Those of you who've been wearing makeup since the early 1980s might remember Maybelline's Dial-a-Lash Mascara, which allowed you to turn a knob on the packaging to determine how much mascara was deposited on the brush before each use. Clinique's Lash Power™ Flutter-to-Full Mascara revives this concept, with varying results.
The fragrance-free mascara has three settings to create a natural or dramatic-looking lashes. The mascara tube has three lash illustrations so you know which result you're dialing in, and here's how each looks once applied:
Setting one is the most natural and best for clump-free length with minimal thickness. Lashes are evenly defined, glossy, and uplifted.
Setting two deposits a bit more mascara on the standard nylon-bristled brush, but the results tend to go on unevenly, leading to clumps that must be combed through. This setting was trickiest to work with no matter how many times we tried.
For maximum impact, skip to setting three, which amps up the length and also boosts thickness, though not to a wow-factor degree. What's particularly impressive is that despite a heavier application, lashes don't clump—although the formula is on the wet side so lashes need a bit more time to dry.
No matter the setting, once the formula dries it wears without flaking, smudging, or smearing. True to Clinique's claim, you can remove this mascara with hot water and pressure (from your fingers, as in gently rubbing lashes). However, the water temperature needed (Clinique advises 103 degrees on the box) is too hot to be considered gentle, so be sure to remove this with your regular cleanser or makeup remover.
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.
Beautypedia cuts through the hype to bring you product insights and recommendations you won’t find anywhere else!