There are many brands at Sephora I can’t wait to try (Marc Jacobs) and then there are brands I wish I could pretend didn’t exist (Bare Minerals), and Clinique falls somewhere in the middle. In fact, I almost skipped today because I cared so little, but my coworkers convinced me to carry on and so I did.

I feel Clinique is your mom’s favorite makeup. A lot of people I know began their makeup journey by shopping the Clinique counter and loving the mascara. Until today, my experience was stocking it and then one time I used a Chubby Stick lip balm when my lips were chapped.


Brand History

Believe it or not, there was a time when people believed you were trapped in the skin you had and everything was up to genes. In 1967, one dermatologist, Dr. Norman Orentreich, told Vogue he believed good skin could be created and suddenly everything changed.

Intrigued by his idea, the famed Estee Lauder family scooped him and Carol Phillips up to bring the dream to reality. One year later, Clinique launched with the iconic 3-step skincare system – cleanser, exfoliator and moisturizer, a system still sold in stores today. By 1969, Clinique opened its first counter in England and became the first collection of beauty related products that were allergy tested, fragrance free and dermatologist-created. They continued to set the standard by releasing skincare specific for men in 1976.

Clinique remains a prominent player in the field, both with its skincare and makeup. Many of the foundations are designed with oily or acne prone clients in mind, allowing them to help their skin both on the surface and below.


Products Used:



Prior to this, I’ve swatched several of the foundations because I’ve heard such good things, especially if your skin still insists on breaking out. While there is a great shade range, they’re all pretty much too warm for my skin tone. This basically means they’re light, but they look yellow on my skin. Fortunately, one of our artists guided me to Superbalanced Silk Makeup and the Silk Porcelain shade ended up working out for the most part.


I started with the Superprimer Color Corrector for redness and while it felt nice, I’m not sure how much it helped with my redder areas. To be fair, my face gets instantly red anytime I rub product on it, which makes it hard to tell. The foundation spread easily on top and I loved the coverage. It didn’t feel heavy at all. Plus, it has SPF in it which is always important (and in NY it means no tax when you purchase).

For the rest of the complexion, I used a concealer that was nice but unremarkable. I selected the famous Chubby Sticks in the contour and highlight shades, but was afraid to use the contour to heavily. It only comes in one shade, and that shade is much darker than I would typically select. To its credit, it blended really well and made it easy to use, so I never looked like I rubbed my face in dirt. I put the Sunkissed bronzer on top to warm up my skin and it was subtle but nice.

Arguably, the Cheek Pop blushes are some of the most beloved Clinique products and they’re hard not to love. First of all, it’s molded into a daisy in the packaging which is just adorable. Second, there are a lot of really pretty and unique shades. Third, it’s buildable, which means at first you’re going to get a very light and natural flush but you can keep adding it until you’re satisfied. Personally, I dipped into that pretty flower like 27 times. Maybe not that much, but I went hard.

Next I added the Hefty Highlight stick and a nude glow and I looked very naturally glowy, which is nice if you like that kind of thing. Honestly, you can probably skip the powder highlight and just use the highlight stick to build for better results.


The brows were my least favorite part of this experiment. The pencil didn’t seem to glide well and went very dark instead of allowing room to slowly get to the darkness I wanted. There was a lot of shearing with a spooly. The brow gel was okay as well and overall I think they turned out okay, just not the easiest product to use.

Unfortunately, the eyeshadows didn’t really impress me, but it’s possible it’s because I’m not their audience. The colors were beautiful and didn’t go on super heavy, but I’m always looking for a little more pigment. Overall I think it was a nice look, and I added some eyeliner to define everything more but I’m not great with eyeliner that isn’t a liquid wing so who’s to know if it was okay.

Potentially my favorite discovery was the mascara. The lash primer and bottom lash mascara were nice, but holy cow am I IN LOVE with the Chubby Lash. It basically did what I want every mascara to do. It lengthened and separated and man I’m obsessed. It’s also not thick or clumpy, which is great.

Finally comes the lip color. I chose this based on the color of the bottle, not taking into account it was frosted and therefore not an accurate display. I thought I was putting on a soft pink and ended up with this vibrant pop.


At first drink of my Starbucks, I was convinced my color wouldn’t last, but I powered through and ate my breakfast sandwich. To my surprise, despite dat transfer, it stayed on well and was very vibrant all day. It was definitely brighter than I wanted, but it was a beautiful finish. My only issue is the ongoing transfer. I don’t like it when my lips are staining everything all day, even if the color remains.

Probable Purchase

  • Obviously the masara. Obviously.
  • Maybe the foundation. I need to go back and try it again
  • Cheek Pop if I ever need blush again (unlikely)

Never Again

  • The brow products. I just really hated them, you know?

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