Makeup that can multi-task is what lots of people want, and that's what Clinique claims its Pop Lacquer Lip Colour + Primer can do. But is it really a two-in-one product? Not quite, but it still has enough going for it that it nearly earns our highest rating.
Pop Lacquer Lip Colour + Primer comes in standard liquid lip color packaging, a clear tube with a sponge-tipped wand applicator. One detail we appreciate is that the wand is a bit shorter (and the sponge a bit smaller) than most other applicators. This allows for greater control and precise application.
Speaking of that, the fragrance-free lip color glides easily across lips with bold, rich color in a single coat. True to its name, this is more of a lacquer formula than a gloss, which means this has a slightly tacky feel. Your lips won't be glued when you press them together, but it's definitely stickier than a balm or lightweight lip gloss, so that's something to keep in mind.
Pop Lacquer Lip Colour + Primer has a high-shine finish that lasts for the first hour or so of its wear time, then fades to a softer shine. When it comes to wear time, Clinique says this can last "up to" six hours, which it likely can—provided you don't eat, drink, or dab your lips with a napkin while you're wearing it! This is not a longwearing formula; we found it wore for about two or three hours before fading to an attractive stain.
So what about the "primer" aspect of this lip product? It's definitely moisturizing, and felt comfortable on our lips the entire time we wore it. Our lips even seemed softer once it wore off, but that's true of many emollient lip products that don't have "primer" in the name. One of the functions of a lip primer is not only to condition lips, but also to make lip products wear longer, and that was not the case at all with this—but at least the wear time wasn't noticeably shorter than similar products.
Pop Lacquer Lip Colour + Primer comes in a small but good range of shades that include neutral options as well as brighter colors, like poppy red and fuchsia.
Overall, there's a lot to like about Clinique's Pop Lacquer Lip Colour + Primer. Were it not for some overstated claims, it would easily earn out highest rating!
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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