We were optimistic given Clinique's impressive marketing claims, but Chubby in the Nude left us both unfulfilled and dissatisfied—frankly, we've had better. Not only was its coverage surprisingly sheer, but it blends poorly and lacks the natural appearance that today's best stick foundations have.
Housed in a traditional swivel-up container, Chubby in the Nude is fragrance free. Rather than providing the creamy, blendable texture that one would expect from a stick foundation, this has a drier finish that blends away to a nearly translucent tint due to its sheer coverage. We found building coverage and blending to be a challenge no matter what method we tried, fingers, sponge, or a brush.
Its unusually thick texture (due to the inclusion of clay and other absorbent agents) makes it unsuitable for dry skin—but due to its mix of wax-based ingredients, this isn't recommended for those with oily to combination (or acne prone) skin, either. Uncomfortable to work with, we can't imagine who would like a Chubby in the Nude that's this rough.
With its variety of 10 shades—from Abundant Alabaster to Ample Amber and beyond—this would seem capable of satisfying most preferences. Unfortunately, the colors run a bit darker than you would expect, with some taking on strong yellow undertones. We suppose this is the upside of having near nonexistent coverage, as its color issues are less noticeable after the formula is blended.
While size isn't everything (sometimes it's more about the performance,) Chubby in the Nude was smaller than expected once we had it out of its package. The amount of product you get is less than a quarter of an ounce, which we felt only added insult to injury given its drawbacks.
Stick foundations have come a long way in the past few years—the competition is certainly stiff—but Clinique's Chubby in the Nude falls short given its unpleasant texture on skin and poor coverage. For far better alternatives, consider those we recommend in the Best Foundations section.
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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