Acne Solutions Powder Makeup makes good on its claim to control oily shine with a fragrance-free pressed powder formula that is suitable for breakout-prone skin types. While there's nothing in the formula that's going to get rid of acne, it also isn't likely to make matters worse, which can be said for most powder foundations.
Using the included sponge allows you to build the instant medium coverage up to nearly full to camouflage imperfections, although doing so creates a heavier layer whose matte finish can leave skin looking a little flat. Alternatively, using a powder brush produces fresher looking results, although the coverage for blemishes won't be as substantial.
No matter how you apply Acne Solutions Powder Makeup, it blends on effortlessly and impressively smooth whether worn alone or on top of a liquid foundation. This absorbent powder is ideal for oily skin types, and those with combination skin may also appreciate it's shine-control for the T-zone or other oily areas. It can feel a little drying upon initial application, but otherwise holds up impressively well throughout the day.
Where this powder foundation falters is with its shades. Medium to deep skin tones are best represented, but even then, it's mandatory to test this in-store before purchasing because the colors don't always go on as they appear in the compact. And fair complexions—forget it! There aren't any shades light enough, let alone flattering (watch out for pinkish undertones). Not every line is going to have good shades for those with fair skin, but given Clinique's prominence and history of such shades, we expected more.
On a side note, if you're curious about the anti-acne ingredient salicylic acid in this formula, it cannot function as an exfoliant in this non-aqueous powder. Clinique must know that too because they don't even attempt to claim so on their website, although they likely included it to appeal to those who know of its blemish-reducing capabilities (when formulated at the right concentration and pH range, that is).
The bottom line: Acne Solutions Powder Makeup is one of the more effective absorbent powder foundations on the market for keeping shininess at bay throughout the day. If you can find an appropriate shade, by all means give it a go, but we'd highly recommend testing it in-store first if you can.
Talc, Dimethicone, Zea Mays (Corn Starch), Polymethyl Methacrylate, Silica, Zinc Stearate, Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate, Octyldodecyl Lactate, Salicylic Acid, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Sucrose, Lauryl PCA, Ethylhexylglycerin, Lauroyl Lysine, Dimethiconol, Nylon-12, Potassium Sorbate, Tetrasodium EDTA, BHT, Chlorphenesin. May contain: Mica, Iron Oxides, Blue 1 Lake, Bismuth Oxychloride, Carmine, Red 7 Lake, Titanium Dioxide.
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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