This specialty makeup product is claimed to make your pores look smooth and “virtually flawless” with a matte finish that lasts up to 8 hours. Although this has an intriguing, spackle-like texture that temporarily improves the appearance of enlarged pores, its shine control effect fails to impress. At best, the matte finish lasts an hour or so, after which the oil comes roaring back and your pores look as if you hadn’t done anything different. You’ll be reaching for your blotting papers or powder, which isn’t the point of this product.
Without question, your first impression of this product will be positive. It feels supremely silky, leaves a weightless, powdery matte finish that initially makes pores appear smaller, and it definitely keeps shine in check. If only the results weren’t so short-lived, this would be easy to recommend. It comes in three translucent shades, including Invisible Bright, which has an opalescent pink cast that enlivens skin without adding shine.
Note: This is similar to Clinique’s former Pore Minimizer Instant Perfector, but does not have the same impressive oil-absorbing qualities as its predecessor. Please see our list of Best Oil-Absorbing Products.
Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, HDI/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Silica, Isononyl Isononanoate, Isododecane, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Lauroyl Lysine, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Ethylhexylglycerin, Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate, Phytosterol/Octyldodecyl Lauroyl Glutamate, Methicone, Tocopheryl Acetate, Coconut Acid, Water, Phenoxyethanol May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Carmine
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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