Clinique says Pop Lip Colour + Primer combines lip color and the benefits of a primer in one. Sounds intriguing, right? But if the main purpose of a lip primer is to help ensure a smooth, even application of lip color, then any good cream lipstick would fall into this category. That’s essentially what Pop Lip Colour + Primer is—a cream lipstick, with no ingredients typically seen in lip primer products. Misleading primer name aside, this is a very good lipstick, albeit with a few minor caveats that we’ll get to below.
Pop Lip Colour + Primer is packaged in a swivel-up container. This fragrance-free lipstick has a balmy, almost gel-like texture that glides across lips with ease and deposits full color coverage in a couple of coats, although the lighter shades aren’t as opaque as the deeper colors.
The range of shades suits a variety of skin tones, and includes everything from soft neutrals to bold pinks. Though Clinique says the finish is demi-matte (the description on its website) or "modern velvet," we have to respectfully disagree—it has a soft-shine finish that is much glossier than any variation of matte (even after it’s set and been on lips for a while).
True to its other claims, this does feel comfortable while you’re wearing it, thanks to emollients, such as castor (which is front and center at the top of the ingredient list), olive and apricot kernel oils, as well as shea butter. In fact, this has a lot of beneficial emollient ingredients, but instead of feeling heavy, the formula feels lightweight the whole time you’re wearing it.
A minor ding on this formula (other than that the finish is not as advertised) is that Clinique claims it provides eight hours of moisturization. We found this lipstick began to fade after about four hours of wear, and didn’t leave lips feeling moisturized after it did—both of which are fairly standard qualities for a cream lipstick. These are minor caveats, however, and given the other excellent qualities of Pop Lip Colour + Primer, it’s one we recommend checking out!
Smooth, easy application that doesn’t drag.
Lightweight and lightly moisturizing formula.
Comes in a variety of shades to suit different skin tones.
The finish is creamier (not demi-matte or "modern velvet") than claimed.
Does not moisturize for eight hours, as claimed.
Luxurious yet weightless formula merges bold, saturated colour with a smoothing primer. Glides on effortlessly to a modern-velvet finish. Colour stays true, keeps lips comfortably moisturized for 8 hours.
Ricinius Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Diisostearyl Malate, Trioctyldodecyl Citrate, Lanolin Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Castor Isostearate Succinate, Silica, Octyldodecanol, Ozokerite, Polyethylene, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Hydrogenated Polydecen, Ethyhexyl Palmitate, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Extract, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Extract, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Bran Extract, Microcrystalline Wax, Astrocaryum Murumuru Seed Butter, Prunus Armenica (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Cholesterol, Hordeum Vulgarge (Barley) Extract, Ceramide 2, Palmitic Acid, Squalane, Lauryl PCA, Lauryl Methacrylate/Glycol Dimethacrylate Crosspolymer, Linoleic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, Glyceryl Stearate, Oleic Acid, Butylene Glycol, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Potassium Sulfate, Alumina, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Barium Sulfate, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydrohydroxycinnamate, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Aluminum Hydroxide, Tin Oxide. +/- Mica, Iron Oxides, Red 7 Lake, Blue 1 Lake, Titanium Dioxide, Yellow 6 Lake, Red 33 Lake, Red 6, Bismuth Oxychloride, Iron Oxides, Carmine, Red 30 Lake, Yellow 5 Lake, Red 22 Lake, Red 28 Lake.
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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