Welcome to the first installment of my five-part series on brightening products for the face. Brightening creams, primers and foundations are easy and effective solutions for perking up tired-looking eyes and skin. They are safe, bleach-free formulas that are usually created with light-reflecting pigments to give your skin a well-rested, healthy and alive look. Makeup artists have been using these products for years, so it's time that you knew about the many different options in this category too!

Shiseido Makeup Brightening Veil SPF 24 ($32) is a colorless face primer that helps minimize the appearance of dullness, uneven skin and freckles for an all around radiant complexion. It contains Advanced Luminous Technology, which uses shimmer bits to create a soft, dewy and lustrous glow. It glides on like velvet and is extremely moisturizing. It is most effective when worn alone or under your favorite foundation. Available in one universal sheer shade.

For two more brightening face primers,

Smashbox Photo Finish Light Foundation Primer ($36) is a lightweight foundation primer with a water base so it won't clog pores or irritate sensitive skin. It provides a smooth, matte finish while absorbing excess grease and diffusing light particles to create a brilliant glow on your skin.

That Gal Brightening Primer by Benefit ($27) is a "Pepto" colored face primer that moisturizes the skin and prepares it for your foundation, powder or blush. It's really not as pink on your skin as it looks in the bottle and the result is light, smooth and glowy finish. For more details, read my in-depth product review.