Saturday, February 18, 2017

why I have come to love Clinique

It used to be that as an esthetician working with professional grade skincare I looked down upon Clinique.  I am ashamed to admit I was a snob.  Even when working at Sephora years ago I felt there were much more potent and exciting brands to recommend.  Clinique just reminded me of 1980 junior high school and my friend Lisa Adler whose mother bought her the ubiquitous toner, yellow moisturizer, and blush in the marbled green compact.  We didn't take it seriously at the time, and I still hadn't taken Clinique seriously until about a couple years ago.  It turns out I just needed to be brave enough, or open-minded enough, to try.

It started out gradually.  First I bought the Quickliner For Eyes and ended up very impressed.  It was a slow work day at Sephora and I was occupying myself by testing out and swatching random products that were located in my "zone".  This included stuff on the Clinique gondola. The Quickliner came in a gorgeous slate color that was creamy but not too soft or oily.  It drew an easy line that stayed put.  I didn't normally like retractable eyeliners but this one was unusual in that it was able to make a thin enough line.  And the rest is history....I have owned several Quickliners by now, the color choices are awesome.

Way back before the current double-cleansing with oils craze, there was Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm.  That and the REN balm were pretty much the only oily balm options at Sephora.  Of course now TTDO is all you hear about on YouTube.  And with good reason.  This gently melts and dissolves all makeup without stripping your skin or being harsh in any way.  I have never heard of it breaking anyone out either.  It is a revelation to me because I no longer have to tug at my eyes to remove my mascara, and there is no stinging involved either.  Really it's perfect.


Or for a lazy superficial cleanse the Take The Day Off Micellar Cleansing Towelettes For Face & Eye are lovely and very effective.  Definitely in my top 3 favorite wipes of all time.

After these two discoveries, I grew more confident in the brand.  My next purchases were for my increasingly dry skin.  I had been obsessed with finding the perfect hydrating spray, when I heard British beauty guru Sally Hughes mention that during her childbirth labor the constant spritzing of Clinique Moisture Surge Face Spray Thirsty Skin Relief helped keep her going.  That sealed the deal for me!  Now it is, by far and away, my most used moisturizing mist.  Oil-free, alcohol-free, it is loaded with aloe and glycerin.

The other super hydrator I got was the Smart Night Custom Repair Moisturizer - Very Dry.  The technology of this cream is amazing.  While smoothing lines and wrinkles it also attracts just the right amount of moisture that your skin requires that night.  Left to its own devices my skin will wake up in the morning a parched angry red mess, but with this cream I am left plump and smooth and best of all no irritated redness.  I have unsuccessfully tried many night creams but Smart Night seems to do the trick.  It also comes in lighter weight formulas:  dry-combination, and combination-oily.

My most coveted Clinique product these days is their Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer.  I woudn't normally go for a Clinique foundation but I received a free sample of this and for some reason decided to just try it (see samples made me buy it).  I assumed the texture would be too thick and cakey and drying but it turned out smooth and satiny despite its heavy coverage consistency.  I was going to save this for special occasion makeup but in fact I love it so much I use it frequently - no special occasion required.  It's like velvet!  A very flattering velvet.

Last and best of all, Clinique makes some lesser-known perfumes.  Stuff that you can't find at Macy's or Sephora.  They almost fall into the niche category, and you could consider yourself uber cool to own them.  I discovered their Beyond Rose (a down and dirty amber rose) at Harrod's where it was an exclusive a few years back, but now is available in the states online.  I found their Aromatics in Black (dry mysterious jasmine and myrrh) at Saks, and am dying to return to get Aromatics Black Cherry (spicy green floral fruit with amber).  You can read more about these in my post huge perfume haul.

I don't know how, when, or where Clinique got such a bad rap (or really more of an indifferent rap) with us beauty snobs, but I am here to say we were wrong.  Very wrong.  Of course I still wouldn't use their Clarifying Lotions (ie. toners) because they have a lot of alcohol in them, but no brand is perfect.  As a professional, I would also recommend their Age Defence BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 30Cheek Pop blush, Bottom Lash Mascara, and the Clinique For Men Non-Streak Face Bronzer (for women to use as well).  Over all, I am excited about Clinique and the direction they are going in.  I believe they are totally worth checking out!

What are your feelings about Clinique?

all products reviewed were either bought, researched, or sampled by me. And product pictures were stolen from the link's websites. I am not financially compensated for my reviews


  1. Thanks for posting this. I felt I was in the monitory as I have recently rediscovered them also. I love two of their mascaras as well as the eye makeup remover and the chubby sticks. Can't beat the price point either. Now I'm interested in the perfumes you mentioned. Thanks for the tips!

    1. Yes, I didn't even mention the attractive price point. It was another reason I started looking into Clinique.
      And I am interesting in trying some of their mascaras too :-)

  2. What made Clinique different is that it avoided any ingredients that could potentially irritate the skin or cause allergies, such as fragrance. Even today, Clinique products are free from parabens, phthalates and fragrance.
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