensive (you can find better serums that cost $25-$50).
  • Contains a small amount of fragrance ingredients that pose a slight risk of irritation.

The star of the Brightening Skincare line. Layer this highly concentrated serum over Brightening Hydrating Lotion morning and night. Infused with Red Algae, this luxurious formula also contains a Vitamin C Complex and unique blend of Grape, Mulberry and Scutellaria to help even skin tone.

Water, Dimethicone, Polysorbate 40, Pentylene Glycol Ascorbyl Glucoside, Polyacrylamide, Gentian Root Extract, Matricaria Flower Extract, Rice Brand Extract, Hydrolyzed Rice Bran Extract, Cucumber Fruit Extract, Apple Fruit Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Palmaria Palmata Extract, Barley Extract, Plankton Extract, Laminaria Saccharina Extract, Myristyl Alcohol, Sunflower Seedcake, Sucrose, Sorbitol, Caffeine, Pantethine, Acetyl Glucosamine, Yeast Extract, Whey Protein, Algae Extract, PEG-10 Dimethicone, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Butylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol Dicaprate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium RNA, Corn Oil, Glycyrrhetinic Acid, Phytosphingosine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Laureth-7, Sodium Hydroxide, O-Cymen-5-OL, Citric Acid, Lecithin, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance, Citronellol, Linalool, Limonene, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol

It all began with lipsticks. In 1991, New York based makeup artist Bobbi Brown debuted a collection of ten lipsticks at Bergdorf Goodman, expecting to sell about one hundred units in a month. She sold more than that the first day. From there, it's been mostly success after success, as Brown launched her classic foundation stick, wrote her first book, Bobbi Brown Beauty The Ultimate Beauty Resource, and enjoyed continued attention as an in-demand makeup artist and beauty educator.

The popularity of the line, particularly the makeup, did not go unnoticed by Estee Lauder, who acquired Bobbi Brown Cosmetics in 1995. Since Lauder has been at the helm the line has expanded well beyond what Brown likely envisioned back in the early 1990s, and it now includes fragrance and body-care products, among others. Yet it is Brown's makeup that continues to excel with superior foundations (though the ones without sufficient UVA protection disappoint), true matte blushes and eyeshadows, and with all of the other basics that are essential to a woman's classic makeup wardrobe. It isn't the least bit surprising that this makeup collection continues to do so well, because for many women, it's one-stop shopping that combines classic makeup application techniques with enough fun-yet-functional products to keep customer's interest piqued season to season.

Turning to the skin-care collection, there isn't a great deal to say or extol. The prices are rather steep, especially when you consider how many well-intentioned products use jar packaging, and fragrant irritants are a common thread, including in most of the sunscreens, which is a shame. Color is Bobbi Brown's strong point, but you will find a few sleeper hits among the selection of mostly inadequate or problematic skin-care products.

For more information about Bobbi Brown, owned by Estee Lauder, call (877) 310-9222 or visit

Bobbi Brown Makeup

We admire Brown's latest philosophy on beauty. She says, "The secret to beauty is simple—be who you are." No arguments here! However, it's clear from promotional materials for this line that Brown believes being who you are should involve some amount of makeup, a concept many women may disagree with. Still, there's no question that the right makeup, applied and blended correctly, can make a world of positive difference to a woman, and in this regard Brown's counter staff is well-prepared. It was nice to overhear the makeup artists explaining step-by-step application tips to customers, rather than just pushing products. With just a few exceptions, this is a makeup collection its namesake creator should be proud of—not only for the products, but also for the level of service and education provided.

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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