Clinique Skinny Stick twist-up eyeliner pencil strives to be a good basic eyeliner, but it falls short in a few areas, and isn't worth the hefty price.
We found this pencil applied smoothly, without dragging or tugging, but it was difficult—even with layering—to get a deeply-tinted, more noticeable line. We also found it to be a bit smudge-prone, particularly on oily skin; you may inadvertently end up with a smoky eye.
The shade range consists of a few classic and trendy colors. The boldest choice may be the white eyeliner which can be used subtly in the inner corners of your eyes, or in less subtle ways: to accent a liquid-lined cat eye or create a bold, graphic statement.
Overall, though, this eyeliner is best-suited for more subtle, natural-looking definition. It'll easily create a thin, tight line close to the lashes, and since its applicator twists in tiny increments to reveal the pencil, it's easy to control the application.
Finally, since the pencil is so skinny, be aware that it'll break easily if you expose too much of the product or press too hard (which we didn't find necessary). You'll find better-performing, less expensive choices on our list of Best Eyeliners.
- Allows for precise, basic lines very close to the lashes.
- Easily lines lower lids at the waterline.
- Doesn't require a sharpener.
- Twists out in tiny increments to better preserve the pencil.
- Smudges easily, especially on oily skin.
- Pencil twists up, but doesn't retract.
- Won't create a range of different looks.
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 brands state that they dont 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.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.