This two-in-one product claims to be a full-coverage foundation that can double as a concealer in areas where you need more coverage. While the same could be said of other foundations that offer the same coverage as this one, the differentiator is the large doe-foot applicator that allows you to sweep the liquid-cream formula on as a foundation (using the backside of the applicator) or to spot apply to conceal more obvious imperfections (using the pointed tip). You'll still need to blend with your fingertips for smooth, even coverage, but admittedly the applicator is handy for targeting blemishes and other small flaws you'd normally target with a separate concealer.
The two-in-one concept also works because the fragrance-free formula offers buildable medium-to-full coverage so you can create more substantial concealment where needed. You're not going to fool anyone into thinking you're not wearing any makeup, but if you have problem areas that you'd like to camouflage this does the trick.
Beyond Perfecting™ Foundation + Concealer doesn't feel super heavy or occlusive, and the comfortable texture allows ample blending time before it sets to a semi-matte finish that is neither drying nor dewy. While this foundation holds up decently for most skin types, oily areas will need a touchup of powder to keep shine at bay and to prevent separation.
Our only complaint is the shade range. Many of the lighter shades have a less-than-flattering pinkish undertone, while some of the medium-to-deep colors skew orange or reddish. It's not as if this is a sheer formula where something like that would be a bit more forgiving … it's noticeable. If you have fair skin, even the lightest shade (Alabaster) will be too dark for your complexion; in fact, most of the shades run darker than what you'd expect.
If you're keen to try this foundation + concealer in one, we highly recommend testing it in-store first to make sure the color suits you. Consider yourself lucky if you find a good match!
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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