While the biggest downfall of Clinique's Beyond Perfecting™ Foundation + Concealer is that it overpromises and under delivers—it's still a good, potentially great powder foundation despite the brands rather exaggerated promises. The good news is this provides a very natural-looking light to medium coverage that truly looks "skin like," with the right color match. Its matte finish is best for oily to combination skin types (including the acne prone).
Where things fall short is Clinique's promises that this is a foundation and a concealer in one, as well as a sweat and humidity resistant formula. These are super powers beyond this powder foundation—this won't replace your concealer, and it isn't any more sweat resistant than average powder foundation. (It wore away rapidly when tested on a morning run.) However, marketing claims aside, this still has strong qualities that make it one of Clinique's better powder formulas.
Packaged in mirrored compact, this also includes a sponge for easy touchups. We wouldn't recommend using it for the day-to-day application, as it tends to layer more product than most people would like, and can look dry and a bit heavy on skin. A fluffy, dome-head brush worked well to emphasize the natural finish on skin, and still let you layer coverage more strategically.
Regarding coverage, this helped even out the appearance of minor redness and other discolorations, but you'll absolutely need to touch up more pronounced red or brown marks with your choice of concealer. The matte finish of Beyond Perfecting™ Foundation + Concealer holds up well over the course of the workday on those with oily to combination skin, and this helped control oil to a reasonable extent. Those with very oily skin will likely find this delays the need to blot by a few hours, which is certainly a bonus.
True to form for Clinique, the color range is mostly good, with 13 shades to choose from at the time of this review. One or two in the lighter and medium range seemed to run cooler, or pinker, than may be ideal—try this one in store to get the best shade match. There are options here for the fair to medium-deep, but those with deeper skin tones may find there isn't a shade for them—at least not yet.
Clinique's Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer has qualities that we loved, including its matte finish and natural-looking coverage. However, because part of our rating process is whether a product lives up to its claims, it fell short of our top rating for its inability to make good on its all-in-one, sweat resistant promises. Nevertheless, if the benefits we mentioned above appeal to you, this is a powder foundation well worth consideration.
Strengths: A few excellent moisturizers and serums; excellent sunscreens; very good cleansers and eye makeup removers; unique mattifying products; impressive selection of foundations, good concealers; some remarkable mascaras; much-improved eyeshadows, lip colors and blush formulas.
Weaknesses: Bar soaps (which can clog pores and dull skin); alcohol-based toners; unfortunate choice of jar packaging for antioxidant-loaded moisturizers.
Estee Lauder-owned Clinique launched the concept of cosmetics being "allergy-tested," "hypoallergenic," "100% fragrance-free," and "dermatologist tested." Of those marketing claims, the only one with significance is "100% fragrance-free," which, for the most part, Clinique maintains (although it does add some fragrant extracts to a few products). Unfortunately, terms like “hypoallergenic” and “dermatologist tested” aren’t regulated by the FDA and can mean anything—thus, you still need to rely on the ingredient list to tell you whether their product contains any ingredients with the potential to irritate skin.
That inconvenient fact aside, Clinique is leading the way with cutting-edge, state-of-the-art moisturizers and serums, plus some formidable makeup and more than a few excellent sunscreens. While Clinique has some products that we see as missteps for reasons discussed in their reviews, more than ever, what they offer is quite good (just have realistic expectations, as some of their claims go beyond what their products are capable of).
Turning to makeup, Clinique continues to offer a vast palette of colors and textures, especially with their enormous selection of foundations—many of which feature effective sunscreens. Without a doubt, the numerous formulas offer something for every skin type and almost every skin color—though the blushes, eye makeup and lip colors are frequently not pigmented enough for deeper skin tones.
The bottom line is that, despite a few shortcomings, Clinique is one of the most comprehensive (and comparably affordable) department-store makeup lines, and it is completely understandable why they enjoy such broad appeal.
Note: Clinique is categorized as one that tests on animals because their products are sold in China. Although Clinique does not conduct animal testing for their products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brand’s state that they don’t test on animals “unless required by law”. Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Beautypedia Team.
For more information about Clinique, call (800) 419-4041 or visit www.clinique.com.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
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