Any foundation claiming to make skin look "even better" without makeup is going to garner some amount of attention, as this one certainly has. The one thing this beautifully silky liquid foundation has going for it in terms of reducing skin discolorations is its brilliant blend of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide along with a synthetic sunscreen agent. Combined, they provide reliable broad-spectrum protection (assuming you apply this foundation liberally and evenly).
As for the other ingredients in this foundation, none of them are known to have a dramatic effect on skin's tone or clarity. However, going back to the sunscreen, it's true that keeping skin protected from sun exposure will enhance its clarity and improve skin tone. That's because you're shielding skin from a major causative source of these complexion detractors. But that capability is hardly unique to this foundation, so the selling point becomes less persuasive.
What you'll get with this foundation is a smooth application that blends readily and sets to a soft matte finish that looks very skin-like. It's surprising that something whose finish is so lovely offers fairly significant coverage, especially for minor redness. The only drawback this foundation has it a small amount of grapefruit peel extract. This has the potential to cause irritation, but we doubt the amount used would be much of a problem.
Shade-wise, the expansive palette tends to fall to the slightly peach or pink side of neutral. Many of the colors are top-notch, especially for lighter and dark skin tones. The following shades are not recommended due to strong overtones of peach and rose: Porcelain Beige, Cream Caramel, Neutral (which is anything but neutral), Honey and Beige. There are some good dark tones and the shade range now includes options for very dark skin, too.
Even Better Makeup SPF 15 is best for normal to oily skin, and should be suitable for blemish-prone skin.
Active: Octinoxate 6%; Titanium Dioxide 2.90%; Zinc Oxide 3.5%. Inactive: Water, Methyl Trimethicone, Phenyl Trimethicone, Dimethicone, Triethylhexanoin, Butylene Glycol, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Octldodecyl Neopentanoate, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Extract, Betula Alba (Birch) Bark Extract, Citrus Jabara Peel Extract, Sacchoromyces Lysate Extract, Trametes Versicolor Extract, Astrocaryum Murumuru Seed Butter, Sodium Mannose Phosphate, Glycerin, Sodium Myristoyl Sarcosinate, Methicone, Polyglyceryl-6 Polyricinoleate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Dimethicone Crosspolymer-3, Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate, Lecithin, Laureth-7, Tocopheryl Acetate, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Dimethicone/PEG-10/15 Crosspolymer, Alumina, Sodium Chloride, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Polyaminopropyl Biguandine; May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Mica, Bismuth Oxychloride
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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