Sculptionary Cheek Contouring Palette is comprised of three shades in one solid, pressed powder compact intended to "colour, contour, and highlight." Although Clinique says you can use the shades individually, their proximity to one another doesn't make that easy to do. We suspect most users will end up using this as a luminous blush that you swirl together, and in that regard, it offers a pop of color + glow… though even then, the end result is more hit or miss.
Sculptionary Cheek Contouring Palette comes in a handful of shade options, each of which offers a light highlighter color, a mid-toned blush color, and a deeper contour shade. The small, solid compact design (no separation between colors) makes it difficult to use them for their separate intended purposes, in which case you'd have to use a rather small, narrow brush (not included) to pick up the colors separately. It's not as user-friendly as it should be, but it is possible to create a soft contour effect between the three shimmering shades.
Swirling the colors together is the more practical way to use Sculptionary Cheek Contouring Palette, and doing so results in a radiant finish blush in pink, peach, berry, rose or bronze hues—depending on which shade you pick. There is also an online-exclusive shade (called Defining Sugars) which is made up of light cream, pink and blueish-lavender tones—we don't know what that would be used for (nor did the Clinique rep we spoke with), but we're guessing swirled together it produces a gleaming finish.
Although the pressed powder texture of Sculptionary Cheek Contouring Palette is very silky and soft, we did notice there is a slight tendency for the color to cling unevely, particularly with the Defining Berries and Defining Nudes shades, so take extra precaution to blend those well.
The Bottom Line: Sculptionary Cheek Contouring Palette ends up being a so-so luminous blush option, and at this price, we'd expect better from both a usability and end result standpoint. For superior options (many of which cost less!), check out our Best Blushes list.
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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