Capitalizing on the highlight & contour trend, Clinique expands on its line of Chubby Stick products with its Chubby Stick Sculpting Highlight, and while there are things to love about it, there are a few major caveats that dim its potential.
Chubby Stick Sculpting Highlight, like all of Clinique's Chubby Stick products, comes in a plastic twist-up tube with a cap. Inside is a fragrance-free, pale pink balm with a silver-white sheen. The formula is very emollient, so it glides over skin with ease and blends easily. Its balm-like texture makes it best suited to normal to dry skin types, as it's too moisturizing for combination or oily skin.
The look of this highlighter is very subtle and attractive, creating a slight sheen to skin instead of a more pronounced luminous look (or obvious glitter or sparkle). The single shade offered, "Hefty Highlight," is best suited to fair to light skin tones, as its tint can appear whitish on medium or deeper complexions.
The caveats begin with Clinique's recommendations that you use this over bare skin, which we agree with because it doesn't layer well over foundation. (Making it a tricky product to use for those who do wear foundation.) In terms of wear, the problems with Chubby Stick Sculpting Highlight become apparent within a couple of hours.
Though it initially look is quite natural, within a couple of hours it begins to emphasize the appearance of pores—even if you don't have enlarged pores. It also starts to fade in about three hours, to the point where you can hardly see it anymore, despite Clinique's claims that this is a longwearing formula.
Clinique's Chubby Stick Sculpting Highlight is not a bad product, but because it can emphasize pores and doesn't last very long, it doesn't earn our emphatic recommendation given the number of better alternatives. For superior options, see our list of Best Luminizers & Highlighters.
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.
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